Harvesting of Crops

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Harvesting of Crops


the tasks that constitute the concluding stage of land cultivation. Harvesting includes several steps: gathering of the harvest, delivery for processing, processing, transportation of the processed material for storage or sale, and storage.

Modern methods of crop harvesting make use of machine systems that eliminate or reduce manual labor. For example, the machinery used to harvest grain crops includes harvesters, combines, pickups, stackers, presses, self-loading transporters, machines for processing (cleaning, sorting, and drying), machines to unload grain from transporters and load it into storehouses, and equipment to weigh grain and monitor quality. Machine systems are used to ensure full mechanization of the harvesting of grains, legumes, oil crops, feed crops (for hay, haylage, silage, and grass meal), potatoes, sugar beets, certain fruits, and other vegetable crops. Several different machine modifications, adapted for use under specific land and climatic conditions, are available for each harvesting task. The integrated use of modern harvesting machinery ensures the continuous performance of all production processes.

The primary stage in crop harvesting consists of two groups of tasks: removal of the bulk plant material (cutting grains and grasses, digging up tubers, pulling flax, and gathering fruits and berries) and subsequent processing. The harvesting method used depends on the biological characteristics of the crop, climatic conditions, and the technical equipment available. For example, three methods are used in grain harvesting: one-step combining; two-step harvesting, in which the grain is cut by a harvester and the windrows are collected by a pickup combine; and three-step harvesting, in which the grain is cut, the windrows are collected, and the bulk grain is simultaneously chopped and threshed by stationary machines on the threshing floor.

The processing of harvested crops includes cleaning, drying, sorting, and other tasks, depending on the crop.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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