Last semester we watched as the rice was planted in the fields around this part of China. Now it is harvet time. Some fields are not quite ready, and others are being harvested. Around Longmen we had a chance to see different stages of the harvest. In the fields, the rice is harvested in differing ways. It appears that the smaller fields are harvested manually, and other places a machine takes off the heads of the rice.
In this field - a small one - you could see a little of the process, including the burning off of the stubble. in a court yard in the ancient city women were raking the rice to keep the drying process going. I would imagine they would rake it up and night and put it in bags, and do the same again the next day. Very labour intensive this way.