Widgeon \Widg"eon\, n. [Probably from an old French form of F. vigeon, vingeon, gingeon; of uncertain origin; cf. L. vipio, -onis, a kind of small crane.] (Zool.) Any one of several species of fresh-water ducks, especially those belonging to the subgenus Mareca, of the genus Anas. The common European widgeon (Anas penelope) and the American widgeon (Anas Americana) are the most important species. The latter is called also baldhead, baldpate, baldface, baldcrown, smoking duck, wheat, duck, and whitebelly. [1913 Webster] Bald-faced widgeon, or Green-headed widgeon, the American widgeon. Black widgeon, the European tufted duck. Gray widgeon. (a) The gadwall. (b) The pintail duck. Great headed widgeon, the poachard. Pied widgeon. (a) The poachard. (b) The goosander. Saw-billed widgeon, the merganser. Sea widgeon. See in the Vocabulary. Spear widgeon, the goosander. [Prov. Eng.] Spoonbilled widgeon, the shoveler. White widgeon, the smew. Wood widgeon, the wood duck. [1913 Webster]
1 annual or biennial grass having erect flower spikes and light brown grains [syn: corn]
2 grains of common wheat; sometimes cooked whole or cracked as cereal; usually ground into flour [syn: wheat berry]
Moby ThesaurusBengal grass, English rye grass, Italian rye grass, Kentucky bluegrass, alfilaria, bamboo, barley, beach grass, beard grass, bent, bent grass, bird seed, black bent, bluegrass, bog grass, bran, buckwheat, buffalo grass, bulrush, bunch grass, canary grass, cane, cat food, chicken feed, chop, corn, cotton grass, crab grass, dog food, eatage, ensilage, feather grass, feed, flyaway grass, fodder, forage, four-leaved grass, grain, grasses, hassock grass, hay, horsetail, little quaking grass, lovegrass, maize, mash, meadow fescue, meadow foxtail, meadow grass, meal, millet, myrtle grass, oats, paddy, palm-leaved grass, pampas grass, papyrus, pasturage, pasture, peppergrass, pet food, provender, reed, ribbon grass, rice, rush, rye, scratch, scratch feed, scutch, sedge, sesame, sesame grass, silage, slops, sorghum, straw, striped grass, sugar cane, swill, switch grass, sword grass, tufted hair grass, wild oats, wire grass, woolly beard grass, worm grass, zebra grass, zoysia
EtymologyOld English hwæte, literally meaning "that which is white" as is its flour.
- Rhymes: -iːt
- Afrikaans: koring
- Albanian: grurë
- Arabic: (qamħ)
- Basque: gari
- Bosnian: pšenica
- Bulgarian: пшеница (pšenitsa)
- Catalan: blat
- Chickasaw: tili'ko' nihi'
- Chinese: 麦 (mài)
- Croatian: pšenica
- Czech: pšenice
- Danish: hvede
- Dutch: tarwe
- Erzya: товзюро (tov sjuro)
- Estonian: nisu
- Finnish: vehnä
- French: blé , froment
- German: Weizen
- Greek: σιτάρι (sitári)
- Hausa: álkámà
- Hebrew: חיטה (khita)
- Hungarian: búza
- Icelandic: hveiti
- Ido: frumento
- Italian: frumento , grano
- Japanese: 小麦 (こむぎ, komugi)
- Korean: 밀 (mil)
- Latvian: kvieši m|p
- Neapolitan: grano
- Norwegian: hvete
- Persian: (gandom)
- Polish: pszenica
- Portuguese: trigo
- Romanian: grâu m|f
- Russian: пшеница (pšenítsa)
- Scottish Gaelic: cruithneachd
- Slovak: pšenica
- Slovene: pšenica
- Spanish: trigo
- Swahili: ngano (class 9/10)
- Swedish: vete
- Telugu: గోధుమ (gOdhuma)
- Turkish: buğday
- Ukrainian: пшениця (pšenýtsja)
- West Frisian: weet
- (colour) wheaten, of a light brown colour, like that of wheat.
- cracked wheat
- durum wheat
- hard wheat
- Marquis wheat
- separate the wheat from the chaff
- shredded wheat
- soft wheat
- starch wheat
- wheat belt
- wheat bread
- wheat flour
- wheat germ
- wheat rust
- wheaten terrier
- winter wheat
Wheat (Triticum spp.) is a worldwide cultivated grass from the Levant area of the Middle East. Globally, after maize, wheat is the second most produced food among the cereal crops; rice ranks third. Wheat grain is a staple food used to make flour for leavened, flat and steamed breads; cookies, cakes, pasta, noodles and couscous; and for fermentation to make beer, alcohol, vodka or biofuel. Wheat is planted to a limited extent as a forage crop for livestock, and the straw can be used as fodder for livestock or as a construction material for roofing thatch.
Although wheat supplies much of the world's dietary protein and food supply, as many as one in every 100 to 200 persons in the United States has Coeliac disease, a condition which results from an inappropriate immune system response to a protein found in wheat: gluten.
HistoryWheat originated in Southwest Asia in the area known as the Fertile crescent. The genetic relationships between einkorn and emmer indicate that the most likely site of domestication is near Diyarbakır in Turkey. These wild wheats were domesticated as part of the origins of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent. Cultivation and repeated harvesting and sowing of the grains of wild grasses led to the domestication of wheat through selection of mutant forms with tough ears which remained intact during harvesting, larger grains, and a tendency for the spikelets to stay on the stalk until harvested. Because of the loss of seed dispersal mechanisms, domesticated wheats have limited capacity to propagate in the wild.
The cultivation of wheat began to spread beyond the Fertile Crescent during the Neolithic period. By 5,000 years ago, wheat had reached Ethiopia, India, Great Britain, Ireland and Spain. A millennium later it reached China. But now in 2007 wheat stocks have reached their lowest since 1981, and 2006 was the first year in which the world consumed more wheat than the world produced - a gap that is continuously widening as the requirement for wheat increases beyond production.
GeneticsWheat genetics is more complicated than that of most other domesticated species. Some wheat species are diploid, with two sets of chromosomes, but many are stable polyploids, with four sets of chromosomes (tetraploid) or six (hexaploid).
- Einkorn wheat (T. monococcum) is diploid. Commercial hybrid wheat seed has been produced using chemical hybridizing agents, plant growth regulators that selectively interfere with pollen development, or naturally occurring cytoplasmic male sterility systems. Hybrid wheat has been a limited commercial success in Europe (particularly France), the USA and South Africa.
The major breeding objectives include high grain yield, good quality, disease and insect resistance and tolerance to abiotic stresses include mineral, mositure and heat tolerance. The major diseases in temperate environments include Fusarium head blight, leaf rust and stem rust, whereas in tropical areas spot blotch (wheat) (also known as Helminthosporium leaf blight). See physiological and molecular wheat breeding
Hulled versus free-threshing wheatThe four wild species of wheat, along with the domesticated varieties einkorn, emmer and spelt, have hulls (in German, Spelzweizen). This more primitive morphology consists of toughened glumes that tightly enclose the grains, and (in domesticated wheats) a semi-brittle rachis that breaks easily on threshing. The result is that when threshed, the wheat ear breaks up into spikelets. To obtain the grain, further processing, such as milling or pounding, is needed to remove the hulls or husks. In contrast, in free-threshing (or naked) forms such as durum wheat and common wheat, the glumes are fragile and the rachis tough. On threshing, the chaff breaks up, releasing the grains. Hulled wheats are often stored as spikelets because the toughened glumes give good protection against pests of stored grain.
Major cultivated species of wheat
- Common wheat or Bread wheat — (T. aestivum) A hexaploid species that is the most widely cultivated in the world.
- Durum — (T. durum) The only tetraploid form of wheat widely used today, and the second most widely cultivated wheat.
- Einkorn — (T. monococcum) A diploid species with wild and cultivated variants. Domesticated at the same time as emmer wheat, but never reached the same importance.
- Emmer — (T. dicoccon) A tetraploid species, cultivated in ancient times but no longer in widespread use.
- Spelt — (T. spelta) Another hexaploid species cultivated in limited quantities.
In the United States
Classes used in the United States are
- Durum — Very hard, translucent, light colored grain used to make semolina flour for pasta.
- Hard Red Spring — Hard, brownish, high protein wheat used for bread and hard baked goods. Bread Flour and high gluten flours are commonly made from hard red spring wheat. It is primarily traded at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.
- Hard Red Winter — Hard, brownish, mellow high protein wheat used for bread, hard baked goods and as an adjunct in other flours to increase protein in pastry flour for pie crusts. Some brands of unbleached all-purpose flours are commonly made from hard red winter wheat alone. It is primarily traded by the Kansas City Board of Trade. One variety is known as "turkey red wheat", and was brought to Kansas by Mennonite immigrants from Russia.
- Soft Red Winter — Soft, low protein wheat used for cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, and muffins. Cake flour, pastry flour, and some self-rising flours with baking powder and salt added for example, are made from soft red winter wheat. It is primarily traded by the Chicago Board of Trade.
- Hard White — Hard, light colored, opaque, chalky, medium protein wheat planted in dry, temperate areas. Used for bread and brewing.
- Soft White — Soft, light colored, very low protein wheat grown in temperate moist areas. Used for pie crusts and pastry. Pastry flour, for example, is sometimes made from soft white winter wheat.
Hard wheats are harder to process and red wheats may need bleaching. Therefore, soft and white wheats usually command higher prices than hard and red wheats on the commodities market.
As a foodRaw wheat berries can be powdered into flour, germinated and dried creating malt, crushed and de-branned into cracked wheat, parboiled (or steamed), dried, crushed and de-branned into bulgur, or processed into semolina, pasta, or roux. They are a major ingredient in such foods as bread, breakfast cereals (e.g. Wheatena, Cream of Wheat, Shredded Wheat), porridge, crackers, biscuits, pancakes, cakes, gravy and boza (a fermented beverage).
Nutrition100 grams of hard red winter wheat contain about 12.6 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of total fat, 71 grams of carbohydrate (by difference), 12.2 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.2 mg of iron (17% of the daily requirement); the same weight of hard red spring wheat contains about 15.4 grams of protein, 1.9 grams of total fat, 68 grams of carbohydrate (by difference), 12.2 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.6 mg of iron (20% of the daily requirement).
Gluten, a protein found in wheat (and other Triticeae), cannot be tolerated by people with celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder in ~1% of Indo-European populations).
Health concernsRoughly 1% of the populationhttp://www.coeliac.co.uk/other/TextOnly/?ContentID=252&FontSize=9 has coeliac or celiac disease—a condition that is caused by an adverse immune system reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat (and similar proteins of the tribe Triticeae which includes other cultivars such as barley and rye). Upon exposure to gliadin, the enzyme tissue transglutaminase modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. That leads to flattening of the lining of the small intestine, which interferes with the absorption of nutrients. The only effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. While the disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as wheat allergy.
EconomicsWhile winter wheat lies dormant during a winter freeze, wheat normally requires between 110 and 130 days between planting and harvest, depending upon climate, seed type, and soil conditions. Crop management decisions require the knowledge of stage of development of the crop. In particular, spring fertilizer applications, herbicides, fungicides, growth regulators are typically applied at specific stages of plant development.
For example, current recommendations often indicate the second application of nitrogen be done when the ear (not visible at this stage) is about 1 cm in size (Z31 on Zadoks scale). Knowledge of stages is also interesting to identify periods of higher risk, in terms of climate. For example, the meiosis stage is extremely susceptible to low temperatures (under 4 °C) or high temperatures (over 25 °C). Farmers also benefit from knowing when the flag leaf (last leaf) appears as this leaf represents about 75% of photosynthesis reactions during the grain-filling period and as such should be preserved from disease or insect attacks to ensure a good yield.
Several systems exist to identify crop stages, with the Feekes and Zadoks scales being the most widely used. Each scale is a standard system which describes successive stages reached by the crop during the agricultural season.
- Wheat at the anthesis stage (face and side view)
DiseasesEstimates of the amount of wheat production lost owing to plant diseases vary between 10-25% in Missouri. A wide range of organisms infect wheat, of which the most important are viruses and fungi.
PestsWheat is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species including The Flame, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Turnip Moth.
- Bonjean, A.P., and W.J. Angus (editors). The World Wheat Book: a history of wheat breeding. Lavoisier Publ., Paris. 1131 pp. (2001). ISBN 2-7430-0402-9.
- Garnsey Peter, Grain for Rome, in Garnsey P., Hopkins K., Whittaker C. R. (editors), Trade in the Ancient Economy, Chatto & Windus, London 1983
- Jasny Naum, The daily bread of ancient Greeks and Romans, Ex Officina Templi, Brugis 1950
- Jasny Naum, The Wheats of Classical Antiquity, J. Hopkins Press, Baltimore 1944
- Heiser Charles B., Seed to civilisation. The story of food, Harvard University Press, Harvard Mass. 1990
- Harlan Jack R., Crops and man, American Society of Agronomy, Madison 1975
- Saltini Antonio, I semi della civiltà. Grano, riso e mais nella storia delle società umane, Prefazione di Luigi Bernabò Brea, Avenue Media, Bologna 1996
- Sauer Jonathan D., Geography of Crop Plants. A Select Roster, CRC Press, Boca Raton
- Photos of wheat fields
- Watch Australian science documentary on developing drought-resistant wheat
- Wheat Foods Council Est. 1972
- NAWG — Web site of the National Association of Wheat Growers
- CIMMYT — Web site of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
- Triticum species at Purdue University
- A Workshop Report on Wheat Genome Sequencing
- Molecular Genetic Maps in Wild Emmer Wheat
- Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas by James C. Malin, University of Kansas, 1944
- Varieties of club wheat hosted by the UNT Government Documents Department
- Decorative Wheat Bundles and Stalks
wheat in Arabic: قمح
wheat in Aragonese: Trigo
wheat in Min Nan: Be̍h-á
wheat in Bulgarian: Пшеница
wheat in Catalan: Blat
wheat in Czech: Pšenice
wheat in Welsh: Gwenith
wheat in Danish: Hvede
wheat in Pennsylvania German: Weeze
wheat in German: Weizen
wheat in Spanish: Triticum
wheat in Esperanto: Tritiko
wheat in Persian: گندم
wheat in French: Blé
wheat in Galician: Trigo
wheat in Korean: 밀
wheat in Hindi: गेहूँ
wheat in Croatian: Pšenica
wheat in Ido: Frumento
wheat in Indonesian: Gandum
wheat in Ossetian: Мæнæу
wheat in Icelandic: Hveiti
wheat in Italian: Frumento
wheat in Hebrew: חיטה
wheat in Javanese: Gandum
wheat in Swahili (macrolanguage): Ngano
wheat in Haitian: Ble (sereyal)
wheat in Kurdish: Genim
wheat in Latin: Triticum
wheat in Lithuanian: Kvietys
wheat in Ligurian: Gran
wheat in Hungarian: Búza
wheat in Dutch: Tarwe
wheat in Japanese: コムギ
wheat in Norwegian: Hvete
wheat in Norwegian Nynorsk: Kveite
wheat in Occitan (post 1500): Blat
wheat in Panjabi: ਕਣਕ
wheat in Pushto: غنم
wheat in Polish: Pszenica
wheat in Portuguese: Trigo
wheat in Romanian: Grâu
wheat in Vlax Romani: Giv
wheat in Quechua: Triyu
wheat in Russian: Пшеница
wheat in Sicilian: Furmentu
wheat in Simple English: Wheat
wheat in Slovak: Pšenica
wheat in Slovenian: Pšenica
wheat in Serbian: Пшеница
wheat in Finnish: Vehnät
wheat in Swedish: Veten
wheat in Tamil: கோதுமை
wheat in Thai: ข้าวสาลี
wheat in Vietnamese: Lúa mì
wheat in Tajik: Гандум
wheat in Turkish: Buğday
wheat in Ukrainian: Пшениця
wheat in Walloon: Frumint
wheat in Yiddish: ווייץ
wheat in Samogitian: Kvėitē
wheat in Chinese: 小麦