• Wheat is a Rabi crop, grown in the winter season.
  • Sowing of wheat takes place in October to December and harvesting is during February to May.
  • The Indo-Gangetic plains in India are the most conducive area in India for growing wheat.
  • The cool winters and the hot summer are the perfect condition for a good wheat crop.


Seed Treatment

  • In termite infested soils first treat the seed with 4ml Dursban/ Ruban/Durmet 20 EC (chlorpyriphos) or 7ml Thiodan 35 EC (endosulfan) or 6 ml Regent 5%SC (fipronil) per kg seed, dry the seed in shade and then treat the seed of all varieties except that of PDW 291, PDW 274, PDW 233, TL 2908 and TL 1210 with Vitavax @ 2g/kg (200g/quintal) or Raxil @ 1 g/kg (100g/quintal) or Bavistin/ Agrozim/Derosal/JK Stein/Sten 50/ProvaxlBencor @ 2.5g/kg (250 g/quintal) seed for the control of loose smut.
  • Treat the seed with Captan orThiram @ 3g/kg (300g/quintal) seed. Use Captan/Thiram, if the seed is infected with black tip and head scab.
  • Treatment should not be done earlier than one month of sowing as it affects seed germination, Seed treatment can be done effectively with the seed treating drum.


Seed Rate

  • For securing good yield, a seed-rate of 35kg per acre for WH542 and 40 kg for all other varieties is recommended.
  • The seed should be cleaned and graded thoroughly before sowing.
  • All shrivelled and \ small wheat grains and weed seeds should be removed.


Time of Sowing

  • For securing the best grain yield, wheat must be sown at the optimum time.
  • Delayed sowing causes a gradual decline in the yield of wheat. A delay of one week in sowing reduces wheat yield by 150 kg per acre.
  • Sowing of long duration varieties should commence from the fourth week of October to save these from high temperature is near maturity.

  • The following sowing time-schedule may be observed for irrigated conditions:

    1. From the 4th week of October to 4th week of November
    PBW 502, PBW 343,WH 542, PDW 291 *, PDW 274*, PDW 233* and TL 2908
    2. After 4th week of November PBW 509, PBW 373 and TL 1210

    *Sowing of durum varieties should preferably, be completed latest by 1st week of November.


Sowing Method and Spacing

  • Sow with a seed-cum-fertilizer drill at a depth of 4-6 cm because it ensures uniform placement of seed and fertilizer at proper depth throughout the field.
  • It enables the application of recommended quantities of seed and fertilizer and also cuts down the time required for sowing.
  • Calibrate the drill accurately before use.
  • A spacing of 20-22 cm between the rows gives good yield. However, closer spacing of 15 cm gives additional yield.
  • For hastening the emergence of late sown wheat, sowing of soaked seed is beneficial. Soak the seed in water for 4-6 hours and spread it in a thin layer. Sow it after 24 hours making the necessary adjustments in the seed drill.
  • Adopt bi-directional method of sowing and get an additional yield of about 2 quintals per acre with the same seed rate and other inputs.
  • Use half the recommended quantities of seed and fertilizer for sowing in one direction and the remaining half in the other direction.
  • Sow the seed a bit shallow i.e. 4 cm deep in rows 20-22 cm apart. The rows in the second direction sowing will cut across the first direction-sown rows at right angles.
  • Give light planking after completing the sowing for the best result, make sure that there is enough soil moisture at the time of sowing.
  • Adopt chemical weed-control measures as per recommendations.
  • The last ploughing/cultivating operation in the preparatory tillage can be dispensed with to reduce extra cost involved in double sowing.


Growing Wheat on Raised Beds

  • Water is very scarce and an extremely costly input in determining production of wheat and other crops.
  • Similarly, fertilizers and herbicides are also expensive and environmentally unsafe inputs needed for crop production.
  • Thus a lesser and safer use of these inputs is of utmost importance.
  • Practice of bed planting in timely sown wheat under medium to heavy soils having good soil moisture has shown a greater promise to realize this objective with comparable to better (3-4%) wheat yield and facilitating efficient use of these resources.
  • Sowing of wheat on beds is possible with the development of a bed planter, which enables two wheat rows 20 cm apart on 37.5 cm wide bed and 30 cm wide furrow between two beds.
  • An adjustment in these distances is also feasible with this planter.
  • A seed rate of 30 kg/acre under bed planted, wheat gives similar yield as with 40 kg/acre under conventional (flat) planting.
  • On equal area basis, depth of irrigation in bed planted wheat is 5.0 cm as compared to 7.5 cm under conventional (flat) sown wheat.
  • Bed planting helps to use the applied fertilizer better, because of chances of retaining the basal dose of applied fertilizer in the bed, where plant roots are concentrated more and second dose of N fertilizer is also drilled within beds.
  • Whole N can be applied at sowing before preparing beds.
  • Weed emergence on the beds is less in bed planted wheat and the control of weeds on both beds and furrows is possible through intercultivation (with tractor) / integrated control of weeds. .


Intercultivation Operations

  • This is an important operation required in the wheat field so as to obtain high optimum yields.
  • Interculture operation involves removing the weeds from the field that is from in between the lines and from the rows.
  • It also involves the opening up of the pore spaces of the field so that the aeration takes place.
  • This offers better root growth and the plants becomes more healthy and vigrous.
  • Interculture can be done by using the hand hoe or wheel hoe or bar harrow.
  • The first intercultural operation should be done at about 23 to 30 days after sowing.
  • Second intercultural operation should be done at about 45 to 50 days after sowing.
  • Care should be taken so that the wheat plant roots are not disturbed or damaged.


Crop rotation in Wheat

  • Normally, the rabi, wheat is followed in kharif by crops, such as maize, jowar, bajra, cotton, and arhar.
  • Sometimes, some of the green-manure crops such as sanai, moog, guar, lobia or hubam clover, are sown immediately after kharif to enrich the soil.
  • Gram,linseed,barley and mustard are also included in rotations. With the recent emphasis on intensive agriculture the rotation patterns have undergone some changes.
  • In Punjab, Haryana and western U.P., rice has become an important crop in the kharif. It is followed by wheat. In eastern India ,wheat has become an important crop and is grown extensively after rice on land which is left either fallow or put under boro rice.
  • In some states like West Bengal, the rice wheat jute rotation has become common.
  • The sugarcane wheat rotation is also common in northern India.
  • Where irrigation is available and legume crop is grown in between two cereal crops to enrich the soil as well as to get the needed pulses.
  • In the black soils of central and peninsular India, unirrigated wheat is rotated with jowar , bajra or cotton in kharif in the preceding year.
  • The growing of quick maturing crops such as mung, gingelly, onion, coriander and even groundnut or early sown maize such as catch crops before wheat are fairly common.
  • The irrigated wheat rotated with variety of garden crops and irrigated rice, rabi jowar, ragi (Eleusine coracana) etc.
  • All over India, the growing of wheat mixed with barley, mustard ,gram lentil and safflower is quiet common, A row of mustard or safflower for every 8-12 rows of wheat is put.
  • This mixed cropping meets the family requirement for cereals, pulses and oil and also gives some insurance against pests, diseases and other natural calamities which may destroy the single crop.
  • In north western India and in tarai areas of U.P., wheat is grown as companion crop with row crops e.g.- sugarcane. About 3-4 tonnes of wheat is harvested as bonus in such companion cropping, without affecting the yield or quality of sugarcane.

  • Some commonly followed wheat crop rotations in Punjab:

  • Rice-Wheat
  • Cotton-wheat
  • Maize-wheat
  • Maize/Rice-Potato-Wheat
  • Moong / Arhar/Mash-Wheat
  • Groundnut-Wheat
  • Early Fodder-Toria-Wheat
  • Green Manure -Rice-Wheat
  • Rice-Pea-Wheat
  • Soybean-Wheat
  • Summer Groundnut - Potato / Toria / Pea / Late Kharif Fodder - Wheat.