Feb 9, 2011

Comparison of wheat cultivation in India and USA

1. Introduction

 Wheat  is a grass, originally from the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. Globally, wheat is the leading source of vegetable protein in human food, having a higher protein content than either maize (corn) or rice, the other major cereals. In terms of total production tonnages used for food, it is currently second to rice as the main human food crop, and ahead of maize, after allowing for maize's more extensive use in animal feeds.

Wheat was a key factor enabling the emergence of city-based societies at the start of civilization because it was one of the first crops that could be easily cultivated on a large scale, and had the additional advantage of yielding a harvest that provides long-term storage of food.

 Raw wheat can be ground into flour or - using hard durum wheat only, can be ground into semolina; germinated and dried creating malt; crushed or cut into cracked wheat; parboiled (or steamed), dried, crushed and de-branned into bulgur also known as groats. If the raw wheat is broken into parts at the mill, as is usually done, the outer husk or bran can be used several ways. Wheat is a major ingredient in such foods as bread, porridge, crackers, biscuits, Muesli, pancakes, pies, pastries, cakes, cookies, muffins, rolls, doughnuts, gravy, boza (a fermented beverage), and breakfast cereals (e.g., Wheatena, Cream of Wheat, Shredded Wheat, and Wheaties

 100 grams of hard red winter wheat[clarification needed] contain about 12.6 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of total fat, 71 grams of carbohydrate (by difference), 12.2 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.2 mg of iron (17% of the daily requirement); the same weight of hard red spring wheat contains about 15.4 grams of protein, 1.9 grams of total fat, 68 grams of carbohydrate (by difference), 12.2 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.6 mg of iron (20% of the daily requirement).

Wheat is important especially for making breads and other bakery products as it has got the maximum number of glutens as compared to any other grain. This crop is also grown as a forage crop for the livestock.


Below are the leading wheat producers for the 2005-6 season. The top 10 producers accounted for over two-thirds of global wheat harvests.

China … 96.2 million tonnes (15.4% of global wheat production)
India … 72 million (11.5%)
United States … 57.1 million (9.1%)
Russia … 45.5 million (7.3%)
France … 36.9 million (5.9%)
Canada … 25.5 million (4.1%)
Australia … 24.1 million (3.8%)
Germany … 23.6 million (3.8%)
Pakistan … 21.6 million (3.4%)
Turkey … 21 million (3.4%)



2. Wheat cultivation in India(general)

 India is one of the main wheat producing and consuming countries of the world. After the Green Revolution in the 1970's and 1980's the production of wheat has shown a huge increase. The major States that are involved in the cultivation of wheat are those located in the plains like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. They account for nearly 70 per cent of the total wheat produced (External website that opens in a new window) in the country. Punjab and Haryana yield the highest amount of wheat because of the availability of better irrigation facilities. The production of wheat in other States like West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh has grown with the provision of better irrigation facilities in the area.

 Wheat is largely grown in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Punjab is called the wheat granary. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, northern parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra are the other wheat growing states. Uttar Pradesh stands first in the production of wheat. High yielding varieties of seeds and irrigation facilities

3. Wheat cultivation in USA

 The wheat farming in the United States of America is carried on almost over all the states and the extensive method of cultivation is quite conspicuous. But the variation in temperature and rainfall conditions have led to the development of the four distinct regions specializing in specific varieties of wheat (a) White wheat of the Colombian plateau; (b) Hard red spring wheat of the northern provinces; (c) Hard red winter wheat of the western and southern province; (d) Soft red winters wheat of the southern states.  Kansas and North Dakota are the leading wheat-producing states
In the United States, the federal government has imposed price supports, paid wheat farmers for limiting crops, and made loans on stored grain. However, these methods have been attacked as contributing to overproduction instead of lessening it. The United States government also conducts research to find new uses for wheat, and promotes the use of surplus wheat to feed needy peoples of the world. On an international scale, various pacts have been signed to help stabilize the wheat market.


4. Comparitive analysis of wheat cultivation in India and USA

In the following paragraphs a brief comparison of wheat cultivation in India and USA is given

4.1. Areas under wheat cultivation

4.1.1. The major wheat cultivation zones in india are

(a)The North-Western Plains Zone: This is the most important zone and comprises the plains of the States of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh. .

(b)The North Eastern Plains Zone: This zone consists of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. .

(c)The Central Zone: This zone consists of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, southeastern Rajasthan and the Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh. Almost 75 per cent of the wheat cultivated here depends on rain for irrigation. The best quality Durum wheat is produced in this zone.

(d)The Peninsular Zone: The peninsular zone consists of the southern States of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

(e)The Northern Hill Zone: This zone includes the hilly areas of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and Sikkim. . The crop remains dormant in the cold months of November to March and starts growing as the temperature rises in April.


4.1.2. Major wheat cultivation zones in USA are

(a) The Colombian plateau grows both winter and spring white wheat. The rich, loess soils of the Colombian plateau are among the finest in the world for the cultivation of wheat, which is mainly developed on the windward slopes with the help of large machines.

(b) The hard red spring wheat region of the U.S.A. embraces North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota. The spring wheat belt, which is the extension of the Canadian Prairie, is by far the most important in the United States.

(c) The hard red winter wheat includes northeastern part of Arizona, practically the whole of New Mexico, greater part of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and southern portion of Nebraska. The northern part of the region resembles the spring wheat belt in physical and economic conditions as well as the methods adopted for farming.

(d) The soft red winter wheat is grown in a large number of southeastern states, which primarily comprise Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama.  This type of wheat is mainly use for manufacturing biscuits, pastries etc.


4.2. Time period of wheat cultivation

4.2.1. India
 India raises almost exclusively winter wheat.  The planting of winter wheat begins about the first of October and runs through the end of December. Wheat will usually begin to head in January, with harvest following in March and May.
4.2.2. USA
 In US different types of wheat are grown and hence there different seasons for wheat cultivation


 In the U.S., hard red winter wheat is planted from the first of September through the end of October. In the southern states, winter wheat heads out during May and the harvest begins at the end of May. As the harvest progresses north through the central U.S. winter wheat belt, heading and harvest are pushed back until harvest finishes in the northern states during mid to late August. .

 Soft red winter wheat planting begins around the first of September, with planting running through the end of October. itcan be expected to start heading around the first of May, with harvesting beginning at the end of May and running through the end of July.

 Soft white winter wheat is planted around the first of September and should be completely in the ground by mid-November. Heading will begin around mid-May, with harvest beginning around mid-July and running through August.

 Durum and dark northern spring(dns) wheat have pretty much the same growth cycle. They are planted from mid-April through the end of May. DNS and Durum generally begin heading around mid-June, with harvest beginning in mid-July and running through mid-September.

4.3. Types of wheat grown
4.3.1. India
 In india almost all the wheat is winter wheat which grows during winter
4.3.2. USA
 In USA hard red winter wheat,soft red winter wheat ,soft white winter wheat,dark north spring wheat,white winter wheat ,red winter wheat,durum wheat and hard red spring wheat are grown.

4.4. Steps involved in cultivation of wheat

4.4.1. Steps involved in the cultivation of wheat in india
4.4.1.A Soil and Seed
 Well-drained loams and clayey loams are considered to be ideal for wheat. Good crops of wheat have also been raised on sandy loams and the black soils. The seed used for sowing should have good germination capacity

4.4.1.B Sowing
 Sowing with drills either tractor or bullock driven, ensures that the seed is deposited at a uniform depth. In a number of places, seed is also sown by hand, behind the plough drawn by the bullock. For timely sown and irrigated wheat, a row spacing of 15 to 22.5 cm is followed. 22.5 cm is considered to be the maximum spacing. For late but irrigated wheat, row spacing of 15-18 cm is considered to be the maximum. For dwarf varieties, planting depth should be between 5 to 6 cm. In case of conventional tall varieties, the sowing depth may be 8 or 9 cm. Usually deeper sowing is done in dry, rough and light soils, whereas shallow sowing is done in moist soils. If the sowings are much delayed, transplanting of wheat seedlings can be done. Under rainfed conditions, the furrows are left open after sowing, whereas in case of irrigated wheat, a wooden plank covers the furrows. Detailed studies on the depth of sowing with the dwarf varieties showed that shallow sowing (5-7 cm deep) was optimal. This was one of the most important findings that contributed to the successful establishment of the crop. Time of sowing: The work on sowing depth triggered another curiosity of Indian wheat agronomists to know the optimum time of planting under Indian conditions. Based on a series of well-planned experiments, second or third week of November in the plains of north India was found to be the most suitable time. Further, it was also found that most of the dwarf varieties yielded maximum when sown around 12 November. This was in sharp contrast of the practice of sowing tall wheat in later half of October.

 4.4.1.C Water Management
 4-6 irrigation are needed for wheat sown under irrigated conditions. The first irrigation should be given at the crown root initiation stage, 20-25 days after sowing. Other rounds of irrigation should be done at the time of late tillering, late jointing, flowering, milk and dough stages. Extra two or three irrigation are given if the soil is very light or sandy. Irrigation in case the water supply is limited should be given in the following way:
If the water is available only for one irrigation, it should be given at the crown root initiation stage to the tillering stage.
If the water is available for two irrigation, the first irrigation should be applied between the crown root initiation and the late tillering stage and second irrigation 7 to 8 weeks after the first irrigation (flowering stage).
If the water is available for three irrigation, the first should be given at the crown root initiation stage and the next two at intervals of six to seven weeks at the flowering and the milk stages respectively.

4.4.1.D Harvesting
 The wheat crop is harvested when the grains harden and the straw becomes dry and brittle. The harvesting time varies from zone to zone and also depends whether the wheat is under irrigated or rainfed conditions. The rainfed crop reaches harvesting stage much earlier than the irrigated crop. However, the yields under the rainfed crops are much lower compared to the irrigated crop.

4.4.1.E Storage
 The storage life of the wheat crop is directly related to its moisture content. Thus the grains should be thoroughly dried before storage and the storage pits, bins or godowns should be moisture free and should be fumigated to keep away the pests including rats.

4..4.1.F Procurement and Distribution of Wheat
 Wheat is procured by the government mainly through the Food Corporation of India and other associated state agencies for the Public Distribution System. Inter-state movement of wheat and wheat products is permissible throughout India.

4.4.2. Steps involved in the cultivation of wheat in USA are

Wheat has a wide range of cultivation because of its many varieties.   the most valuable wheat can be grown successfully only in the temperate regions where the annual rainfall is less than 30 inches (760 mm). The soils best suited for the growing of wheat are loamy and rich.

Wheat farmers usually practice crop rotation, to keep form exhausting the soil and to control the weeds, plant diseases, and insect pests. In some areas, wheat land is allowed to remain idle, or fallow, a year or two to conserve moisture and minerals.

wheat farming is highly mechanized.

4.4.2.A Planting and Cultivating
 After the ground is prepared by plowing and certain other methods, machines plant the seeds (kernels) either by sowing them broadcast (that is, distributing them on the surface of the ground) or by drilling furrows and planting the seeds in rows. Spring wheats are planted as early as the soil can be worked; winter wheats are planted in early fall. The leaves of spring wheat appear above ground about two weeks after planting. Winter wheat sprouts, stops growing with the first freeze, then resumes its growth in the spring.

Wheat requires little cultivation except weed control. Weeds are killed by plowing between the rows of drill-planted wheat, or by spraying with chemicals.

4.4.2.B Harvesting
 To prevent scattering of the kernels, wheat is usually harvested before it is fully ripe. There are several steps in harvesting: cutting, or reaping, the stalks; threshing and winnowing, to separate the kernels from the spikes, glumes, and other chaff; sifting and sorting the grain; loading the grain into trucks; and binding the straw. huge machines called combines, manned by small crews, perform all of the harvesting processes. .)

4.4.2.C Storing
 Wheat must be stored in dry, well-ventilated buildings that keep out insect pests. Wheat is stored for a short time in bins or granaries on the farms. It is then hauled to country elevators, tall structures where the grain is dried and stored until it is sold locally or shipped to terminal elevators. Terminal elevators are immense buildings, each holding 1,000,000 bushels (27,000 metric tons) or more. They are grouped at large inland distributing centers and at seaports, where the wheat may be stored almost indefinitely. .)

4.5. Characteristics of wheat farming
4.5.1. India
 In india wheat farming is more intensive.traditional techniques are followed and little or no scientific techniques are used . the farm lands are small in size.land fragmentation is a key issue.there is a heavy and unjudicious use of fertilizers and pesticides.mechanization of farming has begun but there is still a lot of human labour.
4.5.2. USA
 In the united states farming is highly mechanised. there is little human labour.scientific farming techniques are used.the size of farms is huge covering thousands of hectares .us follows extensive cultivation.here also there is a heavy use of pesticides and fertilizets

4.6. Production and consumption

4.6.1. India
 India is second largest producer of wheat in the world, averaging an annual production of 65,856 TMT. On average, India consumes 65,283 TMT of wheat, ranking them as the second largest consumer of wheat in the world. India does not produce enough wheat to be self-sufficient. So, to make up the difference, India imports. On average, India imports 990 TMT of wheat, and, for various reasons, exports an average of 767 TMT of wheat. The ending stocks in India average 9,900 TMT, giving India the third largest ending stocks in the world.
4.6.2. USA
 The United States is the third largest producer of wheat in the world. On average, the United States produces 62,550 TMT of wheat. The United States is the fourth largest consumer of wheat, on average consuming 35,704 TMT. The United States imports, on average, 2,584 TMT and it exports 28,547 TMT, making the U.S. the largest wheat-exporting nation in the world.
production and consumption


5. Conclusion

India and USA are both major producers of wheat.india being the second largest and us being th third largest producer. After going through all these surely you should have an idea of the differences and similarities between wheat cultivation in USA and India .India has intensive wheat cultivation while US has extensive wheat cultivation.The socio economic and geographical conditions means that USA has been able to utilize its wheat more efficiently. Wheat has had a considerable impact on history of both countries.Whether it is chappathi or cake,wheat is surely the most important grain and it forms the staple diet for almost half of th worlds people.This grain has shaped the human race from time immemorial .Thus  i conclude by saying that wheat shall remain one of the main source of food for a long time to come.

Made by samkri,devdutt and ashwin

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