Winter Wheat In Oklahoma

22 Apr

Wheat is the number one crop grown in Oklahoma. Most of the wheat grown here is hard red winter wheat. This is the kind of wheat that grows best in our climate and in states like Kansas, Colorado and Texas. Hard red winter wheat is used mostly to make bread.

The most common varieties of hard, red winter wheat planted by Oklahoma producers are Jagger, Endurance and Overley.

Other kinds of wheat grown in the US include durum, a very hard, translucent, light colored grain used to make semolina flour for pasta; hard red spring wheat, a hard, brownish, wheat used for bread and hard baked goods; soft red winter wheat, a soft, brownish, wheat used for bread; hard white wheat, a hard, light colored, wheat used for bread and brewing; and soft white wheat, a soft, light colored, used for bread.

In 2003, Oklahoma ranked number two in the nation in the production of hard red winter wheat.

Wheat is grown on more land area worldwide than any other crop and is a close third to rice and corn in total world production. In 2004, world wheat production was approximately 624 million tons.

Because wheat is such a versatile crop, it is being harvested somewhere in the world every month of the year.

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.

The per capita consumption of wheat in the United States exceeds that
of any other single food staple.

A kernel is a wheat seed. There are about 50 kernels in a head of wheat and 15,000 to 17,000 kernels in a pound.

Both whole wheat flour and all-purpose (white) flour are made from kernels of wheat. A wheat kernel is divided into three major parts—bran, endosperm and germ. All purpose flour is made from only ground endosperm. Whole wheat flour is made by grinding the entire wheat kernel.

A bushel of wheat yields about 42 pounds of white flour or 60 pounds of whole wheat flour.

A bushel of wheat weighs about 60 pounds.
(Information from Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom)

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