Wheat farming is the growing of wheat. Wheat farming involves all the processes associated with the cultivation of wheat. These processes include getting the seeds, land preparation, planting, maintenance of the wheat plants, harvesting and marketing of the produce.
Wheat is a cereal grain and one of the most common staple foods in Nigeria and other countries of the world. Wheat is usually grown in areas with a temperate climatic condition.
In Nigeria, wheat is grown in the northern states during the harmattan months. Wheat will not do well in the southern states of Nigeria.
Wheat grows in a well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 and 7.0.
Steps to take to start wheat farming in Nigeria
The following are the steps to plant wheat in Nigeria:
- Farmland or Site Selection
- Climatic Requirements
- Soil Suitable for Wheat Farming
- Soil Preparation
- Wheat Variety to Plant
- Equipment to Use for Wheat Farming
- Planting of the Wheat Seeds
- Weed Control
- Fertilizer and Manure Management
- Management of Pests and Diseases
1) Farmland or Site Selection
You need to get a suitable site or farmland for the growing of wheat. The farmland should have good access roads so that the wheat produce from the farm can be easily evacuated.
The site should have abundant sunlight so that the wheat plants can grow wells.
2) Climatic Requirements
Wheat grows in temperate conditions. This is why wheat can only be grown during the cold harmattan months in northern Nigeria.
Despite the fact that wheat can only be grown in temperate areas, it also needs abundant sunlight. Without sunlight, the wheat crop will not grow well.
3) Soil Suitable for Wheat Farming
Sandy loamy soil is the most suitable soil for wheat farming in Nigeria. The soil should be well-draining. Wheat will not produce a high yield when grown in pure sandy soil.
The soil pH should be 6.0 – 7.0. Acidic soil should be amended with limestone or dolomite. Limestone will add calcium to the soil and increase the pH.
4) Soil Preparation
The farmland should be deforested if it is a virgin forest. A bulldozer can be used to deforest the land; however, care must be exercised so that the top soil will not be removed. Human labour can also be used to deforest the farmland if it is small.
Ploughing, harrowing and ridging should also be done. Several rounds of ploughing may be done so that the soil will be very loose. Ridges can be used to row wheat if the farmland is in a low lying area.
5) Choosing the Wheat Variety to Plant
Some wheat varieties grow well in Nigeria and other countries in the sub-Saharan Africa area. If you do not have irrigation, you should only plant wheat varieties that are tolerant to drought.
Hybrid wheat seeds also yield more than open pollinated wheat seeds.
6) Equipment to Use for Wheat Farming
The following equipment can be used for wheat farming
- Farm House
- Power Tiller
- Earth Augers
- Weeders etc.
Irrigation is important for wheat farming in Nigeria as this crop is grown in the dry season months when there is little or no rains.
The following are the types of irrigation that can be used for wheat farming in Nigeria:
- Drip Irrigation
- Sprinkler Irrigation
- Furrow Irrigation
- Spray Tube Irrigation etc.
8) Planting of the Wheat Seeds
Wheat seeds should be planted in 1 – 2 cm deep hole. The intra row spacing of wheat plant should be 5 - 15cm while the inter row spacing should be 10cm – 30 cm.
Wheat seeds can also be broadcasted on the soil.
The following are some wheat seeds or varieties in Nigeria:
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 11
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 10
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 9
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 8
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 7
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 6
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 5
- Variety: LACRI WHIT - 4
- Variety: LACRI WHIT – 3
- Variety: LACRI WHIT – 2
- Variety: LACRI WHIT – 1
- Variety: SAM WHIT – 1
Source: Seed Portal
9) Weed Control
The use of herbicides is the most effective weed control mechanism in wheat farming. Selective herbicides for wheat should be used to control weeds.
Cultural practices like weeding with hoes and cutlasses can also be used to remove weeds on wheat farms.
Mulches like plastic mulch and organic mulch can also be used for weed control in wheat farming.
10) Fertilizer and Manure Management
Fertilizers like NPK fertilizers, urea, Single Super Phosphate (SSP) fertilizer, Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizer and Mono Ammonium Phoshate (MAP) can be used for wheat farming.
You should do a soil analysis before applying any fertilizer on your wheat farm.
For farmers using the drip irrigation system, soluble fertilizers can be passed to the root zone of the wheat plants using the drip irrigation tubings.
11) Management of Pests and Diseases
Pesticides like insecticides, fungicides, bactericides and nematicides etc. should be used to manage pests and diseases in wheat farms. Diseases and pests can significantly reduce the yield of wheat crop.
Pesticides like Belt Expert, Decis, Ampligo and Tihan etc. can be used to manage pests and diseases in wheat plants.
Harvesting starts within 80 – 120 days depending on the variety. Harvesting can be done through the use of mechanized harvesters. Harvesting can also be done by hand using tools like sickles.
Wheat is usually sold to big processors like flour millers and pasta producers. The harvested wheat is usually packed in 100kg bags.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a One Hectare Wheat Farm in Nigeria
The cost to start a one hectare wheat farm is detailed below:
Rent of one hectare farmland: ₦20,000
Clearing, Ploughing and Harrowing: ₦55,000
Irrigation: ₦300,000 – ₦650,000 (Optional)
Fertilizers and Manure: ₦20,000 – ₦100,000 (Depending on soil fertility)
FAQ on Wheat Farming
a) Question: Can I get high yielding and early maturing wheat varieties in Nigeria
Answer: You can get high yielding and early maturing wheat varieties. If you need one, kindly contact us.
b) Question: Can drip irrigation be used for wheat farming?
Answer: Yes, drip irrigation can be used for your wheat farm. However, sprinkler irrigation may be preferable.
c) Question: Is wheat farming profitable?
Answer: Wheat farming is profitable if good agricultural practices are implemented.
d) Question: When is the peak time for the price of wheat in Nigeria?
Answer: The dry season months of November to March is the peak time for the price of wheat in Nigeria. This is due to the scarcity of wheat during this period.
e) Question: What is the average yield of wheat?
Answer: The average wheat farmer does 2 -12 tons yield per hectare of wheat.
f) Question: What fertilizers are good for wheat farming in Nigeria?
Answer: NPK, urea, SSP and DAP fertilizers are the common types of fertilizers used for wheat farming in Nigeria. However, fertilizers like humates, potassium nitrate and calcium nitrate etc. can also be used for wheat farming too.
Should you need any information on wheat farming in Nigeria, kindly contact us through email@example.com.
Read our latest article on the Price of a bag of wheat in Nigeria.