Soft wheat has many uses. It can be classified into three categories: bread wheat, wheat biscuit and feed wheat. Each category includes hundreds of different varieties grown according to their quality, growing conditions and uses.
- On our plates:
Whether it is bread-making or baking biscuits, soft wheat is used in the composition of bread, biscuits and cakes, as it provides a wealth of carbohydrates and proteins. Soft wheat contributes to our dietary balance, due to its high contents of fiber, starch and protein. The husk of its grains, which is rich in fiber, is used in the production of the so-called "semi-complete" or "wholemeal" breads. A seasoning oil rich in vitamin E is extracted from its germ. Wheat starch is also converted into glucose for the use in many food products.
- In animal feed:
Wheat as fodder with a high energy content is used in the composition of feed for poultry, pigs, sheep and cattle. Tender wheat can be feed to animals unmodified, by flattening the grains or incorporated into other compounds.
- In industry:
While starch is used widely in food processing, it is also used in the production of many everyday products (paper, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc.). It is also used for the production of biofuels (vegetable fuel).
Wheat seed treatment promotes germination and the emergence of seedlings (see our ranges of NutriSeed® among others). Cereals are very sensitive to the nitrogen nutrition status of the soil. Wheat is therefore generally positioned in the successional rotation of a crop leaving significant nitrogen supplies. It is necessary to establish a proper nitrogen fertilization supply plan (refer to national methods). In order to monitor the nitrogen requirements of wheat as closely as possible throughout its cycle, it is recommended to split the nitrogen into several inputs (three in general, with an average dose of 40 units to maintain a correct protein level). For the nitrogen fertilization of wheat three criteria are important: the total dose, splitting of inputs and the type of fertilizer used.
The first contribution is usually made at the "tillering" stage, which in most regions corresponds to the end of winter. It is generally limited to 40-60 kg N/ha as the requirements for Nitrogen at the end of winter are quite low. The second supply must be positioned just before stem elongation, the phase during which biomass production and nitrogen uptake are most important. Between the “second node" and “boot" stages, wheat can absorb up to 7 kg of nitrogen per hectare per day. This is when the last contribution is generally made to continue the nitrogenous feeding of the grain for production purposes and to increase its protein content. A contribution of about 40 to 80 units improves the protein content of the grains by 0,3 to 0,5 %. In spring, wheat can collect up to 6 kg of potassium and 1 kg of phosphorus per hectare per day. However, soft wheat is considered not very demanding in terms of P and K, except when wheat follows wheat in the crop rotation, where it is considered moderately demanding with regard to phosphorus.