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WHEAT

Wheat ranks third among U.S. field crops in planted acreage, production, and amount of generated farm income, behind corn and soybeans. Over 800 billion bushels of wheat are grown in more than 40 states each year. Just one bushel of wheat can produce over 42 loaves of bread or 45 boxes of cereal.

 

One of the world’s most important food crops, wheat provides an estimated 20% of calories consumed by people around the world. It provides fuel that the body needs in the form of complex carbohydrates in bread and other grain-based foods.

 

Selected Types of Wheat

  • Hard red winter wheat: The most common type of wheat grown in the U.S, this grain is used in many foods, from pan breads to croissants to all-purpose flour. Winter wheats are planted in fall, go dormant over the winter, and are harvested in summer.
     

  • Soft red winter wheat: Used in specialty and confectionery products like cakes, crackers, and cookies, this grain is primarily grown in the eastern third of the U.S.
     

  • Hard red spring wheat: This high-quality grain is used in foods such as bagels, pizza crusts, and artisan breads. It is primarily grown in north-central states, with North Dakota the top producer. Spring wheats are planted in springtime, grow over the summer, and are harvested in fall.
     

  • Durum wheat: Durum is a hard wheat used in pasta and couscous. Production is primarily concentrated in North Dakota and Montana, and it has a similar growing cycle as spring wheat.

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