Wheat is the principal product of the Punjab and the United Provinces. It does not grow in cold countries. It is sown in the month of Asauj, it sprouts and grows during winter months, the stalk and the ears grow about Phagan. Then with the heat of Chait, it begins to ripen, and yellow fields may be seen all round waving in the air. The wheat plant is about 3 or 4 feet in height.
Wheat is the staple food in Pakistan. Since extensive canals have been dug from all the principal rivers in the Punjab, vast areas have been brought under cultivation, and wheat is the principal crop grown. The Punjab is the granary of the world.
When the crop ripens, it is cut. This harvesting usually begins in Baisakh, and that is the busiest and the happiest month for the farmer. He is glad to reap the fruit of his year’s labours. He expects to meet all his liabilities and to lay hy a sufficient store for his year’s needs. When the harvest is cut, the stalks are fastened in sheaves, and then the threshing process beings. The stalks are crushed under the feet of the oxen and heavyweights, and then the grain is separated from the chaff in large winnowing fans. The straw is used as fodder.
Wheat is very nourishing food. It is ground in mills and is turned into flour. Wheat is of two kinds, brown and white. The former is cheaper than the latter.
Though wheat is grown is such large quantities, yet it is very dear on account of exportation and greater consumption. The wheat crop depends on timely rainfall. As the crop depends on timely rainfall, if the crop fails for any reason, there is famine, and when this happens, the Government prohibits the export of wheat, and if it is found necessary, as it was some years ago, wheat from Australia or other countries is imported.
Australian wheat is whiter, and in Government agricultural farms and colleges, better varieties of wheat are cultivated, and the seeds are distributed all over the Province. It is hoped that as a result of these experiments, Punjab will be able to produce a better kind of wheat.