Wheat (Triticum spp) is a grass that is cultivated around the world. Globally, it is the second-largest cereal crop, tied with maize; the third being rice. Wheat grain is a staple food used to make flour, livestock feed and as an ingredient in the brewing of beer. Wheat is also planted strictly as a forage crop for livestock and hay. It is thought that wheat was first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent area of the Middle East. History: Domestic wheat originated in southwest Asia. The oldest archaeological evidence for wheat cultivation comes from Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. Around 8,000 years ago, a mutation or hybridization occurred within emmer, resulting in a plant with seeds that were larger, but could not sow themselves on the wind (see domestication). While this plant could not have succeeded in the wild, it produced more food for humans, and within cultivated fields, it outcompeted plants with smaller, self-sowing seeds to become the ancestor of modern wheat. The cultivation of wheat began to spread into Europe beginning in the Neolithic.














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