Implements/Machinery used for Threshing and Drying
For harvesting: Power tiller operator paddy harvester, combine harvester, guntaka etc. are used.
(i) Paddy harvester: It is used for non-lodging varieties. During operation, the nose of the harvester first enters into the standing crop and movement brings the crop between star projection of the wheel, then it cuts the standing crop. Capacity of this machine is one hectare per day. The width of the coverage for one movement will be 0.75 m. The power requirement is 3 H.P. The present cost of the unit will be Rs. 30,000 and operation cost is Rs. 260/ha including cost of two labourers.
(ii) Combine harvester: It is possible to harvest and thresh the produce simultaneously using combine harvester. It cuts the crop, separates the grain from straw, cleans it from chaff and dust and stores the grains in the storage tank. The combine harvester reaps 2–9 rows at a time depending on its size and is equipped with 8 to 10 H.P engine. The cutting operation is done by a reciprocating type of cutter bar with a speed of 800–900 strokes per minute. The cut portion is transferred to conveyor belt or plant form with the help of wheel. Threshing cylinders operating at a peripheral speed of 800–1200 stroked per minute are used for threshing. Grain and chaff are separated with the help of blowers.
(iii) Guntaka: Ground nut is harvested using heavy blade harrows called Guntakas–R.E. Guntaka.
For threshing: (i) Olpad thresher, (ii) Japanese rotary paddy thresher; (iii) multi crop thresher, (iv) rollers etc. are used.
(i) Olpad thresher: It is used for wheat, barley, oats etc. It consists of 20 circular discs each 45 cm in diameter and 3 mm in thickness placed 15 cm apart in three rows run by pair of bullocks over the dried crop spread circularly on the threshing floor.
(ii) Japanese paddy thresher: It consist of a threshing drum, driving mechanism and a supporting frame. Main parts are wooden drum with peg-teeth all around its circumference. The diameter of the drum is about 43 cm to 76 cm. The thresher is operated by a single person with the help of a pedal. Threshing of paddy is done by holding the bundle of harvested material against the teeth of revolving drum.
(iii) Multi-crop threshers: Mechanical thresher commonly used for threshing major cereals, oil seeds and pulses. It is operated by an electric motor or oil engine. These threshers have provision to control concave clearance and threshing drum and blower speed independently so as to reduce grain breakage and improve cleaning. Sunflower and safflower, which are difficult to thresh with traditional methods, can also be threshed by the multi-crop thresher.
(iv) Rollers: Rollers made of stone are used to thresh grains from ears of millets like ragi, sorghum and cumbu. Ear heads are spread to a thickness of 20 cm in a circular fashion on a threshing floor and rollers are drawn over it by a pair of bullocks.
Drying is done either by using solar energy or by artificial heating (mechanical drying) of air and circulating it as in driers.
Storage – Harvesting of crop is seasonal, but consumption of food grain is continuous. The market value of the produce is generally low at harvesting time. So the grower need storage facility to hold a portion of produce to meet the feed and seed requirements in addition of selling surplus produce when the marketing price is favourable. Traders and Co-operatives at market centres need storage structures to hold grains when the transport facility is inadequate. The government also needs storage structures to maintain buffer reserves to offset the effects produced by the vagaries of nature. Hence, there is necessity to store the produce for different periods primarily for commercial reasons. The growers, processors, transporters and warehouse men have to develop storage facilities for proper storage of food grains, oilseeds, commercial crops like Chillies, vegetables and fruits etc., and seeds intended for sowing in the following seasons. An ideal storage facility should satisfy the following requirements:
• It should provide maximum possible protection from ground moisture, rains, insect pests, moulds, rodents, birds, fire, etc.
• It should provide the necessary facility for inspection, disinfection, loading, unloading, cleaning and reconditioning.
• It should protect grain from excessive moisture and temperature favourable to both insect and mould development.
• It should be economical and suitable for a particular situation.
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