Talk:Winter wheat

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Is durum wheat a winter wheat? And what is semolina? --rmhermen

Semolina is made from durum.

As for durum being a spring or a winter wheat, there's no simple answer, sorry. You might consider it both.

I'll try to explain simply why. This spring or winter issue is not really related to a species being one or another, with mutual exclusion. Rather, it refers to practices, sowing before or after winter. Practices are different, fertilisation, herbicides are not applied at the same time, in the same conditions for example. Soil preparation is not made the same way. That also means pretty big differences in terms of accounting (for in one case, work is done on one year, in the other case, during the following year).

You might have the feeling its species-related in the USA because the number of species you cultivate is pretty small, hence it is very well defined.
However there are about 3000 different species of wheat.
In France, the list of commercialized seeds each year counts more than 200 species. This is very similar in surrounding countries, such as england, belgium, germany for example. I don't know exactly for China, but I believe they also rely on a high number of species.

These species are not "winter" or "spring". They are different, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Among the parameters that are used to differenciate them is their need in cold temperature for flowering (some need a few weeks of cold temperature for development to proceed) and cold sensibility (all species tend to "freeze" under, say -4 °C, but some suffer no real damage, while others can suffer 90% of destruction). Knowing these differences allow the farmer to choose which species he may use or not, depending on his climate specificities and his own availability.
In France, we classify species along a 9 degree scale, going from full winter to full spring. But, many species are "alternative", that means they may be sowed in the spring in the north of the country, and in winter in the south.

Usually, sowing is done in winter. For many reasons, along which the fact it is better not to leave the soil naked in winter (water runoff, leading to soil degradation and nitrate pollution). However, the farmer does not always have the time to sow all his fields in automn, or a very cold winter might destroy most of the wheat. In this case, sowing in done (or re-done) in spring.

To go back to durum, its cycle of vegetation is more the one of a spring wheat and it is not very resistant to cold (there are few species of durum wheat compared to wheat). As far as I know, it is rather cultivated as a spring wheat in USA and Canada. In Europe, it is usually cultivated in winter (with late sowing in november or december, before winter in any case). Hence, imho, I would say it is neither a spring nor a winter species.

What climate(s) does winter wheat grow in? This would be a good addition to the article.


What species it this talking about? Aaadddaaammm 03:48, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

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No Scientific Terminology[edit]

This article does not use scientific terminology such as variety, and instead it uses "type". So is winter wheat a variety, or a type?

"Northern hemisphere" red herring[edit]

The lead currently states, "Classification into spring or winter wheat is common and traditionally refers to the season during which the crop is grown in the Northern Hemisphere." Mention of the northern hemisphere here seems to be a red herring -- surely, the classification refers to the season in the location where the wheat is planted? Isn't winter wheat in the southern hemisphere planted during the southern hemisphere's autumn/winter? The whole point of naming it after the season rather than the part of the calendar year is that the same term can be used both sides of the equator. Dricherby (talk) 14:01, 2 January 2016 (UTC)