so how much bread is in a hectare of land?
July 19, 2009 3:03 PM   Subscribe

I was driving past a wheat field this weekend when from the cheap seats the question of just how much bread might be in there came up. so how much bread is in a hectare of land?

obviously fields are different in size and so are breads. there are probably a million variables that might make a serious answer all but impossible but knowing all this please indulge me for a second. I'm getting pressure here.

we could talk about acres or hectare but this particular cheap-seat crowd resides in europe and that makes me partial to metric units. just for the fun of it let's also assume we're talking about some tasty dark german Schwarzbrot.

so, hivemind. wanna take a stab? the cheap seats are inquisitive and I'd rather deal with this question than certain other ones that might come from that direction.
posted by krautland to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There is probably close to zero wheat in Schwarzbrot since it's made from rye. :)

Here's a WikiAnswers solution with US measurements.
posted by mdonley at 3:09 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Nationmaster says that Germany has a typical yield per hectare of around 6,000 kg or 6 tonnes. This says that's roughly the same as 6 tonnes of flour. This volume to weight converter says that 1 cup of bread flour is 4½oz or 130g. There are around 45000 cups, therefore, in 6 tonnes of wheat flour. Divide that by the 3 cups used per loaf in mdonley's link (because I'm not going to look for a metric equivalent) and you get 15000 loaves of bread. Thereabouts. (This Canadian homework assignment came up with 6000 loaves per hectare, based on lower yields. There's more math in its answer, though.)
posted by dhartung at 3:40 PM on July 19, 2009

according to wikipedia, the yield for wheat is between 2,5 and 9 tons / ha depending on a lot of factors (climate, soil, etc). If we're speaking whole wheat bread I'd say we're somewhere between 4 and 13 tons of bread (factoring in the water).
posted by _dario at 3:40 PM on July 19, 2009

One slight wild card is the moisture content of the wheat harvested from the hectare of land. Wheat is normally dried down to about 15% water before being sold for milling into flour. Typically it might be harvested at 18 to 20% - depending on the weather and the ripeness of the crop. This means that a ton of the crop gathered from the field might loose 25 to 50kg in mass by the time it gets tipped into the flour mill. So this could take about 300 loaves off your total.
posted by rongorongo at 5:22 PM on July 19, 2009

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