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60 years ago, 2-MH corn picker promised smooth harvest

Looking Back: The McCormick corn picker, paired with the Farmall tractor, offered top efficiency.

Jacky Goerzen

June 12, 2020

2 Min Read
Old newspaper article about the state-of-the-art in machinery just 60 years.
BETTER PICKING: A look at what was state of the art in machinery just 60 years ago is a reminder of how far technology has brought the farming industry. Farm Progress

Sixty years ago, the McCormick 2-MH corn picker promised smooth, powerful corn picking even in fields yielding up to 100 bushels per acre. McCormick advised pairing it with a new Farmall tractor.

The 2-MH offered a choice of one or two-row models with extra-large husking beds. It could even be equipped with a corn sheller for farmers who preferred to have shelled corn to take to market or store in bins rather than a crib.

It was first offered for sale in 1960.

65 years ago

The 1955 wheat harvest was complete in July of that year and the favorite varieties were named.

Three varieties, Wichita, Pawnee and Comanche, captured 62% of the acres planted that year.

The State Board of Agriculture and the U.S. Ag Marketing Service reported that those three varieties had been leading during the last eight years.

Wichita was planted on 25% of total seeded acreage. Pawnee stood at 24.2% while Comanche was on 12.7% of total acres.

50 years ago

The newest thing in appliances for the home back in July of 1970 was the self-defrosting refrigerator-freezer and Kansas’s investor-owned electric companies advertised for more customers.

One happy owner was Berniece French of rural Rossville, who said she loved the big freezer section, especially the ice cube maker which allowed her to have a supply of ice on hand at all times.

30 years ago

A new oilseed crop, canola, was just making its appearance in Kansas in 1990. Farmers planted a total of about 1,400 acres of the new crop, but Mother Nature was not cooperative to the experiment.

After a wet fall that narrowed the planting window, the winter turned extremely harsh. After cold that saw temperatures fall to 32 degrees F below zero, February brought a wild swing from the 70s to below zero in a 24-hour period.

Winterkill slammed the crop and farmers harvested only about 400 acres.

20 years ago

Sorghum growers added a new tool to the weed control toolbox when Ally herbicide from DuPont was granted an exemption by the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Ally had been proven effective to fight pigweed, puncture vine, velvetleaf and assorted other broadleaf weeds.

Goerzen is executive director of the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita.

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