The combine harvester, or simply combine, is a machine that harvests grain crops. The name derives from its combining three separate operations comprising harvesting—reaping, threshing, and winnowing—into a single process. Among the crops harvested with a combine are wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn, soybeans and flax (linseed). The waste straw left behind on the field is the remaining dried stems and leaves of the crop with limited nutrients which is either chopped and spread on the field or baled for feed and bedding for livestock.
Combine harvesters are one of the most economically important labor saving inventions, enabling a small fraction of the population to be engaged in agriculture