The Mason City Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa on May 6, 1936 · Page 21
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May 6, 1936

The Mason City Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa · Page 21

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Mason City, Iowa
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Wednesday, May 6, 1936
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Page 21
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MASON CITY GLOBE-GAZETTE F I V E WOULD BROADEN SOIL CONSERVATION Economist Points to Other Ideas Long Time Program for Saving Soil Outlined. By WALTER W. WIW3OX Iowa Farm Economist The 1936 soil conservation act is 'on the books. It's going to be a great help to many Icwa farmers, especially those who have been wanting.to seed more grass but have been kept Som doing so by hard tames. But this new legislation is not a cure all- It is still up to the individual farmer to run his farm on a soil maintenance basis. The new legislation simply provides a vehicle by which a farmer can carry out certain soil conserving practices more easily than before, since be gets paid for it. ^ There are a number of sou maintenance practices that can be carried out by the farmer even without the sheltering hand of Uncle Sam. I'm not sayin°- we don't need a soil conservation program. I'm saying that there are many soil man- a^ement practices, in addition to the shift of a part of our acreage from soil depleting to soil conserving corps, which need consideration by every farm operator. Not Corn Only. In recent years we have come to think of soil conservation in Iowa as meaning corn reduction. Corn is our most exploitive crop. I" addition, the domestic and export market demand for corn (that is, for pork and lard) has been greatly reduced. So, logically, we set out to reduce corn acreage. But from the standpoint of the individual farmer this isn't always economic. If you have an exceptional farm, you may be able to reduce corn acreage without lowering your income materially. Farm management records show, however, that during the last eight years the high profit farms in Iowa have averaged more corn a 100 acres than the low profit farms. That Was Exception. The exceptions to this were during the years of falling prices when the less a farmer did the less he lost. Though these high profit farmers had a high proportion of their land in corn, they were not exploiting the land to as great an extent as the low profit farms, as judged by the yields over a pe riod of years. Corn on most Iowa farms is by all odds the most profitable crop that can be grown in any quantity. A small acreage of alfalfa hay or other grass may, .on a livestock farm, very easily be worth fully as much acre for acre as corn. But with this exception and with the exception of the man who is growing corn on land so poor that he is getting only half a crop, the reduction of corn acreage, unless accompanied by a benefit payment, may be expected to reduce farm income. Minimize Costs. What can the individual farmer do to minimize costs and yet reduce his soil losses If he is an owner, although he has to meet high fixed costs in the form of mortgage and in- terest'payments or high living costs in the raising and education of a large family, there are some things he cari do. What about cultural practices? Is he burning his com stalks? The soil needs those corn stalks to decay and ah' sorb the rains as they fall. Is he as careful as he could be in, leaving dead furrows ? Could he rearrange his fences so that there would be less farming up and down the hills and more around them? These in many cases are habits which require nothing more than to be changed. We have to build some of our fences over each year. When rebuilding- them why not keep in mind the possibilities of a change in the fence lines in the interests of soil conservation? Perhaps we should and can farm that long sloping hill in such a way that a part of the slope is in grass or small grain wliile the other part is in corn Slay Reduce Erosion. Now let's look at this problem of organic matter. Experimental data indicate that ero- may be reduced by one-half ot sion losses in some instances more simply by building up the organic matter in the soil. How can we build up organic matter? First, as mentioned before, by all means plow under the corn stalks. The application of jarnyard manure has been the standard Iowa practice. But on many farms this application of manure has been woefully inadequate. Agronomists tell us it is physically impossible ,to prevent the depletion of organic natter and nitrogen on your farm, simply by returning the manure from feeding the crops rown. The only way that or- janic matter can be maintained on your farm is either to plow- under some green manure crops or to buy additional feed and feed more livestock, observing _'ood husbandry practices in the care of the manure. Depleting Soil. Perhaps you are maintaining crop yields with your corn, oats and clover rotation even though you apply relatively little manure and cut off all the clover for hay. But your organic matter is being gradually depleted. And it is the organic matter in :he soil which makes it absorb the rains. Do you realize that f you would plow under that second crop of clover, if it has seen inoculated, you would add about as much nitrogen and or- ganic matter as a crop of corn takes out of the soil? But you say you need this second crop of clover for feed. That's where the new soil conservation program will help. You can afford to raise more acres of grass with the awards it will provide. Many of the problems associated with the utilization of more grass and less corn on the Iowa farms will vanish before they have arisen if each farmer will plow under one-fourth of his grass crop. Minute Men Urged To Get Back of Lower Rate Bill Last week the Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau mailed to the minute men, consisting of 140 men living in each school district of the county, a letter urging them to get back of a bill in Washington to provide for a continuation of the three and one-half per cent interest rate on federal land bank loans. The Farm Bureau is also interested in another project and that is to see what can be done to work out a system whereby loans can be made to young men who plan to start farming and who have a reputation for dependability, to en- courage and enable these young- men to buy farms on a long time amortization plan through a system similar to that used in Denmark. Land tenancy in Denmark has decreased from over 00 per cent rented farms to less than 7 per cent at the present time. Home ownership and soil conservation make up the foundation of a sound satisfied and prosperous agriculture. Land Taxes Lo\vef. Since 1928 real estate taxes have been reduced from 238 percent of pre-war rates to 112 per cent, according to H. R. Moore. Ohio rural economist. Disbanded Shipping Association Leaves Money to Churches Six churches of that vicinity are benefiting from the .demise of the Orchard Shipping association. The disbanded organization had about $500 Icl'i in its treasury and it was decided to give it to the churches. The Orchard Congregational church is being- given $100. and the balance is being diviu'ti) among the Lincoln. Hov.'aiti- villc, Osage Lutheran, St. Jr-hn Lutheran and Floyd Mcthoilist church. WE WANT YOUR WOOL Any Quantity--All Grades--(t will pay you to bring your woof to us. We pay more money. For Sole: New Wool Sacks, each . 40c Wool Twine, 2 IBs 23c WOLF BROS., Inc. See Market Poge Quotations 308 Fifth St. S. W. THERE IS ONLY ONE FARMALL If It Isn't a McCormick Deering It Isn't a Farmall The Some Company Who Builds the Famous McCormick-Deering Line of Farm Machinery Builds the Popular and Well Known International MotorTruck A Size to Fit Every Form and Commercial Requirement Available On Our Convenient Payment Plan McCormick Deering form machinery, tractors, twine ond International Trucks are manufactured by men who know how--backed by 105 years of experience in manufacturing and supplying the requirements of farmers throughout the nation ond world. SEE THE McCORMICK-DEERING DEALER AND INTERNATIONAL MOTOR DEALER BEFORE PLACING YOUR ORDER 23 Sixth Street S. E. Mason City, Iowa Phone 3200

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