Who we are
When one thinks of California agriculture, wheat usually does not come to mind. However, wheat is both a primary crop for many producers and a valuable rotational crop, helping to manage disease and improve the condition of the soil. Growing wheat is an important part of the economics of farming in California.
There are hundreds of varieties of wheat produced in the United States, all of which fall into one of six recognized classes: Hard Red Winter, Hard Red Spring, Hard White, Soft White, Durum, and Soft Red Winter. California grows all of the U.S. wheat classes except Soft Red Winter.
Most California production consists of fall-sown spring-habit wheat crop. Wheat is often followed by corn or summer vegetable crops such as beans or tomatoes. The Majority of California's wheat acreage is irrigated.
California Wheat is different than any other wheat grown in the U.S.
What makes us different
Our Wheat, Our Mark
California's weather with plenty of sunshine and warm and dry environment
Growing wheat under these conditions produces grain with low moisture content, consistent kernel size distribution, high test weight and big plump kernels. Disease pressure for many of the diseases that are common in other areas of the U.S., and in countries with wetter climates is lower or absent in California's main wheat-growing regions because of its dry, warm climate.
Wheat is grown as a rotational crop - soil improvement is key
Wheat is grown to improve soil structure and soil physical properties. Also, to suppress weeds, diseases and other pests of crops that are to follow wheat in the crop rotation system being used. To learn more about the benefits of California crop rotation practices, please click here.
From grain to bread
Most of California's wheat production is localized in specific regions with key grain handlers assisting growers to harvest, clean, and store wheat. This model makes it ideal for identifying the region and wheat varieties required to satisfy the supplier's needs to meet the growing demand for traceability.
Food safety is paramount
Agricultural regulations in California are among the strictest in the world and promise to deliver safe food products grown under environmentally friendly practices.
Wheat is part of our agricultural history
Wheat was the major crop planted in the 19th century (1801-1900). By the 1950's, the state's wheat output exceeded local consumption. While in recent years wheat production has declined, wheat continues to be an important rotational crop for many growers in California.
Wheat grown under irrigation
About 85% of our wheat can be produced under irrigation. Among the major benefits of wheat grown under irrigation are high (and more consistent) grain yield, test weight and kernel size/plumpness (mainly due to avoiding drought stress). To learn more about irrigated wheat, please click here.
We are farmers and we want to tell you Our Story
Roy is involved in a diverse farming operation in the Imperial Valley (southeast corner of California) of approximately 3,000 acres. Crops grown include wheat, lettuce, cabbage, dry onions, sugar beets, sugar cane, alfalfa seed, alfalfa hay, sudan grass, melons, and tomatoes. While wheat is not a major source of income in their farming operation, it is a very important crop. In terms of acreage, wheat is the largest. Wheat is one of his primary growing responsibilities in our operation. He has been a member of the California Wheat Commission since 1998. Roy is past chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates.
Larry Hunn is a third- generation farmer managing a diversified operation in northern California’s Sacramento River Delta. Larry farms with his brother Peter and their cousin John Merwin. In addition to wheat, they grow tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, corn, safflower, alfalfa for hay and landscaping ground cover crops. Their wheat is hard red winter planted in October and November that moves to export and local milling markets. As an agricultural leader, Larry has been active in the California Farm Bureau and serves on the board of the California Association of Wheat Growers. He is past chairman of the California Wheat Commission and spent several years representing his state on the U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors.