Bismarck Tribune

 

Grain field in drought

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Historical Data Project Photograph Collection, 00075-0043

Dried-up stalks of corn sit in a dry field somewhere in North Dakota during a dry season. The Palmer Drought Severity Index can be used to estimate the relative dryness and the drought severity experienced by farms, like the one in this image. These maps provide snapshots of the drought severity in North Dakota at four points in 1937: January, April, August, and December. In January 1937, the state of North Dakota was suffering from severe drought in the north and extreme drought in the south. However, as the year progresses, the drought severity slowly decreases.

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Drought and Soil Erosion Photograph Collection, 00351-06

Drought stricken cattle, Adams County, N.D.

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Dr. William D. Odou Collection, 2012-P-006-17

Results of wind erosion on light soil 13 miles N. of Granville, McHenry Co. (All the surface soil has blown away)

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.10

Dunes cover large areas near Denbigh, McHenry County

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.10

Dunes with a vengeance, south east of Upham, McHenry County

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.11

Almost buried in sand. Five miles southeast of Upham, near Mouse River, McHenry

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.11

An extensive dune area 5 miles southeast of Upham, near Mouse River, McHenry County.

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.11

Geo. Murphy farm, 14 miles S.E. of Steele in Kidder County. Cultivated field ruined by wind. Much soil drifting has occurred on this farm

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.2

"Blow outs" in cultivated land, 11 miles S.E. of Steele, Kidder County

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.2

Christ Schwartz farm, 9 miles S.E. of Steele (sandy land) Kidder County

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.2

Drought-stressed corn

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Historical Data Project Photograph Collection, 00075-0060

Geo. Murphy farm, 14 miles S.E. of Steele, Kidder County. The last nine crops were either complete or near complete failures

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.3

"Blow outs" in sandy soil near Burdick, Burleigh County

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.8

Result of overgrazing in a sandy district near Moffit, Burleigh County

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, David Anderson Photograph Collection, 2023.42a.9

Wind erosion on farm at Eckman, N.D.

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, Erling N. Rolfsrud Photograph Collection, 2057.8.2

Wind erosion, likely Emmons County, N.D.

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, Benjamin H. Barrett Photograph Collection, 2081.19.2

Man standing by fence row with eroded soil, likely Emmons County, N.D.

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, Benjamin H. Barrett Photograph Collection, 2081.19.3

Soil erosion, likely Emmons County, N.D.

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, Benjamin H. Barrett Photograph Collection, 2081.19.5

Wind erosion, Emmons County, N.D.

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, Benjamin H. Barrett Photograph Collection, 2081.19.6

Erosion caused by wind storms, Adams County, N.D.

North Dakota State University Archives, Institute for Regional Studies Archives, Hettinger, N.D. Photograph Collection, 79.1.11

Palmer Drought Severity Index, April 1937

NOAA-National Centers for Environmental Information, Palmer Drought Severity Index Divisional Data, April 1937

Shaw Du-All power unit used by Mr. Vrenderburg on garden, Mandan, N.D.

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Irrigation Photograph Collection, 00096-0152

Palmer Drought Severity Index, August 1937

NOAA-National Centers for Environmental Information, Palmer Drought Severity Index Divisional Data, August 1937

Palmer Drought Severity Index, December 1937

NOAA-National Centers for Environmental Information, Palmer Drought Severity Index Divisional Data, December 1937

Palmer Drought Severity Index, January 1937

NOAA-National Centers for Environmental Information, Palmer Drought Severity Index Divisional Data, January 1937

Details how Gov. William Langer “pledged his support to the great plains drouth program outlined by President Roosevelt”. Gov. Langer believed that this program would revive “trade, commerce and industry…in the entire northwest’”.

Bismarck Tribune, February 20, 1937; p. 4

Promotes upcoming classes on livestock, poultry, grain, soil conservation methods, and 4-H and Homemaker club work.

Bismarck Tribune, April 01, 1937; p. 1

Details how farmers in North Dakota can take advantage of the water program, explains the formal application process, the fees required, and the contract provisions.

Bismarck Tribune, April 17, 1937; p. 1

A.D. McKinnon, state coordinator for the federal Soil Conservation Service, encourages farmers in North Dakota to “inspect…fields and plan corrective measures where valuable water is going to waste”. McKinnon suggested that farmers “plow and crop on the contour…to hold water evenly on the field where it will stay in the soil for crop production and soil protection”.

Bismarck Tribune, May 01, 1937; p. 5

Precipitation Chart 1869-1936

Bismarck Tribune, May 21, 1937; p. 3

Details precipitation trends between 1869 and 1936.

Bismarck Tribune, May 21, 1937; p. 6

Documents how heavier rains in 1937 brought hope and optimism after the severe droughts of 1934 and 1936.

Bismarck Tribune, May 26, 1937; p. 1

Diverting water from the Missouri River using flume and pipeline, R.H. Leroy farm, Mandan, N.D.

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Irrigation Photograph Collection, 00096-0163

First in a five-part series of articles that discussed the Public Works Administration (PWA) activities in North Dakota since June 1933.

Bismarck Tribune, June 15, 1937; p. 2

Second in a five-part series of articles that discussed the Public Works Administration (PWA) activities in North Dakota since June 1933. Between 1933 and 1937, 118 non-federal projects were completed in North Dakota. These projects secured “better health, better education, better communication and better housing” for the communities in which projects were completed.

Bismarck Tribune, June 16, 1937; p. 7

Third in a five-part series of articles that discussed the Public Works Administration (PWA) activities in North Dakota since June 1933. Details the educational facilities constructed with PWA funds. “In partnership with 51 North Dakota school districts and the state of North Dakota, the PWA assisted in financing and constructing 59 new schools or making improvements or additions to existing structures”.

Bismarck Tribune, June 17, 1937; p. 9

How PWA Has Changed the Face of North Dakota

Bismarck Tribune, June 17, 1937; p. 9

Fourth in a five-part series of articles that discussed the PWA (Public Works Administration) activities in North Dakota since June 1933. Details the 27 municipalities in North Dakota that reviewed funding from PWA to add health safe-guards to their communities. “It is estimated that over 35,000 people residing in 13 North Dakota communities were benefited through the construction of new waterworks systems or improvements or extensions made to existing systems.”

Bismarck Tribune, June 18, 1937; p. 7

Fifth in a five-part series of articles that discussed the PWA (Public Works Administration) activities in North Dakota since June 1933. Reviewed the work PWA conducted in an additional 23 North Dakota counties and cities, which included making “improvements sorely needed in the conduct of governmental affairs, recreational facilities, transportation needs or industrial or agricultural development”.

Bismarck Tribune, June 19, 1937; p. 2

Reviews the number of families who received relief from the government and the current state of farming in North Dakota.

Bismarck Tribune, June 26, 1937; p. 7

Here’s North Dakota’s Relief Picture

Bismarck Tribune, June 26, 1937; p. 7

Map Shows Condition of North Dakota Cattle Industry

Bismarck Tribune, June 26, 1937; p. 7

“The recent hot, dry weather has caused farmers to revive their interest in putting water on the land…a scene at the federal tree nursery near Mandan, where irrigation has gone forward steadily”.

Bismarck Tribune, July 10, 1937; p. 7

R.L. Williamson irrigating corn on Missouri River bottom, Buford, N.D.

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Irrigation Photograph Collection, 00096-205

“The V-ditcher, supplied by the state water commission to every farmer launching an irrigation project. A plow is run both ways on the line of the ditch, throwing the dirt out, and the ditcher then is run up and down the ditch several times to increase its size and shape it. This creates a ditch in which one half the water is above the level of the field to be watered and the other half is below. This makes it easy to turn the water into the field”.

Bismarck Tribune, July 10, 1937; p. 7

“A ‘float’ used to level fields for irrigation. It is run back and forth across the field in the direction the water is to flow, leveling it off and indicating the application of water”.

Bismarck Tribune, July 10, 1937; p. 7

First in a five-part series of articles which asked J.T. Sarvis, federal agronomist, what of the land? Sarvis detailed how an increase in rain, although beneficial, did not help the “fields that have had little or no rest from the plow or foraging livestock.”

Bismarck Tribune, July 19, 1937; p. 1

Second in a five-part series of articles which asked J.T. Sarvis, federal agronomist, what of the land? This article focused on how overgrazing negatively impacted the U.S. Great Plains.

Bismarck Tribune, July 20, 1937; p. 1

Third in a five-part series of articles which asked J.T. Sarvis, federal agronomist, what of the land? Sarvis discusses what farmers in the U.S. Great Plains, and North Dakota specifically, can do to repair the damage done to the land.

Bismarck Tribune, July 21, 1937; p. 1

Fourth in a five-part series of articles which asked J.T. Sarvis, federal agronomist, what of the land? Discusses the tenacity of North Dakota and its citizens. “If there is any dominant trait that marks the people of western North Dakota apart from their brothers in other agricultural regions of the United States it is tenacity.”

Bismarck Tribune, July 22, 1937; p. 1

Fifth in a five-part series of articles which asked J.T. Sarvis, federal agronomist, what of the land? Discusses how North Dakota can restore the ‘good old days’ by following recommendations from the federal, state, and county governments as well as utilizing the most current farming knowledge available.

Bismarck Tribune, July 23, 1937; p. 6

“On an experimental plot at the Northern Great Plains Field station at Mandan, J.T. Sarvis, agronomist, clutches stalks of crested wheat grass, the most adaptable of cultivated grasses suitable for range restoration in Western North Dakota”.

Bismarck Tribune, July 23, 1937; p. 6

“In the picture, one of the federal farm workers is cutting and binding a field of crested wheat grass that may run from 1,000 to 1,200 pounds to the acre. The current market price is 40 cents a pound”.

Bismarck Tribune, July 23, 1937; p. 6

First in a three-part series discussing a trip to the Yellowstone river valley taken by 275 residents of western North Dakota to learn more about irrigation. Residents stated that “irrigation is not feasible with one crop. Wheat or other grains will not alone pay the costs of production. Irrigated farming must be diversified farming”.

Bismarck Tribune, July 29, 1937; p. 1

Taking a break from binding on the Bern farm, Hettinger County, N.D

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Enid Bern Photograph Collection, 00248-040

Second in a three-part series discussing a trip to the Yellowstone river valley taken by 275 residents of western North Dakota to learn more about irrigation. This article discusses the usefulness of irrigation but how the process takes a great deal of time.

Bismarck Tribune, July 30, 1937; p. 1

Third in a three-part series discussing a trip to the Yellowstone river valley taken by 275 residents of western North Dakota to learn more about irrigation. The last article in the series detailed advantages that could be gained if irrigation were put in place in western North Dakota.

Bismarck Tribune, July 31, 1937; p. 7

Discusses the most favored silo, common sizes, how much feed they could store, and who to contact for more information about silos.

Bismarck Tribune, September 01, 1937; p. 2

Offers guidance on different planting techniques to protect from blowing dust and to trap moisture.

Bismarck Tribune, September 01, 1937; p. 4

Encourages farmers to conserve their feed in case of another shortage in the future.

Bismarck Tribune, September 03, 1937; p. 2

Discusses irrigated farms in North Dakota and how they can be as successful as farms in other parts of the Great Plains. “North Dakota soil can be made to grow – is in fact growing – products comparable in quantity with those grown in Montana”.

Bismarck Tribune, September 09, 1937; p. 1

Details the Works Progress Administration (WPA) irrigation grants that were available to farmers.

Bismarck Tribune, September 17, 1937; p. 1

North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC) Professor W.E. Brentzel details new strains of rust and how they are damaging crops.

Bismarck Tribune, September 23, 1937; p. 3

Reviews the loans given by the North Dakota Land Department to local farmers.

Bismarck Tribune, October 12, 1937; p. 7

“The elevator at Turtle Lake which has added a seed department at the insistence of farmers in the area.”

Bismarck Tribune, October 18, 1937; p. 1

Using a push binder on the Bern farm, Hettinger County, N.D.

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Enid Bern Photograph Collection, 00248-042

Details the strip cropping utilized by Art Vollmer of Willow City and his cooperation with the Soil Conservation Service.

Bismarck Tribune, October 21, 1937; p. 4

Details a ridging implement, promoted by the Soil Conservation Service, which can help control erosion.

Bismarck Tribune, October 21, 1937; p. 7

Documents how corn was a reliable food source for livestock during the drought.

Bismarck Tribune, October 27, 1937; p. 6

Reviews the health of trees planted by the U.S. Government to combat wind erosion in the Great Plains.

Bismarck Tribune, October 29, 1937; p. 8

Discusses the new resettlements of farm families and the concerns of North Dakota residents. “‘I do not think it is fair to start with the assumption that these families will become public charges,’ Miss Reynolds (representative of the Farm Security state organization) said. ‘The simple fact that people need public aid is no measure of their ability. The success of this enterprise is going to depend upon you people, upon the reception they receive, upon a neighborly spirit of helpfulness”.

Bismarck Tribune, November 05, 1937; p. 3

Documents farmers in western North Dakota who are preparing to replant prairie grasses on their land.

Bismarck Tribune, November 11, 1937; p. 9

Documents the construction of a new well “six miles east and eight miles north of Turtle Lake in McLean county”.

Bismarck Tribune, November 13, 1937; p. 1

“Pictured…is the well near Turtle Lake, McLean county, from which water will be pumped to irrigate 25 acres of land on the A.L. Maxwell farm. In the foreground, left to right, are Louis Rasmussen and Robert Maxwell, who have been digging the well under the supervision of the North Dakota Water Conservation commission. In the foreground – the ladder leading to its bottom – is the site of the first well, dug for this purpose a quarter of a century ago but later abandoned”.

Bismarck Tribune, November 13, 1937; p. 1

Reviews the steps taken by Martin Kittel, manager of Frank Lynch farms near Casselton to save soil.

Bismarck Tribune, November 18, 1937; p. 9

Details the increase in crop yield after using the contour farming method suggested by the Soil Conservation Service.

Bismarck Tribune, December 02, 1937; p. 7

Truck driving through dust storm

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Drought and Soil Erosion Photograph Collection, 00351-02

Documents the use of “the strip fallow method of farming” by Leonard Kitsch of Ramsey county.

Bismarck Tribune, December 07, 1937; p. 3

Effects of dust storm, Kidder County, N.D.

State Historical Society of North Dakota, Drought and Soil Erosion Photograph Collection, 00351-03