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Information for Buckwheat Growers

Picking up windrows

For buckwheat harvest, a standard combine is often used. However, when the buckwheat seed ripens before the leaves fall off, it can be advantageous to windrow.

A swather makes the windrow. This one is 25 feet wide and pulled behind a tractor. It has a reel and wide belts to collect the windrow.


How a pickup attachment works on a combine.This type of attachment is still manufactured and widely used in the upper Midwest. In the Northeast, they are rare and usually bought used. This one is very old.


Another view of a pickup attachment at work. This one was made in the 1990s. The combine is driving so that the buckwheat heads face toward the combine head.


The windrow being fed over the head. The mechanism and the ground speed are maintained so that the straw flows through the combine with minimum disruption.


The pickup head in operation. At the front there is a rotating cylinder that has metal tines flexibly mounted. These pick up the windrow. (Usually the windrow sits higher on the stubble, a severe thunderstorm drove this windrow down near the ground).


A newer model windrow. The mechanism over the bed gently moves the windrow along into the mouth of the combine. The straighter the straw that enters the cylinder, the less trouble there is with wrapping.


A video of the machine in operation. The combine is picking up the equivalent of 25 feet, but moving across the field at least as fast as a direct combine can. The grain is also drier than it would be with direct combining.

Continuation of the video.