Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 21, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
14 THE IETHBR1DGE HERALD Thursday, Junt 21, 1973 Warm growing iveather needed now Crop picture improves after recent rainfall Home wrecker BILL GROENEN photos It's not the easiest way to bring a house down per- haps, but Merle Pickett (above) is more interested in the lumber he can get out of it than in bringing the building tumbling down in a hurry. The city sold some of the houses at 6th Ave. and 8th St. S. for salvage while at least two -.were to people who want to move them out of the city lock stock and barrel. The old was ap- parently originally the teacherage for the old Central School and was built with square nails around being removed to make way for the senior citizen apart- ment. By DAVID B. BLY Herald Staff Writer Welcome rains over the past week have given a whole new outlook to Southern Al- berta's crop picture, and prospects are good for aver- age crop yields. Prior to the rain last week, many farmers faced the threat of very poor crops or no crops at all. Rainfall recorded since last Wednesday varied from one inch at Glenwood to as much as four inches reported by some farmers in the Lomond area. "If I was two-faced, I'd be smiling on both of one farmer told Murray Wilde, district agriculturist at Taber. "There's an air of optim- ism said Allan Toly, Claresholm district agricul- turist. "Money is moving said Francis Hansen, Alber- ta Wheat Pool agent at En- chant. "That means the farm- ers expect to harvest some- thing." Even though crop .prospects have brightened since last week, a good harvest will de- pend upon weather condi- tions. The recipe for a good harvest seems to be some warm growing weather, a couple of inches of rain in mid-July and no hot, dry winds. The grasshopper situation in Southern Alberta is still potentially serious, said Dr. Seyward Smith of .the Leth- bridge Agricultural Research Station. the grass- hoppers were slowed down by the cold, wet weather, quite a large population exists be- tween Medicine Hat a ri d Pincher Creek and a few hot days will produce hatching, Dr. Seyward said. Little grasshopper damage has occurred so far, he noted, but farmers can expect some trouble. Following are local condi- tions as reported by dis- trict agriculturists and Al- berta Wheat Pool agents. PINCHER CREEK This area received 1.5 to two inches of rain during the past week, but constant winds are depleting spil moisture and could cause some prob- lems. Winter wheat had a good start and is doing weiL Barley, oats, flax and rape- seed, which could have used earler moisture, are fair, but will need more moisture in two or three weeks. Alfalfa was set back a little by the June 10 frost, but hay crop prospects are average. Pas- ture is generally good, though rated poor in some places. FORT MACLEOD Crops are looking good in this area, which received just over three inches of rain. Wild oats have caused some problems and a few fields have had to be plowed under as a result. Winter wheat and rye are heading out and, with ip--3 mois-ture at the right t will yield well. Spring 1 and rapeseed are both well. Prospects for a hL. crop are poor, and pas- ture land, which suffered most from drought condi- tions, is poor but improving. CLARESHOLM This area was not as hard hit by drought as were others, receiving two to three inches of rain. Spring wheat is well rooted and improved since the rain, although many far- mers have serious weed pro- blems and are spraying ex- tensively. Winter wheat is shorter than normal, but with the right amounts of moisture will produce heavy heads. Rye, barley and oats are doing well. Flax and rape- seed are weed infested to some extent. Pasture land did not experience severe drought and is in good shape. Hay crops, though a little late, are doing well. GRANUM 'me Granum area received about two inches of rain, and grain crops are in gocd shape. The spring wheat yield might be better than average, de- pending on the weather be- tween now and fall. Winter wheat and rye, oats and bar- ley are in good shape and should produce an average crop. Some rapeseed stands are plagued by wild oats. Pasture land, which probab- ly took the worst beating from the dry weather, is greening up. STAVELY About 1.6 inches of rain fell on this area and crops are generally good. Spring wheat, well-rooted before the rain, is doing well, as are oats and barley. Wild oats are caus- Lester does liis best The fight to master our garbage By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer Happiness, to Lester Billa- bough, is an east wind. Lester is the man who sits on, the tractor at the city landfill half-a-mile north of town patiently covering the city's tons of garbage day after day, rain, shine or An easterly blow means he's pushing the mounds of refuse with the wind and all that dirt and all those smells are blowing away from him. Anything else and he's work- ing into them. Standing beside his tractor on a day when the wind isn't from the east, goggles push- ed up on his forehead leaving two almost-w h i t e patches around his eyes, he resembles some long forgotten survivor of a desert tank war. When the wind bfows from the west or north, as it often dees in Lethbridge, Lester will tell you he has to stop every hour or so to wipe the soot out of his eyes. He'll also teil you that when the wind blows, it comes whipping up the river bottom through his coulee twice as hard as it blows up top. And thats the vrind that bloire the paper and debris over Hardieville and sur- rounding farms that has given the city so many head- aches in disposing of its gar- bage. But that's not to say the wind is Lester's only "prob- lem. While he's busy levelling and covering the big piles of garbage lett by the city trucks and the commercia'l garbage haulers, swarms of pesky little half-ton trucks will back into the dumping area and unload all manner of discarded material. The problem with that is they don't want to risk get- ting stuck by backing in too far. so they dump behind Lester and often as not if it's windy some of it will get away before it can be cover- ed. Then there's the garbage that doesn't blow away a s e m i-liquid oozing brown mass called paunch manure, that comes regularly from the packing plants and an even viler darker looking substance from a seed pro- cessing plant, that Lester says he doesn't even dare get his caterpillar tractor into. And he has to chase away the would-be scavengers and the occasional kids looking for pop battles or other re- claimable junk. The biggest problem with scavengers, is they get in the way. At any rate, they won't find much because Lester keeps right on top of the garbage, flattening it out, packing it down and cover- ing it over with dirt. There used to be an old fellow, says Lester, who had a permit from the city to pick through the junk, but HP hasn't been around for a long time now. The landfill it's a mis- take to call it the dump is officially open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sat- urday. In practice it's open 24 hours a day all week and Lester usually finds the big- gest pile of garbage waiting to be covered when he comes to work at 8 a.m. even though there were no loose scraps left when he went home the night before. The city has tried without much success to regulate dumping hours in the past but is about to try it again. Last time the dump was closed off night people re- portedly dumped garbage at the gate and in roadside ditches despite a sign warn- ing of a possible fine for littering. A clause in waste bylaw amendments that first went before council in March and still haven't been passed pro- poses a ticket for after- hours dumping and strict en- forcement of the closing. The city has to conduct a strong advertising and en- forcement program to keep people from dumping when- ever they want and wher- ever they want, says City Manager Tom Nutting. "It is the only way to elim- inate the problem of blowing he told a recent coun- cil meeting. At least one alderman dis- agreed, saying evenings and Sundays were often the only chance working men had to get rid of refuse the city doesn't pick up. Uncontrolled dumping after hours has been blamed for a good part of the blowing pa- pers problem that resulted in a farmer living east of the landfill threatening the city with a lawsuit unless it goes elsewhere with its garbage within six months. City officials say they've been experimenting with dif- ferent ways to combat the wind problem ever since the coulee began to be used in 1970 as the city's waste re- ceptacle. Measures have I n c I u d ed the baseball type backstop screen at the top of the cou- lee, snow fences down in the coulee and closing the dump to private haulers of un- packed garbage when the wind exceeds 30 m.p.h. Now a new weapon is to be tried out against the flying papers, cardboard and plastic bags. A portable screen, about 12-feet long by 12-feet high built of old city light poles and screen mesh is to be tried out soon. The theory is the screen can be pulled on skids to where the tractor is working. Trucks will have to dump behind it and the screen will stop the bulk cf the debris right at the source. If it works 10 screens will be built providing a 120-foot long backstop sheltering the immediate dumping area. If it doesn't work? "Well I suppose we'll just have to think of something says Marshall Aneca of A n c c a Construction Ltd. which has had the landfill contract for nearly a year now. The company has anoth- er year to go on its contract with the city and an option on a third year. Mr. Aneca favors Closing the landfill after hours with strict enforcement. "The public just doesn't co- operate, he says. Some morn- ings the garbage is scattered from one end to the other. We don't seem to be able to educate them garbage is garbage to them." City engineering director Randy Holfeld agrees this is part of the _problem. "People just don't dump where they're supposed to or when they are supposed to. "There's a psychology of garbage just saying it you wrinkle up your nose. It's something people feel nobody -should have control he says relating the story of a landfill operator (not here) who was shot at there's a bullet hole in the tractor cab to prove it after a "heated exchange over where gar- bage should be dumped. Mr. Hclfeld doesn't want to appear to be looking for al- ibis it's just that the problem is far bigger than blowing paper, he says. "That's only the most visual part." An extensive study into the present solid waste disposal system and possible alterna- tives is to be conducted over the next few months. It will look at the present landfill, and its remaining capacity, other sites and oth- er types of landfill operations and other systems of solid waste handling sucii as in- cinerating, shredding and baling. Landfills have traditionally been the most valuable and economic means of disposing of city garbage throughout North America, Mr. Holfeld says. Economics and the location of a landfill operation play a big part in waste disposal. At what point, tor example, do transportation and land acquisition costs begin to make an environmentally ac- ceptable incinerator seem less prohibitive? Is a cut and fill method on open ground preferable to a straight fill and reclamation as is being done in the cou- lee, given the unique clima- tological factors here? These are the kinds of questions the study will at- tempt to answer. There are problems with anv waste disposal operation difficult to do a great deal of cutting through frozen ground, for instance, Mr. Hol- feld says. And he's not even con- vinced it can be assumad the coulee acts as a wind funnel done an analysis yet. There are some imagina- tive alternatives to solid waste disposal. One is to burn wastes to generate electricity and that is being looked at in the pow- er supply feasibility study be- ing conducted by the Ameri- can consulting firm of CH2M Hill. In the Borough of Etobi- coke in Metro Toronto four million cubic yards of indus- trial waste was landfilled into two 100-foot-plus hills, now part of a 200-acre park with ski facilities. ing some problems, and a few fields have been plowed under because of this. Hay and native grasses are doing well in the western part of the area, and poorly in the eastern part. CHAMPION The Champion area receiv- ed about 2.2 inches of rain and crops are about average. Spring wheat and rapesesd are both about normal in spite of patchy germination. Rye took a beating from the dry weather hut is looking. good now. Barley is doing veil. The rain came too late to help native grasses and pasture land is in poor shape. BARONS Crops in this area are doing well, thanks to about 1.75 inches of rain. Rye was weatherbeaten but is coming back. Spring wheat, which was patchy before the is fair now. Wind was more of a problem than lack of moisture and soil drifted in seme areas which had never had this problem before. As in most areas, warm weath- er is essential now. NOBLEFORD This area received about 1.5 inches of rain and crops were suffering before are in fair shape now. The rain was just right for flax, which should yield well. Hay slands were in poor condi- tion before ths rain, but ere improving. Pasture land was hard hit by the drought, but may be able to improve slig'htly. GLENWOOD Glenwood only received about an inch of rain, but it saved pasture land, which was not far from being finished. Spring wheat, oats and bar- ley are doing well, but will need more moisture. Winter wheat is heading out and will probably produce an aver- age crop. Hay, which was irrigated extensively before the rain, is doing well. The wind is drying out the area, and more moisture is need- ed. Some soil drifting occur- red before the rain, especial- ly on the reservation. CARDSTON From 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain was recorded in the Cardston district. Fall wheat was starting to suffer from the dry weather but is now doing well and heading out. Spring wheat, oats, barley and rapeseed are doing well. The late rain and the June 10 frost will mean a short hay crop this year. Pasture land will recover, and is doing well in higher areas. MAGRATH 'iiie two inches of rain re- ceived here really perked up crops. Wheat, oats, barlsy and rapeseed are all norma'l and should produce average yields. Hay is a little shorter than normal, but doing well since the rain. Wild oats are causing problems, and con- siderable spraying has taken place. RAYMOND ri...s area received an aver- age of two inches of rain, and crops are in good condition. Spring wheat was a little laie, and was not hurt too much by the drought. wheat suffered a little deter- ioration and is heading out small. However, the heads should be well filled. Rape- seed is in good candiCion though sonre insect problems might occur. Sugar beet ger- mination was spotty, and some fields had to be plowed up. Irrigated hay is in good conditiy.i, but dryland hay and pasture land are in poor condition. WARNER This area was in a "had to have it or else" 'situation, so the two inches of rain re- ceived here was welcome. The crop outlook is bright now, although range land will need a lot more rain to bring it back. Winter wheat and hay are both looking good. The rain came at the oppor- tune tima for rapeseed, flax and mustard, and they are in good condition. MILK RIVER The Milk River district re- ceived about two inches of rain, and croos are doing well now. PraV'ects of a hay crop are bright, and there are some reports of buyers purchasing some hay before it is even cut. Some soil drifting occurred before f.ie rain fell, and some winter wheat suffered as a result. Native grass in pasture land is short, but was almost non- existent before the rain. SKIFF The 2.5 inches of rain here turned the crop picture right around, and yields should be about average. Spring wheat did not suffer too much from the drought. Winter wheat and rye were set back little, but are heading out now. Barley is doing well. Mustard, flax and rapeseed benefitted most from rain and are in good condi- tion. Pasture lands, extreme- ly dry before the rain, will improve, but more moisture is badly needed. FOREMOST Rainfall in this area over the past week ranged from 1.6. inches to 2.5 inches. Fall crops took a beating from the drought but are recovering and should produce average yields. The rain came almost too late for pasture and hay, though, and these probably won't produce much this sea- son. Some grasshopper dam- age has been noted, and some farmers are reporting prob- lems with goohers. COUTTS With 1.3 inches to 2.5 inches of rain recorded near here, crops are doing well. Spring wheat, rye and winter wheat are in good condition, as are cats and barley. Flax, mustard and rapesed benefit- ed from the timely rain. Drifting soil was a problem before the rain, and some spring wheat had to be re- sseded. BOW ISLAND Because of the dry spring, some crops in.this area, as in other areas, had to be irri- with two to three inches of rain in (he past wesk, though, crops are in good condition. Hay is in good condition and some is being bought in the field. TABER Fall wheat and rye in this area were hurt somewhat by drought conditions, but two to three inches of rain have brightened tilings up. Spring wheat is doing well, especial- ly where it was seeded on summer fallow, and an aver- age crop can be expected. Some beets suffered from poor germ'nation and soil drifting and had to be plowed up. Irrigated hay is in good condition. Some problems with flea beetles in rape- seed have been reported. COALDALE Crops are looking improved with just over two inches of rain reported, here. Spring' wheat was patchy, but still stancis r. good chance of a 50 to GO bushel crop if weather co-Operates. Some early spring wheat suffered from the drought. Thanks to late seeding, barley and oats are about normal. Sugar beets suffered from uneven germination, and some fields were even plowed ard re- seeded to barley. Hay is look- ing good v'ter the rain, but is not as tall as it should be. HAYS Over three inches of rain was recorded here, with some farmers reporting as much as four inches. Soft white spring wheat and barley are looking good, but rapeseed, some of which had to be irri- gated up, is' in less than good condition. Hay and potatoes are both looking good with no frost damage reported. VAUXHALL With just over three inches of rain recorded here, crops are doing well. Although fall crops were hurt a little by the drought, yields in gener- al should be average. loes are doing well with no frost damage reported. It should be an ideal year for flax, and irrigated hay is looking good. Native pasture is poor, however, and some livestock producers have not even turned their sleek out to pasture. TURIN Although fall rye suffered a little here, the 2.5 inches cf rain received has the crops doing well. Rapeseed and flax were holding their own before the rain and are in good condition now. Hay pros- pects look good. Pasture suf- fered from the lack of early moisture and is in poor con- dition. A lot Of spraying has been done for wild oats. PICTURE BUTTE Crops are in fair condi- tion here after .1.5 inches of rain. Since the soft white spring wheat was irrigated anyway, it is in good condi- tion. The rain was late for pasture land, but was a great help. ENCHANT About three inches of rain changed prospects from very poor to quite good here. Fall rye held up well and should produce a good yield. Bar- ley, oals, flax, rapeseed and wheat are looking goad, al- though there was some ty germination. Hay is in very good condition, but pas- ture is poor, although improv- ing. Some serious soil drift- ing occurred the rain.