Do you know which everyday products come from wheat? Read more to learn about wheat production, harvest, and products.
Wheat is a staple food consumed around the world.
Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom1 shared these important points about why wheat is grown.
- “Wheat is well adapted to harsh environments and is mostly grown on wind-swept areas too dry and too cold for rice and corn.
- In 2004 the world leaders in wheat production were China (91.3 million tons), India (72 million tons), United States (58.8 million tons), Russia (42.2 million tons), France (39 million tons) and Australia (22.5 million tons).
- Wheat supplies about 20 percent of the food calories for the world’s people and is a national staple in many countries. In Eastern Europe and Russia, over 30 percent of the calories consumed come from wheat. About 1/3 of the world’s people depend on wheat for their nourishment.
- Because wheat is such a versatile crop, it is being harvested somewhere in the world every month of the year.
- It is grown on more land area worldwide than any other crop and is a close third to rice and corn in total world production”.
There is thousands of edible, non-edible and pharmaceutical products produced using wheat.
Here are a few examples of what 1 acre of wheat could potentially produce and a few benefits for using this crop:
- Bread – 2,800 loaves of bread
- Pasta noodles – 1,680 lbs of pasta noodles
- Concrete – Wheat straw is an agricultural by-product, the dry stalks of wheat plants, once the grain and chaff are removed can be combined with other ingredients to make concrete.
- Sunscreen – specifically made with vitamin E derived from wheat germ oil
- Paper – Wheat straw is used in the paper industry as a raw material
Assumptions: One acre is roughly the size of a football field without the goal posts. An acre of wheat grown in the USA averages 40 bushels. 1 bushel of wheat = 60lbs (27 kg) whole wheat flour2. 1 bushel = 70 loaves of bread x 40 bushels = one acre will produce enough wheat for 2,800 loaves of bread (Note: The variety of wheat seed influences the end product as well the size of loaf and quality would influence these values.). 1 bushel = 42 pounds of pasta noodles x 40 bushels = 1,680 lbs of pasta noodles
1 Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom (2016). Wheat facts. http://oklahoma4h.okstate.edu/aitc/lessons/extras/facts/wheat.html
2 National Association of Wheat Growers (2017). Wheat facts. http://www.wheatworld.org/wheat-101/wheat-facts/
Images courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/wheat-spike-wheat-field-cereals-8762/