Because bad weather can damage the wheat crop, farmers use huge machines called combines to cut the stalks and separate the kernels from the rest of the plant.
After the harvest, most farmers haul their wheat in trucks to a country grain elevator for storage. The grain from each truck is emptied into a pit. A conveyer belt then picks up the grain, and carries it to the top of the elevator. The grain is then dumped into a tall storage bin. The grain is dried and cleaned. Workers give one of six grades to the wheat, based on its weight and its quality. Wheat is sold based on its grade.
then travels by truck or railroad boxcar to an elevator located
in a large grain market or shipping center. If the grain is to
be exported, the United States Department of Agriculture inspects
and grades it.
Some wheat is then loaded onto ships for export. In other words, the wheat is sent to other countries. Trucks, railroad cars, or barges carry the remainder of the wheat to mills for grinding into flour. The rest is shipped off to other processors to be used in animal feed or other industrial products. Some wheat is bought directly from farmers, or buyers may purchase wheat already in storage.