Farm implement manufacturers have long provided innovative and efficient equipment, enabling growers to keep up with demands for more affordable food. Skilled engineers develop machines that can quickly and safely plant, harvest and assist with the myriad of tasks required to produce food and livestock feed. Here are just a few of the amazing machines you could see operating on Washington's farms this summer. Click on the videos and watch them in action!
Watch the action of bringing in a hay harvest.
Washington's hay growers are well known for their consistent high-quality Timothy hay. This forage plant provides excellent nutrition for dairy cattle and horses. High-quality alfalfa hay grown in the open lands of Central Washington, is prized by livestock producers and is exported to Japan, Korea and other Asian countries.
Click below to watch canola seeds being harvested.
Watch how wheat is harvested and planted.
Beginning in May and stretching through October, hay growers check their fields frequently. When the growth is just right, the hay is mowed. It lies in swaths called windrows, drying on the ground. Sometimes the windrows are raked mechanically to expose the underside and facilitate drying. When the moisture content reaches the optimum level, around 15%, baling machines compact it into round bales or square bales. Large round bales are often sold to dairies or cattle ranches. Small square bales are more likely to be sold to horse owners. It is removed from the field with loaders and taken to storage sheds or stacked tightly and covered with tarps to protect it from weathering.
Photo by Kaileia Sherman
Watch the fascinating equipment used to harvest and process hops in Washington.
Canola is ready for harvest when most of the seeds in the seed pods are black. Sometimes the crop of seed pods are cut and laid in swaths, allowing them to dry longer. Machines called combines come through and separate the seeds from the pods.