50 & Counting
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New ideas or improved methods have to be determined or 'sold' before they are widely accepted. John Deere developed a comprehensive publicity campaign to inform as many farmers as possible about the benefits of combining corn. To begin with, the John Deere Harvester Works arranged through dealers across the country to place a Model 45 combine, equipped with the new corn attachment, at farm shows in the fall of 1955. Such shows as Prairie Farmer's Farm Progress Show attracted thousands of farmers every year. During the field demonstrations, farmers walked alongside the combine as it harvested corn. They observed how the combine reduced field losses and left the cobs and husks on the field.
Deere also produced a short motion picture film for the 1955-56 John Deere Day show held at dealerships during the winter months. Editorial articles and advertisements appeared in The Furrow, Deere's farm magazine circulated to more than one million North American farmers. And, of course, news releases with photos of the corn combine in action were distributed to state, regional and national farm magazines and rural newspapers.
As an additional means of presenting all the facts to farmers, Deere & Co. asked George E. Pickard, professor of power and machinery at the University of Illinois agricultural engineering department, to write a booklet on combining corn. The 36-page booklet was divided into five chapters: Advantages of Combining Corn, How to Combine Corn to Increase Harvest Profits, Storing Shelled Corn, Drying Shelled Corn and Can I Justify Corn Combining?
Pickard used field trial data to show the difference in field shelling losses between harvesting corn with a picker and with a combine with a snapping bar attachment. Combine harvesting cut field losses in half. In the second chapter, Pickard noted that 'With normal weather and field conditions, farmers using a combine to harvest their corn will have a week or two head start.'
In the chapter on storing shelled corn, he emphasized that a storage bin must be strong enough to hold the grain, protect against moisture damage (weather proof, moisture-proof floor and means of aeration to prevent crusting), and be rodent and insect proof. Furthermore, he discussed ways a conventional wood ear corn crib could be modified to store shelled corn.