The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, August 03, 1919, Magazine Section, Page 6, Image 92

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THE SUNDAY OREGOXTAX, POKTXAXD, AUGUST 3, 1919.
EXPERIMENT STATIONS OF STATE ARE PROVING VALUABLE
Visit to Various Points Shows What Is Being Accomplished for D evelopment of Oregon's Rural Districts.
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BY ADDISON BEXXETT.
THE Oregon Agricultural college
maintains a number of branch ex
periment stations In the state, or
rather these stations are financially
maintained jointly by the state, the
agricultural department at Washing
ton and the counties in which they are
located, but they are directly under
the control of the president and regents
of the O. A. C. There was only one of
these stations until something like a
dozen years ago, the one at Union,
called the Eastern Oregon Experiment
station. But several have been started
of late years and now there are six,
one each in the counties of Sherman.
Umatilla, Union, Harney, Jackson and
Hood River. But almost every county in
Oregon now has a county agent, or a
county agriculturist, as they are often
called. These are under the general
direction of the coll-ge also. So prac
tically every county In the state is
placed in close touch with the O. A. C.
It is very dosirable. therefore, that the
president and board of regents visit the
stations and the county agents as often
as possible, and it has been the aim of
President Kerr to do this annually. But
owing to the threatening and then the
actual war conditions no trip has been
undertaken since July. 1915. when the
county agents of Sherman, Umatilla.
Malheur, Harney, Lake, Klamath and
Jackson, as well as the stations in Sher
man, Umatilla. Union, Harney and Jack
son were visited. That trip was made
partially by railroad and partially by
automobile. The party left Portland
July 12 and got back on the 2dth.
Problems Are Varied.
Tt has often been asked why so many
stations are necessary and why it i:
that there is almost always a rather In
sistent demand for more stations, like
the present demand of the Deschutes
county people for one near Bend. The
reason i that in no two sections of
Oregon do th agricultural or horticul
tural problems closely resemble each
other. In some sections the chief busi
ness of the station is to ascertain and
solve the irrigation problems, in others
the work hinges around dry farming
conditions, in some sections the work
practically all leads to fruit, in others
to wheat, in others to alfalfa.
Tn Hood River county the "station" is
a sort of movable convenience. It was
thought best in that county to under
take the care of trees already planted
by the citizens rather than to plant an
orchard to experiment with. This has
been found very satisfactory and some
excellent results have been obtained.
The stations could accomplish more
than they do if the farmers and fruit
growers would co-operate more fully
and freely with taem. But too many of
our land owners and workers are head
strong and bigoted to such an extent
that it seems they would rather fail in
their own way than to succeed by fol
lowing the advice of either the county
agent or the station director. Those
who fail pay taxes and partially sup
port the ap-ents and the stations and
are free at any time to consult them;
but where scores do this, hundreds do
not. with the res'ult that Oregon is not
making either the horticultural or ag
ricultural advance we are entitled to. i
Opinion la Asked.
In Sherman county, when our party
arrived there on the 11th of this month.
there were a score or so of the farm
ers, all wheat growers, at the station
to meet us. President Kerr said he
would like to have some of them tell
what was thought of the work of the
station generally, and if it was. in the
opinion of the speakers, doing any
good.
V. H. Smith, one of the big farmers
of the county, has about 2000 acres,
now half in wheat and half in summer
fallow. Mr. Smith says he is now get
ting 40 per cent more wheat from the
same land and same area than he got
ten years ago, and he attributed his
success wholly and solely to the help
the director of the station. Mr. E. E.
Stephens, had given him. He went on
to say that ho could tell the land of a
"station farmer." meaning one who fol
lowed the advice received at the sta
tion, by looking at his summer fallow
or crop and could Just as readily tell
those who were failing through their
stubbornness. All of the others made
statements of a similar tone and de
clared that the reason, or the chief rea
son, why Sherman is increasing the
acre yield right along, with the same
rainfall, is because of the better farm
ing brought about by the station.
This story was sent to T e Oregonian
and published a day or so later; but it
will bear repeating again and again and
again, for it shows the way for farm
ers in the dry-farming belt to succeed
and thus bring back the money the
O. A. C. is costing us.
Now, let us take up the late trip in
serial order and show where we went
and something of what we saw. In the
first place, let me note that it was in
tended to make the entire journey by
autos, and we did. save one breakdown,
which caused some of the party to take
the Southern Pacific train home from
iGlendale. "When the inspection is made
by rail the president and regents do not
see the conditions of the country gener
ally, and it is important that these
gentlemen get in close touch with every
section of the state, especially with the
people who use or ought to use the
stations as a model.
Auto Trip Made.
We left Portland on the morning of
Wednesday, July 9. in three seven-passenger
machines and made the first
stop at Hood River, where we took
dinner. There were 15 of us. five in
each car. We did not all leave Port
land at the same time, but in a day or
so the party consisted of the following
persons: Dr. W. J. Kerr, president of
the Oregon Agricultural college; prest-
dent of the board of regents, J. K.
Weatherford: regents, Walter M. Pierce.
George M. Cornwall, Jefferson Myers
and H. von den Hellen; Mrs. Weather-
ford, Mrs. Pierce, Mrs. Cornwall and
Mrs. Myers; D. O. Woodworth and Mrs.
Woodworth of Albany. Harry tanas
and La. G. Russell of Corvallis, who
acted as chauffeurs and the writer.
I will now give the route by the
stops made, and the miles travelled;
Hood River, 69; Moro, 63: lone, o; Her-
miston, 56; Pendleton, 33; L.a Grande,
53; Union, 16: Baker, S6; Canyon City.
94: Bums, 73: Brookings. 72; Bend, 71;
Crescent. 51: Crater Lake. 69; Prospect,
30: Medford. 48; Glendale. 60: Rose
burg. 57; Cottage Grove. 55; Corvallis,
62. That makes 1117 miles, but the
roadometers registered from 1425 to
1450, for there were many side trips
around the stations and elsewhere.
We found the roads very good. Even
where we were told we would en
counter "terrible" traveling w had no
difficulty in making good time. None
of the machines was forced beyond the
speed limit even on the best parts of
the road, but we frequently ran for
several hours at a stretch at a speed
around 23 miles an hour. We encoun
tered lots of torn up road where con
tractors wero at work, and sometimes
had to stop until teams, scrapers or
other impediments were pushed aside;
but in no instance was any such delay
more than five minutes. The workmen
were very pleasant about letting us
through and directing us as to the tem
porary roads used during construc
tion.
Road Work Seen.
We encountered the road workers
almost very day. At first on the Co
lumbia river highway between here
and Hood River, on the road up the
hill beyond Union, where splendid work
and rapid progress are being made. On
the John Day hishway several gangs
were at work and that is certain to be
one of the most beautiful roads in
Oregon. Grading, culvert and bridge
building are going forward rapidly
and before the month is out all of the
work except hard-surfacing will be
finished between Prairie City and John
Day; what is being dore below John
Day I do not know, as we there turned
up Canyon creek on the road to Burns.
The next highway work we saw was
on the road through the reserve going
up to Crater Lake. We took the Sand
creek cut-off and found it in places
about as rough going as we had on
the trip, and the same may be said
about the west descent, but these roads
are being taken care of by the forestry
forces and as a rule they are very
good. We were told both at Crater
Lake and Medford that machines now
are almost daily making the run both
ways in less than four hours between
those two places, the distanoe being 78
miles. We again encountered highway
workmen in Douglas county, where one
of the big changes of the old road
system is being made. This is between
Myrtle creek and Roseburg. between
which places not a foot of the old road
bed will be utilized.
Robert's hill, one of the worst grackes
on the old road between Portland and
the California line, will no longer be
encountered by travelers. There will
be no graAe worth speaking about on
the IS miles between those points as
the Umpqua is followed very closely,
the road being on the south, or is it
west, side of that river. The new road
is now being used for through travel,
but we did not find it out in time to
take lt
Can Are Nuneroii.
The last of the new road, where
workmen were encountered, was in the
canyon between Grants Pass and Cot
tage Grove. Here we were halted per
haps a half-dozen times, but only a few
minutes at a time. When completed
there will be practically no "hills"
through the canyon, simply a long
grade of from 3 to 5 per cent. We
followed the main highway only as
far as Eugene, where we turned off on
tb Long Tom road to Corvallis. While
speaking of roads, let me say that you
will have to take a trip up the valley
to get any idea of the number of ma
chines traveling between Portland and
Crater Lake or Portland and California.
The greatest number are of course en
countered at Medford, for there the
heavy travel to and from Crater Lake
and central Oregon converges. It is
said that over 100 machines a day pass
through Medford. It is safe to say tbe
number of passengers to the machine
is six; so you can see where the hotels
would "be at" if all of the travelers
asked for accommodations at them.
And what a cosmopolitan party these
travelers are! On Saturday, July 19, we
passed machines from the following
states, as taken from the license labels:
Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana,
Ohio. Michigan, California. Nevada,
Hawaii, Utah. North Dakota, Penn
sylvania, South Carolina and Kansas. I
have forgotten two, for there were 17.
The Trip In Detail.
Our first stop after leaving Portland
on the morning of July 9, was at Hood
Rier, where we had dinner and then
went out into the orchards in charge of
Leroy Childs, who is the director of the i
Hood River work, and Gordon T.
Brown, the county agent of Hood River
county. We were shown many trees in
several orchards that had been attacked
by various psts and blights which
were being treated. The college has no
land of Its own in the valley, so the
headquarters of Director Childs is, so
to speak, in the saddle.
Wherever an orchard is found that
has diseased trees "Doctor" Childs iB
called in either by the county agent or
the owner, and between these two prac
tically every tree in the valley Is under
close survteilance. Many settlers, or
rather orchardists. were consulted
about the work being done there and
all agreed that many problems were
being solved to the great advantage of
the fruit growers, and also to the
alfalfa growers, for the people of Hood
River valley are turning their atten
tion more and more towards producing
their own milk. butter and vegetables.
This last season was a mighty fine one
for the strawberry growers of that sec
tion. From Hood River alone 93 full
cars were shipped, besides the small
orders. The orchards look very fine
and there will be a large, but probably
not a record-breaking crop of apples
this fall, and the price promises to be
very high.
Waseo County Vlafted.
Our next stop was at Wasco for din
ner and then up to the station at
Moro. Moro is the county seat of Sher
man county, a rather small county,
about the size of Clatsop. It has 836
square miles of territory, altitude
about tOOO feet, without a hill or moun
tain. In 1910 it had. so say the govern
men reports. 4242 people. It probably
has about the same number now, per
haps not quite so many. E. H. Stephens,
the station director, said there were
about 500 families in the county. The
rainfall last season was 11V inches,
which is a trifle above normal.
The main crop of the county. I might
almost say the only crop, is wheat,
and the yield this year will be about
1.500.000 bushels, which will net the
growers about I1.S0 per bushel, which
totals $2,750,000. Divide that among
500 families, 4000 people! Prosperity?
Why prosperity is so thick in Sherman
county that you can see it on every
hand. And, as said "earlier" in this
article, you must give the experiment
station credit for most of this pros
perity. Without a doubt universal prosperity
in Sherman Is far greater than in any
other Oregon county. It Is a county
without a pauper, a county without a
plutocrat: everybody is rich or going
to be rich mighty soon if the rains
and snows do not desert them. The
yield in Sherman is between 2s and 30
bushels per acre. They tell of some
yields over 40, which is phenomenal for
that light soil.
Two Vast Farni.
In looking over tne county from an
eminence I thought it could best be
described by saying "Sherman county
is composed of two farms, one in wheat
and one in summer-fallow!" None of
us had ever before seen such a picture,
perhaps never will again. Just as far
as the eye could reach it was one great
checker board of golden wheat and
dark, finely pulverized soil.
I could go on for 24 hours about
Sherman, the present high-water coun
ty of the state, but I must pass that
county up by saying to the farmers
of the other Oregon counties that the
experiment station is the mainspring
of Sherman'B prosperity, that and the
brains of the Sherman county wheat
growers, brains enough to look to the
station for advice and to follow the ad
vice. We remained all night at Wasco and
were well cared for, but the hotel
could not give us breakfast early
enough to suit President Kerr. So ar
rangements were made with the "Star
Saloon." at least that is the sign
painted on the side of the building. It
is now a little restaurant and is doing
a land-office business. We all rallied
around the door about 6:30 and finally
routed out the proprietor. As soon as
we got inside the ladies of the party,
headed by Mrs. Weatherford. began to
set the tables, cut the bread, assist
the cook-owner in the kitchen. In
short order we were seated to a fine
spread of ham and eggs, good coffee,
etc. Just before we were seated the
cashier of the place arrived for the
day's work, and the young lady proved
to be a student of the O. A. C. Ella
Kirby by name. She had a rousing
reception and a sort of collection was
taken for her tip. We left her and
the landlord of the "Star Saloon" in
great good humor.
Sand Storm Encountered.
We were billed to reach Hermiston
that afternoon, and away we went, but
slightly divided, for Jefferson Myers
had to go via Heppner. The rest of
us went via Olex. and near there we
passed the residence of a brother of
Regent Weatherford. J. K. and those
in his car stopped and made a short
visit, but the car occupied by President
Kerr, Mr. and Mrs. Cornwall, Harry
Rands, the chauffeur, and myself, went
on and had dinner at lone. And it was
a mighty good dinner, let me tell you.
The little hotel at lone is hard to beat.
Dr. Kerr was bragging about it before
we got there, for he had tried it be
fore, and so had I, but we were served
even better than we expected. We got
away from there shortly after 1 o'clock
and headed for Hermiston.
When crossing Morrow county, and
at a point about 25 miles south of Ir
rigon. a sand storm struck us and
struck us mighty swift and mighty
"suddent." I thought I had seen Mor
row county sand storms, but I had
been mistaken. However. I described
it in my dispatch to The Oregonian and
there is no need to go into the painful
details again. We were detained about
an hour, stuck in the sand, the wind
blowing 50 or 60 miles an hour, the
air so thick with sand that you could
not see two feet from your nose
oh, yes. it was sure a sand storm, not
a bit of doubt about it.
At Hermiston we found the station
in better trim than it was four years
ago. When the visit was made there
in 1915 I did not have the nerve to tell
the truth about the "progress" being
made, for it was mostly towards the
rear. So I just "lost" my notes and
"forgot" to send in a story about it.
Now things are much brighter there.
In fact alfalfa is saving the day for the
Hermiston people as well as the sta
tion and the latter is doing fine work.
Land owners can now go to the director
and have their soil analyzed and get
from him the amount of water re
quired to produce the best results in
alfalfa growing.
Inform at ion la Given.
If there is apparently no bottom to
the soil, and 15- feet of water even will
not give back the planter's seed, you
can find it out without experimenting
yourself: if it is adapted to alfalfa
growing you will be told and also
be told how to treat it. In many other
(Concluded oa Face 1.X
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