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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: The Dust Bowl and the Government

I look at my land, as something I am only using, that I want my kids to have one day.

I actually am willing to give up a little bit of productivity, in order to ensure that 50 years from now, it is still good land, with good water underneath, that is safe to drink.

I do see the occasional high-bid renter come through, bid up the rents for a few years, mine the fertility off the soil, and move on.  Seeing that, makes me think that the best stewards of the land, in general, are the ones who live on it, and want their kids to be able to.

 

As far as the government, I think it kind of depends on what we want the outcome to be, as a nation.  I belive that there needs to be some law, to prevent overuse of fertilizer and pesticides, but I also belive, that over time, best farming practices would eventually spread, simply because common sense tells me that for the most part, people will gravitate to what works the best.   However, having University research and test plots, I belive has helped these better practices catch on quicker, expecially when they can use proven data, to show that X practice will give Y benefits.

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

Grandpa also tells of having  'pet' grasshoppers.   When the swarm left, there were a couple alive here and there, and he would tie strings to them, and have them pull sticks acrosss the yard, like an old Indian drag.  The way he talks, they were WAY bigger than the hopper we see around here, now, and they came in a cloud, similar to the dust, but it would 'shimmer' if they came on a sunny day.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

John, the genesis of technology that ended so much of the hand labor hardship of farming certainly came out of the Grest Depression. It lingered in certain facets of ag - I think about working in flue-cured tobacco as a kid and young adult as slave labor - but largely ended in food and feed crops first, I think. Of course, the chemical legacy of World War II changed things drastically as well. I sect and plant pests were largely controlled - to the small degreeossible - by plucking and weeding. I am not so sure we aren't reaching the end game of resistance along that path, though. I am sorry I missed this series, and I wonder how accurate it seemed to be to those of you with family roots in the region. Reminds me of that book detailing American agricultural history since 1929 _A Revolution Down on the Farm_ by Paul Keith Conkin. If you haven't read that one yet, I think you would enjoy it.
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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

Kay,

The Worst Hard Time book and the ken burns- Dust Bowl film-------- are accurate to the point of correcting some myths.  They are great presentations of the time nationally.  Not just locally.   IMO of course.

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Wind
Advisor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

BA, the dust bowl video was a great film and a reality check for all in agriculture.  I'm going to relate a true story of a bachelor that farmed in Gove County KS during the dust bowl days and he was a survivor.  He was very frugal.  He didn't let a penny slip through his fingers.  He had three  tractors, a newer one, an old tractor and one in between.  When it came time to change the engine oil only the newest tractor got the new oil.  You can probably guess the rest.  The tractor in between got the used oil from the newest tractor and the oldest tractor got the used, used oil from the in between tractor!!  Probably not a good practice by today's standards.  I'm not sure what he did with the used, used, used oil from the oldest tractor but I'm sure he found a good use for it. 

Still dry here too in C IA

Wind

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

That is a good one, Wind Smiley Happy I suppose that was a variation on in the olden days when the kids took a bath first, then the old lady then the dirty dad ..one right after another in the same bath water...uff-da!  That whole bathing situation back then would`ve drove me up a wall, I need at least 1 shower a day or I`d freak out.   Some of these tight Norwegians around here used to dig up posts that were getting rotten in the ground and turn them end for end and reuse them..if times got tough they`d maybe flipp the same post 6 or 7 times Smiley Happy  One proud farmer used to be the first one in the neighborhood hand picking corn, from a distance right at sunrise it`d look like he had quite a pile in his wagon, however on closer inspection he had painted a yellow semi-circle on his triple-box bangboard. 

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

I need to take in both. All this talk od climate change I think makes us forget dry eras of the past. I toted 30- foot sections of irrigation pipe for most of the 1960s, it seemed. Tobacco was all that warranted ot back then...reels and hard hose traveling guns made it easier to extend irrigation to the peanut crop couple of decades later. Now, you see center cots on soybeans and cotton.
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wt510151
Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

He may have burned it to keep the house warm. There were some oil burning stoves back in the day. At least the guy rotating the posts had wood. Some places used limestone posts. At least they didn't rot. Then there were the stone houses. They were drafty and cold in the winter. DF talked about waking up to snow on top of the blankets in 1940.He often said that they would plant trees at every place they lived, even though the stay may only be a year or two. His dad was too proud to take a government check but they still stayed together.

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Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

Kay, the series was pretty good and accurate. However, it veered off course near the end. It focused on the views of a couple extremists. The ogallala has been predicted to be depleted since the 80's with dire consequences to come in twenty years. 35 years later, reduced water use practices has extended the life beyond those predictions. The couple shown at the end that still used old equipment, is not a valid statement that the high plains should go back to grass. The evidence all around them, the successful transition into sustainable bmp's says otherwise. Other than the series' focus on terracing and contour farming, they did not show other initiatives that resulted in new tillage practices like stubble mulch tillage, the invention of the Gramme-Hoeme chisel plow and using summer fallowing. So, my conclusion is the producers were given a "script" to show rather than report on how agriculture learned from mistakes and adapted.
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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

agree smokey,  I would add time restraints might have led to what you mention.

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