Wheat (Triticum spp.) is a cereal grain, originally from the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize (784 million tons) and rice (651 million tons). Globally, wheat is the leading source of vegetable pr otein in human food, having a higher protein content than either maize (corn) or rice, the other major cereals.