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Wheat is a cereal grain cultivated worldwide. In 2010, world production of wheat was 651 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize (844 million tons) and rice (672 million tons).

Globally, wheat is the leading source of vegetable protein in human food, having a higher protein content than other major cereals, maize (corn) or rice. In terms of total production tonnages used for food, it is currently second to rice as the main human food crop and ahead of maize, after allowing for maize's more extensive use in animal feeds.


The larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species, including The Flame, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Turnip Moth, take wheat as food. Early in the season, many species of birds and rodents feed upon wheat crops. They  damage the newly seeded plants as well as the crop late in the season by eating the mature spike. Wheat can also be damaged by various borers, beetles and weevils

Diseases are another important pest to wheat. The main wheat-disease categories are:

Seed-borne diseases: these include seed-borne scab, seed-borne Stagonospora (previously known as Septoria), common bunt (stinking smut), and loose smut. These are managed with fungicides.

Leaf- and head- blight diseases: Powdery mildew, leaf rust, Septoria tritici leaf blotch, Stagonospora (Septoria) nodorum leaf and glume blotch, and Fusarium head scab.

Crown and root rot diseases: Two of the more important of these are 'take-all' and Cephalosporium stripe. Both of these diseases are soil borne.

Stem rust diseases: Caused by basidiomycete fungi e.g. Ug99

Viral diseases: Wheat spindle streak mosaic (yellow mosaic) and barley yellow dwarf are the two most common viral diseases. Control can be achieved by using resistant varieties.