Producing Wheat

Planting, tending and harvesting wheat are fascinating and often complicated processes. Here’s more about how we grow wheat.

How Wheat Grows

Watch this short video with NAWG officer and Minnesota wheat producer Erik Younggren talking about the stages of wheat production (filmed at the 2010 Urban Wheat Field).

Harvest

Wheat harvest is best experienced live – there’s really nothing else like it. But, those who can’t make it this year can get a glimpse at the action in these harvest videos from Oklahoma and Washington state, provided by America’s Heartland, a public TV show about agriculture.

Many wheat producers work with custom harvesters to get their wheat out of the field and into the bin. These “harvesters for hire” travel the country throughout harvest season – April to September, depending on geography. Learn more about custom harvesters in this segment from America’s Heartland or at the All Aboard Wheat Harvest blog, written by custom harvesters who travel the nation each summer with their families’ custom harvesting operations.

Below, listen to Will Roehm, a wheat producer from Montana, talk about his harvest process:

Wheat Classes and Where They Come From

Six classes of wheat are produced in the United States, each with a different end use. This page from the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers gives more in-depth information about the six classes. Click here for a picture map of where each variety of wheat is grown in the United States, from U.S. Wheat Associates. Also see U.S. Wheat’s brochure The World’s Most Reliable Choice, which offers information about planting and harvesting schedules, wheat varieties and grade requirements.

Learn More

Want to know more about how wheat works? A wheat-growing briefer from the Wheat Foods Council’s Urban Wheat Field project gives basic background information on the wheat plant and harvest. This page from Kansas Wheat also describes the details of each step in the growing season.

Detailed Agronomic Information

For those interested in more detailed information about the life cycle of wheat, see Wheat: The Big Picture.

Kansas State University’s Wheat Page is another excellent resource for detailed information on a number of agronomic subjects.