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Getting this project started.
  • I am very interested in this project and want to help jump start it. I was one of the founders of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, which only sells locally produced food and non-food items. One of our problems from the beginning has been appropriate scale grain and bean harvesting equipment. With full size combines starting at $125,000, and smaller Japanese and European models running $40K to $70K, the need is very clear. I have started adding information yesterday and today to the microcombine section of the Farm Equipment category in the wiki. Send your engineers this way!
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    April 2011
    I'm a bit unclear on how the thresher and screens process incoming grains. Perhaps a flow chart of some kind might help? One the corresponds to the combine harvester process.
  • Bob, I just made you the administrator of this forum. Please point your people to this forum as the official venue for discussion, and copy the informative email from one of your people here for others to read. I am glad to have you on the team - as an individual who understands the role of effective harvest techniques in local food systems.
  • Hi, I'm Dan and I will be intermittently contributing, as spring is here and I have many projects and farming to do. I will try to answer questions or ideas reliably, but I hope to manage my time so I don't spend too much on the internet this year. I have a farm and shop where I build new machines and fix old ones and modify as people request.

    A thresher system isn't all as complicated as it sounds. The tricky bit will be controlling airflow through the system. The basic premise is that the stalks come in and get beaten until the grain falls off. Big screens capture the straw and 'walk' it out over the top. Medium screen allows grain to fall through and walk chaff out (along with airflow). Then smaller screens capture the grain and let small debris (weed seeds, etc) fall to the very bottom. I am interested in a 'mini' combine, rather than a micro combine. I have an old pulltype Case model which used to cut 5 ft swath, but I am trying to modify it with a pickup head instead, for buckwheat and other crops. I would like to see something a little smaller, but not less than 4 ft cut, as that gets down to walk-behind size, which lends itself to other methods of harvest and storage that are more labor-based.
  • Headers: I think the machine should be adaptable to at least 4 different styles of input: a live cutting head, a pickup head, a stripper head for small grains, and a stripper head for corn. With the 200/200 plan, the last may be unnecessary, as a separate picking/husking machine might be a better use with corn/maize, because of drying requirements.
  • Can someone help with a bit of wiki work for the microcombine project? There is a subcategory named "combine" in the "Farm Equipment" category. I would like to move the agricultural microcombine wiki entry into the combine subcategory, but i can't quite figure out how to do that. Any assistance from someone more expert with wiki editing would be appreciated.
  • Hi Bob,

    I have made the change you requested.

    I have used the Breadcrumb template, like this:
    {{Breadcrumb|Food and Agriculture|Farm equipment|Combine}}

    See the change at
  • Eli, thanks for the wiki-assist.
  • @Dan_C - Get those notes down on the wiki! Very good recommendations, you are quite knowledgeable.

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