OCR Interpretation


Montana farmer-stockman. [volume] (Great Falls, Mont.) 1947-1993, July 01, 1957, Image 18

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075096/1957-07-01/ed-1/seq-18/

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HM
Y/TJ A 5 T£ R for '57
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Model M
s m o o t h e r
For
trailer-type raking
with any tractor.
e You Go.. It's
re Mine
Every
*
f
is
Magic words— "Make Mine Morrill" —spoken
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Automatic operation at all speeds .. . right and
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Minimum maintenance and repair. See Morrill
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problem. One demonstration and you'll say,
Make Mine Morrill, tool"
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MONTANA OLIVER
n
"West Coast Sates cS&uRce Co
DISTRIBUTING (0.
P
'm NORTH J STRUT
TULARE. CALIFORNIA
P.O. Box ! 358
BILLINGS, Mont.
TES! Seed me additional information about Ibe
□ Model 3-P □ Model M □ Model LR MORRILL Rahe
Kam«
I am a student.
RR
I am a farmer.
Post Office
State
Don't hesitate to write to an advertiser in MONTANA FARMER-STOCK
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Golden Anniversary
(Continued from page 1)
Timers who attended the annual field
days and pfcnics at Moccasin that
were a regular part of community life
in central Montana years ago. In the
early days of the experiment station
attendance at these affairs ran close
to 4,000. Farm families came from as
far as 40 miles, a considerable distance
to travel in a Model-T over dirt roads
that frequently were nothing more than
wagon ruts across the prairie. Special
trains from Great Falls and Billings
brought picnickers to Moccasin. A car
nival, complete with ferris wheel, and
a baseball game were regular features
of these field days.
The picnics led to the formation of
the Judith Basin County Annual Picnic
Association, which was responsible for
planning the affairs. Drought and de
pression during the 30's, however,
caused a decline in attendance, and the
association was dissolved in 1938.
The Central Montana Branch Station
came into existence March 9, 1907 by
an act of the State Legislature. It was
first known as the Fergus County Sub
station. When Judith Basin county was
formed in 1920 it was called the Judith
Basin Branch Station. The present
name was chosen in 1943 because it is
located near the geographical center
of Montana.
The original land purchase for the
station was 160 acres. In 1912 adjoining
school land was leased from the state,
bringing the acreage up to 640, the
present size of the station.
Problems, Opportunities
From the very beginning research
work revealed both the problems that
agricultural development would face
in the area and the opportunities that
existed for dryland farming. In 1909
the annual report stated that "alter
nate thawing and freezing of winter
grains seeded later than August 1 re
duced stands and yields by one-half."
By 1911 it could be reported that sev
eral varieties of winter wheat could be
profitably grown on dryland in the
Judith Basin.
Particularly interesting is the change
in recommendations that were made,
as more knowledge of the area was
revealed through research. The 1913
report said "any intense method of
cultivation practice for conservation
of moisture in Judith Basin soils is a
waste of time and money." Summer
fallow was not recommended in 1916.
the 1919 report stated that "yields after
fallow were the highest and the rela
tive advantage of summer fallow was
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"[ a ' ( **®"*"" ® ranch Station has been instrumental in the develop
n L »? n ^ M| raSSe ^ Superintendent Jim Krall Is pictured in a
p ot of Russian wildrye, first grown at the station in 1928. This late
maturing grass is highly drought resistant and is an ideal pasture sup
plement to the earlier maturing Crested wheatgrass which has S
under test and development at the station since 1915. Present day clip
«faL« tU< f ieS gra ? S varieties *° determine protein content at various
lie g stoeïm"n y *"*■ Pr ° miSe ° f > ieldi "S Suable information
for
more marked than in the past.
Furrow Drill
Work was started on the develop
ment of a furrow drill in 1924. In 1929
"the furrow drill lessened winter kill
ing 34 per cent and increased yields
5.1 bushels per acre."
As research information from the
experiment station was revealed to
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This electric nursery cutter, shown
with its portable power unit, is one of
the machines used in small grain re
search at Moccasin,
farmers, showing the great potential
ities of the area, and more and more
virgin prairie was put under cultiva
tion, new problems began to arise.
In 1926 "soil blowing was so extensive
that wind-blown soil from the fields
of neighbors south of the station com
pletely covered rotation plots with 6
to 8 inches of soil. Much of the wind
blown soil was removed from the plots
with a fresno." Soil blowing had be
come one of the most important prob
lems confronting the agriculture of
the region by 1929.
Clouds of Dust
James L. Krall, superintendent at
Moccasin since the retirement of Ralph
M. Williams in 1955, is a native of
the Judith Basin. When a junior at the
Lewistown High School in 1936, Krall
says he can remember that it was
necessary to have the lights on in the
classroom during the day because of
the dark clouds of dust that blew in
from the farm lands east of town.
Krall was born in Danvers, 15 miles
northeast of the station, and graduated
from Montana State College in 1943.
The 1935 annual report stated that
"fall plowed plots suffered more loss
of soil from soil blowing than any other
plots in the rotation." It was also noted

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