Wheat is basically subtropical crop grown in the winter season in India. It is grown in rabi crop season, while paddy is sown in kharif season. Wheat ranks second after Paddy crop, having about 13 per cent of total cropped area under it.
Wheat requires cool weather with moderate rainfall. It grows well in the northern plains of India during winter season when the mean temperature is between 10 and 15°C. Well drained loamy soil is ideal for wheat cultivation.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana are major wheat producing states in India. They accounted for 60 per cent of total area under wheat and 73 per cent of total wheat production in the country in 2000-2001. Other important wheat growing states are Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The wheat production in the country showed maximum increase after Green Revolution introduced in 1966. During 2000-01 the total production was 688 lakh tonnes. India is an important producer of wheat in the world. It is followed by China and USA.
Although productivity per hectare has increased rapidly from 815 kg. in 1950-51 to 2743 kg. in 2000-01 per hectare the yield of wheat in India is lower in comparison with other major wheat producing countries.