The American harvest trail was the experience of a lifetime
Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30
After seven months, my time working the American harvest has come to an end, writes Jamie Casey.
Although I was happy to return home, it was with a heavy heart that I recently said goodbye to my new friends and colleagues stateside.
The season ended with harvesting the fall crops of soybeans, corn (maize) and sunflowers.
Crops yielded well, thanks to a combination of ever more efficient irrigation booms, and genetically modified seed that is becoming more resistant to dry conditions.
Crop irrigation is essential in many parts of the Midwest, and a centre pivot irrigation boom is the most popular system.
This employs a rotating irrigation arm that pivots 360 degrees about a point in the centre of a square 160 acre field (the field is half a mile long by half a mile wide).
The boom is made up of a straight 400 metre long arm, with an additional 37 metre arm that opens out into the corners, and closes in again as the boom passes the narrowest point of the field.
Without the arm to swing into the corners, only 133 of the available 160 acres would be irrigated.