Every day lumber is hauled away from the mills at Bend to erect buildings throughout this country that has been called worthless by the knockers. But you hear less and less of the knocking as the days go by. Knocking can not stand before the splendid crops of this season.
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When agriculture is discussed in the upper Deschutes Valley, irrigation is the chief topic of conversation — how water should be applied when and in what amounts to produce the best crops. This is natural and as it should be. Men are invariably interested in those occupations with which their daily lives are filled, and it is not strange that people in this region should be interested in irrigation when so many thousand acres of fertile land are being made productive through the work of the big irrigation companies operating hereabouts. Irrigation will always play an important role in the lives of the inhabitants of the upper Deschutes valley and should receive much study.
However there are many hundreds of acres in this vast part of Oregon lying east of the Cascades range that can never be irrigated, for want of water and because the land lies higher than any irrigation canal could be built — you cannot make water run uphill with any degree of practical success. For such lands, fertile and vast in extent, much promise is found in the results of that are being obtained through modern methods of dry farming. A method of soil culture is now being widely advertised and discussed, known as the Campbell method, whereby the hot barren desert in other states has been converted into great grain fields, orchards, vineyards and happy homes.
This method, given a proper trial, will produce a similar results on the fast-disappearing “desert” lands of Eastern Oregon.
On another page of this issue will be found an account telling how a Madras farmer employed the Campbell principles of cultivation and thereby more than doubled the yield per acre on a 40-acre tract. This same result can be produced elsewhere and there is no doubt but that the yield on the dry farms between Bend and Prineville could be greatly increased by a little extra work in the line with Campbell’s teachings.