WSU students harvest crops at university’s Spillman Agronomy farm with gifted combines

Washington State University students are now able to harvest crops at the university’s Spillman Agronomy Farm with new Zurn Plot combine harvesters.

At first they did the work by hand, cutting and gathering wheat, barley, pea, lentil and chickpea crops from small test plots. 

With the arrival of two new Zurn plot combine harvesters, students and faculty have access to similar technology, safety and comfort found in commercial rigs

The Zurn 150 combines came to WSU thanks to the Washington Grain Commission, which approved the nearly $500,000 gift in 2021.  

The machines cut, thresh, weigh and bag samples, with special features to prevent cross-contamination between plots.   

There are about 5,000 test plots on Spillman Farm’s 382 acres, where crops are bred for resistance to disease, various growing conditions and to increase their nutritional value.  

The farm also hosts an annual Field Day for growers; this year about 80 attended.