Health Food Grain Causes Problems For Combine Harvesters 08/02/2008

The growing popularity of health foods has brought to prominence a wholegrain known as Spelt. It has been argued that Spelt provides an abundance of nutrients in comparison to wheat, and is also more easily digestible.

Until recently, the grain, spelt, was regarded as most readily suited for use as animal feed. The popularity of spelt looks to be only hindered by its problematic harvesting by combine harvesters. Whereas modern wheat is relatively easy to harvest by combine harvesters, the husk of the spelt grain requires a specialised machine to take it off, as it is not easily removed. Modern wheat is easier for removal by combine harvesters, in part because to grow only to waist height, a more suitable length for harvest by combine harvesters. However, spelt offers the farmer benefits in other ways. For example, the tough outer layer of the spelt grain, although problematic when using a combine harvester, protects the grain form pesticides and disease, a clear benefit when attempting to farm without chemicals.

There have been innovations to tackle the seeds which prove problematic for combine harvesters. For example, a couple from Montana designed a combine harvester, known as an Arbuckle Seedster. The Arbuckle speedster combine harvester allows farmers to harvest seeds from grass which is present at different heights, as well as encouraging the easier harvest of smaller or fluffy seeds. This innovative combine harvester is defined by its brush and comb system which pulls the seed from the grass, while ensuring that the remaining seed is left intact. After this, the seed stem is pulled into a cyclone style separator, which consequently stores the seed in a removable bag. The design and creation of the Arbuckle Seedster combine harvester utilised the services of local businesses in Montana, and it has been reported that the developers of the Arbuckle Seedster combine harvester will maintain production of the machinery in Montana.

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