Varieties of Wheat

On soils really calculated for wheat, though in different degrees, summer fallow is the first and leading step to gain a good crop or crops of that grain. The first furrow should be given before winter, or as early as the other operations of the farm will admit; and every attention should be used to go as deep as possible, for it rarely happens that any of the succeeding furrows exceed the first one in that respect. The number of after ploughings must be regulated by the condition of the ground and the state of the weather; but, in general, it may be observed, that ploughing in length and across, alternately, is the way by which the ground will be most completely cut, and the intention of fallowing accomplished.

Wheat may be classed under two principal divisions, though each of these admits of several subdivisions. The first is composed of all the varieties of red wheat. The second division comprehends the whole varieties of white wheat, which again may be arranged under two distinct heads, namely, thick-chaffed and thin-chaffed.

The thick-chaffed varieties were formerly in greatest repute, generally yielding the whitest and finest flour, and, in dry seasons, not inferior in produce to the other; but since 1799, when the disease called mildew, to which they are constitutionally predisposed, raged so extensively, they have gradually been going out of fashion.

The thin-chaffed wheats are a hardy class, and seldom mildewed, unless the weather be particularly inimical during the stages of blossoming, filling, and ripening, though some of them are rather better qualified to resist that destructive disorder than others. In 1799, thin-chaffed wheats were seriously injured; and instances were not wanting to show, that an acre of them, with respect to value, exceeded an acre of thick-chaffed wheat, quantity and quality considered, not less than fifty per cent. Since that time, therefore, their culture has rapidly increased; and to this circumstance may, in a great measure, be attributed the high character which thin-chaffed wheats now bear.

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