YUMA, Ariz. - This week's Home Grown is all about wheat.
Springtime crops for the desert southwest mostly consist of Durum Wheat, Sudan Seed and melons.
In Arizona, we typically harvest around 90,000 acres of wheat. In Yuma, we average around 97 bushels per acre, which is a little less than three tons per acre.
Where does all this wheat go? It goes to Corpus Christi, Texas, to then ship out to Italy for pasta production.
Wheat is also a great rotation crop. It helps dry out the ground before vegetables are planted. This actually helps prevent diseases in the field.
“This is some of the best wheat in the world that is highly sought after around the world so we have very good climate, it's disease resistant and we have all the great conditions for growing really good wheat here in Yuma," Tim Dunn, President of Dunn Grain Company said.
Wheat can also cause fires this time of the year.
"Over the next month as this wheat crop gets to dry up just be sure that you are cautious if you are in and around a wheat field with your car, vehicle or in our canal banks, this stuff becomes very flammable as it gets closer to harvest, we’d appreciate that," he said.
Dunn also shared that most pasta companies are working with growers to create better wheat. Wheat that has better gluten and better color and ash content.
Wheat really is the gold of the desert southwest.