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Harvesting Machinery

An Introduction
The mechanization of agriculture not only reduces the overall cost of production but also increases the total agricultural yield. Through mechanized farming, many countries in the world are reaching the upper limits of their cultivable land. The increasing use of agricultural machinery, equipments and fertilizers coupled with better irrigation facilities, together revolutionizes the agricultural sector.

Harvesting, the gathering of a ripened crop, is the most important stage of the cultivation process. In the past, when harvesting was done manually, a substantial portion of the crop was wasted. But, with the introduction of harvesting machines, harvesting has become cheaper and easier than ever. Harvesting machine not only saves the time but also reduces the quantity of waste to a great extent.


Harvesting can be classified into two broad categories, viz. hand harvesting and mechanical harvesting.

  • Hand/Manual Harvesting: Also termed as hand reaping, it includes plucking the ears of grain directly by hand, cutting the grain stalks with a sickle, cutting them with a scythe, or with a later type of scythe called a cradle.
  • Mechanical Harvesting: Harvesting done by employing a mechanical reaper or reaping machine is termed as mechanical harvesting.


What is Harvesting Machinery?
Harvesting machinery or equipment is a mechanical device used for harvesting. There are several types of harvesting machines which are generally classified by crop. Reapers are used for cutting cereal grains, threshers for separating the seed from the plant; whereas corn or maize harvesting is performed by employing a specially designed mechanical device ' mechanical corn pickers.' A typical harvesting machine comprises of a traveling part, a reaping part, and a baler part.

Harvesting machines are also used for controlling the production of weeds. Machines like field choppers, balers, mowers, crushers and windrowers are the common examples of this category. A forage harvester is used for cutting and chopping of almost all silage crops.

Types of Harvesting Machinery
Following is a brief description of major harvesting machines used all around the globe:

  • Crop Harvesting Machine: The mechanical device which harvests forage crops cultivated in upland/paddy field and forms roll bale simultaneously was developed, is termed as crop harvesting machinery. It comprises of traveling, reaping and a baler part.
  • Grain Harvesting Machine: This machine is used to harvest grains, the edible brans or fruit seeds of a cereal crop.
  • Rootcrop Harvesting Machine: Traditionally root crops are harvested with diggers and digger-pickers. Now a days, several machines are available in the market. Modern sugar-beet harvester is one of the most popular examples of the root crop harvesting machine.
  • Threashers: First invented by the Scottish mechanical engineer Andrew Meikle, threshers or threshing machine is used for the separation of grain from stalks and husks.
  • Vegetable Harvesting Machine: Nowadays, machines are also available for the harvesting of vegetables. These 'vegetable harvesting machines', are quite common among the global vegetable farmers. Tomato harvesting machine is the most common example of this.


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