In no way should any of the following statistics be taken as a dig against the people who study wheat. Wheat breeders have done so much with far few resources than have been invested in maize (corn) breeding. Ya’ll are amazing.
- Year in with the largest wheat harvest in the US: 1981-1982 (2.8 billion bushels)
- Year in with the largest wheat corn harvest in the US: 2007-2008(13 billion bushels)
- The US’s share of global wheat exports in 1973-1974: 50%
- The US’s share of global wheat exports today: 20%
- Percentage increase in yield per acre of wheat 1969-present: 45%
- Percentage increase in yield per acre of corn 1969-present: 90%
- Estimated earliest year a program to develop genetically engineered wheat, launched today, would be able to win regulatory approval for any variety of GM wheat: 2018
- Year in which Monsanto’s patent on their first generation Round-up Ready Soybeans expires: 2014
- Number of lawsuits filed by Monsanto against individual farmers it claims infringed on its seed patents in the past decade: 125 (same source as above)
- Number people threatened with legal action to force a settlement/sued by the RIAA in the same time period: more than 28,000
- Amount the RIAA sued the russian website allofmp3.com for in 2006: $1.65 trillion
- The gross domestic product of India in 2008: $1.2 trillion
- First time the world knew what the far side of the moon looked like: 1959
Check out the article in The Guardian about wheat farming and the future of genetically engineered wheat.