According to the National Association of Wheat Growers, wheat, often used for white bread, pastries, pasta, and pizza has been the principal cereal crop since the 18th century. To put that into perspective, Americans consume about 10 pounds of cereal, per person each year. It might be safe to assume its a crop that isnt going away anytime soon. The demand is there.
For the average cereal consumer, theyre likely not aware of the various types of wheat that not only go into their cereal but also other foods. Wheat is categorized primarily according to its growing season:
Spring Wheat: this type of wheat is planted in the spring, harvested in late summer or early fall.
Winter Wheat: this type of wheat is planted in the fall, harvested in the spring. This type makes up almost 75% of wheat grown in the United States.
Wheat is further categorized according to its hardness, color and, the shape of kernel. Below are the six types of wheat and some of their uses:
1. Hard Red Winter: versatile, with excellent baking characteristics for foods like croissants, hard rolls, and flatbreads.
2. Hard Red Spring: good for wheat foods like rolls, hearth bread, croissants, bagels, and pizza crust.
3. Soft Red Winter: a good choice for producing a wide range of confectionery products like cookies, crackers, and cakes, and for blending for baguettes and other bread products.
4. Durum: hardest of all the kinds of wheat. It has a rich amber color and high gluten content. Used for premium pasta products, some Mediterranean bread, and couscous.
5. Hard White Wheat: used for Asian noodles, whole wheat or high extraction applications, pan bread and flatbreads.
6. Soft White Wheat: low moisture wheat with good milling results. This wheat provides a brighter and whiter product. Ideal for cakes, pastries and other confectionery products.
Within these six types, there are different varieties of wheat seeds. It is important to pick the right type of seed, to ensure youre getting the proper protein and yield that youre looking for. For farmers whove been at this a while, this might be old news, but for those new to the field, it can be a lot to remember and someone might be unsure which option to choose.
Luckily, East River is in the bushel business and wed be happy to answer any questions and recommend the right seed product. If youre interested in learning more fun facts about wheat, click here. But, if youre more interested in planting wheat, contact us today. Wed love to tell you more about our wheat and other seed products to help you produce the best, quality harvest.