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About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 7, 1937)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THURSDAY, JAN. 7, 1937.
Eastern Oregon Wheat League
Report and Recommendations of the
Weed Control and Soil Erosion
ner, Oregon, December 4-5, 1936
The extent of weed infestation
has reached such a point that the
possibility of widespread control
measures is definitely beyond the
reach of the individual farmer. The
following counties are seriously con
cerned with the increase of this in
festation: Malheur, Baker, Wallowa,
Union, Umatilla, Sherman, Wasco,
Wheeler, Deschutes, Crook, Klamath
and possible others. This commit
tee is not particularly familiar with
the weed situation in western Ore
gon, and does not attempt to speak
for conditions prevailing therein,
but it is known that weed infestation
in the areas west of the Cascade
mountains in Oregon is very heavy
in many places. It has been stated
that 25 per cent of the tillable area
of some Oregon counties will be in
fested with perennial noxious weeds
within the next ten to twenty years,
and that present methods of control
will cost more than the land is worth
if positive steps are taken toward
Public lands infested with weeds
are a special problem. It has been
noted that . the spread of some of
these weeds has been particularly
bad on lands adjacent to roads and
within the highway rights-of-way,
due to the fact that construction and
maintenance methods that are now
practiced tend to spread the weeds
for considerable distances along the
highways. In irrigated areas, it is
known that a serious spread of weeds
is occasioned by the operation of ir
rigation canals, particularly where
seeds are allowed to ripen and be
deposited in the irrigation water at
points near the head of the diversion
Careful determination of areas in
tested by noxious weeds reveals the
astounding conclusion that there are
between 29,000 and 30,000 acres of
such lands in the eleven counties of
eastern Oregon included in the ac
tivities of the Eastern Oregon Wheat
League. Further investigation shows
that prior to the depression farmers
had used 750,000 pounds of weed
killing chemicals of one kind and
another. When prices for agricul
tural commodities became substan
tiallv lowered, it was impossible for
these purchases to be maintained
with a view to destroying weeds
The result has been a fairly rapid
expansion of areas of farm land in
fested by noxious weeds. This has
brought about a situation serious not
only to landowners and operators,
but to the entire population of the
The weeds causing most of the dif
ficulty are as a rule deep-rooted and
exhibit extreme persistence. Since
many of them are of a perennial na
ture, they cannot, be destroyed by
ordinary tillage operations upon a
practical basis. Many of these weeds
are characterized by creeping, un
derground stems or root stocks
which spread through the soil in all
directions, sprouting vigorously at
the joints, and resisting all but the
most persistent efforts toward ex
termination. We recommend that existing leg
islation in connection with noxious
weeds in the State of Oregon be
amended to provide for more ade
quate control of noxious weeds, and
that such legislation be enforced to
the fullest extent. This has partic
ular reference to the Oregon Seed
Law, and your committee urges that
an amendment be made to the ex
isting law which will bring within
the scope of the law all sales made
bv dealers or growers, with the pro
vision that such sales bear a cer
tificate of purity by the Federal Seed
TWino InWatorv. a branch of
which is manitained ETAOINET
which is located in the Oregon State
College at Corvallis. Provision
should be made to enforce such law
if and when it becomes -an Oregon
statute. Your committee further
recommends that this portion of the
reDort be referred to the legislative
committee of the Eastern Oregon
WViPat. leatrue with the recommen
Nation that the committee, assisted
by a representative of the proper de-
partmnt of the State Agricultural
College, proceed to prepare such
weed law and to present it to the
Oregon State legislature when next
Your committee further recom
mends that the Eastern Oregon
Wheat League, through its weed
committee, take immediate steps
to interest all agricultural organi
zations, county courts of the East
ern Oregon Wheat League district,
state planning boards, service clubs,
chambers of commerce, and others,
in a weed control program. We
pledge the support of the Eastern
Oregon counties of any proper plan
that may be developed, but urge
haste in order that advantage may
be taken of federal funds now avail
able, or that may become available.
It is our opinion that the noxious
weed control program might prop
erly be carried either as a WPA
project, or as an agricultural relief
It is the further opinion of your
committee that the financing of this
work should largely be a federal
responsibility. However, it might
be advantageous for the state, coun
ty and individual to bear a portion
of this expense. What we now need
is an actual eradication program.
It is the opinion of your commit
tee that the control of noxious weeds
such as wild morning glory, white
top, Canadian thistle, Russian knap
weed, and others, is fully as lm
portant as soil erosion control, the
expanded activities of the United
States Forest Service, and other con
servation movements as a part of a
permanent national policy.
Your committee believes that the
value of all property, both public
and private, depends upon, and their
values vary directly with, the con
trol of noxious weeds in agricultur
We recommend an acucrate sur
vey showing size and location of
noxious weed infestations in each
county under the direction of the
county courts. We suggest that
these survey projects be handled as
WPA projects for the reason that no
material would be necessary, and
that much of the cost would be for
labor. This recommendation should
be properly presented to county
budgeting committees in order that
funds may be included in county
It is believed to be a very desir
able recommendation which should
receive widespread attention that
where no other program of control
or eradication is in effect weed
patches should be seeded to per
manent grasses for the effective con
trol which results from such prac
Serious consideration should be
given to the cleaning of all machin
erv onerated over weed infested
areas before moving from the in
County courts should, in the opin
ion of the committee, own and op
erate.., equipment designed for the
most effective control of weeds com
ing under the scope of this report.
Attention should be called to the
desirability of fencing weed patches
where that is necessary to prevent
any type of spread.
The Eastern Oregon Wheat League
should lend its influence in provid
ing legislation which in effect will
prevent the moving of hay, straw,
chaff or any other crop from a field
infested with perennial noxious
weeds unless such products be re
moved to another field already in
fested. The movement of livestock
from perennial noxious weed-infested
areas should be done with
the utmost care and under condi
tions which will prevent the spread
It is recommended that there be
developed a most intensive educa
tional campaign to the end that there
may be an immediate and wide
spread attack upon the weed problem
and its solution. The committee be
lieves that farmers should be urged
to organize county weed associations soil loss. As a further method of
or make use of other existing or- controlling water erosion and run-
ganized groups for the purpose of off your committee recommends that
furthering this educational cam- tillage and seeding operations be
paign. done on the contour.
(a) This campaign should include 4. County courts and state high-
the dissemination of informa- way commission should be urged to
tion regarding the various adopt road-building and mainten
methods by which weeds may ance practices looking to the great
be spread and best methods est possible elimination of the ef-
for control. fects of erosion. The effect of any
(b) Farmers should be given every roadside drainage construction should
assistance in learning to iden- take into consideration adjoining
tify weeds in their respective farm lands insofar as they may be
districts. affected by head erosion and gully
(c) There is need to convince far- formation.
mers of their definite respon- 5. Your committee believes there
sibility with relation to weeds should be a vigorous program of ed
on lands which they farm. ucation intended to convince the far-
Of first consideration is the need mer of his individual responsibility
for immediate action aimed at actual in connection with the erosion con
control of weeds now on farms. It trol or other soil conservation prob
is recommended that the Eastern lem on his farm. There is a feeling
Oregon Wheat League and farmers that too many are waiting for the
in the respective counties take im- government to take care of these
6. To check the further introduc
tion and scattering of weeds it is im
Dortant that nothing but clean seed
It is universally conceded that one be used in erosion control plantings.
of the greatest obstacles in the way 7. Useful water is of first import
of greater farmer activity with weed ance as an agricultural factor. Your
control is the extremely high cost committee believes that use should
of chemicals used for these pur- be made of.everv possible agency
poses. Your committee believes looking to the construction of small
that this problem is of such great earth dams and other types of reser-
economic importance and so inti- voirs to hold water supplies for
mately involves the future of the building up the soil moisture. There
agriculture of this nation as to make should be protection ,of reservoirs
it proper for the government of against the effects of erosion, which
these United States immediately to ultimately leads to the complete silt-
begin to give consideration to the ing in of such storage basins. At-
use of its facilities to produce her- tention to proper farm management
bicides in order that costs may be methods, giving due consideration
brought reasonably within the reach to the utilization of crop residues
mediate steps to secure WPA pro
jects having for their objective the
control of weeds within the coun
and proper grazing methods, offers
by far the most effective and wide
spread check against silting in of
8. Complete information should be
supplied all communities in order
that they may be advised regarding
the possibilities of obtaining assist
ance in setting up and operating
erosion control activities on an or
ganized basis. This service is now
available to those requesting it
9. To those in positions of respon
sibility in these connections, atten
tion should be called to the intimate
relationship between weed control
and soil conservation, and your com
mitte believes that the Eastern Ore
gon Wheat League can properly rec
ommend the greatest possible degree
of consolidation of these various ac
tivities. Your committee on weeds and soil
conservation further recommends
that the Eastern Oregon Wheat
League urge upon the county courts
of the counties represented therein,
the advisability of setting up re
volving funds within their counties,
the same to be used under such rules
as the said courts may prescribe for
the control and eradication of nox
ious weeds, soil conservation and
erosion. It is further recommended
that the county courts be present
ed with copies of this recommenda
tion. Your committee endorses the pro
posed law to control erosion and the
formation of erosion districts.
of farmers. This latter we consider
a most vital point. It is particularly
recommended that a well-qualified
committee of one or more persons
present this proposition to Congress
in the most effective manner possi
ble. By all means federal author
ities should remove the tariff from
imported weed chemicals and from
any materials which may be com
pounded for that purpose.
Your committee recommends nec
essary action to bring about legisla
tion providing for the lowering of
taxes upon weed infested areas up
on a sliding scale which gives con
sideration to the amount expended
upon the land and the degree to
which the work is successful in con
trolling the weeds.
Your committee believes it to be
desirable that county courts declare
county-wide weed districts and set
up the necessary organization to put
the Oregon weed law into effect,
specifically covering such weeds as
wild morning glory, Russian knap
weed, white top, Canadian thistle,
and any other which may properly
come under the act.
It should be widely recommended
that farmers do not use tillage meth
ods which result in the spread of
weeds except when such tillage is a
part of an approved control program.
The proper officials should be urged
to control perennial noxious weeds
along county roads, state highways,
and city streets. The spread of
weeds by highway maintenance
equipment is earnestly deplored.
In referring particularly to the
soil conservation angle of the com
mittee's report, the following is sub
1. We recommend the use of such
farming methods as will permit the
largest possible return to the soil of
crop residues, such as straw, etc.,
particular attention being given to
leaving such residues upon the sur
face of the soil to the greatest pos
sible extent consistent with prac
tical farm methods.
2. Your committee believes that
attention should be given to an or
ganized attack upon the land use
problem. Among other things, this
involves the taking out of cultiva
tion those lands subject to excess
ive erosion, those lands of such low
yields as to make profitable returns
impossible, and those small, broken
areas surrounded by or adjacent to
good grazing land which should be
returned to grazing use.
3. Gully control is a vital factor
of the soil conservation program.
There should be attention given to
grading in and seeding down of gul
lies, which, if left uncontrolled, will
eventually become responsible for
dividing large fields into small ones,
thereby increasing the cost of oper
ation, as well as being a source of
Sylvannus Wright was among Lex
ington folk here Monday on business.
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