Wheat seed is a major staple food that provides about 20% of food energy and protein worldwide. It is also an excellent energy source for farm animals. In 2007, 102 million tons (16.7% of worldwide production) were used to feed animals. This proportion is higher in industrialized countries. In the EU-27 in 2007, 42% of production was used as feed. Feed wheat seed often surplus to human requirements; or low-quality seed unsuitable for human consumption (low test weight or damaged); but it is also grown specifically for feed purposes.

Wheat seed can be fed whole or processed in many different ways. It can be fed in association with other ingredients, or mixed and processed into pellets in concentrate feeds. Wheat seed unsuitable for food processing (due to disease, insects, frost, sprouting, low test weight, etc.) can be fed to farm animals. The feeding value and palatability of such seed may be similar or lower than that of good quality, depending on the extent of the damage. It may be necessary to mix it with another cereal seed and to screen it for mycotoxin contamination.