Harvesting in Russia

Russian harvest

Harvesting time is the busiest period in the Russian agrarian region and it lasts just for a month or so. Once the crops are ripe, they have just 20 days to harvest it or 30 days if they have a special grain drier. The fields are enormous, but as the schedule is tight, hundreds of combines work in fields day and night, processing 6 square kilometers of area per shift, each of them harvesting 130-160 tones of grain daily. A combine operator gets $1.300 thousand salary a month on the average, and as the work is seasonal he doesn’t earn anything the rest of the year. Each of the working vehicles has air conditioning systems, and with the temperature going above 90 degrees Fahrenheit sitting in the cabin is like sitting in hell.

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When the grain container id full, the drives goes to the storehouse and unloads the harvested crops – he opens one of the sections and quickly walks away. Once the grain is on the floor, a special loader car picks up what it can gather and the rest of the grain is handpicked by workers. The crops have a lot of dirt, not only various little sticks and husk, but insects as well, so naturally all this is carefully removed by letting grains through separator machines. In the end, the grain is dried and cleaned once again. The final product is packed and driven to mills. That is how we get bread, is there anybody who still believes that it grows in the stores? 🙂

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57 thoughts on “Harvesting in Russia”

  1. What is not mentioned is bad state of Russian agriculture. Outdated farms and machinery, subject to corruption by officails many farmers decide to switch to trade or so. Russia imports almost everything, cannot feed it s own population nowadays. Sad. Government does nothing, is focusing on gas

  2. What do you mean by “bread doesn’t grow in the stores”? Next thing you’re going to tell me that there’s no Santa? C’mon!

    Once again; good capture by Ilya and his “Canon 5D Mark II”

  3. heck, this looks more like america, but i guess times are changing even in russia.

    if only all the kolkhozy in russia looked like this.

    • This is the best I’ve ever seen – but this is not the standard kolchoz. Unfortunately. We could be the food provider for Europe and asia with our massive territory!!! But the incompetent government, the burocracy and the cancerous corruption destroy everything, all motivation is nipped in the bud [?]. Ys.

    • This is something exclusive. Most of russian agriculture machines are quite old but still functional – perfect soviet technology ))

    • These machines are made (assemblated) in Russia, to krasnadar in the south of Russia, even if Claas is a german Brand. Claas has a factory here. Most of the parts come from Germany but a few are suplied by russian industries.

    • indeed, Germany is one of our biggest trading partners in Europe.

      Jews in the US government don’t want to trade with Russia, at least Germany is willing to modernize us. German equipment is amazing, have had the pleasure of working with it myself.

    • These Claas are probably made in Rostov-Na-Donu or even more probably in Krasnodar, but not in Germany. And their market share is so-so, local Yenisey and the like are still very popular because they’re much cheaper and better adapted to local conditions.

      • In fact they a don t have a lot of success. Claas built his factory to krasnadar 7 years ago and they were planning to produce 1000 harvesters a year. They did it only after 6 years. The factory looks nice and well organized but the machines are still too expensive for russian market. Russian harvesters are twice less expensive. The main advantage to produce in russia is that a part of the purchasing price is payed by the russian government (nearly 35%) and that you can avoid the duties at the border. For example, John Deere, who produces high qualitity harvesters exports its machines from USA and don t sell as much as Claas because he has 20% of duties on its harvesters + carriage and the farmers don t receive governmental help on the John Deere products because it is not considered as a russian production. If you want to sell some products in russia, you have to produce them in russia.(I am not speaking about clothes, makeup, parfum…) but about useful equipments for the country.

  4. i wonder how many of those harvesters were stolen in germany and found their way through poland and other corrupt countries to russia…

  5. German harvesting equipment and American trucks (although Freightliner is part of Mercedes-Benz)…

    But anything Russian is good and anything not Russian is not good, right?

  6. You say the combine operators work only one month a year. In the Great Plains of the U.S. there are combine crews that start in the south and work their way north as the grain ripens in the more northerly climates. Or at least it used to work that way. It’s not year-round work, but it’s longer than just a month. Is there anything like that in Russia, with combine crews following the harvest?

  7. Reminds me of the part of America where I live. It looks so familiar. Is this the European part of Russia, or is this in Siberia?

    • This is the european part, close to ukrainian border. Russian and ukrainian fields look like americans: they are as huge, very large. Also they use huge truck to carry the grain whereas in european union we use a tractor+tipping trailer: 40km/hours maximum. Another dimension. Huge countries, huge fields and huge machines.

  8. Going by the license plate code on the trucks (31), this is in the Belgorod Oblast, which is in the far west of Russia, bordering Belarus.

  9. I am sure the farmers lease the 2 tractors-semi trucks 1 time a year for around $600 a month.But where do the trucks come from?

    I drove a Volvo for 2 months until I had to swap it for a Freightliner.The Volvo was like a oversize Mercedes.

    • I would say it is a promotion of a manufacturer/dealer. The machines look brand new – I cannot imagine anybody would be able to keep them THIS good-looking after a year or two of heavy deployment. And I do not think it is normal everyday practice to have a national flag on a combine – even in nationalistic Russia.
      Possibly they are e.g. the first Claas machines made in Russia?

      • Yes some of these shots were used for claas advertisments, in Russia. I ve seen the one with the russian flag in an agricultural russian paper.

    • yeah, usually they use KAMAZes. and the KAMAZes are better because unlike these trucks they have no problem driving off-road

  10. Ha! It is nice! I think that in Russia we have just 3 or 4 such modern machines. But look here: http://alter-gregor.livejournal.com/193156.html It happens today.

  11. @Vladimir80 — You’re right. I grew up in Kansas, and had the opportunity to ride in the combine with a local farmer once. Air conditioning and stereo. The only thing hellish about it is the boredom of going back and forth all day.

  12. You eat the ones they miss.

    You think someone is going to spend time picking every little bug out?

    Not very practical or realistic!

    Beautiful pictures make me homesick.

    I can’t wait to move back to the country.

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