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Imperial press and farmer. (Imperial, San Diego County, Cal.) 1901-1903, February 15, 1902, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92070142/1902-02-15/ed-1/seq-1/

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Imperial Press.
The Soil Experts' Report.
A copy of tho pamphlet from the
"United States Department of Agrl-!
culture. Bureau of Hulls. Circular No. i
U." on the "Soil Survey Around Im- \
pcrlnl, California," Is received and
from it wo draw some deductions.
The report, when carefully r««ad.
docs not create ho bad an Impression
an did the grilled telegraphic report
Kent all over the country.
The ropon contains v table show*
lr»g the "salt contents of the soll.'V
This table contains report on 119
samples of soil. In the first column
is a report of percentage of alkali In!
the first foot of the soil. Then a coll
umn I* devoted to the second foot,
another to the third foot, another to
[tie fourth foot, another to the fifth
foot, and another to the nixth foot.
This table ina»%es a better showing
than does the alkali map. The fol
lowing summary of that table shows
the number of soils that contain vari
ous percentages of alkali at various
depths from one to six feet:
.1 ,2t0.4 ,\%o.(> A\o\. Over I
First f00t. 38 28 IS 18 17
Second ft. 20 36 21 17 IS
Third ft. .29 37 2S 15 10
Fourth ft. 36 41 1J» 14 7
Fifth ft .39 41 l fi n 12
Sixth ft .'.37 37 K» 19 9
Av/ges 34 37 19 16 12
it will thus be been that the
nmount of alkail in the soil dimin
ishes a» greater depth is reached.
It will also be seen that about CO
per cent, of the land contains an av
erage of four-tenths of one per cent,
of alkali, or less and that on this
class of land the report Hays that al
falfa, wheat and corn will grow.
It will also be seen that 90 per cent,
of ...e soils contain an average of one
per cent, or les». and tho report 'says i
that thl« class of soils will raise bar-|
ley. sugar beets and sorghum.
A careful reading of the report
snows that the conclusions reached!
by the experts are not consistent
with tho facts given In the report—
assuming that tho statements made
therein are facts. This is shown by,
tho facts above given showing tho
percentage of tho land containing
various amounts of alkali.
Taking as a basis for calculations,
th figures given In the report show- j
ing the percentage of alkali In the
hoII to a depth of six feet, wo find the
facts to be »h follows:
Per I
percentage of allcall In Bolls, cent.!
0.2 of one per cent, or less 30
From 04 tO^viJ 1/.'/.'.'.-'.'.'1 /.'/.'.'.-'.'.'. I^.' 1«
, 0."0 to 100 "
Over 1 per ceut *"
Total 10 °
"Water is King— Here is its Kingdom."
The report further states:
Much work liuh been done by dif
ferent experiment stations of the
United Stati k and this bureau in the
pafct few years in determining the
amount of uikall various crops will
withstand in these alkaline areas and
the following limitation* have been
established for the white alkali:
Crops. Per cent.
Barley, Bugnr beets, sor
ghum 0.6 to 1.00
Alfalfa, wheat, corn 0.2 to 0.4
It in from this statement of the
report that the percentage of land
hiil tod to these crops Is given above.
In another portion of the report it
:s Btatcd that alkali found in the Im
perial lands Ik the white variety. On
this subject the report says:
Tho alkail of this portion of the
desert is all of the white kind, prin
cipally the eblorid of potassium and
sodium. Lime is present both as sul
phate and carbonate. No crops ex
cept sorghum and millet have as yet
been grown, so the exact limitations
for the different crops for this area
were not established; although they
certainly could not withstand a great
deal more than the crops elsewhere.
If the soils are kept well drained
there i« enough gypsum in the soil and
water to preclude all possibility of
thero ever being an accumulation of
(he black alkali.
Again the report says:
By popular usage any harmful ac
cumulation In the soil of salts of any
kind Is referred to as alkali, distinc
tions being made between districts
containing a largo amount of sodium
carbonate and those which do not.
The sodium carbonate areas are pop
ularly called "black alkail" areas,
and nil others "white alkali" areas.
Tho white alkali salts are usually
found associated with the sodium car
bonate In black alkali areas, while In
the white alkali regions there is usu
ally n predominance of the sulphates
or chlorides, with smaller amounts of
other Halts. So far as Is yet known,
the amount of white alkali that crops
will wiuißtnmi Is Influenced more by
the presence or absence of lime as a
constituent of tho soil than by tho
chemical composition of tho salts. It
has been determined by experiments.
I. "Hi In th»- field and In the lahorn
t'»rv. that where thero Is an ciccstofl
lime in tho soil In the form of ml
phate or carbonate^ plants will with- j
Htnn . a greater percentage of alkali j
than where the llmo content in small.
In the Colorado Desert gypsum (sul
phate of lime) and carbonate are
nearly always present In the soil.
This paragraph will bear another;
careful reading. From a careful ;
study of these two paragraphs, taken
In connection with the alkali tables,
the following conclusions arc tin- ,
First— Ninety per cent, of the soil
wjii produce barley, sugar beets and
oocond— Sixty per cent, of the soil
will produce alfalfa, wheat and corn.
Third— The Imperial soils contain :
n large amount of gypsum (sulphate j
of lime), and carbonate of lime. (Tho
report might have also added the
soils generally were full of periwinkle
shells thus furnishing a large per
centage of carbonate of lime).
Fourth — That "so far as is yet
known, the amount of white alkali
that crops will withstand is influ
enced more by the presence or ab
sence of lime as a constituent of tho
soil than by the chemical composition
of the salts."
Fifth— "lt has been determined by
experiment, both in "the Held and in
the laboratory, that when there Is an
excess of lime in the soil in the form
of sulphate or carbonate, plants will
withstand a greater percentage of
alkali than when the lime content is
Sixth — From the conclusions which
are reached from statements made in
the report, it Is evident that a fair
study of tne report brings a person
necessarily to favorable conclusions
instead of to the unfavorable conclu
sions given by the experts.
noora for 75.000.000 More.
I'nder the above caption the Los
Angeles Herald in Its editorial col
umns thus spoke:
A striking illustration of possible
development in our seml-arld region
It. given in the figures furnished by
the Director of the Geological Survey.
It appears that the lands already cul
tivated by Irrigation aggregate tf.500.
000 acres. They ore chiefly In Cali
fornia and Colorado. Thero Is enough
water "In sight" to irrlgato 100.000.0H0
acres, by proper means of conservation.
The report takes oue-flfth of tho acre
age that might bo made available foe
• cultivation n« n basis of calculation*
I To irrigate 20,000,000 acre* for fhlrty
; Hifht years would cott. the government
j ll '• p« r acre, making the aggregate for
■ the whole time $.100,000,000. Hut thfi
, work In providing storage would en
able settlers to irrigate another 2u,
000,000 acres .at the same rate of rout.
' This land would he worth at the end
! of forty years a round $2,000,000,000
; and It would support a population of
,; 30,000,000.
Carrying this calculation a little
further, w»» find that there is sufficient
water "In sight." in semi-arid regions,
\to irrigate enough land to sustain
1 pearly the present population of the
United States. If 40,000,000 acres of
irrigated land will provide for a popu
; latlon of 20,000,000, then the full 100.-
I 000.000 acres would sustain a popula
tion of 75.000,000.
And this land will be needed within
' forty years. At the present rate of
r growth there will be. approximately,
) 200,000.000 people in the United States
forty years hence, and the semi -arid
lands of this section are the most
available for supporting the vast in
Who Wrote the Letter?
We have been Sanded a clipping
from some unknown Eastern paper,
says the Santa Ana Herald, containing
the following article, which will cer
tainly be of interest to the people gen
erally of this city:
"H. A. B. Kelly, of the real estate
board of brokers, has on his hands the
task of writing an up-to-date descrip
tion of the City of New York for the
benefit of a stranger in Santa Ana,
Cal.. who is of an Inquiring turn of
mind. The Westerner took a some
what unusual method of preferring
this request.
"Mr. Kelly was cracking walnuts at
dinner when one of the nuts, which re
eisted his efforts for some time, at
tracted his attention on account of
it£ peculiar whitish color. Mr. Kelly
finally broke it open and found in one
half of the Ehell a note on which was
a request for a description of the place
the finder lived in. Mr. Kelly carefully
preserved the letter, which he intends
to answer."
That is rather romantic, but not so
much so as another similar episode
which occurred only two or three
years ag:o. A young lady while wrap
ping oranges slipped a note into one
of the wrappers, asking the finder to
write to the address given In the note.
She signed her name and gave her
address. That orange fell into the
bands of a young man who did as re
quested and a wedding was the result.
With the prospects of a dry season
ttarlng them in the face what are the
people along the river, with plenty of
water flowing past them, golug to do?
Water can be thrown over the bank
very cheaply. The Electric Power
Company is anxious to put In the
power at almost a nominal cost. If
any number of people will join together
tho plant will be put in. the ditches
dug to their very lands, and water put
on at a very low rate. Hut it requires
tome tlxing of the land to receive it.
Will this keep fanners from trying to
produco a crop of any kind? It is
fully time to begiu to think.— Colusa
Yes, fifty yean* is long enough for
; one generation to think. If tho people
[ along tho Sacramento River cannot
\ think on this subject to some purpose
I by this time they had bettor turn the
i whole subject over to tho next genera
| tlon without prejudice.
No. 44

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