Calculations on wheat production
Somewhere, I once read that wheat is such an important crop in the world because it is the most productive capture of solar energy into food calories. (This claim must be understood in a particular context of wheat-compatible conditions of climate and so on, of course.) So, I have wondered: how much wheat could I produce in my suburban garden?
The 2020 world record for wheat productivity, says the Internet, is a farmer in New Zealand who harvested 207 Bushels/acre. The typical productivity in the US is now 40-48 B/ac, with 29-119 being the range. (I guess, if you can't get 29 B/ac, you don't bother planting.) To get 207 B (at 60 lbs./B, 12,420 lbs.), the farmer applies 267 lbs. of N, 40 lbs. P, 89 lbs. K, 78 lbs. S, and 62 lbs. of seed. Irrigation wasn't mentioned in the article, but was probably used. It also wasn't clear whether this yield was one harvest, or the sum of two or more harvests within a single year.
In my garden, I could imagine dedicating one 4x12 plot to wheat. Scaling the record-setting productivity down to my scale, I end up with about 0.28 lbs/square foot, or 14 lbs. for the plot. Last week, I brought in 30 lbs. of butternut squash from that plot, and there's probably at least another 10 lb. on the vine. But the water content of winter squash is 81% (summer squash being 98%!), so let's say 50 lbs. of fresh squash equates to 10 lbs. of dry (10-12% moisture) wheat.
If I could grow wheat at the typical range of productivity, rather than the NZ record, it looks like the two crops would be competitive, on a dry weight basis.