Imágenes de páginas
PDF

PAGE

Sections of Smutted Wheat Straw 158

Stinking and Loose Smut 159

Aecidia on Barberry 162

Two Forms of Rust Spores 163

Black and Red Rust 164

Hessian Fly 171

Hessian Fly on Wheat 172

Chinch Bug 174

Wheat Midge 176

Wheat Plant Louse 177

Rocky Mountain Grasshopper 178

Grain Aphis or Green Bug 180

Granary Weevil 182

Grain Moth 183

Flour Moth 184

Transportation of Wheat on Water 191

Typical Small Storage Elevators 202

Storage in Open on a Farm 210

Wheat Awaiting Shipment by River 21 (i

Storage at Primary Market 236

Mexican Hand Stone 262

American Indian Foreign Mortar 263

The Quern Mill 264

Details of a Dutch Windmill 266

Section of Large Modern Flour Mill 272

New Buffalo Flour Mill 278

Field of Durum Wheat 292

American Reaper in Russian Wheat 306

THE BOOK OF WHEAT

CHAPTER I.
WHEAT GRAIN AND PLANT

ORIGIN.

The Word Wheat can be traced back through the Middle English whete to Old English hwaete, which is allied to hivit, white. The German Weizen is related to weisz, which also means white. The French ble suggests blemir, to grow pale. Perhaps wheat was called white, to distinguish it from rye and other dark colored grains. Triticum, the botanical and classical name, doubtless comes from tritus, which is a participle from the Latin terere, to grind. The Italian frumento, and the similar French froment, are descended from the Latin word for corn or grain, frumcntum, which originated in frux, fruit. The Spanish trigo has evolved through French and Latin from the Greek trigonon, which has for its roots tri, three, and gonia, a corner or angle. Thus the most widely used names of the wheat plant were determined by the characteristics of the seed, as color, shape, the property of having to be ground for food, and the natural relation of the seed to the plant.

The Geographical Origin of wheat has never been certainly determined. Such evidence as exists seems to point to Mesopotamia, but this is largely a matter of opinion. While wheat has been found growing apparently wild, the doubt always seems to remain that it may have simply escaped from cultivation. However, the belief that wheat once grew wild in the Euphrates and Tigris valleys, and spread from these to the rest of the world, has wider acceptance than any other. De Candolle's conviction rests largely on the evidence of Berosus and Strabo, while Lippert, in addition to the former, also cites Olivier and Andre Michaux. Darwin appears to have favored the same theory. From this center wheat is supposed to have spread to Phoenicia and Egypt. The Chinese considered it a gift from heaven. Homer and Diodorus Siculus say that it grew wild in Sicily. Humboldt denies the claim of Hermandez that a wheat native to Chili was found. The Egyptian historian, Manetho, attributed its discovery to Isis.

The Historical Origin of wheat is unknown. The most ancient languages mention it, and under different names. Whether we assume that these names, with the languages in which they are found, became differentiated from a common parent, or whether we assume that wheat evolved and spread over the Old World so independently of man that its name did not accompany its progress, in either case a period of time long enough to antedate our oldest languages will be required. The fact that it has been found in the prehistoric habitations of man, notably in the earliest Swiss lake dwellings, is proof of its antiquity.

The Swiss of the neolithic period cultivated four distinct species of wheat. Wheat seems to have been cultivated in China 3,000 years B. C, and was a chief crop in ancient Egypt and Palestine. The Bible first mentions wheat in Genesis, Chap. 30, v. 14.

Biological Origin.—The botanist calls wheat a grass. The evolutionist has ascended the biological stream one stage farther, and calls it a degenerate and degraded lily, using these terms, of course, in an evolutionary sense. He assumes a great group of plants of a primitive type from which sprang first the brilliantly colored lilies, then the degraded rushes and sedges, and lastly the still more degenerate grasses. From these grasses man developed the cereals, and among them wheat. This is the hypothesis that accounts for most of the facts involved. All of the grass family, Gramineae, are easily distinguished by having only one seed leaf, and for this reason they are known as monocotyledons.

CLASSIFICATION OF THE GRASS FAMILY.1

Spikelets

One
Flowered

GRAMINE^E {

Spikelets

Many-
Flowered

Mayd«E: Corn-Teosinte-Tribes

Andropogoneae: Sugar Cane-Sorghum

Zoysieae

Tnstegineac

Paniceae: Millet-Hungarian Grass

Oryzeie: Indian Rice-Rice

Phalardieae: Canary and Sweet Vernal Grass

Agrostidea:: Timothy-Red Top

Aveneas: Oats

Festuceas: Blue Grass-Bromus-Orchard-Grass Fescues

Chlorideae: Grama and Buffalo Grass

Hordefe: Wheat-Barley-Rye-English Rye-Grass

Bambusea?: Bamboo

1 Minn. Bui. 62, p. 392.

The wild animal grasses, Aegilops, found in such abundance in southern Europe, and resembling true wheat in every point except in size of grain, are considered as the nearest kin to wheat. Efforts have been made to develop wheat from ovata, the most typical species. Fabre of Agde, France, claimed that in 1838 he began to improve this plant by selection, and that by 1846 he had obtained a very fair sample of wheat. His results have not been supported by other conclusive experiments, and scientists generally have not accepted them. There was doubtless cross-fertilization.

The accompanying figure represents different stages in the evolution of wheat.1

[graphic][merged small]

The above sketch from a photograph shows: (1) jfCgUopsorntn, a small dwarfed specimen, but one grain of wheat In each head, found in Southern Europe; (2) The same species better grown and developed; (3) Trlticum spetta, the cultivated spelt of Europe; (4) Tritintm Polonteum, Polish wheat or giant rye; (6) Head of Nebraska wheat. While this is an Instructive comparison, it Is very questionable whether No. 5 could be developed from No. 1 in a reasonable number of years.

i Minn. Bui. 62, p. 81.

« AnteriorContinuar »