Wheat is the second most important food crop of the country and contributes nearly one third of the total food grain production. Global wheat production during 2010-11 was 682 million tonnes and during 2011-12 it is estimated as 693 million tonnes. Wheat consumption worldwide is estimated to surpass 817 million tonnes by 2030 and production would need to increase at 22.6-43.6 per cent in different countries at the current production level to meet the estimated consumption demand. India occupied near about 29.5 million hectare area under wheat with an estimated production of 88.31 million tonnes during 2011-12. This national production increase is reflected in enhanced productivity that went from around 660 kg/ha in 1950 to 2,910 kg/ha in 2010.  At present, major wheat growing states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Bihar. The major contribution to this production comes from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana states, which contributes to 63% wheat production from near about 53% area under wheat crop. Among these, Punjab and Haryana states of North Western Plain Zone (NWPZ) constitute about 20% area while contribute to 31% share of wheat production. India witness a record production in a row during 2010-11 which was approximately seven times over the production level in 1964 (12.57 m t). This has been contributed by genetic potential of improved genotypes, popularization of recommended agronomic package of practices, availability of quality seed and development of rust resistance varieties. However, to meet the wheat production targeted as 100 m t by the year 2030, sustained research efforts are further needed to keep the upward trend in wheat production well above the population growth.

Among various inputs required in agricultural farming, seed is the cheapest and most critical input for sustainable agriculture.  Moreover, the response of all other inputs depends on quality of seeds to a large extent. Therefore, the availability of quality seed of right variety at right place can help in improving its yield with minimum disease incidence. India has a strong wheat breeding programme which is continuously providing improved varieties with high yield potential and disease resistance. The wheat growing parts of India has been divided in the six zones namely viz., NHZ (Northern Hills Zone), NWPZ (North Western Plain Zone), NEPZ (North Eastern Plain Zone), CZ (Central Zone), PZ (Peninsular Zone) and SHZ (Southern Hills Zone). All the zones are mega environments and considerably differ in terms of soil type, rainfall pattern, temperature and biotic and abiotic stress. The availability of number of varieties to various production conditions and zones makes a mosaic of genotypes which, have helped in curtailing the biotic and abiotic stress effects in a long run. The list of some prominent varieties released by Central Varietal Release Committee (CVRC) with production conditions and year of release across the zones is given below-

List of some prominent varieties-

Zone

Production conditions

Varieties

Northern Hills Zone

Timely sown-Irrigated

VL 907 (2010), VL 804 (2002), VL 738 (1996)

Timely sown-Rainfed

SKW 196 (2004), VL 832 (2003), VL 804 (2002), HS 365 (1997), VL 738 (1996)

Triticale-TL 2942 (2006)

Early sown-Rainfed

HPW 251 (2007), VL 829 (2002)

Late sown-Restricted irrigation

HS 490 (2007), VL 892 (2007), HS 295 (1992)

High altitude areas

SKW 196 (2004), VL 832 (2003), HS 365 (1997)

North Western Plains Zone

Timely sown-Irrigated

DPW 621-50 (2011), HD 2967 (2011), PBW 550 (2007), DBW 17 (2006), , PBW 502 (2003), HD 2687 (1999), PBW 343 (1995), UP 2338 (1994), WH 542 (1992)

Durum- PDW 314 (2010), PDW 291 (2004), PDW 233 (1995), WH 896 (1994)

Late sown-Irrigated

PBW 590 (2008), WH 1021 (2007), DBW 16 (2005), UP 2425 (1999), PBW 373 (1996), Raj 3765 (1995)

Timely sown-Rainfed

PBW 396 (1999), PBW 299 (1993)

North Eastern Plains Zone

Timely sown-Irrigated

DBW 39 (2010), CBW 38 (2008), Raj 4120 (2008), K 0307 (2006), HD 2824 (2003),  HD 2733 (2001), PBW 443 (1999), HUW 468 (1999), NW 1012 (1997), K 9107 (1995)

Late sown-Irrigated

HD 2985 (2009), HW 2045 (2002), DBW 14 (2002), NW 2036 (2002), NW 1014 (1997), HD 2643 (1995)

Timely sown-Rainfed

HD 2888 (2005), MACS 6145 (2002)

Late sown-Rainfed

K 9465 (1997), K 8962 (1995)

Central Zone

Timely sown-Irrigated

HI 1544 (2007), GW 366 (2006), GW 322 (2002), GW 273 (1997), AKAW 1071 (1995), GW 190 (1994), DL 803-3 (1994)

Durum- MPO 1215 (2009), HI 8498 (1999), HI 8381 (1994)

Late sown-Irrigated

MP 1203 (2008), HD 2932 (2007), HD 2864 (2004), MP 4010 (2002), DL788-2 (1996)

Timely sown-Rainfed

HI 1531 (2005), HI 1500 (2002), JWS 17 (1997), HW 2004 (1995)

Durum- HD 4672 (1999)

Peninsular Zone

Timely sown-Irrigated

MACS 6222 (2010), NIAW 917 (2005), Raj 4037 (2003), GW 322 (2002)

Dicoccum- MACS 2971 (2008), DDK 1029 (2007), DDK 1025 (2005)

Durum- UAS 415 (2008), HI 8663 (2007), MACS 2846 (1997)

Late sown-Irrigated

AKAW 4627 (2010), HD 2932 (2007), Raj 4083 (2006), PBW 533 (2006), HD 2833 (2005)

Timely sown-Rainfed

PBW 596 (2008), HD 2781 (2002), K 9644 (1999)

Durum- AKDW 2997-16 (2006)

Southern Hills Zones

Timely sown-Restricted irrigation

HW 2044 (1999), HW 1085 (1997)

Alkaline-Saline areas

Timely sown-Irrigated

KRL 210 (2009), KRL 213 (2009), KRL 19 (1999)

*Value with in parenthesis depicts year of release


Authors
Vishnu Kumar, Prashanth Babu H1, B S Tyagi and Raj Kumar
Directorate of Wheat Research, Karnal-132001
1Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Karnal-132001
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