Ag by the Numbers – Plowing

Posted: April 6, 2023

John Deere’s development of the moldboard plow in 1837 changed the prairie landscape. Deere, a blacksmith from Grand Detour, Illinois designed a plow of cast steel with a moldboard that allowed it to cut through the heavy soil without the soil sticking to the plow.

When moldboard plows were first invented farmers walked behind the plow that was pulled by a horse or team of horses. The plow cultivated the soil in preparation for planting seeds. 1915 photo from the Library of Congress

John Deere developed the first commercially successful, self-scouring steel plow and founded the company that still bears his name.

In 1848, Deere moved his growing company 70 miles southwest to Moline, Illinois. His company expanded into making other John Deere tillage implements, tractors, combines and other machinery.

Today, John Deere offers a variety of tillage implements pulled by its powerful tractors. Tillage tools cultivate and conserve the soils in preparation for planting. Photo courtesy of John Deere

In 2023, the John Deere company uses state-of-the-art technology that offers farmers improved productivity and sustainability. John Deere machines are prominently used all over the world.