The process of threshing follows the harvest period and is a really important agricultural step. Based on the impact of agronomic, financial and social issues, threshing can be done mainly in two ways –
- Threshing by hand with the use of simple tools.
- Threshing by using animals or a combination of animals and vehicles/tools.
- Mechanical threshing with a motorized threshing machine.
Here is a brief analysis of these two methods and what advantages/disadvantages they present –
- Hand Threshing – One of the easiest arrangements for threshing crops is to pick up bundles of the crop and hit the panicles against a firm surface.These threshing-floors must be hard and clean.Another regularly used technique of threshing crops is to crush it with feet. Using these methods, rice, beans sorghum and groundnuts can be easily threshed. A lot of places where agriculture equipment in India is not that advanced, these practices are used quite commonly. By using one of these approaches of manual-threshing, a farmer can get 25-40 kg of output per hour.
- Threshing with the help of animals – If animals are available in a farm and there is a lot of crop to be threshed, harnessing and directing these animals over a deposit of sheaves almost 40cm thick can be a great way to fasten the process. This process is called “treading-out” and can also be carried out with the help of vehicles.This technique of threshing is implemented in some Asian nations, using a tractor for power instead of farm animals. If processes are interchanged between two adjoining threshing floors, harvests of about 600kg/in can be gained.
- Farmers are required to have good contact with a thresher machine manufacturer in order to access the suitable machine for their fields. Also, using these threshing machines requires the employment of two-three workers.
- Even though these machines are slowly being exchanged for combine-harvesters by a lot of farmers, they still have a significant status in the post-harvest production procedure, particularly for their convertible nature. By simply replacing a few accessories and changing the settings appropriately, mechanized threshing machines can treat various types of grains including – maize, rice, sorghum, sunflowers, beans, soybeans, wheat and a lot more.
- Fortified with a spinning thresh-drum with beaters and a fixed counter thresher, these machines are highly effective in bagging the core harvest in a small period of time. Be it a self-propelling threshing machine or one that is drawn by a tractor, threshers are usually straddled on rubber-tired wheels for easy movement to the farm.
- Harvests depend on the kind of machine being used, the nature of the grain (what stage of maturity the grain is in), the ability of the workers and how the work is organized. It can fluctuate from 100-5000 kg/in.
Even though the traditional way of manually threshing crops has served the Indian farmer well in the past, with infrastructure growing, farmers are expected to invest more in these machines, solely because there is a promise of additional output.