food stories

Flour from wheat
Wheat is the world’s most important crop we grow around 2,000,000 Ha in the UK, which produces around 15 million tonnes. Wheat is used both for animal feed and Human food too. Wheat is milled to produce flour which can be used for making bread or general baking such as biscuits cakes etc. Watch videos below to see how farmers produce wheat and how it is milled into flour.

Wheat can planted in the Autumn – this is Winter Wheat

Wheat can also be planted in the Spring – this is Spring Wheat

Both of these are generally harvested in August – weather permitting.

The production cycle of wheat is told shown below as a series of videos.



This turns the soil over and buries any surface trash.

It is the first step in the creation of a seedbed for the next crop.


Once the farmer is happy with the seedbed then the next crop is planted or drilled.

In many cases the drilling and cultivation’s are done together in a single pass. This saves time and also fuel so is better for the environment.

March – June

Fertilizer top-dressing

Most arable crops need extra nutrients to keep them healthy and to give the maximum yield.

Farmers apply the extra Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash the crops need either in the form of artificial fertilizer or as some form of manure.

This video shows artificial fertilizer being applied to a crop – this is often referred to as Top-Dressing.

Artificial Fertilizer is now very expensive so farmers are even more careful how they apply it and the type of spreaders shown have special attachments which stop fertile being throw into hedges or water courses.

Protecting Crop

Crops are sprayed at spring usually with a fungicide or pesticide to control diseases which if not controlled will drastically reduce the yield of the crop.

Any weed which have not been controlled in the autumn will also be sprayed now.



Combine Harvesters are very expensive and sophisticated machines. The may have Global Positioning to map yields. They may even be laser guided. But essentially their purpose is to harvest the results of a year work – and this is very dependent on the weather.

What is wheat used for?

Products of wheat

Wheat is ground to make flour which in turn is used to bake bread and other things such as cakes, biscuits etc.

Operations can vary by as much as a month according to weather and geographic location.

Production Cycle for spring wheat (typical)

November – Autumn ploughing

February – Cultivation’s and drilling

March – Fertilizer top-dressing

April – Fertilizer top-dressing

April – Fertilizer top-dressing

May – Weed and disease control

August – Spring wheat harvesting

Operations can vary by as much as a month according to weather and geographic location. In recent years, with warmer winters, there has been a move to drill spring wheat earlier than would have occurred in the past.

Other useful web site to find out about wheat :

The Home Grown Cereals Authority – lots of facts and figures plus names of latest varieties and how they perform.

UK Agriculture – more detailed background information on Wheat


Grain Chain – an interactive web site with fun things to do on grain

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