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Technological advances in soil preparation and seed placement at planting time, use of crop rotation and fertilizers to improve plant growth, and advances in harvesting methods have all combined to promote wheat as a viable crop.
Agricultural cultivation using horse collar leveraged plows (at about 3000 BCE) was one of the first innovations that increased productivity.
By 3000 BCE, wheat had reached the British Isles and Scandinavia. The oldest evidence for hexaploid wheat has been confirmed through DNA analysis of wheat seeds, dating to around 6400-6200 BCE, recovered from Çatalhöyük.
The first identifiable bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) with sufficient gluten for yeasted breads has been identified using DNA analysis in samples from a granary dating to approximately 1350 BCE at Assiros in Macedonia.
Archaeological analysis of wild emmer indicates that it was first cultivated in the southern Levant with finds dating back as far as 9600 BCE.'Lodging' occurs when an ear stalk falls over in the wind and rots on the ground, and heavy nitrogenous fertilization of wheat makes the grass grow taller and become more susceptible to this problem.By 1997, 81% of the developing world's wheat area was planted to semi-dwarf wheats, giving both increased yields and better response to nitrogenous fertilizer.Genes for the 'dwarfing' trait, first used by Japanese wheat breeders to produce short-stalked wheat, have had a huge effect on wheat yields worldwide, and were major factors in the success of the Green Revolution in Mexico and Asia, an initiative led by Norman Borlaug.Dwarfing genes enable the carbon that is fixed in the plant during photosynthesis to be diverted towards seed production, and they also help prevent the problem of lodging.