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Wheat, like all the cereals, is a type of cultivated grass. It is cultivated under widely varied temperature conditions giving rise to the following important categories
(a) Autumn wheat, cultivated in cool temperate lands.
(b) Spring wheat, grown in continental interiors with extreme climate.
(c) Winter wheat, mainly planted in hot tropical lands often with irrigation.
It is to be noted that the major wheat producing regions of the world have a latitudinal expanse of 30° to 55° in the Northern Hemisphere and 20° to 40° in the Southern Hemisphere. Wide latitudinal and climatic ranges enable year-round harvest of crops in one part of the world or another.
The following table aims to substantiate the statement:
World Distribution of Wheat Harvesting Months
JanuaryAustralia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile.
February Indian subcontinent.
March Indian subcontinent and upper Egypt.
April Mexico, Cuba, lower Egypt, Syria, Iran, Turkey.
May Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, the northern parts of Turkey, China, Japan, Texas,
June The Mediterranean peninsular and the south of France : California, Oregon,
Utah, and the greater part of central and eastern United States territory,
July France Hungary, southern Russia, the northern parts of the United States, Ontario and Quebec.
August England, Belgium, Holland and the Prairie provinces of Canada.
September Scotland, Sweden, Norway. Russia
October Finland, northern Russia
November Peru, South Africa
December Burma, South Australia
Production. The production of wheat has greatly increased since 1934-38 when world production stood at 120 million metric tons. World production of wheat in 1987-88 amounted of 495 million tons. That indicates a significant increase in wheat production.
Science has helped much in the extension of wheat production in the semi-arid lands and towards the north in cold regions. The Soviet people with the help of Soviet scientists have become successful ~'i producing wheat in the north by resorting to a new method of seed treatment known as Vernalization. The varieties of wheat, which can resist cold, are sown in the northern part of Russia. By practicing dry farming methods and utilizing drought-resisting varieties wheat production has been increased in the semi-arid lands.
Russia, U.S.A., China (mainland). France, Canada, India, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, Argentina, Australia and Spain are the important producers of wheat. The first three countries i.e., Russia, U.S.A., and China (mainland), produce more than 233 million metric tons against world's average total of 495 million metric tons. The above twelve countries produced in 1987-88 about 80 per cent of world's production. Russia and USA. individually produced about 20 percent and 18 percent respectively of world's production of wheat in 1987-88.
The densely populated countries have no exportable wheat because of heavy internal consumption. On the other hand thinly populated countries like Australia, Argentina and Canada have got large exportable surplus and domestic world's market.