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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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 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
“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