Friday, February 3, 2012

figuring how much grain to plant for in home use, good info

I got this information from a web site and thought this would be a good place to save tells approx how much grain a family would need per year, and how much land would be required to grow a bushel of grain..

The info also says that 1/4 acre will grow pretty much all the grain a family needs for a year..and that is a lot of grain..

A bushel of wheat makes about fifty 1-pound loaves of bread. Two ears of corn make enough cornmeal for a meal's worth of corn muffins. The grain expands as it cooks with water, and so gives more food to eat than you would think the uncooked grain represented.

At most, figure a year's supply of wheat at 4 pecks (1 bushel); corn, 2 pecks; popcorn, 2 pecks; soybeans, 4 pecks; grain sorghum, 2 pecks; buckwheat, 1 peck; oats, 1 peck; triticale or rye or barley, 1 peck; navy or other soup beans, 2 pecks; alfalfa for sprouting, 1 or 2 quarts; lentils, field peas, cane sorghum (for flour), about 2 quarts each. But only experience can give you the precise annual amounts needed. We don't grow and eat as much as suggested here, but could if we wished, without increasing our production labor noticeably. Of course you can gauge your own family's consumption by estimating how much flour, cornmeal, and other grain products you use now. But your own grains may prove so delicious that you will want more than that.


Figuring Space Requirements

You don't need much space to raise at least some grains. A normal yield of wheat grown organically would be at least 40 bushels to the acre. So you'd need only 1/40th of an acre to produce a bushel. That would be a plot of ground 10 feet wide by about 109 feet long. A really good wheat grower with a little luck could get a bushel from a plot half that size. Wheat yields have been recorded as high as 80 bushels per acre and even higher.

But using the same kind of average calculations as above, the table below shows the amount of space you'd need to grow a bushel of the following grains.

Growing Grain by the Bushel
field corn: 10 feet by 50 feet
sweet corn: 10 feet by 80 feet
popcorn*: 10 feet by 80 feet
oats: 10 feet by 62 feet
barley: 10 feet by 87 feet
rye: 10 feet by 145 feet
buckwheat: 10 feet by 130 feet
grain sorghum: 10 feet by 60 feet
wheat: 10 feet by 109 feet
* for the larger-eared varieties; I don't know per-acre yields for the smaller varieties, like strawberry popcorn.

Don't hold me too tightly to these figures. They're estimates to give you an idea of how big the playing field is. Weather, fertility, variety, and know-how could alter these figures. All I'm trying to show really is that 9 bushels of assorted grains might be raised on a quarter of an acre and provide you with the major portion of your diet.

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