Wheat is the most important food-grain of India and is the staple food of millions of Indians, particularly in the northern and north-western parts of the country. It is rich in proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates and provides balanced food. India is the fourth largest producer of wheat in the world after Russia, the USA and China and accounts for 8.7 per cent of the world’s total production of wheat.
Conditions of Growth:
The important factors affecting the productivity are seeding time and methods, crop establishment and climatic conditions during the growing season. Wheat is primarily requires a cool climate with moderate rainfall. The ideal wheat climate has winter temperature 10° to 15°C and summer temperature varying from 21°C to 26°C. The temperature should be low at the time of sowing but as the harvesting time approaches higher temperatures are required for proper grain filling. But sudden rise in temperature at the time of maturity is harmful.
Area & time of cultivation:
Conditions of growth for wheat are more flexible than those of rice. In contrast to rice, wheat is a rabi crop which is sown in the beginning of winter and is harvested in the beginning of summer. The Rabi sowing takes place in October-December and harvesting in April-May. The time of sowing and harvesting differs in different regions due to climatic variations. The sowing of wheat crop normally begins in the September-October in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal; October-November in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan and November-December in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.
Facts & figures:
With 93.51 million tonnes of wheat production from 29.65 million hectares, India's yield rate of 3.15 tonnes per hectare places it 19th out of 41 countries. Here, we do better than Brazil's yield rate of 2.73 tonnes per hectare, but lag behind South Africa (3.4 t/ha) and China (4.9 t/ha).
The main varieties of wheat grown in India are as follows VL-832,VL-804, HS-365, HS-240 , HD2687,WH-147, WH-542, PBW-343, WH-896(d), PDW-233(d), UP-2338, PBW-502, Shresth (HD 2687), Aditya (HD 2781), HW-2044, HW-1085, NP-200(di), HW-741. The Wheat producing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar.
Major Export Destinations:
Major exporting countries of wheat are Bangladesh, Nepal, United Arab Emts, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Jordan, China and major importing countries are Egypt, Algeria, Korea, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Netherland and Thailand.
The expected market price:
The estimated Cost of production of wheat crop during 2016-17 will be about 1300 to 1400 per quintal and the expected price per quintal will be around Rs.1450 – 1525.