This paper introduces an integrated design and control method for improving the header height control performance of combine harvesters. Due to the legacy design of the mechanical system, the bandwidth of feedback control is limited, which induces a performance bottleneck in further improving the harvesting productivity. To solve this problem, the integrated design for both the mechanical system and controller is proposed. This integrated method optimizes both the plant and controller parameters during the design process, and takes the closed loop performance as the ultimate design goal. As a result, the plant is redesigned automatically to achieve a local optimized control performance within parameter constraints.