Wheat. This crop has been around for thousands of years.
Wheat was a key factor enabling the emergence of city-based societies at the start of civilization because it was one of the first crops that could be easily cultivated on a large scale, and had the additional advantage of yielding a harvest that provides long-term storage of food.
Wheat is the third largest produced crop in the world, after corn and rice. Our Chatham-Kent farmers will be busy harvesting their winter wheat crop soon. Over the past six years, Chatham-Kent producers have planted on average about 80,000 acres of winter wheat every year. This year, the wheat crop suffered a fair amount of loss due to the severe winter and there will be disease issues in the wheat due to the wet growing season we have experienced.
Ontario wheat is graded by International grade standards. These standards ensure our shipments of grain will consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety, and quantity.
Our Ontario producers have been growing wheat for over 50 years. The vast majority of wheat grown in Ontario is winter wheat, which means it is planted in the fall and goes through the winter and then is harvested in July.
Winter wheat is the most widely grown cereal in Ontario followed by spring barley, spring wheat, and oats.
There are basically three different types of winter wheat grown in Ontario. These are hard red winter wheat, soft red winter wheat, and soft white winter wheat.
Winter wheat’s flour yield, lower ash content and medium strength protein numbers ensure a high performing wheat for flat breads, noodles, pizza dough, and other specialty products.
The wheat our farmers harvest is delivered to country elevators and/or shipped directly to millers. Ontario’s wheat is also exported around the world.
Incoming wheat at the milling processing facility is weighed, sampled, analyzed, passed through a cleaner and magnet, and then stored according to class, grade, and protein content.
A kernel of wheat is a storehouse of nutrients that requires careful processing to separate it into its component parts. A wheat kernel is divided into three major parts – bran, endosperm and germ. Most of the endosperm is recovered as flour.
Both whole wheat flour and all-purpose (white) flour are made from kernels of wheat. All purpose flour is made from only ground endosperm. Whole wheat flour is made by grinding the entire wheat kernel.
Wheat contains manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. It is also a good source of zinc, copper, iron, and potassium. Calcium is found in wheat in small quantities. Wheat also contains vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, folate, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Vitamin E and K are also present in smaller, but still significant amounts.
You may be surprised to see many non-food products containing wheat, which include: wallboard, cosmetics, pet foods, newsprint, paperboard and other paper products, soap, trash bags, concrete, paste, alcohol, oil, gluten, and hundreds of other items.
So the next time you are having a sandwich or baking some cookies, remember our Chatham-Kent farmers who have and will continue to bring us high quality food products.
Think about this – In the desert of grief, Jesus can provide an oasis of hope.
Just some food for thought.
Here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at www.wegrowfortheworld.com