Bushel

From Academic Kids

A bushel is a unit of volume, used (with somewhat different definitions) in the systems of Imperial units and U.S. customary units. It is used for volumes of dry commodities, not liquids, most often in agriculture.

  • 1 US bushel = 35.23907 liters
  • 1 Imperial bushel = 36.36872 litres

The Imperial bushel equals 8 Imperial gallons.

The U.S. bushel (the Winchester bushel) is defined as 8 gallons, but unfortunately these are gallons of dry measure, not the liquid gallons with which most Americans are more familiar, and the two are not the same. Nor are they the same as the Imperial gallon. The U.S. bushel was originally defined as the volume of a cylindrical container 18.5 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep; it is now defined as 2150.42 cubic inches exactly.

Bushels are now most often used as units of mass rather than of volume. The bushels in which grains is bought and sold on the commodity markets or at the local elevator, and for reports of production of grains by, are all units of mass. These bushels depend on the commodities being measured; some of the more common ones are:

  • 1 bushel (maize) = 56 lb exactly ≈ 25.401 kg
  • 1 bushel (wheat) or soybeans = 60 lb exactly ≈ 27.215 kg
  • 1 bushel (barley) = 48 lb exactly ≈ 21.772 kg
  • 1 bushel (oats, U.S.) = 32 lb exactly ≈ 14.515 kg
  • 1 bushel (oats, Canada) = 34 lb exactly ≈ 15.422 kg
  • other specific values are defined (and those definitions may vary in different jurisdictions, including from state to state in the U.S.) for other grains, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, coal, hair, and many other commodities.

Government policy in both the United States and the United Kingdom is to phase out units such as the bushel and replace them with the metric system as used for all purposes in the rest of the world, and for all scientific and technical purposes world wide. It is therefore important to know how the bushel relates to the metric equivalent, and whether the bushels are used as units of mass or units of volume.

History

The bushel was originally a measure of capacity for grain, during the Middle Ages the bushel of wheat was supposed to weigh 64 tower pounds, but when the tower system was abolished in the 16th century it was described in measurements of 56 avoirdupois pounds. The bushel was rarely used in Scotland, Ireland or Wales during the Middle Ages.

Until and before the 19th century there were even more gallons in use. Examples:

1792 in. 
standard wine gallon preserved at Guildhall
1848 
statute of 5th of Anne
2118.4 
ancient Rumford quart (1228)
2124 
Exchequer (Henry VII., 1091, with rim)
2130 
ancient Rumford (1228)
2150 
Winchester, statute 13 + 14 by William III.
2168 − 16 spoonfuls 
Exchequer (Henry VII., 1601, E.E.)
2168 
Exchequer (1601, E.), corn
2176 
corn (1688)
2217.44 
coal, statute 12 of Anne
2224 
Exchequer (Henry VII., with copper rim)
2227.2 
Exchequer (1601 and 1602 pints)
2240 
Exchequer (1601 quart)
2256 
Treasury (gallon for beer and ale)fr:boisseau

de:Scheffel

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