Samples Economics Increases and Decreases in Wheat Production

Increases and Decreases in Wheat Production

425 words 2 page(s)

Wheat is one of the earliest grains to have been utilized as a cereal food source. Wheat possesses the ability to self-pollinate, contributing enormously in the selection of many of today’s domesticated varieties. Archaeological and anthropological records suggest that this first occurred in the regions known as the “fertile crescent”, encompassing areas of Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Syria. Contemporary findings narrow the first domestication of wheat down to a small region of southeastern Turkey,(1) and has been dated at approximately 9,000 BC.
Agricultural innovations in soil care, seed sowing, crop rotation, better fertilizers, and improved harvesting methods have all promoted wheat as a feasible food crop. Cultivation using traditional animal powered plows was one of the very first manners of increasing crop yield. Seed drilling apparatus replaced the broadcast method of sowing seed, and another significant increase in yield resulted.

The yield of wheat per acre increased as the knowledge of soil stewardship and soil nutrients as well as rotation practices were applied to land which had long been cultivated. Better fertilizers were researched, developed and utilized. Improved harvesting includes threshing and reaping machines, also known as combines, motorized cultivators and planters, and better varieties of wheat to cultivate. The increase of wheat cultivation grew as more viable land was farmed both in the Americas and in the Southern Hemisphere countries in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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All major wheat producing areas are expecting a recovery in crop yield versus last season when they produced less wheat than average because of poor growing ¬conditions in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The total global wheat supply is expected to exceed demand, which accounts for why there have been lower global market prices.(2)

Gaps in innovative farming practices and applications have resulted in some of the largest wheat producing countries experiencing epic destruction of crop yield due to less than adequate delivery and storage resources. Several studies in India have shown losses of crop yield at the farm level measure at approximately 10%, with another 10% in losses due to inadequate delivery and storage resources. One study claims that if these wheat losses could be significantly reduced with improved delivery, storage and marketing, in India alone enough food would be reclaimed every year to feed nearly 100 million people a year.(3)

    References
  • Lev-Yadun, S. (2000). “The cradle of agriculture”. Science 288 (5471): 1602–3.
  • Mitchell, Jake, “Bumper Wheat Crop Forecast”, The Land, 26 September 2013, http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/cropping/grains/bumper-wheat-crop-forecast/2672851.aspx
  • H. Basavaraja et al. “Economic Analysis of Post-harvest Losses in Food Grains in India”, Agricultural Economics Research Review 20: 117–126.

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