A windrower, also known as a swamer, is an agricultural implement that cuts small grain or hay fields and forms them into either a windrow or hay stack. “Windrower” is primarily the North American term for such machines. In Australia and many other countries, they’re known as “windrowers.” While a windrower in general uses a spinning blade, the term windrow refers specifically to the machine’s attachment to a tower.
Many a windrower has been used as a basic agricultural machine. The first major difference between such a machine and a usual dairy or sheep milling machine is its size. While a windrower can dry over one hundred tons of grain in an hour’s time, the average dairy farm needs more than two hundred such units to be able to dry one ton of grain per hour. The windrower’s size is therefore much too large for a typical dairy farm to use.
To compensate for its large size, most modern windrowers are self-propelled. The blades of such a machine are usually attached to wheels that allow it to be towed by trucks (but only during the early years when self-propelled was the only mode of transportation available for such machines). However, the very best windrower available today are actually self-driven. As the name implies, this type of windrower is not propelled by wind or air, but by water!