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The Hunt for Monsanto’s Rogue Wheat Wends Across U.S. Prairies

Drive across America’s farm country -- across the vast plains of Kansas, across the prairies of North Dakota, and then out onto the parched, treeless expanse of the inland Northwest -- and the waves of grain can seem endless.

About 60 million acres of the U.S. are planted in wheat. That’s an area larger than Utah, and it’s the core of an $18 billion industry that’s as old as the nation -- older, in fact. The settlers at Jamestown cultivated wheat. George Washington was a major wheat grower as were tens of thousands of small-time 19th century dreamers who pushed their way west over the Appalachian Mountains to plant wheat in the green valleys of Ohio, Illinois, and later Minnesota.