Thursday, 19 May 2011

Winter Wheat

For the past year or so i have developed an addiction to winter wheat! So here is some information that i find really cool.
Winter Wheat is an effective alternative to spring seeded crops in our area. It provides higher yields, allows more efficient use of crop inputs and allows farmer to spread out their workload throughout the year.  
Winter Wheat is a type of cereal that is planted ideally between September 10th and 20th. In order to stand the harsh climates of winter, Winter Wheat must have enough time in the fall to develop healthy crowns and at least two to three leaves. Throughout the winter months Winter Wheat becomes dormant, meaning it hardens off and doesn’t grow.  
Although too much snow cover can cause winter kill, temperature and timing play a much larger role in winter wheat survival. Winter Wheat is only able to handle -18°C soil temperatures before freezing and planting too early can cause the plant to mature too fast and not be able to survive harsh winter temperatures.
Winter Wheat has a high glucose protein making it useful for yeast breads and can be blended with soft wheat to make all purpose flour. Winter wheat can also be used as a feed grain for animals.
Winter Wheat also allows waterfowl a safe habitat to return to in the spring. Duck Unlimited Canada is a big promoter of Winter Wheat and is working to increase the amount of Winter Wheat grown in the prairies. 

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