Wheat farming allows players to plant Seeds on farmland, which then grow over time and can be harvested for wheat. Wheat Seeds can be found by destroying tall grass or by harvesting fully grown wheat.
Wheat can only be planted on Farmland. Although seeds planted on hydrated farmland will grow faster than those on non-hydrated blocks, unhydrated farmland will still grow wheat eventually. Placing torches (Or any other light source, such as glowstone) near Wheat allows it to grow at night, with the additional benefit of preventing aggressive Mobs from spawning near them. If they are jumped on they will break and the Farmland will revert to dirt.
 Growth and harvesting
Wheat crops will only grow under the following conditions:
- It is directly above a block of farmland. If the farmland is removed or reverts to dirt, the wheat crop will be broken.
- The light level above is at least 9 (doesn't have to be sunlight)
- There is at least one block of empty space above it (transparent blocks count as empty)
- The player (any player in SMP) is within 7 chunks (~120 blocks)
Wheat does not need water to grow, and in fact farmland will not revert to dirt from dehydration while a wheat crop is planted on it. However, wheat grows significantly faster on hydrated farmland. Also, in Biomes where Ice can be formed naturally, it is recommended to keep the farming area well-lit or underground to prevent growth reduction because of dehydration.
Wheat crops have a total of 8 growth stages. Each stage is a little taller and darker than the last. Growth happens at random intervals, but the average duration of each stage is between 5 minutes (in ideal conditions) to 35 minutes (in worst-case conditions).
Right-clicking on wheat crops with Bone Meal will advance them to further stages in the growing process.
Crops can be harvested at any time by left-clicking with any tool, but they will yield wheat only when the crop has reached the final stage (when the grains have changed from green to brown). Harvesting at this time will yield 0-3 Seeds and one item of Wheat, which can be crafted into Bread, Cake, or Cookies. Wheat can also be used for animal breeding. Harvesting at an earlier stage will yield only seeds, and the drop rate for these gets steadily lower for earlier stages.
Because harvesting one block at a time can become very tedious, some methods for semi-automatically mass-harvesting wheat fields have been devised. See the Tips section below for details.
 Growth rate
Wheat growth is prompted by random update ticks (the same random events that, for example, create smoke particles above torches and play cave noises). For a given block a random update occurs an average of once every 82 seconds. However the delay can vary widely, and it is even possible (albeit very unlikely) for a crop to be updated multiple times in the same frame. During every update a wheat crop gets a chance to grow to the next stage.
Any farmland in the 9 blocks below the wheat add to its chances to grow. See the chart below for the approximate amount that each farmland block adds to the total probability.
If any wheat is growing in the eight surrounding blocks the growth probability is cut in half, unless the wheat is arranged in rows as shown below.
For the fastest growth, a solid layer of hydrated farmland with crops in rows is ideal. Under these conditions, the probability of growth during each update is approximately 30%, and most (4/5) planted wheat will reach maturity within 37 minutes (about 2 minecraft days)
Placing a row of non-farmland blocks next to a row of wheat crops reduces the growth probability to about 24%. This is best possible arrangement when using sticky pistons for automatic harvesting (see the Tips section below). Most planted wheat in this case will reach maturity within 50 minutes (about 2.5 minecraft days)
Replacing all unplanted farmland with other blocks reduces the growth probability to about 17%. This is also the approximate probability if wheat is planted outside of rows (but on pure hydrated farmland). In either case, most planted wheat will reach maturity within 62 minutes (about 3 minecraft days)
The absolute worst-case conditions for growing are two wheat crops placed diagonally on dry farmland. In this case the growth probability is approximately 4%, and it will take about 4 hours for most of the wheat to reach maturity (about 12 minecraft days)
The progression of wheat crops over time is shown in the plot below. Each line represents the probability of finding a given crop in that particular growth stage, assuming ideal conditions. The plots for non-ideal conditions look similar, with only the scale of the x axis (time passed) being longer.
 Tips for efficient/automated farming
For a simple tutorial on creating a semi-automatic harvesting wheat farm click here Planting in rows on a layer of hydrated farmland produces the wheat the fastest for a given number of seeds. However, planting a solid area of hydrated farmland packs about twice as many individual crops into the same space, each taking a little less than twice as long to mature (see the section on Growth Rates above). Thus, planting an area solid will actually produce slightly more wheat than planting it in rows, and will need to be harvested much less often. This may suit some players who do not like to monitor their farms too closely.
If water flows in, wheat and seeds are dropped as if the crop had been harvested by hand. This can be used to harvest crops semi-automatically, and carry the resulting items to some central location. Note: water will not revert farmland back into dirt, and keep it safe from reverting back to dirt when stepped on
Wheat crops are also broken when pushed by pistons, with the same item drops as harvesting manually. The pistons will push the dropped items as well, potentially allowing them to be collected by an adjacent water current. However, using this technique will revert the farmland back into dirt, so that it needs to be re-tilled after every harvest.
Alternatively, sticky pistons can be used to move the farmland block itself, which will cause any wheat planted on it to break and drop items as normal. This will not revert the farmland to dirt. Water currents for collecting the items can be placed under the farmland rather than beside it, making this method more compact than harvesting directly with pistons.
Automatic harvesting is generally an all-or-nothing business - harvesting every wheat plant regardless of whether it is actually mature or not. In this situation, it is best not to wait for every last wheat to finish growing, as there will always be a few that take much longer than normal. The optimal time to harvest turns out to be when 80% (4/5) of the wheat has matured. Assuming that the field is immediately replanted, harvesting at this time will result in the greatest overall rate of wheat production. Harvesting at this time will also produce a surplus of wheat seeds, roughly one for every four wheat produced. The section on Growth Rates gives the optimum harvesting time in minutes for some common planting arrangements.
Because bonemeal can force wheat to grow instantly - ignoring normal concerns like growth rate or ambient light - it can be used to create large amounts of wheat very quickly. A number of farm designs focus on using bonemeal exclusively, sacrificing volume and growth efficiency for speed/ease of planting and harvesting. An example which takes advantage of the inventory mechanics to minimize the time required to plant and harvest can be seen here.
 Farm designs
 Automated wheat harvester
This method has couple of advantages over other types of wheat harvesting, like:
- You only need one piston for a number of 29 wheat plants.
- No matter how big you want your farm to be, all the products gather in one point.
- There’s no need to till the dirt before planting the seeds every time.
Water is used to harvest the wheat plants and piston controls the water. The farm will consist of cells in which a piston, a bucket of water and 4 glass blocks/panes will be used. There’s a stream of water in the center of the farm and cells on both sides of the water stream. The cells are separated from each other with two block high walls; if the wall is not tall enough some of the products may fall on the sides and out of the flow. The water stream's waterway should go down 1 block every 8 blocks so the water keeps going. Under every wall separating the cells from each other is one block of water source to keep the farmlands on both sides of the wall hydrated.
 How it works
The piston controls the flow of water and is always ON, so the piston is always extended, on top of the extended part of the piston is a water source block, surrounded with 8 (or 4 with a cross shape) glass blocks/panes (must be glass so lights goes through to the plants). When the switch is turned OFF the piston goes back to normal and the water flows through the hole which is made now and harvests the crops and drops them in the stream and you can go to the end of the stream and pick them up.
 Redstone Lamp Farming
An alternative method of harvest is a sealed room lit only by redstone lamps. When the lamps are turned off, all of the wheat will automatically pop from the ground. This is effective on servers where pistons are disabled. Redstone lamps should be placed 2 blocks off the ground on an offset 8 block interval. Each farm floor will occupy 6 vertical blocks (5 blocks is possible but you would not be able to walk on top of the lighting grid)
With lighting from above, there is no need for torch lighting which improves utilization of farmland to a max of 98.7%, only requiring 1 water block for every 81 blocks. The additional vertical space may offset this benefit depending on your priorities.
There is a glitch with minecraft that fails to process redstone lamps properly when they are placed against the outer walls. As a result, crops lit by lamps touching the outer wall will fail to harvest themselves. To avoid this problem, you should keep all lighting blocks at least 1 space away from the outer wall.
Harvesting large farms can also create significant lag; it may be wise to put a delay on the repeaters to assist the server.
 Compact design
The best way to save space is to make a vertical farm. The farm can be both over or under the ground, and there must be a two-block height between floors in order to fit the player who must manually replant the crops. One water block irrigates a 9 by 9 block area, and the block under the water must be solid to keep the water. Therefore, you can build a 9 by 9 block "tower" (11 by 11 with its walls), with a central column of water and solid blocks to prevent water from spilling.
Keeping that compact design in mind, the following farm design uses two central columns instead of one to irrigate (water blocks), light (Jack O Lantern blocks) and automatically retrieve the crops (dispensers charged with water buckets). With just one central column and a 9 by 9 blocks farm the water dispenser won't be able to reach all the crops.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
 Water design
In this design water from the back of the farm flows to the front, destroying the wheat and allowing for easy collection.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
- Farmland cannot absorb water from the bottom.
- Farmland placed at an altitude of 1 will not grow crops on its own.