- Scientific name : Triticum aestivum L.
- Local name : Gehun
- Hindi name : Gehun
- Crop season : Rabi
Wheat (Triticum species) is a crop of global significance. It is grown in diversified environments. It is a staple food of millions of people. Approximately one-sixth of the total arable land in the world is cultivated with wheat. Whereas paddy is mainly cultivated in Asia, wheat is grown in all the continents of the world. It supplies about 20 per cent of the food calories for the world's growing population. Global wheat production touched 622.2 million tones in 2007-08. India is the second largest producer of wheat after China. Wheat has a distinct place among the food grain crops. Carbohydrate and protein are two main constituents of wheat. On an average wheat contains 11-12% protein.
Wheat is grown mainly in two seasons in the world viz., winter and spring. Winter wheat is grown in cold countries like Europe, U.S.A., Australia, Russia Federation etc. while spring wheat is grown in Asia and a part of U.S.A. Spring wheat matures in 120-130 days while winter wheat takes 240-300 days for maturity. Due to this reason productivity of winter wheat is higher in comparison to spring wheat. Considering the quality wheat has been divided into two categories (1) soft wheat, (2) hard wheat. Triticum aestivum (bread wheat) is known as soft wheat and Triticum durum is known as hard wheat.
In India mainly three species of Triticum mainly aestivum, durum and dicoccum are cultivated (Figure 1) in which area is approximately 95, 4 and 1 per cent, respectively. Triticum aestivum is cultivated in all the regions of the country while durum is cultivated in Punjab and Central India and dicoccum in Karnataka