The modern combine harvester, or simply combine, is a versatile machine designed to efficiently harvest a variety of grain crops. The name derives from its combining three separate harvesting operations—reaping, threshing, and winnowing—into a single process. Among the crops harvested with a combine are wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn (maize), sorghum, soybeans, flax (linseed), sunflowers and canola. The separated straw, left lying on the field, comprises the stems and any remaining leaves of the crop with limited nutrients left in it: the straw is then either chopped, spread on the field and ploughed back in or baled for bedding and limited-feed for livestock.
Combine harvesters are one of the most economically important labour saving inventions, significantly reducing the fraction of the population engaged in agriculture.
In 1826 in Scotland, the inventor Reverend Patrick Bell designed (but did not patent) a reaper machine, which used the scissors principle of plant cutting – a principle that is still used today. The Bell machine was pushed by horses. A few Bell machines were available in the United States. In 1835, in the United States, Hiram Moore built and patented the first combine harvester, which was capable of reaping, threshing and winnowing cereal grain. Early versions were pulled by horse, mule or ox teams. In 1835, Moore built a full-scale version with a length of 5.2 m (17 ft), cut width of 4.57 m (15 ft) and by 1839, over 20 ha (50 acres) of crops were harvested. This combine harvester was pulled by 20 horses fully handled by farmhands. By 1860, combine harvesters with a cutting, or swathe, width of several metres were used on American farms.
A parallel development in Australia saw the development of the stripper based on the Gallic stripper, by John Ridley and others in South Australia by 1843. The stripper only gathered the heads, leaving the stems in the field. The stripper and later headers had the advantage of less moving parts and only collecting heads, requiring less power to operate. Refinements by Hugh Victor McKay produced a commercially successful combine harvester in 1885, the Sunshine Header-Harvester.
Combines, some of them quite large, were drawn by mule or horse teams and used a bullwheel to provide power. Later, steam power was used, and George Stockton Berry integrated the combine with a steam engine using straw to heat the boiler. At the turn of the twentieth century, horse drawn combines were starting to be used on the American plains and Idaho (often pulled by teams of twenty or more horses).
In 1911, the Holt Manufacturing Company of California produced a self-propelled harvester. In Australia in 1923, the patented Sunshine Auto Header was one of the first center-feeding self-propelled harvesters. In 1923 in Kansas, the Baldwin brothers and their Gleaner Manufacturing Company patented a self-propelled harvester that included several other modern improvements in grain handling. Both the Gleaner and the Sunshine used Fordson engines; early Gleaners used the entire Fordson chassis and driveline as a platform. In 1929, Alfredo Rotania of Argentina patented a self-propelled harvester. International Harvester started making horse-pulled combines in 1915. At the time, horse powered binders and stand alone threshing machines were more common. In the 1920s, Case Corporation and John Deere made combines and these were starting to be tractor pulled with a second engine aboard the combine to power its workings. The world economic collapse in the 1930s stopped farm equipment purchases, and for this reason, people largely retained the older method of harvesting. A few farms did invest and used Caterpillar tractors to move the outfits.
Tractor-drawn combines (also called pull-type combines) became common after World War II as many farms began to use tractors. An example was the All-Crop Harvester series. These combines used a shaker to separate the grain from the chaff and straw-walkers (grates with small teeth on an eccentric shaft) to eject the straw while retaining the grain. Early tractor-drawn combines were usually powered by a separate gasoline engine, while later models were PTO-powered. These machines either put the harvested crop into bags that were then loaded onto a wagon or truck, or had a small bin that stored the grain until it was transferred to a truck or wagon with an auger.
In the U.S., Allis-Chalmers, Massey-Harris, International Harvester, Gleaner Manufacturing Company, John Deere, and Minneapolis Moline are past or present major combine producers. In 1937, the Australian-born Thomas Carroll, working for Massey-Harris in Canada, perfected a self-propelled model and in 1940, a lighter-weight model began to be marketed widely by the company. Lyle Yost invented an auger that would lift grain out of a combine in 1947, making unloading grain much easier. In 1952 Claeys launched the first self-propelled combine harvester in Europe; in 1953, the European manufacturer Claas developed a self-propelled combine harvester named 'Hercules', it could harvest up to 5 tons of wheat a day. This newer kind of combine is still in use and is powered by diesel or gasoline engines. Until the self-cleaning rotary screen was invented in the mid-1960s combine engines suffered from overheating as the chaff spewed out when harvesting small grains would clog radiators, blocking the airflow needed for cooling.
A significant advance in the design of combines was the rotary design. The grain is initially stripped from the stalk by passing along a helical rotor, instead of passing between rasp bars on the outside of a cylinder and a concave. Rotary combines were first introduced by Sperry-New Holland in 1975.
In about the 1980s on-board electronics were introduced to measure threshing efficiency. This new instrumentation allowed operators to get better grain yields by optimizing ground speed and other operating parameters.
Combines are equipped with removable heads that are designed for particular crops. The standard header, sometimes called a grain platform, is equipped with a reciprocating knife cutter bar, and features a revolving reel with metal or plastic teeth to cause the cut crop to fall into the auger once it is cut. A variation of the platform, a "flex" platform, is similar but has a cutter bar that can flex over contours and ridges to cut soybeans that have pods close to the ground. A flex head can cut soybeans as well as cereal crops, while a rigid platform is generally used only in cereal grains.
Some wheat headers, called "draper" headers, use a fabric or rubber apron instead of a cross auger. Draper headers allow faster feeding than cross augers, leading to higher throughputs due to lower power requirements. On many farms, platform headers are used to cut wheat, instead of separate wheat headers, so as to reduce overall costs.
Dummy heads or pick-up headers feature spring-tined pickups, usually attached to a heavy rubber belt. They are used for crops that have already been cut and placed in windrows or swaths. This is particularly useful in northern climates such as western Canada, where swathing kills weeds resulting in a faster dry down.
While a grain platform can be used for corn, a specialized corn head is ordinarily used instead. The corn head is equipped with snap rolls that strip the stalk and leaf away from the ear, so that only the ear (and husk) enter the throat. This improves efficiency dramatically, since so much less material must go through the cylinder. The corn head can be recognized by the presence of points between each row.
Occasionally rowcrop heads are seen that function like a grain platform, but have points between rows like a corn head. These are used to reduce the amount of weed seed picked up when harvesting small grains.
Self-propelled Gleaner combines could be fitted with special tracks instead of tires or tires with tread measuring almost 10in deep to assist in harvesting rice. Some combines, particularly the pull type, have tires with a diamond tread which prevents sinking in mud. These tracks can fit other combines by having adapter plates made.
The cut crop is carried up the feeder throat (commonly called the "feederhouse") by a chain and flight elevator, then fed into the threshing mechanism of the combine, consisting of a rotating threshing drum (commonly called the "cylinder"), to which grooved steel bars (rasp bars) are bolted. The rasp bars thresh or separate the grains and chaff from the straw through the action of the cylinder against the concave, a shaped "half drum", also fitted with steel bars and a meshed grill, through which grain, chaff and smaller debris may fall, whereas the straw, being too long, is carried through onto the straw walkers. This action is also allowed because grain is heavier than straw, which causes it to fall rather than "float" across from the cylinder/concave to the walkers. The drum speed is variably adjustable on most machines, whilst the distance between the drum and concave is finely adjustable fore, aft and together, to achieve optimum separation and output. Manually engaged disawning plates are usually fitted to the concave. These provide extra friction to remove the awns from barley crops. After the primary separation at the cylinder, the clean grain falls through the concave and to the shoe, which contains the chaffer and sieves. The shoe is common to both conventional combines and rotary combines.
In the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest of the United States the combine is retrofitted with a hydraulic hillside leveling system. This allows the combine to harvest the steep but fertile soil in the region. Hillsides can be as steep as a 50% slope. Gleaner, IH and Case IH, John Deere, and others all have made combines with this hillside leveling system, and local machine shops have fabricated them as an aftermarket add-on.
The first leveling technology was developed by Holt Co., a California firm, in 1891. Modern leveling came into being with the invention and patent of a level sensitive mercury switch system invented by Raymond Alvah Hanson in 1946. Raymond's son, Raymond, Jr., produced leveling systems exclusively for John Deere combines until 1995 as R. A. Hanson Company, Inc. In 1995, his son, Richard, purchased the company from his father and renamed it RAHCO International, Inc. In March 2011, the company was renamed Hanson Worldwide, LLC. Production continues to this day.
Hillside leveling has several advantages. Primary among them is an increased threshing efficiency on hillsides. Without leveling, grain and chaff slide to one side of separator and come through the machine in a large ball rather than being separated, dumping large amounts of grain on the ground. By keeping the machinery level, the straw-walker is able to operate more efficiently, making for more efficient threshing. IH produced the 453 combine which leveled both side-to-side and front-to-back, enabling efficient threshing whether on a hillside or climbing a hill head on.
Secondarily, leveling changes a combine's center of gravity relative to the hill and allows the combine to harvest along the contour of a hill without tipping, a danger on the steeper slopes of the region; it is not uncommon for combines to roll over on extremely steep hills.
Newer leveling systems do not have as much tilt as the older ones. A John Deere 9600 combine equipped with a Rahco hillside conversion kit will level to 44%, while the newer STS combines will only go to 35%. These modern combines use the rotary grain separator which makes leveling less critical. Most combines on the Palouse have dual drive wheels on each side to stabilize them.
A leveling system was developed in Europe by the Italian combine manufacturer Laverda which still produces it today.
Sidehill combines are very similar to hillside combines in that they level the combine to the ground so that the threshing can be efficiently conducted; however, they have some very distinct differences. Modern hillside combines level around 35% on average, while older machines were closer to 50%. Sidehill combines only level to 18%. They are sparsely used in the Palouse region. Rather, they are used on the gentle rolling slopes of the midwest. Sidehill combines are much more mass-produced than their hillside counterparts. The height of a sidehill machine is the same height as a level-land combine. Hillside combines have added steel that sets them up approximately 2–5 feet higher than a level-land combine and provide a smooth ride
Another technology that is sometimes used on combines is a continuously variable transmission. This allows the ground speed of the machine to be varied while maintaining a constant engine and threshing speed. It is desirable to keep the threshing speed constant since the machine will typically have been adjusted to operate best at a certain speed.
Self-propelled combines started with standard manual transmissions that provided one speed based on input rpm. Deficiencies were noted and in the early 1950s combines were equipped with what John Deere called the "Variable Speed Drive". This was simply a variable width sheave controlled by spring and hydraulic pressures. This sheave was attached to the input shaft of the transmission. A standard 4 speed manual transmission was still used in this drive system. The operator would select a gear, typically 3rd. An extra control was provided to the operator to allow him to speed up and slow down the machine within the limits provided by the variable speed drive system. By decreasing the width of the sheave on the input shaft of the transmission, the belt would ride higher in the groove. This slowed the rotating speed on the input shaft of the transmission, thus slowing the ground speed for that gear. A clutch was still provided to allow the operator to stop the machine and change transmission gears.
Later, as hydraulic technology improved, hydrostatic transmissions were introduced by Versatile Mfg for use on swathers but later this technology was applied to combines as well. This drive retained the 4 speed manual transmission as before, but this time used a system of hydraulic pumps and motors to drive the input shaft of the transmission. This system is called a Hydrostatic drive system. The engine turns the hydraulic pump capable of pressures up to 4,000 psi (30 MPa). This pressure is then directed to the hydraulic motor that is connected to the input shaft of the transmission. The operator is provided with a lever in the cab that allows for the control of the hydraulic motor's ability to use the energy provided by the pump. By adjusting the swash plate in the motor, the stroke of its pistons are changed. If the swash plate is set to neutral, the pistons do not move in their bores and no rotation is allowed, thus the machine does not move. By moving the lever, the swash plate moves its attached pistons forward, thus allowing them to move within the bore and causing the motor to turn. This provides an infinitely variable speed control from 0 ground speed to what ever the maximum speed is allowed by the gear selection of the transmission. The standard clutch was removed from this drive system as it was no longer needed.
Most if not all modern combines are equipped with hydrostatic drives. These are larger versions of the same system used in consumer and commercial lawn mowers that most are familiar with today. In fact, it was the downsizing of the combine drive system that placed these drive systems into mowers and other machines.
Despite great advances in mechanics and computer control, the basic operation of the combine harvester has remained unchanged almost since it was invented.
First, the header, described above, cuts the crop and feeds it into the threshing cylinder. This consists of a series of horizontal rasp bars fixed across the path of the crop and in the shape of a quarter cylinder. Moving rasp bars or rub bars pull the crop through concaved grates that separate the grain and chaff from the straw. The grain heads fall through the fixed concaves. What happens next is dependent on the type of combine in question. In most modern combines, the grain is transported to the shoe by a set of 2, 3, or 4 (possibly more on the largest machines) augers, set parallel or semi-parallel to the rotor on axial mounted rotors and perpendicular on "Axial Flow" combines.
In older Gleaner machines, these augers were not present. Those combines are unique in that the cylinder and concave is set inside feederhouse instead of in the machine directly behind the feederhouse. Consequently, the material was moved by a "raddle chain" from underneath the concave to the walkers. The clean grain fell between the raddle and the walkers onto the shoe, while the straw, being longer and lighter, floated across onto the walkers to be expelled. On most other older machines, the cylinder was placed higher and farther back in the machine, and the grain moved to the shoe by falling down a "clean grain pan", and the straw "floated" across the concaves to the back of the walkers.
Since the Sperry-New Holland TR70 Twin-Rotor Combine came out in 1975, most manufacturers have combines with rotors in place of conventional cylinders. However, makers have now returned to the market with conventional models alongside their rotary line-up. A rotor is a long, longitudinally mounted rotating cylinder with plates similar to rub bars (except for in the above-mentioned Gleaner rotaries).
There are usually two sieves, one above the other. The sieves and basically a metal frame, that has many rows of "fingers" set reasonably close together. The angle of the fingers is adjustable as to change the clearance and control the size of material passing through. The top is set with more clearance than the bottom as to allow a gradual cleaning action. Setting the concave clearance, fan speed, and sieve size is critical to ensure that the crop is threshed properly, the grain is clean of debris, and that all of the grain entering the machine reaches the grain tank or 'hopper'. ( Observe, for example, that when travelling uphill the fan speed must be reduced to account for the shallower gradient of the sieves.)
Heavy material, e.g., unthreshed heads, fall off the front of the sieves and are returned to the concave for re-threshing.
The straw walkers are located above the sieves, and also have holes in them. Any grain remaining attached to the straw is shaken off and falls onto the top sieve.
When the straw reaches the end of the walkers it falls out the rear of the combine. It can then be baled for cattle bedding or spread by two rotating straw spreaders with rubber arms. Most modern combines are equipped with a straw spreader.
Rather than immediately falling out the rear of the combine at the end of the walkers, there are models of combine harvesters from Eastern Europe and Russia (e.g. Agromash Yenisei 1200 1 HM, etc.) that have a "straw catchers" at the end of the walkers that temporarily hold the straw and then once full, deposit it in a stack for easy gathering.
For some time, combine harvesters used the conventional design, which used a rotating cylinder at the front-end which knocked the seeds out of the heads, and then used the rest of the machine to separate the straw from the chaff, and the chaff from the grain. The TR70 from Sperry-New Holland was brought out in 1975 as the first rotary combine. Other manufacturers soon followed, International Harvester with their 'Axial Flow' in 1977 and Gleaner with their N6 in 1979.
In the decades before the widespread adoption of the rotary combine in the late seventies, several inventors had pioneered designs which relied more on centrifugal force for grain separation and less on gravity alone. By the early eighties, most major manufacturers had settled on a "walkerless" design with much larger threshing cylinders to do most of the work. Advantages were faster grain harvesting and gentler treatment of fragile seeds, which were often cracked by the faster rotational speeds of conventional combine threshing cylinders.
It was the disadvantages of the rotary combine (increased power requirements and over-pulverization of the straw by-product) which prompted a resurgence of conventional combines in the late nineties. Perhaps overlooked but nonetheless true, when the large engines that powered the rotary machines were employed in conventional machines, the two types of machines delivered similar production capacities. Also, research was beginning to show that incorporating above-ground crop residue (straw) into the soil is less useful for rebuilding soil fertility than previously believed. This meant that working pulverized straw into the soil became more of a hindrance than a benefit. An increase in feedlot beef production also created a higher demand for straw as fodder. Conventional combines, which use straw walkers, preserve the quality of straw and allow it to be baled and removed from the field.
Grain combine fires are responsible for millions of dollars of loss each year. Fires usually start near the engine where dust and dry crop debris accumulate. Fires can also start when heat is introduced by bearings or gearboxes that have failed. From 1984 to 2000, 695 major grain combine fires were reported to U.S. local fire departments. Dragging chains to reduce static electricity was one method employed for preventing harvester fires, but the role of static electricity linked to causing harvester fires is yet to be established. The application of the appropriate synthetic greases will reduce the friction experienced at crucial points, i.e. chains, sprockets and gear boxes compared to petroleum based lubricants. Engines with synthetic lubricants will also remain significantly cooler during operation.
A85 or A-85 may refer to:
Dutch Defence, in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings
Gleaner A85, a combine harvesterAgricultural machinery
Agricultural machinery is machinery used in farming or other agriculture. There are many types of such equipment, from hand tools and power tools to tractors and the countless kinds of farm implements that they tow or operate. Diverse arrays of equipment are used in both organic and nonorganic farming. Especially since the advent of mechanised agriculture, agricultural machinery is an indispensable part of how the world is fed.Bizon (company)
Bizon was a combine harvester producer based in Płock, Poland. It designed machines for harvesting cereals, rapeseed, maize, sunflower and other crops.
Bizon company was privatized in 1992 after the reorganization of Agromet, a state-owned agricultural business. In 1995 Bizon reached account profitability and in 1997 had a net sales of about $40 million and a $4 million net profit.Bizon held approximately 60% of the Polish combine harvester market and had begun sales expansion in Latin America, Pakistan, Belarus and Ukraine.In 1998 it was acquired by New Holland.Brendan Grace
Brendan Grace (born 1 April 1951) is an Irish comedian and singer. He is known for his comedy schoolboy character "Bottler", the role of Murphy in the 1995 movie Moondance, and his 1996 appearance in the Irish TV sitcom Father Ted as Father Fintan Stack.His 1975 song, "Combine Harvester", hit number one in Ireland, and the song would later become a U.K. number one hit for The Wurzels in 1976.Case IH Axial Flow Combines
Axial flow combines (also known as rotary harvesters) are a type of combine harvester that has been manufactured by International Harvester, and later Case International, Case Corporation and CNH Global, used by farmers to harvest a wide range of grains around the world.
Introduced in 1977, these harvesters marked a departure from traditional combine harvester design, in that threshing and separation was performed mainly by a rotor, as opposed to the drum and straw walker type models used previously. This is shown in the image at right, where the bulk of the processing area is devoted to a cylinder, that spins and threshes grain from the grain heads and allows for far greater capacity than the previous drum and walker design of harvester. This increase in capacity has led to a significant productivity increase of harvesters and therefore farmers who use them.The rotary design by International Harvester was the first of its kind to be mass-produced and its patent over the design gave IH a competitive advantage over its rivals, including John Deere, Massey Ferguson, New Holland and others.Caterpillar C13
The Caterpillar C13 is an inline-6 diesel internal combustion engine made by Caterpillar. The engine is 12.5 liters in displacement (763 cubic inches). The cylinder size is 5.12 x 6.18 bore/stroke.
The engine can produce 380-430 horsepower at 2100 RPM. The peak torque occurs at an engine speed of 1200 RPM. The engine weighs over one ton at 2610 pounds. The Cat C13 is often used in Class 8 vehicles (tractor-trailers). The Gleaner A85 is a Gleaner combine harvester that uses the C13, and it is considered a class 8 vehicle. In the A85 as well as in fire trucks, it is rated at a higher horsepower.Claas Selbstfahrer
The Selbstfahrer is the first self-propelled combine harvester by Claas. It was produced 19.465 times from 1952 to 1963. The German name Selbstfahrer literally means Self-propeller and in the German agricultural language, it refers to a combine harvester or agricultural machine that can propel itself. Initially, the name of the Selbstfahrer was Hercules; due to an already registered trademark with the name Hercules, the combine harvester was renamed SF for Selbstfahrer in 1953. In contemporary brochures, the Selbstfahrer is called Claas Selbstfahrer Type S.F.55. It was targeted at agricultural contractors and large farms in Europe. In 1961, the Selbstfahrer was succeeded by the Matador. However, it was kept in production until 1963.Combine
Combine may refer to:
Combine (enterprise), an industrial business group in socialist countries, particularly the former Soviet Union
Combine harvester, or combine, a machine to harvest grain crops
Combine car, or combine, a type of railroad car which combines sections for passengers and freight
Combine Music Group, a defunct music publisher
Combine painting: type of artwork closely associated with Rauschenberg
Combine, Texas, U.S.
COMBINE, a computational biology initiative
The Combine (Australian film industry)
The Combine (Group)
Combine (Half-Life), a fictional alien enemy force from the Half-Life franchise.
A sports combine, an event held by certain professional sports leagues to evaluate prospective players, such as:
AFL Draft Combine in Australian rules football
CFL Combine in Canadian football
NBA Draft Combine in basketball
NFL Scouting Combine in American footballCrying the Neck
Crying The Neck is a harvest festival tradition once common in counties of Devon and Cornwall in the United Kingdom in Europe. The tradition declined following the invention of machines such as the combine harvester.The tradition is no longer known to be practiced in Devon. In Cornwall, however, the tradition was revived in the early twentieth century by the Old Cornwall Society.Gleaner A85
The A85 is a Class 8 combine harvester made by Gleaner Manufacturing Company a division of AGCO. The A85 is the largest Gleaner made, boasting a 459 horsepower Caterpillar C13 engine. It has a 350 bushel bin capacity, which it can unload in less than 90 seconds; unloading 4.5 bushels per second. The A85 has a 4-speed hydrostatic rotor drive train. The engine is a 763 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel. Production of the A85 has been from 2006 to 2008.Gleaner E
The Gleaner E was a self-propelled combine harvester manufactured by the Gleaner Manufacturing Company while part of the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company in the 1960s. 17,300 machines were manufactured in total from 1962 to 1969.
These harvesters utilized a 65 hp (49 kW) 226 cubic inch (3.7 Litre) 4-cylinder gasoline powered internal combustion engine.
In 1969 the Gleaner E was replaced by the Gleaner K which was nearly identical to the E III model but powered by a larger 250 cu in (4.1 Litre) General Motors 6-cylinder gasoline engine. An Allis Chalmers four cylinder diesel engine was offered as optional equipment on later K2 models after 1976. Gleaner K models were produced by Allis Chalmers until 1982 and remain popular with small scale farmers in the United States due to their simplicity, ease of maintenance, and their small size compared to modern harvesters. They are also widely used by agricultural researchers to harvest small test plots because unlike larger harvesters they can easily be transported between plots on a flatbed trailer towed by a heavy duty pickup truck.Gleaner Manufacturing Company
The Gleaner Manufacturing Company is an American manufacturer of combine harvesters. Gleaner has been a popular brand of combine harvester particularly in the Midwestern United States for many decades, first as an independent firm, and later as a division of Allis-Chalmers. The Gleaner brand continues today under the ownership of AGCO.Harsewinkel
Harsewinkel is a town in Gütersloh District in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It lies on the river Ems, some 15 km north-west of Gütersloh.
It is the home and domicile of Europe's leading combine harvester manufacturer CLAAS, which is a major employer in the town.Harvest
Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper. On smaller farms with minimal mechanization, harvesting is the most labor-intensive activity of the growing season. On large mechanized farms, harvesting utilizes the most expensive and sophisticated farm machinery, such as the combine harvester. Process automation has increased the efficiency of both the seeding and harvesting process. Specialized harvesting equipment utilizing conveyor belts to mimic gentle gripping and mass transport replaces the manual task of removing each seedling by hand. The term "harvesting" in general usage may include immediate postharvest handling, including cleaning, sorting, packing, and cooling.
The completion of harvesting marks the end of the growing season, or the growing cycle for a particular crop, and the social importance of this event makes it the focus of seasonal celebrations such as harvest festivals, found in many religions.Reaper-binder
The reaper-binder, or binder, is a farm implement that improved upon the simple reaper. The binder was invented in 1872 by Charles Baxter Withington (September 10, 1830 (Akron, Ohio) – December 12, 1909 (Janesville, Wisconsin)), a jeweler from Janesville, Wisconsin. In addition to cutting the small-grain crop, a binder also 'binds' the stems into bundles or sheaves. These sheaves are usually then 'shocked' into A-shaped conical stooks, resembling small tipis, to allow the grain to dry for several days before being picked up and threshed.
Withington's original binder used wire to tie the bundles. There were problems with using wire and it was not long before William Deering invented a binder that successfully used twine and a knotter (invented in 1858 by John Appleby).Early binders were horse-drawn, their cutting and tying-mechanisms powered by a bull-wheel. Later models were tractor-drawn and tractor-powered. Binders have a reel and a sickle bar, like a modern grain head for a combine harvester. The cut stems fall onto a canvas bed which conveys the cut stems to the binding mechanism. This mechanism bundles the stems of grain and ties the bundle with string to form a sheaf. Once tied, the sheaf is discharged from the side of the binder, to be picked up by the 'stookers'.
With the replacement of the threshing machine by the combine harvester, the binder has become almost obsolete. Some grain crops such as oats are now cut and formed into windrows with a swather. With other grain crops, such as wheat, the grain is now mostly cut and threshed by a combine in a single operation, but the much lighter binder is still in use in small fields or mountain areas too steep or inaccessible for heavy combines.Scrumpy and Western
Scrumpy and Western refers humorously to music from England's West Country that fuses comical folk-style songs, often full of double entendre, with affectionate parodies of more mainstream musical genres, all delivered in the local accent/dialect. The name, taken from the title of the 1967 Scrumpy & Western EP by Adge Cutler and the Wurzels, refers to scrumpy, strongly alcoholic cider produced in the West Country.
Exact styles vary by band or musician, and very few are known outside their native county. The main exceptions to this are the Wurzels (originally "Adge Cutler and the Wurzels"), a Somerset group who had a number one hit in the UK with The Combine Harvester in 1976. This followed an earlier hit single with Drink Up Thy Zider, an unofficial West Country anthem, especially among supporters of Bristol City Football Club. This gained notoriety when the BBC refused to play its B-side song, Twice Daily, due to concern about the unseemly subject matter (a shotgun wedding). "Combine Harvester" itself was a reworded version of Melanie's Brand New Key and other songs borrowed the style and made fun of the themes of Country and Western and other US and British popular music.
Other artists whose music is Scrumpy and Western in flavour include The Yetties from the village of Yetminster in Dorset, The Golden Lion Light Orchestra from Worcestershire, Fred Wedlock, Who's Afear'd (also from Dorset), the Skimmity Hitchers (who rose from the ashes of Who's Afear'd), the Surfin Turnips (more punky folk), Trevor Crozier, the Yokels (from Wiltshire), Shag Connors and the Carrot Crunchers, and the Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra.The Combine Harvester
"The Combine Harvester" is a novelty song which was a number-one hit for Brendan Grace in Ireland in 1975 and then The Wurzels in the UK in 1976. The song is a parody of Melanie Safka's 1971 hit, "Brand New Key", with rustic lyrics replacing the original theme of roller-skating.In the UK, the song was released by The Wurzels, an act from Somerset with a rustic West Country style which they called "Scrumpy and Western". It reached number one on 12 June 1976 and stayed there for two weeks.The Wurzels
The Wurzels are a Scrumpy and Western band from Somerset, England, best known for their number one hit "The Combine Harvester" and number three hit "I Am A Cider Drinker" in 1976.Threshing
Threshing is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the husks and straw to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping and before winnowing, which separates the grain from the chaff. Threshing does not remove the bran from the grain.Threshing may be done by beating the grain using a flail on a threshing floor. Another traditional method of threshing is to make donkeys or oxen walk in circles on the grain on a hard surface. A modern version of this in some areas is to spread the grain on the surface of a country road so the grain may be threshed by the wheels of passing vehicles.Hand threshing was laborious, with a bushel of wheat taking about an hour. In the late 18th century, before threshing was mechanized, about one-quarter of agricultural labor was devoted to it.Industrialization of threshing began in 1786 with the invention of the threshing machine by Scotsman Andrew Meikle. Today, in developed areas, it is now mostly done by machine, usually by a combine harvester, which harvests, threshes, and winnows the grain while it is still in the field.The cereal may be stored in a barn or silos.
A threshing bee was traditionally a bee in which local people gathered together to pitch in and get the season's threshing done. Such bees were sometimes festivals or events within larger harvest festivals. Today the original purpose is largely obsolete, but the festival tradition lives on in some modern examples that commemorate the past and include flea markets, hog wrestling, and dances.