Did you know that one bushel of wheat contains 1,000,000 individual kernels? Or that a modern combine can harvest 1,000 bushels of wheat in 1 hour? How about the fact that a family of 4 could live for 10 years off of the bread made by 1 acre of wheat? This grain is a complete mystery for people that are not involved in the wheat industry.
In the great state of Texas when May rolls around, it means wheat harvest for all the local farmers. Tractors, eighteen wheelers, combines, and harvesters are slowing down all the highway traffic and even the back roads to get to the fields to harvest no matter rain or shine.
In between 2008 and 2009, U.S. farmers grew nearly 2.4 billion bushels of wheat on 63 million acres of land. One bushel is approximately 60 pounds, whereas, the U.S. national acre yields around 40 bushels of wheat. NOW THAT’S A LOT OF WHEAT! It has been shown that wheat originated 9,000+ years ago from Southwest Asia, one 60-pound bushel of wheat is able to provide about 42 pounds of white flour, 60-73 loaves of bread and even up to 42 pounds of pasta. Over 60% of Americans see wheat as just another grain that is used for cooking and already mixed into their food. However, this is not exactly true, wheat is the principal human food grain that is produced in the United States, without wheat we would not be able to have the majority of our foods on our tables.
Now that we have looked at some interesting facts of the wheat industry, I hope others will look differently at how this industry is developing over time right under our feet. The next time that you are passing a harvester or combine rolling down the road, you should look at them with gratitude, wave and say thank you for producing crops for us to consume. I want to say a big thank you to Matt Mahler for letting me use his pictures for this blog! I hope you enjoy the blog and the pictures as much as I do!
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