Wheat Cultivation In India – Conditions
After rice, wheat is the second most important food-crop grown in India and it is the staple diet for millions of Indians, mainly in the north and north-western parts of the country. Wheat is the main source of protein, carbohydrate and vitamin for people in the rural areas.
In India, the cultivation of wheat is mainly done in the states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. However, wheat is now a popular agricultural produce in Madhya Pradesh too.
India is ranked fourth in the world in production of wheat, after Russia, USA and China.
Cultivation of wheat is more flexible compared to rice. Being a rabi crop, wheat is sown during the start of winter and harvested in the summer season. However, the time of sowing and harvesting varies in different regions owing to the varied climatic conditions in the region.
Farmers in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal sow wheat in September-October. And their counterparts in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan do so in November-December. Harvesting in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal is done in January-February, and April-May in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The wheat-growing period varies from one agro-climatic zone to another—thisimpacts the reproductive and vegetative period leading to the differences in potential produce. The crucial factorsthat impact the productivity are the seeding time, methodology and climatic conditions during the growing season.
Wheat is mainly a plant of mid-latitude grasslands. It requires cool temperature (ideally 10° to 15°C in winter and summer temperature varying from 21°C to 26°C) with low to moderate rainfall. During the sowing season, the temperature should be low; however, higher temperature is required as the harvesting season approaches, but, a sudden spike in the temperature during the growing season can be harmful.
The areas that receive annual rainfall of about 75 cm is where the wheat crops thrive. Rainfall above 100 cm is not conducive for the cultivation of wheat,and for areas that receive less than 50 cm of rainfall, artificial source of water is used. In fact, there are places in India which receive less than 20-25 cm of rainfall, yet wheat is the main crop grown in the area, this is because of the availability of sophisticated irrigation facilities.
Depending on the rain, about 6 to 7 watering are required in irrigated regions. While drought, mainly in rainfed areas, at the time of maturity of crop is harmful, cloudiness and light drizzles at the time of ripening of the crop helps in better yield. Additionally, frost during the flowering time and hail storm during the time of ripening can hamper the quality and productivity of the wheat crop.
HMP India, one of the leading agrochemical fertilizer suppliers in the country, aims to help farmers suffering from crop damages due to bad weather or insects and pests. The company has a range of products that cater to farmers looking for better quality produce. Butachlor 50% EW is a popular herbicide that put an end to weeds and stops their regrowth.
Wheat cultivation is highly mechanized and needs less labor. It grows in plenty in the flat alluvial soil found in north India.