OCR Interpretation

Montana farmer-stockman. [volume] (Great Falls, Mont.) 1947-1993, June 15, 1951, Image 7

Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075096/1951-06-15/ed-1/seq-7/

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A Question for Sugarbeet Growers
RRIGATION farmers in some Montana
sugar-factory districts are coming face to
face with the question of whether the fac
tories are to continue to operate, or are to
move to other regions where growers are
more "beet minded."
Beet acreage in most of the irrigation
districts has been on a downward trend in
recent years. On some projects the loss of
beet production has been moderate. On oth
ers the acreage reduction has been so large
that the sugar companies say they are oper
ating at a serious loss. In at least two in
stances, the companies are giving considera
tion to moving to some other area where
there is greater assurance of enough beet
production to permit a profitable run.
A variety of reasons have been voiced
by growers for reducing or eliminating their
beet acreage. These include uncertainty of
labor supply, insufficient acreage to justify
purchasing the new mechanical equipment,
greater immediate profits from some other
crop because of currently favorable prices,
a series of seasons in which late or early
frosts or cool weather lowered acre yields,
and lack of interest in carrying on. feeding
and other operations that are necessary in
order to secure maximum profits from
Will Price Controls Work?
A MONG the significant debates in which
the American people are engaged, as
national defense policies continue to crystal
lize, is the one on price control. While there
are innumerable variations of public opin
ion on this important subject the principal
viewpoints may be summarized as follows:
1. Some contend that price controls alone
will be sufficient to check inflation. These
are largely the naive souls who think gov
eminent can control economic law by mere
ly waving a bureaucratic wand or issuing a
set of regulations. They are in the minority,
at least among thoughtful citizens.
2. There is a substantial segment of pub
lic opinion that holds to the belief that price
controls are both inappropriate and ineffec
tive in a, democracy that is not engaged in
all-out war, and that practical inflation con
trol can best be exercised through the ave
nues of taxation.and control of money sup
3. Many others believe the way to con
trol inflation is to establish a three-way
combination of price controls, pay-as-you-go
taxation and measures of financial policy
that will have the effect of reducing the
supply of money in circulation.
While congress could wipe out price lids
» when it decides what to do about extending
Enough Water In The Missouri
T HERE is an adequate water supply in the
Missouri for the development proposed
for the next 50 years under the army en
gineers-bureau of reclamation program,
That is the opinion of the subcommittee of
the Missouri Basin Inter-Agency committee,
which was directed last October to "review
and consolidate prior studies of flows in the
. But sugar factori6S cannot continue to
operate at a loss year after year on the vague
honp that beet acreage will Pet back to nrof
nope tnat oeet acreage win get oacx xo proi
'table processing levels some time in the
future. And it is becoming apparent that
farmers in some of the factory districts are
going to have to decide very shortly whether
they want to grow beets as a part of their
future farm programs or whether they are
willing to give them up permanently.
If they want to stay with beets and keep
On the other hand, many growers who
have continued .to produce beets as a part
of a balanced rotation program, to feed
livestock and to apply adequate amounts of
fertilizer, and who have grown a sufficient
acreage to make efficient use of mechanical
harvesters and other equipment, firmly be
lieve that beets are essential to maximum
profits in any continuing program of irriga
tion farming.
Others who have temporarily withdrawn
from beet production plan to return to the
crop when the abnormally hîçh prices now
prevailing for certain other products are no
longer available.
the factories operating it is going to be nec
essary to increase total beet acreage quite
substantially. In some factory districts the
answer cannot he postponed much longer.
the inflation control program, the probabil
ity is that there will be continuing provision
for the three-way plan of price controls to
be used in connection with taxation and con
trol of money,
Whether price controls will work in this
democracy in a period of half-peace and
half-war remains to be seen. Such controls
were at least reasonably successful during
World war 2 when every American was
acutely aware of the tremendous nations
emergency. And when the sons and -
man y families were in the front lines.
Even then > black markets were becoming a
serious problem as the war neared its end.
When the fighting stopped it soon became
apparent that the control program could no
longer be administered because of lack of
public support.
There are some indications that Ameri
ca's tremendous productive capacity may
largely remove the threat of Inflation within
the next 12 or 15 months in spite of the stim
ulating effect of the vast defense program.
In the meantime, loyal citizens will co
operate to the best of their ability with gov
ernment control efforts. And continue to ex
objectives all are trying to achieve in this
period of great national crisis.
ercise the right'of a free people to express
opinions as to the best way to attain the
Missouri river and draft reports thereon. 1
The report which has now been issued
indicates that the river can provide water
for necessary sanitation and municipal use,
irrigation for more than 5,000,000 acres of
new land, and supplemental water for
1,000,000 acres now irrigated. Water is also
sufficient for development of the agricultur
al phases of land and water utilization, flood
control and satisfactory navigation from
Sioux City to the mouth.
The planned water releases will provide
for the generation of about 13,000,000.000 kil
owatt hours of electrical energy annually
from an installed power plant capacity of
3,200,000 kilowatts, of which 1,500,000 will
be at main river dams.
In making its study the committee used
stream-flow records of the geological sur
vey for the period 1898 to 1949, as well as
weather bureau data on precipitation, and
other available material. It learned that at
Sioux City, la., the flow of the Missouri, aft
er adjustment for the effects of present level
of irrigation development and the effects
of regulation by the Fort Peck reservoir,
has averaged as follows:
For the 32-year period from 1898 to 1929—
27,500,000 acre-feet.
For the ^2-year period during the great drouth
from 1930 to 1941— i5.soo.ooo acre-feet
For the *-7 ear Period following the drouth
from m2 tQ 1949 _ 26 j 2oo,ooo acre-feet, or very
nearly the same level as the predrouth period.
For the entire 52-year period from 1898 to
1949—24^500.000 acre-feet. Those values are at
Sioux City. The corresponding value for the
52-year period at Kansas City is about 41.000,000
acre-feet, and at the mouth near St. Louis is
about 5900000 ° »««-***■
While the period covered by the river
flow studies is as but a moment in the long
life of the Missouri, this record is the best
that is available. The story it tells is an
encouraging one if we may assume that this
52-year period is a fair indication of what
the Big Muddy will produce in the future.
There has been a lull in consumer buying
but don't think the danger of inflation is
over. By fall a much larger percentage of
the nation's production will be going into
the defense program. Equipment and appli
ances made of metal as well as other mer
chandise manufactured from materials that
will be in restricted supply will be harder
to get. Better buy anything you need along
this line now while dealers are well stocked.
It will be scarcer and higher priced later.
according re |orts received in re
cent mon ths. Be as vigilant as possible to
av oid loss but if someone steals from your or
yQ ur neighbor's place do everything possible
to give the law enforcement officers definite
clues or evidence with which to work in
catching the thieves.
That scrap metal pile is becoming valu
able once more.. The defense program needs
it badly. You can be both patriotic and
thrifty by hauling it to town.
Montana Farmer-Stockman
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