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11-22-2012 08:52 AM
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and give it a moment----------- Like the 30s, find something to be thankful for------if nothing more than survival in 2012.
This "Dust Bowl" thing is working-------only had to go to three houses in Dallas area to find a willing family who thought we might be long lost relatives.
11-22-2012 11:34 AM
and Thanksgiving to you too. I watched the video of the Dust Bowl and had no idea it lasted that long and was that severe! Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for. My wife has a turkey in the oven and the children are coming home for supper.
May God bless all.
PS sw are there any drifts of dirt still visible or have they long been leveled off?
11-22-2012 02:08 PM
Staying out of the kitchen------- crowded and I have been assigned to commodity consumption today so I got a few minutes before being called to active duty.
Yes there are still a few spots, but someone would have to guide you---- there are not many from that far back. Old fence rows between owners and deep sand areas where Johnson grass seedings created huge mounds. This area needs to allow 18-25 acres of pasture land per cow. You cannot put a family on every 160 acres and support them. The record population for my county is to this day 1925.
Good farming practices have reclaimed and cleaned up most of them. driving through it looks good. There is a couple of areas that are struggling to hold things under control this last two years.
I was born out here------ but I have never gotten used to how fast dirt can get relocated when you get "out of step" with the climate. A sizeable ridge can be built in a weekend if the wind is "on the ground" for extended periods.
In 1964-6 I was 13-14 and starting to drive tractor(4020 with square cab). Neighbor boy and I farmed on either side of a 30's fence row/sand ridge. We could sit 200 feet apart, stand on top of the cabs and see each other over the ridge. 60's were wet so we raised nice residue on both sides. In the winter we tied an oil field cable to the hitches, drove both sides draging the cable through cleaning the weeds from the top of the ridge, keeping it bare, letting it blow back and forth a little at a time through the winter. After 2-3 years of this we got it down where we could farm over it and spread it out. Today you would never know it was there. Pulled two different barbed wire fences out of it, stacked on top of each other. Dad called it the controled blow method. Then after the sand was spread out thin we moldboard plowed it 18 inches deep, packing it and remix the sand with the clay soils below. Since then we have used crop residue management or no-til(in later years) to preserve it. In wet years we cleaned the ridges up. In dry years we preserved the weed or crop residue and left the ridges alone. In small sandy locations we fight this battle to this day.
In many areas this rebuilt the soil profile and damage from the 30's. And to this day we fight small battles with the same method.
The field in this example had a 38 bu wht and 56 bu milo APH when I came back home in 1974.
Wet years out here will be 26-32 inches rain and snow--------can be 3-10 years long. Dry years will be 6-12 inches or less and last for 1 to 5+ years------and come with plenty of wind. Our average at our farm is 18-20 inches, but it is never an average year.
Sorry for the long answer but I am full and can't move.
11-22-2012 05:28 PM
Thanks sw. You almost have to be born in that part of the country to stay an successfully farm it. I can remember in the 60's here in Iowa, as a school boy we would have to wipe dust off our school desks and there where a few small drifts of dirt in the ditches. At that time most farmers plowed the bean ground in the fall. That practice was soon dropped and as of today blowing dirt is not a real problem. We are still very dry here with around 19" for the year, 2/3 of normal with no rain in sight. Supper time soon (turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, olives, I must run.
11-24-2012 09:27 AM
I been thinking about your comment here,
Of all the changes in our area, I have seen in my lifetime, herbicide development has got to be one of the biggest. The great plains has been transformed by no-til and minimum tillage. The ability to save more water for the crop might be a bigger boost than irrigation in the southern aquifer areas.
There was a time when ground blowing in the spring could be seen all across the midwest. Today it is a rare thing, even out west.
When I read of someone declaring that chemicals use is evil---------- I immediately assume, like the folks who think corn will not go back to $5 or land will not go down in price, they are not a student of history.