Working with number one: Wheat
Worldwide, wheat is cultivated on approx. 220 million hectares, making it the number one most frequently-cultivated crop. Here in Germany, wheat is even grown on about half of the existing grain areas. We have durum wheat, which is mainly used for pasta. And we have common wheat, which is used for producing bread, baked goods, animal feed, and starch. Common wheat production in Germany amounts to about 25 million tonnes per year. Common wheat is available as a summer and winter cereal. However, in most growing regions in Germany, winter wheat predominates. Under normal weather conditions, it is sown between the end of September and the end of October and can withstand temperatures as low as -20 °C. In the case of full snow cover, it can also withstand much lower temperatures. Depending on the weather, harvesting begins at the end of July and ends at the beginning of August. Compared to other cereals, wheat has very high demands regarding the location. It prefers calcareous, deep and, most importantly, nutrient-rich soils with sufficient water supply. The wheat roots in the soil reach down 2-3 m. The root length per plant is considerable. On 1 ha of cultivated land, wheat forms a root network of 300,000 km. Wheat is a valuable component of a balanced and sensible crop rotation system that keeps our agricultural land functional and vital, in addition to ensuring a stable and healthy ecosystem.