hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 18:00:17 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z


I'm sure many of you have seen a combine, but do you know what it actually does? A combine is used to separate the kernels of grain from the straw and chaff. Combines may be either motorized or pulled behind other machines like a tractor.

The combine does a lot more than most people know about! A combine must pick up swaths of grain. To do this, a special pick up assembly is used. A conveyor brings the grain in and moves it to a cylinder. A combine must also thresh and separate the grain from the stem. Once the seeds are separated from the straw at the cylinder, they go into a sieve. A sieve is like a spaghetti strainer that you use at home. This is not all. A combine must also clean and store what has been harvested. Seeds and chaff are cleaned using a sieve. They are shaken and stirred in order to clean them. You could imagine that it is somewhat like cleaning food, such as berries, using a strainer, shaking and stirring them under water. Only with the grain, instead of water, air is sometimes used. The relatively clean seed is later taken to a grain tank. The machine temporarily stores the grain and puts the straw back on the field.

There are many other special features that a combine might have to help with the complicated process of harvesting. In certain combines, further separation is performed using things such as straw walkers and sieves. Even the most basic combining, however proves to be a complex process.