Letter from America: 'Wheat and canola as far as the eye can see'
Getting ready to hit the road in Kansas
Published 20/05/2015 | 02:30
Harvesting the 60m tonnes of wheat produced in the US every year is a mammoth undertaking that I am experiencing firsthand this year.
I am currently undertaking an internship harvest trail program through Ohio State University, which has placed me working with a custom harvester based in a Kiowa, Kansas, popultion 1000.
Agriculture is by far the biggest industry here, and there are crops of wheat and canola stretching to the horizon in all directions.
My host company is a family run business called BT Harvesting. They operate with a crew of five, plus the owner, Anders, and his wife, Amanda.
The crew is made up of two Danish, one Spanish and two Irish workers.
Most of the my current workload consists of preparing machinery for the season and getting a Commercial Drivers Licence (CDL).
This is the equivalent to the HGV licence in Ireland.
Each crew member requires a CDL, as all grain haulage and equipment transportation is carried out using articulated trucks. Getting my CDL required passing a theory test, a skills test (various reversing activities with the truck and trailer), and an actual driving test.