For thousands of years, wheat has been relied on as a key crop due to its versatility, nutritional value, and ability to be grown across a variety of climates and conditions. Even though overall wheat production gains have fallen behind corn and rice in recent years, wheat is the leading source of vegetable protein in human food and a major staple crop in many world areas.
Although the need for wheat continues to increase with the growing global population, wheat acres planted in the U.S. have fallen significantly during the past three decades, due in large part because farmers often feel they can get a better return on investment with other crops. According to experts such as Dr. Fred Cholick – the former Director of the Kansas State University College of Agriculture and current President and CEO of the Kansas State University Foundation – this trend can only be reversed if the same investments in technology are applied to wheat that have been used to enhance the productivity and quality of corn, soybeans, canola and cotton.
To find out more about the importance of wheat and the challenges facing its ongoing availability, take a look at the short videos below in which Dr. Cholick provides additional insights into some of the issues surrounding wheat, how these issues can be addressed, and why ensuring the long-term viability and availability of wheat is a global imperative, both in terms of offering farmers value for their investments and ensuring an important food source for a growing population.
To this end, Monsanto is working hard to do its part in addressing these issues by incorporating the breakthrough breeding technologies it has developed and deployed in other row crops into its WestBred brand. Working and listening closely to the entire wheat industry, the Wheat team is focused on delivering significant germplasm yield and quality improvements in the near term and the development of biotech solutions to production issues for the long term.