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D COLUMBIA KIVER BASIN D ,ron Hunter, Agriculturist, Uni ,i States Department of Agricul ture, in Charge of Farm Manage ment Investigations in Idaho, Ore a nd Washington. An address delivered at the Spo kane Dry Farming congress. We have met here as delegates to this convention from several states 'nd nations with varied climatic and agricultural conditions for the pur pose of getting a broader vision of me possibilities of dry farming. We may get this vision by studying the methods which have been developed an the results obtained by others in localities with which we are not fa miliar. But in order to properly interpret and profit by these results, it is necessary to get a fairly clear knowledge of the conditions under which the work was done. It is my purpose, therefore, in presenting this subject to discuss (l), the conditions under which and (2), some of the most successful methods by which dry farming is practiced in the Wheat belt of the Columbia river basin, This great, wheat belt includes . portion of three states, Idaho, Ore gon and Washington, It is almost surrounded by mountains, which greatly modify the climate. The Cascade mountains He to the west; the Coeur d'Alene and Bltterroot mountains to the east; the Okanogan highlands to the north; and the Blue mountains to the southeast. The elevation above sea level varies from •' two to four hundred feet along the Columbia river to as much as 3000 feet at several points near the moun tains. The moisture bearing winds * are usually from the southwest. As they pass over the Cascade moun tains they are depleted of much of their moisture. This gives much of the Columbia river valley in both I Oregon and Washington a very dry climate. The average annual precipi tation along the Columbia river var ies from 6to 10 Inches. This grad ually Increases with the distance from the river until an annual rain fall of 24 or 25 inches is reached in some of the farming districts having the greatest altitudes. A distance of only a few miles frequently makes a great differem : in the altitude and percipitation and, therefore, in the agricultural possibilities. The distribution of the annual pre cipitation through the year has a very marked influence upon the agricul ture of any arid or semi-arid region. Here In the Pacific Northwest our wet season comes during November, ■ December, January and February, the summer months being very dry. In must, localities the precipitation of May is usually a little more than that of either April or June. This type of rainfall is just the opposite of that of the dry farming region east of the Rocky mountains, On the one hand it is quite wed! adapted to the production of cereal crops, or LTOps which mature early In the sea son. On the' ' ' her, the long, dry, Runnier season makes It difficult to grow cultivated crops instead of sum .mer fallowing. This is especially Haie in our dryer localities when the ii-iring and summer precipitation is below the normal. . Dry farming has been carried on hi eastern Oregon and eastern Wash iJJton for 30 to 40 years. As early as 1839 there' was one grist mill in the Walla Walla valley. In 1866 there were five. That year the wheat yield of eastern Orego i and eastern Washington, or the "upper country" Is it was then called, was estimated at one-half million bushels. Half of 'V is said to have been raised 'n Walla Walla county. In the begin- | ning only tin' creek bottoms and foot hill land were thought adapted to cultivation. The completion of the Northern Pacific railway and the Oregon Short Line during the 80 opened up transportation facilities and Save the country Its first great agri cultural Impulse. While the better and more humid localities were settled and brought under cultivation first, the home deader pushed agriculture back into the dry region so rapidly that dry 'arming proper has been carried on "Mte extensively in the states of Ore- Sonand Washington for at least 25 fears. Beginning in those early days *hh but few tools, the plow and the "arrow, and a meager knowledge of 106 laws and methods of conserving 3011 moisture, our farmers have de- Tel°ped step by step ln the school of *Perience and efficient tillage meth- Ms that are now used ln the Colum- ( river basin. Cropping System. 1 A * first a crop was raised every ■P r In the better localities. Dlmin- P* o yields and the appearance of r*ds soon caused the settlers to r^°Dt the summer fallow system. I l ' system is practiced almost uni |/ Sa'ly at the present time. Where rainfall Is scant a crop is raised 7 other year, the land beltg In crop one year and summer taliuweu (clean cultivated) the next, la some localities where the precipitation is heaviest, two and three crops are fre quently raked each time the land is summer fallowed. Corn, bean*, and potatoes are grown as cultivated crops in a limited way in some of the more favored districts. The Two Extremes of Dry Farming At the present time l be wheat belt of the Columbia river basin presents the two extremes of dry farming. Beginning near the Columbia river, on the one hand, where the pri imita tion is but 6 or 7 inches ami where the soil is light, deficient in vege table matter and subject to drifting, we have a condition which appears to be beyond the limits of successful dry fanning. In the higher alti tudes, on the other band, where the soil is a fertile silt loam and where the precipitation is sufficient to grow cultivated crops Instead of summer fallowing, wo have conditions where Intensive agriculture is possible, con ditions that are scarcely proper to designate as dry farming. The Surface Run-off As previously stated the most of our annual precipitation comes during the late fall and winter. While an excessive winter precipitation is usu ally considered indicative of a good crop yield, It must be remembered that much of the winter rain and snow water is frequently lost by sur face run-off. The warm Chinook winds to which the Pacific Northwest Is subject during the winter months frequently cause a heavy snow to melt very rapidly. If the ground is frozen solidly at the time of these rapid thaws, the soil can not take up the water and much of it runs into the ravines and is lost. When we remember further that the crop can use only that portion of the rainfall that the 801 l takes up anil retains, lessening the surface run-off by stor ing the water in the soil becomes a very important matter. From this point of view the depth to which the winter precipitation sinks in the soil is the true rain guage for the dry farmer. It is one of the best Indica tors of the chances for a good crop. Methods of Lessening the Surface Run-off In order to check the surface run off the soil should go into the winter in a loose, open, receptive condition. Land that has produced it cereal crop is put In this condition by fall disk ing and plowing. Disking and plow ing loos.'lis the surface soil so the iter can penetrate it. The plow es pecially leaves depressions in the sur face which catch and retain snow water v. hi 11 the ground is frozen.! The stubble and other organic matter are mixed with the surface soil. This tends to keep the surface loose and porous so that the ground will not freeze bo hard as when it is com pact. When treated In this way the soil often thaws out quickly enough to take much of the snow water. In several Instances we have known the moisture to penetrate twice as dee])!.'.'! ly the first of February on land tiiat was fall plowed as il aid on the samej kind of land that was ne I plowed Curly Spring Tillage Important Another essential in dry farming In the Columbia river basin, a matter that Is not as universally appreciated by our farmers as it should be, is checking the loss of soil moisture by evaporation in the early spring. As soon as the frost is out of the ground and the soil has settled and dried sufficiently to permit of cultivation, evaporation takes place very rapidly. Unless there is an excessive spring precipitation, or unless the surface is cultivated, the soil remains in good condition to plow for only a short time. It then breaks up, in a very cloddy condition. For this reason the spring work, both seeding and summer fallow tillage, should be pushed with all possible vigor. Summer Fallow Tillage There are several quite distinct methods of summer fallowing in use among the farmers, most of which have been practiced for a good many years. In the absence of carefully conducted tests extending through a number of years to determine their relative value, it ls not always easy to say just what tillage methods will give the best results under our varied climatic conditions. The principal objects sought In summer fallow til lage usually are (1), storing the win ter precipitation In the soil (2), the conservation of the moisture accumu lated during the winter and spring, and (3). the eradication of weeds. 1. A Method for Clean Land If the land to be summer fallowed ls reasonably clean, excellent results are obtained by plowing deeply ln the fall. The ground is left rough until spring, just as it comes from the plow, so that It will be in condi tion to rece,/e the winter rains. In the early spring the surface is mulch ed with the disc harrow or other suitable tools. The mulch Is either maintained throughout the season and the weeds controlled by surface cultivation or the land ls plowed shal tow uunug May or Juno and then surface cultivated. -. A Method tor Foul Lund \\ hero the soil Is literally full of weed Md as much of our soil is, or where a ■■•.• crop of weed seed has matured ana fallen to the surface of the ground, it is biles best to sur face cultivate before the land is plow ed deeply. Where dei plowing is the lirst operation much of the weed seed Is placed so far beneath the sur face that it does nut germinate until brought to tne surface again by sub sequent plowing. The folio* Ingl iueihod ...... soiuo variations is used i»y many ol our most ...... situ] farm ers; When the laud to be fallowed is weedy it may be either shallow plow ed or disked In the fall after har vesting the crop. The shallow culti vation covers the weed seed and gives I them a chance to germinate during t the autumn, it also breaks down .iiiil covers or partially covers the stubble. This forms a mulch that Joes not crust easily, that takes up the winter precipitation quite rap- Idly, and that will prevent the ground from freezing so hard during the winter. As soon as the soil is dry enough In spring it is again cultivated by disk ing am, l"UTOvving. This forms a mulch tha. checks evaporation so that the plowing can be delayed for , some time. The early surface culti vation destroys the weeds that were' started during the fall and brings other weed seed into condition to germinate. By establishing the mulch early and delaying the plowing, the moisture becomes better distrib uted through the soil. This causes the stubble to be turned under well and the ground to plow easier and more mellow than it would if plow-; ed early. From three to six weeks after the 1 surface is mulched the land is plow ed. The surface weed seed having been germinated, the plow kills a crop of weeds ami turns comparative-! ly clean soil Into the furrow. The 1 majority of farmers who disk in the! fall or early spring before plowing, follow the plow pretty closely with the spike-tooth harrow. A few use th.' subsurface packer as we shall ex-1 plain presently. For the rest of the summer cultivation after plowing and harrowing, some form 01 knife weeder is generally preferred. The knives slip under the surface and do! not pulverize the surface so much at, 1 the tooth harrow, If the surface soil becomes finely pulverized It Is likely to puddle and get too hard during the following winter, j Where the soil is subject to drifting when pulverized finely some prefer! to use the Bpringtooth harrow mount ed on wheels. This Implement can be adjusted to cultivate the desired; depth and the teeth bring the clods to the surface, if tie surface is cloddy, the soil will not blow so easily. ;.. 'The Use 1.1 the Subsurface Packer Subsurface packers of the Camp hell typo have gradually been gaining in favor for several years. Land that has just been plowed is loose and .pen, containing many air cavities 1 l:is open condition permits the air to circulate quite freely in the soil, which dries it out quickly. If used Immediately after he plow the sub surface packer settles the soil, fills| up he air cavities, and packs the bottom portion of the Boil turned by the plow. This lessens the circula tion of the air in the soil and mater ially decreases evaporation. Few men who have properly and thorough ly tested the subsurface packer are willing to give it up. Tillage for Spring Sown Cereals In raising spring grain in the Col umbia river basin it is essential that; the seed bed be firm and compact and that the seeding be done early. The seed bed may be put in this condition in many ways and with many tools. A good method of procedure la as follows: Plow six or seven inches deep as early in the spring as the soil Is in good working condition, harrow immediately, drill in the grain as soon as land is harrowed, follow the drill closely with the packer (the Corrugated roller, the Dunham rol ler, or the Campbell packer), and then harrow lightly. This will form a compact seed bed that will hold moisture well and In which the young plants can root firmly. With the seed In the ground, the packer presses the soil around each kernel, placing It In j condition to absorb moisture and ger minate quickly. The final light har rowing establishes the proper mulch. If planted early on a well prepared j seed bed the crop will be better able to cope with the weeds. It will be more likely, also, to mature early and be out of the way when the hot winds come. Too frequently large areas are plowed and allowed to He for some time without further cultivation be fore the seeding ls done. If the spring happens to be unusually dry, as it was last spring, the surface soil dries out to such an extent that the seed germinates poorly when lt Is sown. Under these conditions a thin stand and a light crop are tic results. Cultivation of Spring and Winter Cereals There are two principal reasons lor i cultivating cereal crops (1), to con ! servo moisture, and (2), to destroy •i weeds. While the cultivation is •usually done with the spike-tooth har i row we have known the disc harrow and the sharp corrugated roller to be useu in the spring on winter grain. 1. Hurt-owing Grain When It Is Germinating As a rule winter wheat is not sown until butiicient rain has come to start ' a goc/cl crop of weeds. These are then destroyed and the grain sown. ! Liven with this precaution it frequent ly happens that the surface soil will bo teeming with young weeds by the time the grain is germinating well. These weeds are effectivly destroyed by double harrowing a few days before the grain comes through the surface' at the soil, it is often possible, also, , to destroy many weeds by harrowing [spring sown grain when at the sumo stage of germination. ii. Cultivating Winter Wheat in the Spring Tin cultivation of winter wheat in the spring ls frequently advisable. The winter rains usually puddle and pack the surface soil to such an ex ; tent that it becomes very bard when it dries. Harrowing breaks up the i crust and Conserves a great deal of moisture by forming a surface mulch, it also destroys a great many weeds and gives the grain more room. ;$. Cultivating Spring Grain. Beating rains sometimes puddle I and crust the surface soil alter spring grain has been sown. Under such conditions the soil moisture that should In used by the growing crop] is lost very rapidly by evaporation. This may be prevented largely by | harrowing the grain to break the I crust and re-establish the mulch. The j cultivation may be done from the ; time the plants are well rooted until i the grain is jointing. While we think the cultivation of ■ grain in the spring is usually advis able, there is at least one Injury that j may result, especially to spring sown i grain. The cultivation invariably de j lays tin.' time' of ripening. Hot winds not infrequently do considerable damage to immature grain during the I last of June and July. The cultiva tion may delay the time of ripening : just enough to cause the grain to be shriveled. Cultivated Crops Instead of Summer Fallowing i We have previously pointed out the 'difficulty of growing cultivated crops instead of summer fallowing in a re- I glon whose rainfall is scant and : whose dry season comes during June, July and August. Since a cultivated ; crop grown on stubble land must , make Its growth from the rainfall jof but one season, it is evident that 1 such crops must be given every pos : sible advantage if satisfactory results ! are to be obtained. The preparation i of the soil, therefore, should begin in ] the fall of the year. As soon as the ground is wet enough it should he plowed deeply. It should be left rough just as it comes from the plow , in order to catch as much of the win ter precipitation as possible. In the .early spring as soon a. the soil has , dried sufficiently, the disc and tooth harrows should be used to form a mulch. In order to reduce the loss of moisture to a minimum the mulch must be maintained until time to plant the crop. Farmers who use I this or similar methods of preparing 1 the' land for corn generally raise pay ing crops. Corn has been condemned again • 'and again because it has not been ;: given a "square deal." Too often ■ ; the corn land remains uncultivated In > any way until the last of April or in j May, I. c., until all of the other spring ! work Is done, when lt Is plowed and i planted. Plowed at this late date i the soil has usually lost so much i moisture that no one who under , stands the conditions would expect i a paying crop. When we learn to give the close attention to the grow i Ing of cultivated crops that we do to wheat raising, there will be some hope of abandoning the summer fal- I low system In much of the wheat rais i Ing belt of the Columbia river basin. aTIY THE MjKEWRjgj WESTERN MADE Clear Havana Cigar A Fragrant, Satisfying Smoke AS GOOD AS ANY AND BETTER THAN MOST HIGH CLASS CIGARS NORTH PACIFIC SUPPLY CO. 302-303 PACIFIC BLOCK Distributors BRATTLE, WASH. HOLLYHURST (Copyright law by the Amencnn Humane l-'.l ik,.tun, Society, nil rights reserved.) PublUbcd by ct«t permlMton el the A merino HuuiHue hilucutiuii Society. CHAPTER X. The Power of the Future it is often possible to get a grain of comfort from mishaps, and even from misfortunes. The accident that bad detained Miss Lydst it Holly hurst had resulted In much enjoy ment for Rose, md no Inconsiderable amount, apparently, for herself. But she was now improving so rapidly that there seemed no reason for her lining longer, and Mr. and Mrs. Hibbard had driven over to take her home. A pleasant interchange of vis its and drives had, however, been planned by the girls in the future. Lad) Clare still remained lame. Dr. Gardnt r thought it probable that she would eventually recover, and that she might be driven again with safety as a carriage horse, but Mr. I libbard had lost confidence in her. "I shall not feel easy for the family to go out with her again," lie Bald, •l must dispose of her." "Can't you make some use of her?" suggested the doctor. "I seldom drive myself, and 1 have no work for her to do." 'Shall you i ell her?" "1 shall try; but who will want a horse that Is liable to run away?" "1 cannot commend her. She may do for a street-car hack." "Oh!" said Reginald, who was standing by, "Lady Clare high stepping, spirited Lady Clare, —with her arching neck, to be chained down to a street car! it would break her heart." Mr. Hibbard smiled. "Reginald," he said, "I would gladly give the horse to you, if 1 didn't Car that she would break your neck for you soon er or later." "1 shouldn't be In the least afraid to drive her," replied Reginald, "and although she is not exactly a saddle horse, 1 think I could ride her." "You can manage her if anyone' can, I don't doubt," said Mr. Hibbard. Then turning to I>r. Gardner, "What do vein say? Would you be willing for him to have her?" "I think so. Of course a horse that has run away once is more Inclined to do so again, but she might, not have the same provocation." "If any accident should happen through her, I should In a meas ure responsible. Isn't It too much of a risk to take?" "Not more, perhaps, than we might take in buying one. I do not consider her vicious or tricky." "If you say see. it's a bargain." "What do you Bay, Reggie?" asked his father. "I shall be delighted to have her if I may— that is, if you ah- willing— and Mr. Hibbard is to kind as to give her to me." "Well, take her and try her," said Mr. Hibbard, "but don't lei Mrs. Gardner and Rose go until you have given her a thorough trial." "We shall work her more than you have done, —that is with Reggie's per mission— and she may not get so fris ky. Then we shall use neither check rein or blinders." "If after trying her you find she isn't safe, dispose of her as best you can. There are the street car compa nies to fall back on as a last resort," laid Mr. Hibbard, smiling at Regi- laid. "She can't do much damage there." Then do I understand she Is mine'?" asked Reginald. "She is yours." "Hurrah!" said Reginald, throwing up hie cap. "I own a horse; l thank you very much, Mr. Hibbard. I must go and tell mamma and Rose." On the following Sunday they drove to church as usual. As they drew near to Fairmont, they noticed that the s'reet cars were crowded with passen gers. It was a bright, breezy, day and people were going on various ex cursions. "Car horses work bard enough any day," said Reginald, "but on Sun days and holidays they appear to have double work," "That is so," said the doctor. "Think of Lady Clare with her im patient temper and her ambition 'to go,' having to be pulled up every other minute for some one to get on or off," exclaimed Reginald. "I think if she had the power to see such a future for herself," replied the doctor, "she would prefer to bring about another smashup, and .■ml her life then and there. "I wish the cars didn't have to stop so often," said Rose, "the horses seem to struggle and pull so hard hen they start again." "People might be much more con siderate than they are about getting on and off," said the doctor. "Any person able to take a public car ought to be able to walk a block or two. Why shouldn't horse cars have cer- tain walking places—say every other stret, as some of the electrics do." £68% "I am glad the electric cars have com* in." returned Mrs. Gardner. "I can make one of a crowd now, with out feeling unhappy, but I have walked many a time in the past, rath er than to put another hundred pound! or more upon horses already overburdened." 'Bicycles help very much, too, ma ma. Horses don't have to work so hard as they did," pleaded Rose. "And Mr. Edison Bays there is a still brighter future for them," said Reginald. "He thinks that in 25 years from now electricity will take tbe> place of horse power In almost every sort of work, and that horses will become pets and a luxuy." "We make a great advance," re vile.i ids father, "whenever we dis cover and are able to control forces not subject to pain and weariness, yet powerful enough to do the work of the world. Electricity seems to be such a farce, and men are now turn ing their attention toward another which may prove more powerful still." "What is that?" asked Reginald. "Compressed air." "The air wo breathe?" Interrogated Rose. "The same air." "1 il how do they use it, papa?" "Store it up In batteries as they do electricity. It Is not an entirely new thing. Efforts were made long ago to use this force. I believe that in Europe cars havo been run by it for short distances—six miles, per- haps." "If we can use air," said Mrs. Gardner, "it would seem that we have a power practically without limit." "Yes, If we can find a way of stor ing up enough of it. it has one ad vantage over electricity, Storage batteries for collecting It need not be so heavy and cumbersome. Steam was once considered the best power, now electricity Is the. coming force, but is not Impossible that compressed air may be Ilm 'power of the future. " Potatoes for Washington The result of experiments mads during the summer just passed on potatoes grown at the Washington State College is arousing a great deal of interest among the farmers of the Inland Empire. The results of the experiments give the following: Group of varieties that produce new potatoes early and mature early In the season are: New Queen, marketable in 15 days, a good variety to raise; Peck's Early, 78 days, good; Pride of the South, fair; Iris Cob bler, 80 days, good; Early Ohio, go days, very good; White Ohio, 76 days, fair; Six Weeks, 84 days, fair; New Early Standard, 82 days, very good early maturing; King of Michigan, 80 days, good for short season; New Century, 80 days good for short sea son; while' Star, SI! days, require good soil and plenty of moisture; Early Thoroughbred, 85 days, good quality; New Climax, 80 days, good, only small; Early Rose, 85 days, yield changeable. This group is of the varieties that produce new potatoes and matim* In early September; Sweet Home* marketable in 8 1 days, good for semi ,i rid sections; Champions of tho World, 80 days, very good Early Excelsior, S1 (lays good tor light soil'; Rural Red, SI days, quality good; Crlne's Lightning, 80 lays, not deflruble for market, good for homo. White Victor, H7 .'ays, good . Early Hamilton, 83 .lays, good quality; White Rose, 75 days, fair These for Early Spuds. These varieties produce new pota toes early, but mature very late: Burpee's Extra Early, fair quality and producers; Arcadia, fair; Rovee, not extra for market; Ugonma, fair; Crown Jewel, fair. The following varieties were found to produce good, marketable potatoes, and ripen early in the fall. They give much promise for 'he' Palouso country and some parts of tbe Rig Bend: American Wonder, White Lily, Carman No. 1, Pink Eyed Seed ling, Green Mountain, New Burbank, Netted Gem, Sir Walter Raleigh, Ver mont Gold Coin, Washington Wonder, Other heavy-yielding varieties Ad apted to eastern Washington, but which require a long season, good soil and a large amount of moisture are the New Late White Nebraska, Bur bank, Governor Folk, Peerless, Ross Favorite, Rural New Yorker No. 2, Snowflake Junior, Carman No. 3, White Beauty, White .Mammoth, North Pole Easterly, Harvest King, Great Divide, North Pole Stinnett. What is claimed to be the largest individual sale of wheat ever made in Walla Walla County or in the entire northwest was made Wednesday of last week when the Jones-Scott com pany purchased from George Drum heller 106,000 bushels of bluestem and Turkey red, at figures said to be 80 cents In the warehouse. The wheat was grown on the Drumheller ranches near Rulo, Dry Creek and Starbuck. The check Issued by the grain firm was for $84,860.