Have you seen the latest Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats commercial? It brought a grin the first time I saw it. I wonder if wheat farmers really drive through the golden fields singing “99 bushels of wheat on the farm, 99 bushels of wheat!” (especially with dancing cereal biscuits?). Here’s the video in case you haven’t seen it.
I’m pretty sure wheat harvest is long over by now. Actually, I shared a few facts about wheat harvest as it was occurring back in July and highlighted the Zeorian family who works as a custom harvesting crew based in Nebraska. Now that we’ve hit October, the Griggs family of the Dakotas shows that next year’s wheat crop is already emerging. It’s amazing how quickly the crop rotation turns around.
The United States is a major grower of wheat in the world, following only the European Union, China, and India. The USDA ERS has many great facts about global and local wheat production.
- Wheat ranks third among U.S. field crops in both planted acreage and gross farm receipts, behind corn and soybeans.
- U.S. wheat harvested area has dropped off nearly 30 million acres, or nearly one-third, from its peak in 1981 because of declining returns compared with other crops and changes in government programs that allow farmers more planting flexibility.
- About half of the U.S. wheat crop is exported.
- Despite rising global wheat trade, the U.S. share of the world wheat market has eroded in the past two decades.
Farming crops like wheat is a great tradition for many U.S. farming families like Daren Williams showed in a previous post. A quick search shows that many wheat farmers are sharing their stories online. Farmers like Brian Scott of Indiana are taking us inside the combine during harvest and capturing video of the process. We can’t forget the Peterson Farm Brothers with their viral video, I’m farming and I grow it (yes, the song is still stuck in my head), which was filmed during wheat harvest. Janice Person has a great post sharing more about these Kansas farm boys and their family farm.
In my part of the world, I’m used to wheat being grown as a dual purpose crop. Many farmers will grow the crop for cattle to graze during the cool season, then pull them off the fields in time for the crop to start maturing to produce grain. Farmers from Texas and Oklahoma, like David Cleavinger (@TXWheatFarmer) will likely be sharing their stories online during the wheat-growing process.
I can’t wait to follow these great farmers as the next wheat crops gets started and this Kellogg’s commercial sparked a few thoughts I had rolling. All of the wheat farmers linked in this post also share their stories on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check the links on their blogs.