EtymologyFrom or cognate with Middle Low German stūke.
- to make stooks
A stook, also referred to as a shock is a circular or rounded arrangement of swathes of cut grain stalks placed on the ground in a field. Typically sheaves of grains such as wheat, barley and oats may be 'stooked' so they are ready for threshing. In North America, a stook also refers to a stack of six bales of hay or straw (the small square bales, 70-90 pounds each, that can picked up by a person), stacked in the field. The bales are stacked and deposited by a "stooking machine" that is dragged, sled-like, behind the baler. The bales are stacked on the diagonal, to minimize acquiring moisture from the ground before being picked up.
The purpose of these practices is to protect unthreshed grain, hay or straw from moisture until it can be picked up and brought into long-term storage.