the sector of agricultural machine building that produces combines to harvest grain, industrial, and other crops.
Combines were not produced in prerevolutionary Russia. The combine industry arose in the USSR in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Production of the Kommunar combine was begun in 1930 at the Kommunar Plant in Zaporozh’e. In 1932 these combines also began to be produced in Saratov. In 1931–32 production of the S-l trailer grain-harvesting combine began at the Rostsel’mash Plant. It ran 2.5 kg of grain per sec through a separator and could harvest sunflower, corn, millet, and other crops in addition to grains. During the prewar years the USSR combine plants (primarily at Rostsel’mash and at the Kommunar Plant in Zaporozh’e) produced almost 200,000 combines for agriculture, thus playing a large role in the mechanization of harvesting work.
The USSR combine industry developed rapidly after the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). Farm machinery plants became more clearly specialized. The Rostsel’mash Plant, which began to produce S-6 and RSM-8 trailer combines, became the chief enterprise of the industry. Between 1947 and 1956, S-4 self-propelled combines were built at the Taganrog, Tula, and several other plants, which in 1956–58 switched to production of the modernized S-4M. In 1958 the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a decision stopping the production of trailer grain-harvesting combines and setting up production of self-propelled combines of increased productivity. By this time a model of the SK-3 self-propelled combine had been built, and it went into production at the Rostsel’mash Plant and the Taganrog Combine Plant. In 1962 these plants began to produce SK-4 self-propelled combines with a capacity of 3.7 kg of grain per sec.
During the 1960’s various modifications were developed on the basis of the SK-4 basic grain-harvesting combines. These included a double-drum crawler-type combine for rice harvesting, a semicrawler for harvesting grain in wet regions, and combines that pulverized straw and harvested castor beans. Combines were adapted to accommodate harvesting of various industrial and other crops. At the same time that the models were renovated, the output of combines was increased. The production of grain-harvesting combines rose from 12,800 in 1940 to 46,300 in 1950, 59,000 in 1960, 99,200 in 1970, and 102,000 in 1971. The USSR leads the world in the production of grain-harvesting combines. New combines with increased productivity have been put into production: the SK-5 Niva with a capacity of 5 kg per sec at the Rostsel’mash Plant and the SK-6–8 Kolos with a capacity of 6–8 kg of grain per sec at the Taganrog Combine Plant. These machines have more powerful engines, hydraulic and electrical automatic equipment to control the operation of the machine on the move, hydraulic brakes, and large-capacity grain bins. Complex parts for the machines are also produced at the Tula Combine Plant. In 1969 the Krasnoiarsk Combine Plant began to produce the new double-drum SKD-5 Sibiriak combine with a capacity of 5 kg of grain per sec; it is used to harvest long-straw and moist grains in regions of Siberia.
Combines to harvest silage, sugar beets, potatoes, corn, and other crops are also being produced: the Khersonets-7 corn-harvesting combine at the Kherson Combine Plant, the KKU-2 Druzhba potato harvester at the Riazan’ Plant, the KST-2A beet harvester at the Dnepropetrovsk Plant, the KS-2.6 silage harvester at the Gomel’ Plant, the self-propelled KSG-3.2 silage harvester at the Dal’sel’mash Plant in the city of Birobidzhan, and a hemp-harvesting combine at the Bezhetsksel’mash Plant. In 1971, 40,200 silage harvesters, 10,100 beet harvesters, and 8,000 potato harvesters were built.
The plants of the combine industry have automatic and mechanized production lines and the latest high-productivity equipment.
The production of grain-harvesting combines on a comparatively small scale has begun in other socialist countries: the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. Soviet combines are exported to these countries and to Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia.
In the capitalist countries the combine industry is most developed in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany. A few combines are produced in Sweden, Finland, and Italy.
V. A. IVANOV