Each year, more than 20,000 Kansas wheat farmers take dramatic risks to grow the wheat that feeds the world. Though the 2013 harvest is starting about a month later than last year, the wait appears to be worth it. Early reports indicate a good crop, at least in central Kansas. If the weather holds this week, as forecasters predict, local farmers—and all of us who benefit from their good fortune—should be smiling.
The test of a good harvest usually is the yield—how many bushels per acre. But what do most of us really know about a bushel of wheat?
According to the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, a bushel of wheat:
• contains about 1 million individual kernels;
• makes about 45 24-ounce boxes of wheat-flake cereal;
• weighs about 60 pounds;
• yields about 42 pounds of white flour or about 60 pounds of whole-wheat flour;
• yields 42 commercial loaves of white bread (24-ounce loaves) or about 90 16-ounce loaves of whole-wheat bread.
Now, that should give all of us something to chew on. —DR