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# • * : re; /v p. '£■■■■■ ••• 1 GRAIN BINS fsm m i ■ g i. U.S.D.A. Approved Program ; iv/' jm : ■ % r MASTER - CRAFTED BY fc i f LU MB IAN SINCE 1893 For safer, better storage of your grain, it pays to get the famous Columbian Red Top Steel Bio • • • the tightest, strongest bin ever made. For 1957 crops, Columbian, makers of the original steel bin, have master-crafted a Red Top bin that's the best in our 64 years history. Improvements include a new weather-proof, quick-opening hinged manhole and a handy, sturdy steel roof ladder to the cap. ° Only with an absolutely tight bin can you get efficient use of fumigants or efficient use of aeration* and drying equipment. Columbian Red Top Bins are sealed tighter because... 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Also 37-picture instruction book showing superior construction and ease of erection. * Write, for information on Columbian aeration equipment for grain conditioning. I i fcr— - ' - -i fr Jti COLUMBIAN STEEL TANK CO. P.O. Box Q4048 mass Konsos City, Mo. fmf.OM, PUT A $ " 1 ON YOUR COMBINE Indispensable for custom combines, owners, tenants, landlords. Saves hauling, weighing. Checks extra yield of fertilized fields. Fits practically all makes of combines. is*: n i ?«*!/■ ;V ill ■■ t I GOAi Wsciav.-'ITini ON SEED CLEANERS Shows exact proportion of weed seed, etc. Ideal for exact measuring when seed testing. ON FEED BINS AND WAGON MIXERS Measures grain from bins to feed grinder or wagon mixer Measures and saves grcund mixed feeds. Elim inates guesswork on feed ing programs. Measures Grain Accurately (By Weight or Volume) WRITE FOR NAME OF YOUR DEALER — DEALER INQUIRIES INVITED FERRIS-KIILION IMPLEMENT GO. DISTRIBUTOR Uf Central Avenue West Great Falls, Montana 10—July 1, 1957 Managing Farm and Ranch w. mMl MÈ. m -r''> By MONT SAVNDERSON THIS ITEM IS the fourth of a cur rent series, in this column, dealing with the land and water use and with the ranch and farm economics in the principal ranching and farming areas of Montana and of northern Wyoming. In this fourth item of the series, we examine the land uses and the ranch and farm operations of the Montana area long known as the "Triangle." To most people acquainted with Mon tana farming and ranching, the "Tri angle" means the area encompassed by lines from Great Falls northwest to Shelby, from Sheiby eastward to Havre, and from Havre southwestward to Great Falls. For the purposes of our analysis in this article, we will say that the area extends a bit more to the west, to the Northern Rocky Mountains, and north ward to the Canadian line. In re sources and in land uses, these addi tions to the usual concept of the area are quite logical. Productive Area This area is a big one. It also is a very productive area in Montana fann ing and ranching. In it we see great expanses of prairie land wheat farm ing, a belt of excellent foothill ranch country on the west side, and several successful irrigation farming develop ments in the upper drainages of the Sun, the Teton and the Marias rivers. Though the western belt of ranch ing country is from 20 to 30 miles in width, by far the largest part of the area consists of prairie lands, level to undulating. This part of Montana has been strongly glaciated in compara tively recent times, geologically speak ing. The resulting landform is the smooth glacial plain that we now see in most of.this area. These plains, now drained by the Marias, the Milk and the Teton river, principally, are broken only by the main stream drainages and by the Sweet Grass Hills uplift along the Canadian border. 3 Million Crop Acres This large area contains some five million acres of land. Of this, three million acres are now in crop agriculture. A comparatively small part of this total cropland acreage is irrigated. Though there are localized parts of the prairie country used for stock ranching, most of the ranching country of the area is in the foothills and roughlands between the prairie and the eastern border of the Lewis and Clark national forest. Used principally for stock ranching, too, is the locality of the Sweet Grass Hills. These are not extensive. Their total area is about 125,000 acres. Now in our look at the lands and the farms and ranches of the area we will start with the west side, the ranch ing country. Most of this lies to the west of the U.S. Highway 89, including roughly the western half of the Black feet Indian reservation. In this ranch ing country the ranch locations nestle in the broad and flat alluvial valleys of the streams. Now, the valleys and flood plains of the streams seem much too big for the size of the stream, but we must remember that in the glacial epochs some of the past these rivers, such as the Teton, carried enormous volumes of water. Now, these valleys afford bot tomlands for the ranch hay meadows and winter shelter for the livestock. Successful Ranching Country In a first look at this ranching coun try, rather high in elevation and a "North country" in latitude, one might think of it as a rather forbidding one for year around ranching operations. That it has proven to be a very success ful ranching country is due to an un usual combination of the natural re source factors. One of these is the dependability of winter winds that sw'eep down from the Rockies. This may seem strange, but the winds may be depended upon to clear the snow from some of the rough terrain of the rangelands, yet there are always sheltered locations in the hills and valleys where the stock may escape the wind. Sometimes the winds are of the Chinook type that may re move much of the snow cover. All this means that with good man agement of the rangelands there is good and dependable winter grazing on the hill bunchgrass. Because of this, full development of the hay meadow' pro duction of the stream bottoms hasn't been necessary. This all makes for a favorable situation of productive yet low r -cost ranching. Land of Big Farms Eastward from the foothill country of the ranching, the prairie lands of the "Triangle" stretch endlessly to the far horizon. This is a land naturally suited for big farms, large-scale equip ment and people with "know how," From the time when the land was homesteaded and at first farmed in 160 acre units, this area has come a long way in the needed reorganization and change. These farms, with their mech anization and specialization, do not as a rule maintain much in livestock. There are of course exceptions to this. Some of the farms near the stream breaks may combine cattle ranching with wheat farming, and otherwise the farm herds of beef cattle are not un common. However, with so much of the prairie land in wheat, the prairie part of the area lacks summer graz ing. There is, too, the problem of natural shelter in the prairies. Strip Farming Alternate crop and fallow "strip" farming is now universal in this area. Soil blowing and the rather limited precipitation make these a require ment. The average annual precipita tion of the plains of the Marias is about 12 inches. For the plains of the Milk river, this is around 14 inches. Such precipitations as these would not sustain crop agriculture were it not for the fact that three-fourths of the moisture comes during the growing season months, April through Septem ber. At times in the past, the problems of adapted land uses and of farm opera tions have been trying. Now, the ex perienced farm operators face the fu ture with confidence. They feel that they now have the design for success and stability anc that they foresee the ways to future progress.