How to Be a Wheat Farmer

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For someone with a love of agriculture, wheat farming can be very rewarding.
For someone with a love of agriculture, wheat farming can be very rewarding. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

As one of the top three crops grown in the United States, wheat can be grown in different soil and climate types. The potential for profit on a wheat farm increases if the farmer is able to process the wheat himself and possibly even sell it as flour or other products. Farming is not just about planting and harvesting a crop. A wheat farmer must be able to keep records, supervise workers and operate machinery.

Learn as much as you can about being a wheat farmer. It's important to understand the types of wheat seed that will grow best in your area as well as how to prepare the soil so that the wheat will grow well. In addition, you should spend some time on a local wheat farm and learn how to operate the machinery required as well as local mills that can purchase and process your wheat.

Locate a farm from which you can work. You can either rent or purchase the land and travel to it or live on it.

Purchase or lease your equipment. A tractor with a tiller, seeder and a gleaner will be necessary, but can usually be found used to keep costs down. Look for farms that are being auctioned off with their equipment or check the classified ads online or in your paper for the best deals on tractors and equipment.

Finance your purchases with money from a bank loan, your savings, a mortgage on your current home, friends and family or credit cards. There are some grants available for those looking to go into farming. Ask your state's department of agriculture if these opportunities exist in your location.

Prepare your soil. This includes tilling and fertilizing the land before planting seeds in the early spring. The type and amount of fertilizer you use will depend on the type of soil with which you are working. Get your soil tested by your county extension service if you are unsure what amendments to make.

Purchase and plant your seeds. Most wheat seeds are planted at a rate of 100 -- 150 lbs. per acre. Estimate how much you will need and whether you intend to double crop based on your climate.

Harvest your wheat and sell it to a mill that processes and sells flour or other wheat products. Some farmers bag up their wheat and sell it directly to the consumer, as well as to larger corporations and export services.

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