Winter wheat, which is found in almost every county, is used for grazing to feed the state’s 5.7 million cattle. It’s allowed to grow and ripen in the summer, producing enough to make billions of loaves of bread each year.
Russel Springs claims to be the wheat capital of the world with its location and influence on the state’s production of this crop.
Farmers Have Grown Wheat in Kansas for More Than a Century
When the United States accepted Kansas as a territory in 1854, the farmers in the area were already growing wheat. It’s a tradition that dates to the native tribes.
Summer wheat is more susceptible to drought than the winter variety, which is why many farmers grow that product in the state. In 1874, weather problems and insects destroyed a significant portion of the crop. Some decided to leave to find other opportunities, but those who stayed started varying their crops and growing techniques.
Kansas continues to be a significant producer of wheat, and it is also the largest flour milling state in the nation. The industry provides about $4 billion in revenues to the economy while supporting approximately 30,000 jobs.
In 1886, Kansas harvested wheat across 68,000 acres. In 2014, farmers planted 8.8 million acres with double the yield. The world can thank the producers of this state for their contributions to the food cycle, especially since the harvest provides enough food to feed every human for two weeks. No matter how political and cultural climates may shift, the significance of Kansas will remain the same.