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Wheat production : Types, Varieties, Soil Requirements, Seed Preparation, Storage And Transpiration

The most common cereal crop, wheat, is grown all over the world and ranks second after corn in terms of sown area. It serves as the main source of vegetable protein in the human diet and is considered a strategic food product in many countries. In terms of nutritional value, this cereal is far superior to other popular crops: rice and corn. In addition to protein, it contains fats and starch, vitamins of groups B, PP, E, as well as carotene and ergosterol - precursors of vitamins A and D.

Wheat production : Types, Varieties, Soil Requirements, Seed Preparation, Storage And Transpiration


Spring and winter wheat are grown in Russia. Spring crops are sown from early spring to early summer and begin harvesting in late June or early July, depending on the climatic conditions of the region. The sowing period for winter wheat is approximately from mid-August to the end of October. Harvesting starts next year in early June or later depending on the weather.

The yield of winter wheat is higher and averages 30 centners per hectare. In addition, spring varieties develop more slowly and are more easily affected by weeds. Therefore, winter varieties are most often cultivated in our country, among which there are several especially popular ones:

  • "Moscow-39";
  • "prestige";
  • "lelya";
  • "Mironovskaya".

The most productive varieties of spring wheat include munch, tom, coke, and dawn.

Spring and winter varieties, in turn, are classified into hard and soft. They differ from each other in grain density and nutrient content. Hard varieties with elongated cereals contain a high amount of protein (up to 24%) and gluten (up to 40%) and are used for the production of pasta and semolina. In soft varieties, the grain is round, and the content of protein and gluten is lower - up to 14 and 28%. From such wheat, flour is obtained for baking bread and confectionery.

In addition, starch, dextrin and food alcohol are made from wheat grain. Straw is used as feed for farm animals, for making paper and household items. Wheat bran is a popular raw material for the production of feed additives.


Wheat is considered an unpretentious agricultural crop, but prefers a temperate continental, fairly warm climate. In too hot regions, the yield will be low, since at a temperature of about 40 ˚С, the stomata begin to die off in the cereal. The length of daylight hours is important, because with a lack of light, the plant becomes less hardy, suffers more from diseases and insect pests. Spring varieties are more resistant to drought, while winter varieties tolerate cold snap and sudden temperature changes well. They withstand frosts down to -25 ˚С in the presence of snow cover. If there is no snow, the sprouts may die at a temperature of -16–18 ˚С.

For good rooting, winter wheat seeds are sown in soil rich in micro and macro elements. With a lack of minerals, the crop yield decreases. Chernozem, slightly podzolic and chestnut soils with a pH of 6.5–7 are best suited for growing winter wheat.


Wheat is quite capricious about the state of the soil and the crops that were previously grown in the fields. The best predecessors for winter cereals are perennial and annual grasses, green manure, corn, legumes, buckwheat and rapeseed. These plants saturate the soil with nitrogen, successfully resist weeds, contribute to the accumulation of easily digestible nutrients in the soil and reduce the likelihood of putrefactive diseases. Wheat is not recommended to be sown immediately after barley, as these plants are prone to the same disease - root rot. Sorghum and sunflower dry up the soil to a critical depth and release arable land late, so they are also not suitable as predecessors.

Preparation of the field for sowing winter wheat begins immediately after harvesting the previous crops. With the help of pre-sowing treatment, they improve aeration, exterminate weeds and retain moisture, level the soil and seed bed for further seed placement. The classic method of preparation is harrowing and cultivation.

The best soil indicators for sowing winter wheat:

  • dense undersowing layer;
  • soil particles 2–3 mm in size;
  • the height of the ridges after the cultivator is less than 2 cm.

The type of pre-sowing treatment largely depends on weather conditions, previous crops, the state of arable land and the machine and transport equipment that is available. For example, if perennial grasses were cultivated on the field, disk plowing of the soil is carried out. Sometimes the grown culture is cut with a flat cutter to a depth of 12 cm.


For sowing, winter wheat seeds from high-yielding plots are used. Such seed has the best physical and biological characteristics. Before sowing, the largest and healthiest seeds are processed using the following agricultural practices:


  • dressing with pesticides and agrochemicals permitted for use on the territory of the Russian Federation;
  • encrustation - application of a hydrophobic polymer substance with fungicides, fertilizers and growth stimulants to the surface of the grain.

Dressing provides protection against seed and soil infections and increases the resistance of plants to overwintering. With the help of encrustation, the seeds protect against mold, mechanical damage and other negative environmental factors, and also improve the overall germination of plants.


Seed consumption during sowing is on average 400-500 pieces per 1 m 2 . If landing is carried out at a later date, this figure increases by 10-15%. For sowing winter wheat, one of three technologies is used:

  • lowercase with a row spacing of 15 cm;
  • narrow-row, in which 7.5 cm remains between the rows;
  • cross.

Most often, the usual line method is used. To get uniform shoots, you need to choose the right seeding depth. For heavy soil, this figure is 1-2 cm, for wet and cultivated - 3-4, for light 6-8 cm.


The following growth phases of winter wheat are distinguished: germination, tillering, stalking, heading, flowering and ripening. The first stage under normal conditions takes from 15 to 25 days. Amicable emergence of seedlings is observed at a temperature of 12–17 ˚С, and intensive growth occurs at 20–25 ˚С. The tillering phase of winter wheat begins after the formation of 3–4 leaves. The plant develops nodal roots and lateral shoots. The process begins in spring or autumn at a temperature of 6–10 ˚С, when wheat growth slows down. Tillering is enhanced if nitrogen fertilizers are added to the soil.


The stalk or tube stage occurs about 30 days after the start of spring growth. At this stage, the first stem node is formed at a height of 3–5 cm from the soil surface. After another 30 days, the heading stage begins, which is accompanied by the release of the ear. The intensity of this stage depends on the amount of moisture and nutrients in the soil. The earing period is considered the most favorable for the treatment of crops with fungicides.

Flowering of winter wheat begins 2-3 days after the spike and usually lasts a week. At the ripening stage, the formation and filling of grain occurs. The duration of this stage depends on the weather conditions: during a drought, the process accelerates, and during rains it slows down.


Usually care includes 3 procedures: packing, harrowing and protection. Post-sowing packing with soil compaction improves seed-to-soil contact, reduces moisture loss and ensures more uniform seedling emergence. This method is not used during rain and on clay soils. Early spring harrowing is used to loosen the soil, which improves aeration and prevents the germination of weeds. Seed protection means treatment with industrial compounds: herbicides, fungicides, top dressings.


Winter wheat processing is an obligatory stage of care. Herbicides are used to control weeds, pests are destroyed with insecticides. Fungicides, if necessary, treat bacterial diseases.

To feed this crop, mineral fertilizers are usually used - nitrogen and phosphorus. Organic mixtures are used when the content of humus in the soil is less than 2%. Almost all phosphate fertilizers are applied to the soil before sowing. The fields are treated with granulated superphosphate, and a small amount of this composition is additionally added in autumn or early spring.

Nitrogenous top dressings are used:

  • during presowing cultivation (30 kg/ha);
  • tillering phase of winter wheat;
  • the beginning of stalking (60–70 kg/ha);
  • during earing and flowering.

On poor soils, nitrogen fertilizers are recommended to be applied in the ammonium form, since in this case fertilizers are less washed out.


Low soil moisture reduces the yield of winter wheat. Humidification is especially important in the early stages of crop development, when the root system is laid. In autumn, plants receive moisture from the topsoil due to rain. The same thing happens in the spring when the snow masses melt. Subsequently, when the air temperature rises, the soil begins to dry out, which is why wheat has to extract water at a depth of up to 1 m using a developed root system. However, in very dry weather, moisture can sink even deeper, so arable land in arid regions requires regular watering.

Irrigation of winter crops is necessary during the autumn growing season if there is not enough rainfall. As a rule, arable land is watered once, but very plentifully. The fields are also irrigated in spring, provided that the soil is saturated with water less than 2 m. In summer, wheat is watered only during drought. This is done at least twice - during the earing period and at the initial stage of grain ripening.


The timing and methods of harvesting are chosen taking into account weather conditions, the height and density of the stalks, the infestation of crops and the tendency to shed. Combining winter wheat begins in the phase of full seed maturity, when their moisture content is 14–17%. Cleaning is carried out in a direct or separate way. The first option is preferable because it allows you to save most of the crop. A separate or two-phase method is used for harvesting tall and dense varieties, with unevenly ripening crops and high weed infestation.


Wheat production is a complex technological process. It is not enough to collect a good harvest of this crop; it is also required to preserve it without loss. For grain storage, elevators are used - specially equipped warehouse complexes. First, the wheat is weighed, then it is cleaned with separators and dried, after which it is sent to silos.

The safety of grain depends on several factors:

  • humidity and ambient temperature;
  • intensity of biochemical processes taking place in wheat;
  • the presence or absence of harmful microorganisms and insects.

Therefore, the grain is pre-dried and stored at 10–12 ˚C in silos, some of which are equipped with ventilation and disinfection units. Periodically, the temperature of the product is measured using thermal pendants, which are installed at different levels.

Each elevator has a shipping compartment with a hopper-hopper system. Here the grain is loaded into road or rail transport for further transportation.

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