Field test: How much do you know about wheat?

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
These facts about wheat come from the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers.

— One bushel of wheat contains about 1 million individual kernels.

— A modern combine can harvest 1,000 bushels of wheat per hour. 

— One bushel of wheat yields enough flour for 73 one-pound loaves of white bread. 

— In an average year, Kansas wheat farmers produce enough wheat to make over 36 billion loaves of bread, or enough to provide each person on earth with six loaves of bread. 

— Wheat is grown in 42 states in the United States. 

— Wheat is not native to the United States and was not even grown by the colonists. Wheat was first planted in the United States in 1777 as a hobby crop. 

— The wheat kernel, sometimes called the wheat berry, is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. 

— More foods are made with wheat than any other cereal grain. 

— Two-thirds of the wheat produced in Kansas is exported. 

— Each loaf of bread sold contains about five cents worth of wheat. 

— Holy Cross Shrine in Pfeifer, Kan., was known as the “2 Cent Church” because the building was built using a two-cent donation on each bushel of wheat sold by members of the church.

— In 1998, Kansas produced a record 506 million bushels of wheat, enough to make 36.9 billion loaves of bread. 

— Wheat yields have improved by about one-half bushel per acre each year since 1900. 

— New uses of wheat include cat litter, wheat concrete, biodegradable spoons and forks, dog treats, hand cleaners, soap, shampoo, and biodegradable plastic wrap. 

— Turkey Red winter wheat was brought to Kansas by the 5,000 Mennonites who settled in Kansas between 1874 and 1884. 

— Between 60 and 63 million acres of wheat are harvested each year in the United States. If all the acres were side by side, the wheat fields would cover more than 100,000 square miles, an area 10 times the size of the state of Vermont, twice as big as all the New England States, or one-third the size of the state of Texas. 

— In 1917, the price of wheat in Reno County was $3.17 per bushel. The price for wheat in Marion County last Friday was $3.27.

— Kansas ranks No. 1 among the states in wheat produced, wheat stored, wheat milled into flour, and in the production of wheat gluten and wheat starch. 

— A new variety of wheat can take as long as 17 years to develop before it is available for farmers to plant. 

— Jagger is the leading wheat variety planted in the state of Kansas, accounting for 42.8 percent of the wheat planted for the 2002 crop.

— The workers who built the pyramids in Egypt were paid in bread.

— Wheat is the only grain with sufficient gluten content to make a raised or leavened loaf of bread.

— The American Institute of Baking is located in Manhattan, Kan.

— In 1998, the United States added folic acid to all enriched grain foods, including bread. Folic acid is a key ingredient in preventing serious birth defects.

— A family of four could live 10 years off the bread produced by one acre of wheat.

— In 1943, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture banned the sale of sliced bread in an effort to hold down prices during a period of wartime rationing.

— A 30-foot tall statue of Johnny Kaw stands in Manhattan, representing the Kansas wheat farmer.

— Assuming a sandwich was eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it would take 168 days to eat the amount of bread produced from one bushel of wheat.

— The wheat grown in Kansas in a single year would fill a train stretching from western Kansas to the Atlantic Ocean.

— One 60 pound bushel of wheat provides about 42 pounds of flour.

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