What is Combine Harvester?
A combine harvester is a very useful agricultural machine that can harvest, winnow, and thresh rice, corn, wheat, sunflower, pulses, and other crops right out in the field. Harvesting crops in this manner in one operational process can save time as well as human labor, and bring down work costs for farmers. In addition, these machines can increase agricultural output since the harvesting is carried out in a more efficient manner, and this, in turn, can make farming more profitable.
Combine Harvester – How it Works?
The main feature of a combine harvester is the removable header platform that has cutters to cut crops and a revolving reel to gather the cut crops into the auger. The header platform can be of a standard type or a specialized type. Different header platforms are often used to harvest different types of crops.
Types of Combine Harvesters
- Self-propelled Combine Harvesters
These wheeled harvester machines are excellent for farms with hard soil, and are the standard types that are in use in India.
- Track Combine Harvesters
These combine harvesters are fitted with tracks instead of wheel, and they are very efficient in areas where wheels are likely to get bogged down. They are commonly used for harvesting rice from wet lands.
- Tractor Mounted Combine Harvesters
These harvesters can be driven by tractors that mounted on top of them; the tractors are hoisted up and down by small cranes. These harvesters work best on lands where the soil is loose and the farmed area is extensive.
Use of Combine Harvesters in India
Compact combine harvesters are suitable for the Indian agrarian conditions, where farm sizes are relatively small and terrain types can vary considerably.
Combine harvesters can be very expensive, with prices running to 20 lakhs and more, and this would take them out of the ambit of many small farmers. The Indian government currently offers subsidies of up to 40% of the purchase price to encourage Indian farmers to use more of these machines for more efficient farming. Even with such available subsidies though, these machines may still be unaffordable for many Indian farmers with relatively small land-holdings.
It may make more financial sense for Indian farmers, who are unable to buy the machines, to hire combine harvesters from custom-hiring contractors as and when they need them. Generally, the farmers only need to hire combine harvesters during the harvest season, and, since they are only hiring them for a short period, they don’t have to bear the maintenance costs of the machines or have to set aside space to store the machines when they are not in use.
Indian farmers often hoist small tractors on top of combine harvesters with cranes and use them to drive the harvesters to increase efficiency.
Combine harvester sales in India are still small as compared to tractor sales. This may have something to do with the fact that unlike tractors, where farmers can shop around for many different models for many different purposes, only a limited number of combine harvester models are available, and many of these are very expensive to buy for many Indian farmers. Also, in terms of advertising, combine harvesters don’t yet receive the amount of publicity that tractors get in India.
Indian combine harvester manufacturers have been diversifying into other agricultural machines, and export their products to many different countries.
Leading Combine Harvester Manufacturers in India
Most of the combine harvesters used in Indian agriculture are made by Indian agricultural equipment manufacturers. Here are some of the leading ones –
- John Deere
- Crop Tiger by Class
- Standard combine harvester by Standard Combine of India
- Dashmesh Group
- Indo Farm
- Harvesking Kubota Harvesters by Kubota Agricultural Machinery India Pvt. Ltd
- Kartar Agro
- Preet Agro Industries
These manufacturers also offer spare parts for their harvesters, and some may even offer training on the use of combine harvesters and their general maintenance requirements.
In addition to manufacturing combine harvesters for the Indian market, many Indian agricultural equipment manufacturers export combine harvesters to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world.
You can find many Indian-made Combine Harvester models on the Khetigaadi website.
Benefits of Combine Harvesters to Indian Farmers
A combine harvester can resolve the growing problem of finding a sufficient number of experienced and trustworthy farm laborers for farm work. The phenomenon of people moving from rural areas to find work in cities in order to obtain better economic prospects is increasing rapidly in India, and this migration is creating a serious shortage of labor in the agricultural sector. In addition, labor wages have also gone up, making things more difficult for cash-strapped farmers. With a combine harvester to do all the work formerly done by laborers, the issue of lack of labor and the issue of high labor costs are both being addressed to an extent.
Combine harvesters can get more work done and more efficiently, offering farmers a better grain yield and a better grain quality. The work gets done in less time too than what would have been achieved by human labor. In all, using combine harvesters can make agricultural operations more economical and profitable for Indian farmers.
Combine harvesters can be used on different types of terrains, dry as well as wet. They can be fitted with tracks to make it more convenient to wade through water-submerged fields to harvest rice.
Indian farmers can fit their combine harvesters with specialized equipment called the Super-Straw Management System to remove stubble from their fields. This saves them from having to burn the stubble and that cuts down on air pollution.
If you are interested in purchasing Combine Harvesters, you can check out the available models and their technical specification on Khetigaadi. You can also request a Combine Harvester demo.
As the Indian agrarian sector become more mechanized, it is likely that the use of combine harvesters in Indian agriculture will become more widespread that it is currently.