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Lying In The Rye
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The wheat produced in North Carolina is winter wheat. Unlike most crops, wheat is planted in the fall and harvested in June. This allows farmers to plant another crop on the same acreage after the wheat has been harvested. The process of growing two crops on the same acreage is referred to as "double cropping". The second crop to follow wheat is usually soybeans. Wheat is also used as a cover crop for acreage intended for tobacco. The cover crop protects the soil from erosion throughout the winter, and then is plowed under providing nutrients for the tobacco crop.
Wheat acreage harvested for grain peaked in 1901 with 800,000 acres harvested and dropped to a low of 165,000 acres in 1966. With double cropping becoming an important farming activity around 1980, wheat acreage harvested for grain increased to 400,000 acres.
May 30th, 2013
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