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Strippers from England raised quite a few eyebrows around the world last year. They weren't ladies of the evening, but rather stripper-headers for combines to speed grain harvest.
For countless farmers all over the world, sophisticated, state-of-the-art combines represent the ultimate in modern harvesting technology. Such machines have been well proven over time and following constant enhancements many would suggest that very little more could be done to achieve further significant benefits. A couple of years ago such a viewpoint would hardly have been challenged, but today - as a result of a revolutionary new approach to the way several arable crops can be harvested - such an argument is easily overturned.
The development and commercial introduction of the stripper-header lies at the center of this revolution. This British invention was pioneered at AFRC Engineering - the UK's state center for research in agricultural and horticultural engineering. Currently, these grain strippers are being manufactured by a company called Shelbourne Reynolds under license from the British technology group.
The resounding success of this whole project can be judged from the number of stripper-headers which are now operating in Australia, Russia, Japan, Britain, and over fifteen other countries throughout the world.
If one looks at the basic design of the conventional combine harvester, it is not difficult to see why a new and more radical approach was desperately needed. Although manufacturers have been able to squeeze out further increases in harvesting rate, this has been achieved by …