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State Historical Society of Iowa

Farmer Working a Corn Field with a John Deere Tractor, ca. 1945

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Adult man sitting on a cab-less tractor waving to the photographer.  Cultivator attachment is working up the soil around the young field corn plants.
Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa, ca. 1945


In the early summer, before corn plants are big enough to shade the ground around them and fill in the rows, the farmer has to get rid of the weeds so they do not choke out the corn plants. In the 1940s, farmers worked the fields with a cultivator attached to a tractor. Today, many farmers use a chemical to do that job.

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Based on close observation, what season is shown in the photo? Why did you make that determination?
  • Compare this photo to this one. What is different about the beginning of the farming season to the end of the season? What other similarities and differences do you notice between the photos?