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The Imperial press. (Imperial, Cal.) 1903-1906, September 30, 1905, Image 6

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92070143/1905-09-30/ed-1/seq-6/

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PROFITABLE ALFALFA
Sixty Dollars Per Acre for the Present
Year's Product Realized by
an Imperial Farmer
Some time ago Mr. W. B. Waldrop
brought to our office a sample of a crop
of alfalfa seed lie was raising on the
W. H. Brooks place four miles south
west of town, that we thought was a
little the best we had ever seen.
Mr. Waldrop now informs ns that he
has at least twenty acres of this crop
which will produce more than four
hundred pounds of seed per acre and
that over the entire ninety acres lie has
in a seed crop he will average well
above three hundred pounds per acre.
With alfalfa seed going at fifteen cents
per pound, this looked like pretty profit
able farming, to us, co we asked about
his operations for the year.
He furnished- us facts and figures to
bliow that' this' entirtj field of ninety
acres will yield a net profit of more
than sixty dollars per acre during the
present year. . The field was pastured
till April 1, netting $3.50 per acre for
pasturage. Then after that it was
mowed twice for hay and yielded at
least one and a-half tons per acre at
each cutting or three tons per acre in
hay. This is worth five dollars per ton
in the field. That makes fifteen dollars
per acre for hay. Now it has produced
a crop of seed worth at least forty-five
dollars per acre. It will produce one
more cutting of hay which will be worth
at least |7.50 per acre on the ground,
and then, pasturage for the balance of
the year.
This: figures ; up as follows : Hay,
$22.50; ei&ed; $45 and pasturage at least
$5 per acre, a tatal of $72.50 per acre.
Irrigating water has cost $1.25 per acre
and Mr. Waldrop thinks ten dollars per
acre for labor and threshing will be
ample to cover the expense. Then the
thre.shed alfalfa straw is good feed, too,
and that hasn't been counted in at all.
Even should alfalfa seed go to twelve
and a-half cents per pound, the estimate
of $fio per acre would still hold good.
As the production of alfalfa seed is
evidently a very profitable business in
this Valley, we asked Mr. Waldrop
what his methods were in the irrigation
and care of his crop. He then informed
us that tie believed he had solved the
question, but that it had cost him con
siderably to do it, as, had »he known
just how. to handle the matter and not
IMPERIAL VALLEY
i
• -
Is The
■ *'] . \ : ■ .-■..- \
t.- - •
Largest Irrigated District
Tn tbe United States
Important Events .Furthering Its
Development Will Occur In
The Very Near Future
The Opportunities Offered To
been obliged to experiment in order; to
learn, he might just' as well had- four
hundred pounds of alfalfa seed per acre
ovey his entire field, as to only have >\t
on twenty acres. When he began his
crop of alfalfa he divided his field into
five tracts, each of which he treated
differently from the rest,;in order to
determine the proper way to treat: the
crop to produce the most and best seed.
One of these tracts lie irrigated just the
same as if he was going to cut it for
hay. The plant grew too thick on the
ground and kept too green. Result,
probably 250 to 300 pounds of seed per
acre. Another tract he let stand two
weeks after taking off the hay before
irrigating and only irrigated once a
month thereafter. Result, a light crop
of straw, evidently not enough irriga
tion, but a very heavy crop of seed on
what straw there was; will produce
about 250 pounds of seed per acre.
Third tract was not irrigated for two
weeks after crop was removed, but was
irrigated eyery three weeks during the
growth of the seed crop. This did very
nicely and will produce more than 300
pounds per acre. Fourth tract was not
irrigated for three weeks after taking
off crop and once in four weeks while
seed crop was growing. Result, poor
stand and light crop, probably only
about 200 pounds of seed per acre. On
the fifth tract was his most- successful
experiment.
On this tract he 'waited one week
after the hay was removed before irri
gating. By this means all the strongest
shoots started to grow and had such a
start of the weaker ones that the stand
of plants was not too thick and the pro
duction of seed was uniform and per
fect. This tract he irrigated every
three veeka and the result has been
truly surprising.
It is as pretty a piece of alfalfa md as
heavy a crop of seed as one will ever
see. Mr. Waldrop thinks he can uick
out small areas in it that would make
600 pounds of seed per acre and is con
fident the entire twenty acres will make
more than 400 pounds per acre.
His experiments have determined
both the time and the methods to use
in raising a crop of alfalfa seed. He
cut his last hay crop the third week in
July, so this best piece of seed received
its first irrigation about August 1 and
has been irrigated twice since, once
about August 22 and once September 12.
It takes two months to produce a crop
of alfalfa seed.
-The' secret of the ; whole i operation,
Mr^Waldrop says, is to not have it start
too thick and to 'not force its growth as
you would for hay. On land you would
irrigate every two weeks for hay, only
irrigate once in three weeks .for seed.
Delay your first irrigation till tie
strongest growing shoots are well start
ed, then they will force ahead of the
others and jour crop will not be too
thick and choke out. On some lauds
in the Valley, three weeks might be
too long to go between irrigations ami
in such cases farmers should be govern
ed by the condition of the plants and
their usual practice in irrigating for
hay. The point being that the plant
does not want to be forced, as in pro
ducing hay, nor does it need to be
stunted.
If alfalta is not too thick on the
ground and is not irrigated enough to
make it put out new shoots or sprout
up from the ground after the plants are
grown, it will produce a good crop of
seed anywhere in Imperial Valley.
There are a number of other farmers
in the Valley growing alfalfa seed and
we have no doubt the time is at hand
when Imperial alfalfa seed will be a
staple in the markets and a new record
in profitable farming. will be established
in our Valley.
A New Era for Number Five
The outcome of the stockholder's
meeting of Imperial Water Co No. 5,
which was held at Holtville, last week,
is certain to have a profoundly benefici
al effect on the development and pros
perity of that important part of our Val
ley, and to incidentally benefit the en
tire Valley as well. For a long time
there was more or less controversy be
tween Number Five and the California
Development Co., the beginning of the
trouble dating back almost to the organ
ization of the Company itself. What
with water shortages, destruction of
headgates and losses by delays jin con
struction, the lot of the east side farmer
was not a very rosy one. So in. the
course of time quite a substantial sum
came to be claimed by the farmers for
damages. There was also dissatisfaction
with the canal system and the plans fol
lowed in its construction. So on May
16th last a contract was entered into
between Mr. Heber, who waa thru the
executive head of the California Devel
opment Co., on behalf of his company
and Imperial Water Co. No. o, by which
all old scores were wiped out and a clean
slate presented on. which to write future
transactions. This contract, while turn
ing over to Number Five all its unsold
stock, thereby returning its assets, also
made it incumbent upon thai company
to finance itself in the work of complet
j jug its irrigation and drainage system.
To do this it was necessary to vote bonds
or raise the funds by assessment. The
present management of the California
Development Co. very properly took the
ground that unless Number Five was
willing to vote bondn, or in some way
show its ability to carry out its part, of
the trade, the contract would . fail and
the work of completing the canal and
drainage system fall back on them un
der the old contract. A factious oppo
sition in No. 5 sought to distort this at
titude of the California Development
Co. into one of hostility to and repudia
tion of the contract and at the election
called to consider the matter, they were
able to defeat tlm bonds by a small mar
gin. However, the I >irect »rs of Number
Five, not willing to believe they had
made a mistake in their contract with
Mr. Heber, immediately made a call for
an assessment of 50 cents per share on
the issued stock of the company and
submitted the question of bonds to the
people a secotfd time for their consider
ation. This resulted in the authoriza
tion of the.. bonds at tne meeting above
referred to. As soon as the bonds were
authorized, the assess mint was recalled
and Number Five became at that mo
ment a real Mutual Water Company,
owning its own stock and with assets at
its own disposal, free to make whatever
disposition its stockholders and Direct
ors might see fit to make of the same.
Being thus in so happy a condition, it
was decided to recompense those stock
holders who had suffered damaires. This
was done by issuing to cash one scrip of
the company, receivable in payment for
its stick at twenty dollars per share for
an amount equal to 85 per cent, of the
full sum of his claim.
The total amount of damages claimed
was $139,643, «>f which $84,350 was for
damages sustained during the crop sea
son of 1903-4 and $75,293 for damages
during the scanon of 1904-5 just passed.
Thene sums were arrived at by allowing
$15.00 per acre for all grain crops lost
during 1903-4 and f9.60 per acre for the
same in 1904-5. In payment of these!
claims script for $120,000 will be issued
and delivered to the damaue sufferers.
This scrip can he uhc! in the purchase
of water stock, either to make payment
in full, or to make part payment and
will be accepted as cash by the company
at its face value in any of such purch
ases. This is a very important thing
for the farmers of Number Five, aa it
gives them an actual real payment, in a
thing that is immediately available and
that is of full equal value with "coin of
the realm" now or at any time. The
issue of the bonds will soon build canals
to the lands on which stock can be lo
cated and this very fact makes this dam*
age claim scrip in the hands of the farm*
ers possess a value equal to cash in hand.
The pioneers of Number Five and the
farmers who have braved the water
shortages and withstood the hardships
encountered in the work of desert n»
demption in that part of the Valley, aro
to be congratulated on this happy out
come. They now have the certainty of
justai good a canal, irrigation and
drainage system as they care to build
and also, what ia of great importance to
many of them, and that is. payment for
their damages. This water stock scrip
will no doubt come to many of them in
a very opportune time, as it will enable
them to carry forward the development
of their ranches, and place them in a
highly productive condition at an early
date. It is expected now that at least
10,000 acres of alfalfa will be sown on
the East side during the present season,
and everything gotten in readiness for
the stock and dairy business on an ex*
tensive scale as soon as possible. The
natural fertility of that part of our com
mon Valley and the loyalty and courage
of it? people would guarantee equally
rapid improvement of the East side with
other portions of our Imperial domain.
But with $120,000 distributed among the
farmers for damages and $100,000 to be
expended in the construction, repair
and completion of their irrigation works
it can be readily seen what an era of
prosperity and bustling activity ia im
minent in those parts. And for this
happy outcome, great credit should be
given Mr. Heber for his breadth of busi*
ness foresight in seeing the solution of
Number Five's difficulties in the first
place, and to President Randolph for
carrying out the plan. Number Five
will soon become a scene of activity from
Holtville to Berniceand from the Alamo
to the Main Canal. In peace and har
mony long may they prosper.
jC«G3r"If you want reliable news of the
Imperial Valley subscribe for The Im
perial Press. One dollar per year.
Subscriptions can be commenced at any
time.

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