Soft red winter wheat is the dominant type grown in Arkansas. In recent years, Arkansas has averaged 600,000 acres of wheat and yields have averaged 58 bushels per acre. Most wheat acres are double cropped, with soybeans following the wheat harvest. The majority of the wheat is grown in:
- Mississippi River Delta region in Eastern Arkansas
- Arkansas River Valley region of Western Arkansas
- Red River Valley region of Southwest Arkansas.
Wheat is typically planted from October through November and harvested in early June.
Soft red winter (SRW) wheat has lower protein and less gluten, making it ideally suited for cookies, crackers, pastries, flat breads and pretzels. SRW wheat is even used in Maker’s Mark and Twizzlers.
- Wheat is a member of the grass family that produces a dry, one-seeded fruit commonly called a kernel.
- Wheat originated in the “cradle of civilization” in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, near what is now Iraq.
- The Roman goddess, Ceres, who was deemed protector of the grain, gave grains their common name today – “cereal.”
- Wheat was first planted in the United States in 1777 as a hobby crop.
- Wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products — approximately three-quarters of all U.S. grain products are made from wheat flour.
- Wheat is grown in 42 states in the United States.
- One bushel of wheat contains approximately one million individual kernels.
- One bushel of wheat weighs approximately 60 pounds.
- One bushel of wheat yields approximately 42 pounds of white flour OR 60 pounds of whole-wheat flour.
- A bushel of wheat yields 42 one-and-a-half pound commercial loaves of white bread OR about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.
- There is approximately 16 ounces of flour in a one-and-a-half pound loaf of bread.