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North Dakota

North Dakota: Peace Garden State

CAPITAL: Bismarck
JOINED UNION: November 2, 1889
STATE BIRD: Western Meadowlark
STATE FLOWER: Wild Prairie Rose
MEANING OF STATE NAME: Dakota is the Sioux Indian word for "friend"
1992 POPULATION: 635,927
RANK FOR POPULATION: 47
LAND AREA: 68,994 square miles
RANK IN SIZE IN UNION: 17
ECONOMY: Grains, farm equipment, mining, tourism
HISTORY: Home to the Sioux Indians, North Dakota was explored by French trapper Pierre La Verendrye in 1738. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 gave America half of North Dakota; the other half came in 1818 from England. Reached in 1832 by Missouri River steamboats and by railroad in 1873, North Dakota was settled by Scottish and Irish immigrants, and later by Scandinavians. Farming has always been dominant in the state and today its plowed fields also house some of America's intercontinental ballistic missile sites.

Wonderful Wheat 1991

GREAT PLAINS, AMERICA

Asia has rice, Meso-America has maize, and America has wheat. Wheat is integral to the American diet. As Asians consume rice with most meals, so, each day, Americans eat wheat in one of its many forms: bread, cereal, pancakes, cookies, cakes, etc. In 1991, each person in the United States ate an average of 136 pounds of wheat flour. Throughout the Great Plains of America, wheat is grown to feed this country and countries around the world. For this reason, America is sometimes called the "Breadbasket of the World."

In fact, wheat is as valuable as gold to the American economy. Sometimes foreign relations hang on wheat trade agreements.

There are six basic classes of wheat:

-- Hard Red Winter Wheat is the most plentiful kind and dominates U.S. exports. It is grown in Great Plains states and is used in breads and some sweet goods. Major importers are the former U.S.S.R., China, Japan, Morocco, and Poland.

-- Hard Red Spring Wheat has the highest percentage of protein among wheats and is used in breads. Most of this wheat is grown in Montana, the Dakotas, and Minnesota. Major buyers are the former USSR, Japan, Philippines, and Central America.

-- Soft Red Winter Wheat has low protein content and is used in cakes, cookies, and crackers. Grown mostly east of the Mississippi River, its major buyers are China, Egypt, and Morocco.

-- Durum Wheat is a hard wheat used mostly to make semolina flour for pasta. It is grown primarily in North Dakota and is exported mostly to Algeria.

-- Hard White Wheat is a newer class of wheat used in yeast breads, tortillas, and oriental noodles. Little of it is exported and it is grown in red wheat areas.

-- Soft White Wheat is grown mostly in the Pacific Northwest. Exported to Asia, it is used much as Soft Red Winter, but not in breads.

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