Wheat Belt


Wheat Belt
the western central region of the US, where most of the country’s wheat is grown. It includes the Great Plains.

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      the part of the North American Great Plains where wheat is the dominant crop. The belt extends along a north-south axis for more than 1,500 miles (2,400 km) from central Alberta, Can., to central Texas, U.S. It is subdivided into winter wheat and spring wheat areas. The southern area, where hard red winter wheat is grown, includes parts of the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, and Colorado. This area is hot and dry in summer and is thus well suited to winter wheat, which is planted in fall, when it draws on moisture provided by autumn rains. Cattle often graze on the young wheat. As the summer heat hits, the wheat ripens and is harvested in July. Hard red spring wheat is grown in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, where the climate is more severe and the winters are too cold for winter wheat. Thus, the wheat is planted in spring and takes advantage of the long summer days of this high-latitude area to mature by fall.

      principal crop-growing region of Western Australia, occupying about 60,000 square miles (160,000 square km) in the southwestern section of the state. Served by the Perth-Albany Railway, the crescent-shaped belt is delineated on the west by a line drawn from Geraldton south through Moora, Northam, and Katanning to the western end of the Great Australian Bight. The eastern boundary of the belt bulges as far east as Southern Cross. The Wheat Belt receives as much as 20 inches (500 mm) of rainfall annually in the west, declining to 10 inches (250 mm) in the east. In addition to wheat, the area yields oats, barley, and wool. The Wheat Belt developed after the decline of gold mining in 1905 and was aided by the introduction of superphosphate fertilizers, new breeds of livestock, machinery, government loans, surveys, railway feeder-line construction, immigration, and “soldier settlement schemes” for military veterans after both World Wars.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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