Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate

Committee Chair(s)

D. W. Thorne


D. W. Thorne


Agriculture first developed in the Middle East where, probably about 15,000-10,000 B.c., the earliest wheat crop was reaped from cultivated wild grasses. In Biblical times the Middle East acted as a granary of the western world and led the world in cereal production. Now, however, the situation is different. The Middle East is one of the lowest yielding areas in the world. This failure of the agriculture of the Middle East may be due to both climatic and cultural reasons. Many students of the Middle East report tha tthe climate has changed and that there has been a gradual decline in the amount of rainfall, especially of the autumn rainfall on which the grower of winter wheat depends for the sowing and germination of his crop. Cultural practices have not change appreciably in that region even though the while area may have changed from sub-humid to semi-arid. farmers still follow the same routine thousands of years ago. Another eason for agricultural failure is the lack of knowledge about climate and crop relationships and the attempts of growing wheat in areas where the climatic pattern is not suited to wheat production. The present problem is to investigate weather in relation to winter wheat production and to determine the extenet to which yields are influenced by climatic factors at different periods of the growth cycle of the wheat plant. Knowledge of such relationships makes it possible to determine, to a certain degree of accuracy, the suitability of a region to winter wheat production.