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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 10, 1909, Lethbridge, Alberta EIGHT THE LETHBRIDGE DAiLY HERALO, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10. SOME RESULTS OF DRY FARMINGJNVESTIGATIONS Paper Read At Billings Congress by a Washington Expert At the Dry Farming Congress at! the thins; which the. market demands" Billings a practical paper was given or needs, but 1 am anxious for the by R. W. Thatcher, Director of the time to come wheu the methods oi Experiment Station at Pullman. -Wash., on "Some Recent Results m farm practice to be adopted in anv given community shall be determined by a careful consideration and accu- Dry Farming Investigations paper was given as follows irate knowledge of A better understanding of the rela- j which control the the principles successful opera- eer une tion of soil moisture to crop produc-! tion of that parcicu.ai phase ofai m tion one of the most pressing needs i operations rather than by unstable of modern agriculture. This is true j fluctuations of market conditions. not only in those regions where Applying this to the ''dry farming ty rainfall makes the most careful j situation I believe tint the .further methods of tillage an absolute ncces- extension of dry farming areas and sity for successful fanning, but al- most equally so in districts where the average annual rainfall is sufficient practices must be based on a thor- ough understanding of underlying principles if it is to be permanently for large crops, but where inoppor- successful. The actual practical tune "dry spells" frequently cut j methods oi village which will best, short the "crop, and in irrigated seo- j conserve and utilize the supply oi tions where excessive use of water is! moisture which is available in _anv _ are being carciullv successful operation to tht of lormer exhausting -soil fertility or accumu-j given localiity in injurious proper- i studied and in tions" i over immense areas. But there is a The methods of cultivation which very real danger that the will best conserve and utilize soil of popular enthusiasm m and tor dn moisture are being rapidly worked I tannins" will rcsuU_m attempts out both bv so-called "dry extend these areas tar beyond specialists and by farmers them-1 limits to which results selves. The improved methods thus studies will apply, devised have made possible an cnor-1 With this conception of the ptes- mous extension of the areas of situation, we have organized at cultural lands into what was, when the state Agricultural Experiment we studied geography in our boyhood j Station ,of Washington a division m school daysi the "Great American our agricultural department which is desert." Too much emphasis cannot to study exclusively the problem of. be laid upon the economic importance soil moisture, tillage, etc., are of this great development in agricul- j fundamental to methods of farming tural science and practice, known as j with limited rainfall, "dry farming." This great congress j in the organization of this is but a fitting monument to the sue- j two main problems immediately pro- cesses that have been attained and a milestone of progress, from which the movement is to go on to still greater achievement. It is neither my desire nor my pur- pose in this paper to discourage con- mentioned such as the _ following tinued efforts to develop better meth- what determines the ability oi anv ods of tillage and to extend the areas given soil to absorb and retain mois- of "dry farming" to the verv widest j {Ure coming to it in the form of ram extent." But it is my intention to or Sn0w, and how may this property sound what our experience of the bc controlled or increased what is past two years leads me to belicvn j the J0west limit of soil moisture up- is a timely note of warning. It is a! On which each crop can make profit- work ented themselves as needing careful studv First, there was a very ap- parent need for a scries of investiga- tions of certain fundamental scientific principles, typical of which might be fact recognized by every student of history and of human psychology that men are want to "go with the able growth, and does this limit varv in different local ties and different tvpes of soils what constitutes tha so-called "drought resistance" of cer- crowd" or to act upon impulses. u--------- This 4s especially true oi farming pco- j tain crops why docs it vary with pies. Every agricultural community different varieties or species of the has its history of oft repeated chang- es from one main crop or one system of farm practice to another. Let anv one farm crop, or ane crop, and can this capacity be nc'eased or controlled what inilu- development are The first problem; or the "studies of fundamental agricultural principals, would obviously require the observa- tions and experiments of several sea- sons before definite conclusions can be reached. -But-ui the study of the limits of the areas to which drv farming may be extended with rea- sonable assurance of success, certain facts of very import- ance and worthy of public knowledge were almost immediately discovered. It is "to these that I wish to call your attention. There are two factors which deter- mine the adaptability of any given area of land to the successful pro- duction of farm crops by up-to-date methods of dry farming tillage. These are The amount of moisture neces- to produce full growth to Tna- turity of the crop which is to ba grown, arid the amount of moisture which is annually received in that locality. Considerable work has already been done to determine the amount of wa- ter needed to complete the growth of different farm crops. In spite of the fact .that each investigator has usually been careful to state that the conclusions which he. has reached are not necessarily applicable to other conditions than his own, and of the further fact that different investiga- tors have settled upon extremely dif- ferent amounts oi water as that ac- tually necessary for any given crop, many agricultural writers have as- signed a certain definite amount in tons .pet acre or .inches annual rainfall as being necessary for the production of a certain sized crop of wheat, another for oats, another for corn, etc. At .the of our investigations we-were confronted bv the fact that successful crops of wheat were being grown in certain sections of the state, which, accord- ing to the best data obtainable, did not receive even in twenty-four months, or two full seasons, as much rainfall as was considered by the ag- ricultural authorities to be necessary for the production of this crop. Ob- viously, then, either the standards or the rainfall records are wrong. We have, therefore, given consider- able 'attention during the 15 months to these two. important iacj tors as applied to" the further exten- sion of dry farming in our state. Without going into details, the pre- sentation' of which would prolong -this paper beyond the limits of your pa- tience, I may say that we have found some evidence which seems to indicate that plants may make better use of: the soil under certain' conditions than un- der .In ;oiher it apr pears to be grow--success- ful crops under very favorable- condi- tions of quality-of soit-mode. oL till- etc., with the actual .use. of less be .obtained In our own coraing in the plants' from the otner. auv cnces upon a uv anv particular Luscd bv irregular supplies of mote- .in part: some of the differences m beiore you an outline I'll L C3.USL tl U jbr v-f ilA V L _ in wnich seasons in succession and almost un- worked out in regions OL greater wc have ,observed. Furthermore, it dry farming) has been plotted the licve that a much more urgent need is that of exact information as to the actual amount of rainfall which may be depended upon as the average supply for the locality in question. Far ...too much, of our knowledge of rainfall conditions is a matter of guess work or of estimations based upon the recollections of the familiar "oldest inhabitant." It is a fact of mental psychology that men remem- ber most distinctly the unusual ev- ents of their experience, while the usual normal routine of daily circum stances makes little permanent im- pression upon our memories. I-t has recently been pointed out by a writ-- er upon our weather records that the great bulk of popular opinion as to the-weather, of by-gone years and the that the weather in any given locality has changed from what it formerly was, are rarely in accord with the actual facts as shown by scientific records. This is unques- tionably due to the tendency, which I have just mentioned, for every one to remember only the unusual experienc- es of abnormal seasons, and, there- fore, to look back upon them as the prevailing conditions of former years. This emphasizes the need of some methods of exact records of weather conditions as' a basis of determina- tion as probable success, of dry farming operations in an locality. Lacking such data, there is always the tendency to assume that the rain- fall of the past season or two is the normal one for that section and to be either over-confident of success, or to abandon what may be a perfectly legitimate and proper field of effort. An average annual rainfall of 15 inches means, of course, that in some seasons that., locality receives more than 15 inches, perhaps even as much as 20 or 25 inches and that on other years it receives less, perhaps no more than 7, or S or 10 inches. Now the universal -tend-ency of enthusiasts in any time of development is to push well out to the limits of achievement in their particular'field. Given a year or two of above the average rainfall, then, and the areas of possible profitable crop production are widely extended. When there fol- low, 'as is; inevitable, seasons of av- erage or less than average rainfall the lot of the pioneer in these regions is most unhappy. On the other hand, .if we were to limit the extension of our dry farming areas to those sec- tions where the least annual' rainfall which ever comes is well within the amount needed for profitable farming we should work a grave justice to the homeseeker.and leave idle, vast areas of food-producing and life-sus- taining land. Enough has been said to emphasize the value and the need ot accurate rainfall records. How are these to tions, we have careiull, .r corang soil than was formerly believed to records of the United States weather possible. This we think explains bureau for our own state. K have the animously our farmers will turn their I rainjan applicable to semi-arid dis- efforts largely il not exclusively and if so, how many dry that there, are considerable- variations fall as taken from the weather 'bureau have .observed. Furthermore, it dry farming) has oeen pio.nea the-drawing of these lines apparent from actual field: study belts of varying average annual ram- laxeftly empirical. In fact I fall as taken from the weather 'bureau i the production' oi this profitable ar- fanning methods be made to conserve tide of commerce, with the result fertility as well as moisture, etc. The other crop becomes and the pendulum second great problem which confront- ed us was that of determining within the boundaries of our own'state the that soon the market becomes fullv supplied or overstocked and the tem- porarily high prices decline. Some more profitable of production swings in its direction. I would not for a moment decry any attempt on the part of our farmers to- produce f.ries would correctly apply. in the'moisture holding capacity and-! reports.for the past 10 years. I con- ability to hold moisture to crops of that I hesitated some time before tho-soils" in .different p.arts o! the j deciding to present this to you, for 1. j J.1JX A'U' UJ-UCJL 1-iAVjiil belts of equal rainfall.; Hence, we j the reason that when the data wer, possible-to the-actual con- conclude, first of all, that the further compiled and averaged and areas I A FEW DOLLARS INVESTED NOW IN BARNWELL Will treble in a very short time. Others are taking ad- vantage of this opportunity. WHY NOT YOU? These Money -Making Oppor- tunities will soon be gone You run no risks in buying in this newly-surveyed townsite. If fertile soil arid an abundant supply of coal count, Barn- well's future is assured. i i I I i PHONE 279 P.O.BOX 196 Room 5, Bryan Blk.. Lethbridge, Alberta T i l T T W.H.JOHNSON Or CHRISTNER McLEOD, Calgary, Alta. I v -H- obvious. The stations, where observations' nave -Doon taken are so few and so widely scattered is ar- changed them in several par- ticular instances on the first draft of the map made by our soil physicist. in order to make them approach as from areas in which the principles'of till-i extension of dry-farming-areas'must plotted they were so different age already all -worked out would per- have 'careful and exact study of soils j popular conceptions and in some m- rnit successful "dry farming" opera-iand crop growths as .one of nee- stances so at variance with known tion. and to which any new discov- qualifications "for its 'success, records of crop production as to i But our experience, leads us. to be-' seem almost incredible. The reason j, i JL BEST BRITISH BUILT PLOWING TRACTOR SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR CANADA AND MANUFACTURD BY MARSHALL, SONS CO., LTD., GAINSBOROUGH, ENGLAND o. 0} a a .5 3 O c T 3 4- Y QO T I T !a 2 I T _ 22 J3 "J 3 J 25 Horse, Four Cylinder CANADIAN" PLOWING TRACTOR, Capable of developing 60 to 70 Brake H.P. This Engine can be relied on to do the work above mentioned, year in and year out, weather permitting Representatives: The WESTERN CANADA AGENCY, Lethbridg ditions of production as determined by our experts who had gathered the statistics of yields of grain over this same territory for nearly the same covered by the weather records. But even with -these arbitrary correc- tions, there is much that is unex- plainable in the light of actual farm experience in these localities, except on the .grounds of the inadequacy of the records. How then are we to get the necessary accuracy of infor- mation as to whether conditions in territories which are possible fields for further development of'dry farm- ing methods In connection with our own invesfi- ma.ko available for agricultural ex- tension work the great bulk of weath- gr observation3 which may be take; iii those states. I believe that the first step in such co-operation should be -the location, at each state experi- ment station of an experienced weath- .cr bureau man -whose chief duties should be to correlate the present records of the bureau with the cultuxal needs of the section served by that station. Another important of such a local official would be to carefully su- pervise the installation, care and use of meteorological instruments by the Voluntary observers at the several stations -now in existence, and the es- tablishment of new stations in local- ities where the weather records are needed and a basis for future agricul- tural development.. The bureau must necessarily depend" largely upon vol- unteer services for local observation, and a closer supervision of such rec- ord taking would greatly increase its To the Electors Of the City Of Fellow Ratepayers: Doubtless you have read my pre- fatory remarks on the subject of Civic Elections soon to be, and a into an Aldermanic Chair. While you are hunting up the chair cushion, I will- answer a few of the questions put to me by the man on the street lately, as to my standing on certain civic questions presently on tap. Whether should our proposed street car system be city controlled or city owned? As a plain matter of business, they should be city owned, and fail- ing that, city controlled. We need street cars NOW, but we In connection with our own Uiti Rations, we are establishing 30 new accuracy, and efficiency. A further ad- .e cnd Qf ouj_ bm._ 1 -.-A v. 4-A r-.-tirtVi -n rt TCTill I fi rowing powers to put civic ownership oii-t of the question, and the delay of putting through the Legislature an stations for weather observations of such an arrangement would eastern Washington, each with its full fact that when complement of rain guage maximum ing in co-operation with and in tne and minimum thermometers and rec- ord blanks. But I believe that the heavy expense of installation of such stations ought not to devolve upon our research stations. The weather bureau service is supported by the federal -government for the purpose of this and similar work and is organ- ized as a part of the department of agriculture. A large part of its ener- gies and funds are devoted to ad- vance predictions of weather condi- tions, based upon observations taken atmosphere of agricultural research, many new opportunities for making the weather bureau 'work of practical agricultural benefit would arise. If this congress sets the stamp of its approval upon this idea by.adopt- ing my resolution, it is-my .plan to application for an increase in our borrowing power would be an intol- erable hindrance to our progress a city. Then, our inevitable course is to employ others to build the system for us, giving them a running con- throughout the country. Such prc- j curate and satisfactory basis for the dictions are 'doubtless of benefit to continued development and extension begin at once a campaign to tract, with a good strong string to favorable action upon the matter bv the officials of the weather bureau and the department of agriculture, to the end that. every possible means may be enlisted to secure a safe, ac- commerce and shipping in cii.ny part-; i of :'dry farming of the country and of value to farm- j ._ ers of interior and purely agricultur- al states. I believe tint the pure- areas. WESTMINSTER GUILD ly agricultural districts of the coun-j A large-number of the young people try the energies and funds of the wea- I Of Knox Church gathered in the Sun- day School room'. of the church last night for the -purpose of organizing the Westminster Guild for the season Rev. A. M. Gordon acted as chairman of the meeting "and managed to im- part his own enthusiasm in the mem- bers of the Guild to an extent that promises well for the success of the societv. The following officers were ther bureau could much ably be spent in accunuiating anil disseminating the information con- cerning conditions sjid relations to crop production the need of which I.have endeavored to point out. By so doing, I believe that this bureau would more thoroughly per- 'orra its intended functions as an in- tegral part, of the department of With this view of the-needs of the situation and the open possibility for the weather bureau to be of service to the agricultural sections Smyth; chairman of the social corn- elected. Hon. President, Rev. A. M. Gor- don; President A. J. Irving; Secre- tary J. Wallace; corresponding secr t.ry, M. Dayies, jr.; treasurer, I I-H-H- of the country, especially where the extension of dry farming territory is it. The arguments in favor of immed- iate street car service are many and sound. I favor continuation of improve- ments presently under way, especialr ly those tending to our daily com- forts, such as streets, sidewalks, lighting, water, etc. I will study the cost of street oiling and will en- large on this subject later. I am in favor of Civic Management by "Commission instead of by our pre- sent system." T will enlarge on this topic also, later. I am neither out .for plunging nor cheeseparing in the disbursement of funds, but will con- tinue to believe that judicious spend- ing of money is the only true econ- omy. A city divided by a railed track of a public carrying company should be cemented together by bridge or sub- way without delay and I will consider this of primary importance, for North Ward is as much Lethbridge as any other part of it. R. SAGE. mittcc. Miss Tilley; chairman tiic educational committee, Miss E. .ii contemplated, I have presented to-man; chairman of the misj-'ionarv this congress a resolution urging up- on the weather bureau officials a closer co-operation with the several state experiment stations in order to committee, Miss MacKay; chairman of the devotional committee, P Wallace; organist, Miss McLjco; as- sistant organist, Mrs. Nelson. RUNS AGAINST SOCIALIST Victoria, Nov. Stewart. Independent, who will if elected sip- port the McBride government, was nominated at Lady-smith today to 'oppose Parker Williams, Socialist. ;