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Wheat: Planting And Package Of Practices

Wheat is a widely consumed staple food crop in the world. It is a cool season crop and preferred during the winter season in the tropics. It ranks first among all the food grains in terms of area and production while, in India it is a second important food crop next to rice. To ensure a successful wheat crop, it is essential to understand the process of wheat planting and techniques involved in growing a healthy and productive wheat crop.  

Wheat Crop at a Glance 

Botanical Name: Triticum aestivum L. 

Common Name: Gehu (Hindi), Kanaka (Punjabi), Kotumai (Tamil), Gothambu (Malayalam), Godhuma (Telugu). 

Crop Season:  Rabi season 

Crop type: Field crop 

Soil Requirements 

In general, wheat grows well in a wide range of soils especially in medium to heavy soils.  However, well drained loamy and clay loam are the most ideal textural classification for the cultivation of wheat crop.  

Climatic Requirements 

Wheat cultivation can be done in dry and chilled environmental conditions, and hence it is referred to as a winter season crop. For successful wheat planting, maintaining the ideal temperature is crucial. The temperature range from 16 to 21.1˚C and an annual rainfall between 750 to 1000 mm is suitable for optimum growth of wheat.  

Package of Practices for Wheat Cultivation 

Land Preparation  

The crop needs a seed bed that is clean, well-pulverized, fine and wet. If the wheat farm has less moisture than is necessary for this sort of tilth, pre-sowing irrigation should be provided. When working in an irrigated ecology, the first ploughing should be done with a soil-turning plough, and later three to four harrowing followed by planking. In rainfed regions, disc harrowing should be done after each productive rainfall during the monsoon and planking should always come after each harrowing to prevent clod development and moisture loss.  

When to grow Maize crop  

The optimum wheat planting time ranges between 1st fortnight of November to 1st fortnight of December. 

Seed rate and Spacing 

In general, wheat seeds should be sown in lines at a spacing of 22.5 cm × 10 cm with an optimum seed rate of 100 to 125 kg/ha. If sown late a seed rate of 125 to 140 kg/ha is recommended. About 20 to 25 days after planting wheat, thinning is required to maintain the ideal plant population. 

Seed Treatment 

Before cultivation of wheat, treat Shoot fly infestation can be controlled by treating the seeds with confidor super (Imidacloprid 30.5% SL) at the rate of 0.3 ml for 1 kg wheat seeds. Seed treatment with vitavax power (Carboxin 37.5% + Thiram 37.5% DS) at 3g/kg seed for 6 hours is recommended to prevent loose smut of wheat. 

Irrigation Schedule 

A wheat crop needs 300 to 400 mm of irrigation water. At critical periods, the crop is extremely vulnerable to water stress. The most critical stages for irrigation in wheat crop are Crown Root Initiation stage, Jointing, Heading and Dough Stage. 

Manures and Fertilizers 

To avoid unnecessary fertilizer application and boost profitability in wheat farm, the fertilizer should be administered based on the results of a soil test. Application of N, P and K at rates 120:60:40 kg/ha is recommended in irrigated environments. Apply half of the nitrogen as a basal dosage and the remaining half during the first irrigation at 30 to 45 days after sowing or planting wheat.  

Inter-cultivation Practices 

Hand weeding twice at 30 and 45 DAS is recommended for better weed control. In case of labour shortage, pre-emergence application of Stomp Xtra (Pendimethalin 38.7 % CS) at 600 ml/acre and post emergence application of Total Herbicide (Sulfosulfuron 75% + Metsulfuron 5% WG) at 16 gm/acre during 30 to 35 DAS can be recommended for efficient control of weeds in the wheat farm. 

Crop Protection (Pests and Diseases) 

Pests of wheat crop 

Pests  Scientific Name  Symptoms  Management 
Wheat Aphid  Macrosiphum miscanthi 
  • Both nymphs and adults suck the sap from wheat. 
  • Drying and wilting of shoots occur. 
  • Apply Confidor (Imidacloprid 17.8% SL) at 0.75 ml/lit of water. 
  • Apply Police (Fipronil 40% + Imidacloprid 40% WG) at 0.2 to 0.6 gm/litre water. 
Armyworm  Mythimna separata 
  • Leaf tissue is first consumed by young larvae from one side. 
  • Larvae start to feed from the leaf edge inward by the second or third instar and start to develop shot holes in the leaves. 
  • Apply Proclaim (Emamectin Benzonate 5% SG) at 80 gm/acre. 
  • Apply Plethora (Novaluron 5.25% + Emamectin benzoate 0.9% SC) at 1.5 ml/litre of water. 
Ghujhia Weevil  Tanymecus indicus 
  • Only adults of this insect cause damage. 
  • They feed on the shoot and cut the seedlings during initial stages of growth. 
  • Apply Proclaim (Emamectin Benzonate 5% SG) at 80 gm/acre. 
  • Apply Plethora (Novaluron 5.25% + Emamectin benzoate 0.9% SC) at 1.5ml/litre of water. 
Termites  Odontotermes obesus 
  • Termitariums were created. 
  • Plants dry off and easily pulled out when removed. 
  • Apply Miyogi (Chlorpyrifos 50% + Cypermethrin 5% EC) at 400ml/acre. 
Shoot fly  Atherigona soccata 
  • Dead hearts 
  • Decay of shoots 
  • Bushy appearance 
  • Apply Confidor super (Imidacloprid 30.5% SL) at 0.3 ml/lit of water. 
Pink Stem borer  Sesamia inferens 
  • Dead heart at vegetative stage which turns brownish, curls and dries off.   
  • White ears appear during flowering stage. 


  • Apply Zygant (Flubendiamide 0.7% GR) at the rate of 5 kg/acre. 
  • Apply Ferterra (Chlorantraniliprole 0.4% GR) at the rate of 4 kg/acre. 

Common diseases affecting wheat crop 

Disease  Causal Organism   Symptoms   Management  
Black or stem rust  Puccinia graminis tritici 
  • Rust like pustules appear on the stem. 
  • Later these pustules turn darker and black. 
  • Apply Amistar Top (Azoxystrobin 18.2% + Difenoconazole 11.4% SC) at the rate of 1 ml/lit of water. 
  • Apply Avancer Glow (Azoxystrobin 8.3%+ Mancozeb 66.7% WG) at the rate of 600 gm/acre. 
Yellow rust  Puccinia striformis 
  • Yellow coloured uredospores damage the interveinal regions. 
  • It gives a stripe like appearance. 
  • Apply Benmain (Carbendazim 50% DF) at 2 gm/lit of water. 
  • Apply Nativo (Tebuconazole + Trifloxystrobin 75% WG) at 0.6 ml/lit of water. 
Brown or orange rust  Puccinia recondite 
  • Orange coloured pustules appear on the leaf. 
  •  They are irregularly distributed. 
  • Apply Custodia (Azoxystrobin 11% + Tebuconazole 18.3% SC) at the rate of 1.5 ml/lit of water. 
Karnal bunt  Neovossia indica 
  • The affected plants give out a foul smell. 
  • The affected grains are usually covered with black sooty powder like substance. 
  • Apply Luna Experience (Fluopyram 17.7%+ Tebuconazole 17.7% SC) at the rate of 1 ml/lit of water. 
Loose smut  Ustilago nuda tritici 


  • Sooty black spores appear on the emerged ear heads. 
  • Wheat grains turn out to be sterile. 
  • Apply Conika (Kasugamycin 5% + Copper Oxychloride 45% WP) at 2 gm/lit of water. 


Harvesting and Threshing 

Crop has to be harvested using sickles when the crop turns completely yellow and left in the field to dry. Further, the grains are separated from the ear by threshing which is followed by winnowing and packing.  

Average yield from Wheat farm 

The yield of wheat usually ranges between 3 to 4 t/ha on average. 


DBW 222, PBW-502, HD 3385, HD 3226, DDW 47. 

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