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Half-Feed Mini Rice Combine Harvester

Hello Friends,
If this is posted in the wrong place, please correct me.

I am working in an area where almost all rice planting and harvesting is done by hand. The price of labor continues to rise while the price given to farmers remains stagnant. One way to help farmers aim at profitable farming is to equip them with access to appropriate sized mechanization. Since there is a significant demand for rice straw in this area standard rice harvesters are not acceptable solutions. There are a few types of half-feed harvesters(ones that keep the rice straw intact) available but I am having trouble getting meaningful feedback on the quality, effectiveness, and serviceability of each one. The first brand/model that we tried isn’t really a good market fit. Its too heavy and not suited for the small plot sizes prevalent here. Ideally, I’d like to find the smallest feasible model so that farmer groups could own or lease them vs larger units that would need to be centrally managed.

Does anyone have personal experience with half-feed rice harvesters? Any advice on which brands or models work reliably? I would also appreciate any feedback or criticism of this method of helping farmers.

Thank you for any advice.
(The attached photos are the larger unit we are trying to use and the smaller one we would like to try in the future.)
half%20feed%20harverster%20large half-feed-combined-harvester-4lbz110--250x250

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The one on the right might be wheeled but likely is rubber track and looks like could be made Vietnam? The one on the left looks like the models that were originally made decades ago in Japan and Korea but now made in large numbers in China and a bit in Vietnam and maybe now Thailand.

  • There are even smaller versions (12-18 HP) for 2-wheel tractors with wheels and rubber tracks but outside of china I don’t see them used much in farmers fields except where govts and projects import them and test them.

  • These head threshing/half feed types do not get very big (30-50 HP? ) so they are limited to say 1.6 meter wide or so swath??

  • They are a bit more complicated and so a bit more expensive and there is more to maintain.

  • But they use less energy as they don’ t thresh the straw.

  • They are popular particularly where farmers appreciate whole rice straw for feed ( or whatever) as the straw is laid down very nice windrow for drying and easier collection -bundle and carry.

  • There are small 12-20 HP similar version where a high placed cutter bar harvests rice/wheat panicles high on the stalk and then a ground level cutter bar for harvesting and laydown the straw for collection.

  • Rubber track combines are made for harvesting in muddy conditions and generally are dedicated rice threshers. In India they are only found in rice rice growing areas.

  • Be aware sometimes manuf of small HP combines meant for rice only, advertise them as multi-crop for wheat and other crops. They can do this if you only harvest high up on the stalk as harvesting down low will jam the thresher. Farmers will not be happy. To be true multicrop you generally have to change to a smaller opening concave/screen and occasionally different threshing drums to harvest efficiently.

  • Many have probably read where in the highly mechanized NW gangetic plains, for at least 2 decades Delhi’s citizens has been choked by farmers burning straw through their use of conventional combine harvesters As mechanized harvesting is on the increase in rest of India many developing countries these machines above should also be seen as alternatives managing straw to “conventional combine” fields’ straw that is being burned.

  • Download and see reports from across the South and SE Asia from a intl. traveling seminar held in Nepal to bring attention to scale appropriate harvesting machinery options for small farmers in the Asia region

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Mr. Scott,
Thank you so much for your informed and extremely helpful reply. I will continue to post updates here as we continue to experiment with how to help farmers by providing and/or facilitating mechanization options.

Do you (or anyone else) happen to have any leads on people or organizations who have first hand experience with any brands or models of smaller half-feed harvesters? Feel free to Direct Message me if you have any suggestions. I will write the organization you referred to in the pdf. Thank you for that!

Thank you again!