Wheat is one of the oldest grains in the world. Cereals were cultivated as early as several thousand years before Christ. Today it is the most common grain in Germany. But when is the best time to harvest wheat?

Genus Wheat

The term wheat describes various plant species that come from the genus Triticum. Two species are particularly well known for cultivation:

  • soft wheat
  • durum wheat
Note: In addition to soft and durum wheat, there is einkorn, emmer or spelt, which are of lesser importance in arable farming.

soft and durum wheat

Soft and durum wheat are the most important types of wheat for arable farming. Soft wheat is cultivated in summer.

After the harvest, the products are used to produce baked goods in particular. The wheat species also acts as animal feed. In contrast, the grain of durum wheat is a less floury variant. In Germany, however, this type of wheat is rarely used. Due to the lower demands for moisture and precipitation, cultivation takes place primarily in the Mediterranean region.

winter wheat

The exact time of sowing depends on the species for winter wheat. Basically, sowing takes place from September to December. The winter wheat needs a cold stimulus so that the plants can develop splendidly. This is vernalization. Harvest time for winter grain is midsummer next year.

Note: Winter cereals are widespread in Germany. Up to 90% of the cultivated varieties are winter cereals, as the harvest is more productive. This also includes winter wheat.

Cultivation areas in Germany

In Germany, wheat cultivation takes place mainly in Lower Saxony, Bavaria and the eastern federal states. Imports of the popular grain account for less than 5%.


Spring wheat is sown in the spring of each year. The grain yields are lower in comparison. Harvest time begins in summer, in July to be precise. The harvested grains are glassy and have a higher protein content.

Note: Spring wheat is economically meaningless. This accounts for less than 1% of the total wheat harvest.

Harvest time and humidity

The perfect wheat harvest time depends on the moisture in the grain kernels. The grain is only ready for harvest when the moisture content drops below 15%. Consequently, you should check the grain daily. When harvesting wet grain, storage is critical.

Harvest time and climate change

Climate change is changing the wheat harvest. Scientists come to the conclusion that with every degree of global warming, the yield of the crop decreases significantly. But the changed climate affects not only the yield, but also the timing of the harvest. Winter and spring wheat can now be harvested much earlier.

Note: Many farmers face a problem as a result of the postponement. These must harvest different crops at the same time. This results in losses in quantity and quality.

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