Clipped From Big Spring Daily Herald
CONSERVATION WORK SHOWS RESULTS IN V. S. DUST BOWL LIBERAL, Kani., M«r. 81 (UP) forces of man are triumphing over those of nature in slowly halting dim storms which have scourged hreo states the past two years. In southwestern Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas men and machines, directed by the soil conservation service of the department of agriculture, are weakening the destructive elements. Base of Kansas operations are placed near Liberal on a 3£>,000- acre tract known as Kansas pro- ect No. 4. In this area there are '4 farmers and 110 WPA workers directed by Fred J. Sykes of- the soil conservation service. Approximately three-fourths of land owners on this tract have signed con- racts with the government. They agree to cooperate and to cultivate heir land in such a manner to prevent soil erosion. "Farmers and WPA workers first must level off the land," Sykes ex- ilained, "by grading down the dust lummocks created by the .black blizzards. On the 'level fields furrows, or lists, are plowed at right angles to the direction of the wind. "Farmers have agreed to plant sudan grass, kafir and other long- stemmed crops in the spaces be- ;ween terraces. When the crop is cut long stubble is left to catch and stop any dust which might be whipped by & strong wind." Results Already Apparent Visitors to southwestern Kansas already can see results of the work. !n the .fields which have not been .reated, strong prairie winds lift ,he fine dust and loose soil into the air where it is carried distances varying from a few feet to hundreds of miles. In the fields where :he tough crops have been planted the -winds only move the soil a few nches at the most. Sam Hayden, foreman of the WPA workers on the Liberal project, believes the work being done ultimately will be the salvation of :he middle west's dust bowl. Sykes believes the situation calls for highly scientific and technical study. He is convinced that the wind alone Is not responsible for dust storms. . Winds Not High "The worst dust storms," he said, "occurred when we were In a low barometric pressure area. That seems to have happened almost invariably. I noticed there was no particularly high wind at all times but when the barometer was low the dust would blow harder than during high readings." Louis Lemert, who owns 800 acres, was one of the first to sign the government contract. He insists all farmers must, cooperate if the project is to be successful. "Last 1 year," he said, "virtually my entire crop was destroyed. The winds took the seed and crops as well as the dust I couldn't put in a crop this year. I'm with the government all the way on this dust storm project." Oklahoma project No. 9 consist- •ng of 25,600 acres, is north of Guymon in the Oklahoma panhandle, 43 miles southwest of Liberal Kans. 241 Farmers Sign Tip It was started later than the Liberal project and numbers 241 farmers. It is in charge of Herbert M. Cabett, soil expert, aided by the agricultural department experiment station at Goodwell, Okla. eight mUes below Guymon. "Conditions here," Cabett said "are similar to those around Liberal. Farmers are beginning to see results from soil terracing and planting of certain crops to stop lust storms. In another six months we will have the situation fairly under control." At Dalhart, Texas, 100 miles south of Liberal in the Lone Star panhandle, a project begun last rear has shown amazing results. In charge of B. H. Hopkins, this jroject has been terraced and jraded to retain moisture. Farmers ilanted kafir and realized IS bushels to the acre. A stubble from 15 to 18 Inches ligh was left when the crop was cut. This formed a wind breaker which stopped dust from blowing 10 matter how strong the wind. Sudan Grass Planted Several farmers planted sudan jrass between the plowed furrows and allowed it to grow wild to act as a wind breaker. "Down here," Hopkins said, "one can stand in the open spaces and spot the fields where wind breakers haven't been planted. When a dust storm begins to blow the laze is seen only over the open unplanted fields. Across a broad expanse there are clear breaks in the dust haze which means the winds are over ground that has seen treated and therefore is fail- .ng to lift up dust. "Its all a simple matter of vege- ;ation and our task is to show the farmers what and how much to plant. When we get vegetation in :he- entire dust bowl our task will have been completed." Farmers cooperating in the projects who have their own equipment are paid 20 cents an acre. Those without equipment are paid 40 cents an acre. The money comes from a $2,000,000 fund provided in the new soil conservation act. Approximately 60 per cent of the money 'was advanced to farmers before work started. It ii purely optional with the Harnwr whether h* coojwate* la the proiri'aoi. M h« r«fu»e«, h« receives no payments.. There will be no contract* and it) their stead will be "work vheets" which will establish the rate of pay and the number of acres upon which payment will be made. Those who desire to cooperate In the program must make out a "work sheet" not later than May 15th. Two farm* To illustrate the workings of the jrogram, Griffin drew a verbal )icture of two 100-acre farms. One, Wanting as has always been the general custom, has 65 acres to cotton and 33 acres of feed crops. The production would normally be about 15 bales selling for around' 1700. If production stayed normal over the cottonbelt, prices likely would decrease and so would the output as the fertility of the soil was lost. The second farm, operating under the program as the agent saw t, would devote 25 acres to soil conservation and improvement, 45 acres to cotton producing 11 bales which would sell for only slightly ess than the 15, the rest in feed crops and. garden trucks. In addi- ion the farmer would receive ap- Dates Fked (CONTINUED PROM PAGE 1 ent upon the. knowledge that "we have been mining our soils, that is taking a great deal more from them than we have returned to them." Griffin cited examples of how this had already resulted in worn out farms for this section and at the same time had created economic difficulties in disposing of farm products at a fair price to the - producer. He believed the plan to remedy this situation net only economically sound but morally sound as well. "The Creator did not intend that the soil should be depleted by one or two generations," he said, "but that it would produce food and raw materials for thousands of years." The agent pointed out that it was difficult to vision the need for conservation here since soils are mostly new and fertile. This, however, does not abolish the need for conservation, he said. 80 Percent Are Ready He estimated that 80 per cent of the farmers and land owners were anxious for an opportunity to join in the program. Griffin scored "greed and selfishness as opposed to the program and said that most of the "trouble can be overcome if every person both on the farm and in the city can be informed about the program and v*.- i means to the future of the com- from Ux (ov«rnm«kt, putUaff ttm back Into preservation of hi* fam. Big Spring should Iw vitally to- terested in the conservation act said Griffin, civce tb« town can »P» hope to long rise above it* fain; lands. FOR SALE! Ideally Located FttrnfeHed CABIN On Lake S More than 9800 invested in cabin. Client mutt sell at a sacrifice by April 10. ACT NOW! See Mr Write The Thompton Agency Sweetwater, Texas The Untiring Hand in the Modern Kitchen Let a modern electric mixer do all of the hard work of preparing your meals. 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