Iron Age Ads: New Idea Corn Picker

No. 301 2-row tractor mounted corn picker represented a great leap in efficiency over hand picking.

| November 2007

  • DaleJenson.jpg
    Image courtesy of Dale Jenson.

  • DaleJenson.jpg

The New Idea 2-row tractor mounted corn picker, a particular favorite with many farmers, was an established institution for decades. Efficient and well-made, the picker represented a quantum leap forward from the days of hand picking corn.

That said, the mounted corn picker did not do the work by itself. It could take a full day (or more) to mount the unit on a tractor, which was then out of commission for any other task. In the off-season, the picker needed to be stored inside. Once off the tractor, it rested on a stand and was about as portable as Mt. Rushmore. During harvest, the picker's grease zerks, chains and sprockets required constant care and attention. In use, the machine struggled in less-than-ideal field conditions. Mud was particularly treacherous for low-clearance units.

Still, the mounted picker was a vast improvement over hand picking. Decades in development (early experimental models came out in the early 1900s; 30 years later, most ear corn was picked mechanically), the mounted corn picker continued in use on many small farms for decades after the arrival of the modern corn combine.

If you have materials to share in Iron Age Ads, send a copy to Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. High-resolution digital images may be submitted by email: with the subject Iron Age Ads. 


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