The golden stalks and plump heads of mature wheat signi […]
The golden stalks and plump heads of mature wheat signify the change from an active, green spring to a bountiful, earthy-toned fall. Ripe wheat stems give dried flower arrangements a touch of fall glow and country texture.
Wheat grows best in full sun and fast-draining, fertile soils. Harvesting wheat for drying is best done in the late summer or early fall once it is fully yellow to gold in color but before the heavy seed heads begin to droop.
Adding supplemental heat isn't usually necessary when drying wheat, but may be needed if wet conditions continue.
Grain quality is significantly affected by the drying process and type of dryer. Two of the most significant variables that have a deleterious effect on grain quality are maximum kernel temperature and drying rate.
For example, the head yield from rough rice is significantly affected by the drying rate and kernel temperature. However, corn and wheat are less sensitive to high kernel temperatures and the maximum temperature allowed is a function of end-use.