Invented in the early 1900s, the combine harvester has revolutionized the way farmers harvest their crops. Prior to its invention, harvesting wheat, oats, rye, and barley was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process that often required the help of many workers. With the combine harvester, one person can do the work of many, making the harvesting process more efficient and cost-effective.
To understand how the Combine harvester works, it is helpful to look at its history and development.
Early Combine Harvesters
Hiram Moore invented horse-drawn and mule-drawn machines in America and they were quickly adopted by farmers. Hugh Victor McKay developed the first commercial combine harvester in 1885 in Australia.
These early combine harvesters follow the same principle as the engine-driven, self-propelled ones that we use today; the header cuts the crops and sweeps them into whatever storage area it is built with.
The combine harvesters of the 19th century would eventually be made with a cutting width of several meters, meaning it would take less time to finish harvesting an entire field.
As the world watched the Sunshine Harvester make its way around the globe, a new era had begun. In 1911, Holt Manufacturing of California created a self-propelled harvester, which was followed by Gleaner Manufacturing Company’s patented self-propelled model in 1923.
This new design included several grain handling improvements, such as an auger to replace canvas drapers, and a rasp bar threshing cylinder that allowed for threshing closer to the crop.
Nearly seventy years later, Gleaner Manufacturing Company would become part of AGCO – a leading name in agricultural equipment today.
The development of the European harvester known as ‘Herkules’ began in the 1950s with manufacturer CLAAS. The harvester had the ability to harvest up to 5 tons of wheat every day, making it a valuable asset for farmers.
However, a common issue with the early models was that grains would often clog the radiators, causing the engines to overheat. This problem was solved in the 1960s with the addition of self-cleaning rotary screens.
The rotary design allowed for the grain to be stripped from the stalk and passed along a rotor without becoming stuck.
The combine harvester is a versatile and powerful machine that is essential for any farm. Today, combine harvesters work by sending crops up a feeder’s throat via a flight elevator to a threshing mechanism, where grain and straw are separated. This process can be customized to the specific needs of the farmer in order to get the best yield possible.
Over the years, there have been many different innovations and advancements in technology when it comes to the combine harvester. This has allowed farmers all over the world to reap the benefits of this amazing machine. From its early beginnings, the combine harvester has undergone many changes and improvements – making it the powerhouse it is today.
Benefits to farmers
As the world’s population grows, so does the demand for food. This increased demand has led to a problem in finding enough experienced labor to work on farms. In India, there is a rapid migration from villages to towns and cities, which has caused a major deficiency in manpower. Combine harvesters can help resolve this issue by getting more work done efficiently and offering farmers a better grain yield at lower costs.
Today’s combine harvesters are highly versatile machines that can be used in a variety of different settings and conditions. Whether you’re dealing with dry or wet terrain or rough or smooth ground, there’s a combine harvester that’s up to the task.
Some models even come equipped with tracks, making them ideal for use on water-logged fields. And if you’re working in a mountainous region, simply switch out the header and you’re good to go. There are also special systems that can be attached to your combine harvester, like the Super-Straw Management System, which quickly and easily removes chaff and straw from fields.
Disadvantages of using combine harvesters?
There are some disadvantages to using Combine harvesters. First, they are expensive to purchase and operate. Second, they can be difficult to maneuver and can be dangerous if not used properly. Finally, they can be slow and require a lot of labor to operate.