Historical Details

Without Irrigation 1888

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 04/22/1888


Statement of Some of Our New Farmers' Successful Experiments

The following statements of some of our grangers who are just commencing to raise crops will show how quickly nature responds to their touch in Eastern Wyoming

CHARLES CHAPIN lives one mile south of Lusk. He does not irrigate. Here is what he says: "I began farming last spring. After being in Wyoming one year, fenced 40 acres, broke 15 acres, sowed 3 1/2 acres in oats, put it up when it was in the dough so as to save the straw for hay. I was more than pleased with my returns. I could have sold the hay for $12 per ton but that has kept my team in fine condition all winter, will last 'till the first of May. I sowed two acres of millet which did well, potatoes, cabbage, melons and all kinds of vegetables which made as fine a crop as I ever saw. I also raised two kinds of tobacco which made a large growth and matured early. I shall plant all kinds of crops this year.  You will understand that all my crops were on sod and raised without irrigation. I will conclude by saying that I have been here two years and I like the country the best of any I have lived in. I will name a few resources we have: Our lasting supply of timber for fuel and plenty of good logs to build houses and barns and will always have a good home market for all our crops. I would say to all that happens to see this little sketch that there is plenty of good land here that is not taken and would make fine houses and go to work with a will as all have to in anew country could soon have a good home of their own."

GEORGE HAWK lives four miles south-east of Lusk. He says: I raised 250 bushels of turnips from one acre, 1500 splendid cabbage from less than 1/4 acre, 80 rods sowed to beets produced about 40 bushels, one-eighth acre planted to summer squashes produced about 50 bushels, and all my small garden stuff did well without any irrigation. I shall crop much more land this season."

M. SANDERS lives west of Lusk four miles. His statement is as follows: "I sowed four acres of oats, from which I gathered 12 tons, cut green for hay; 1/4 sowed to turnips produced six large double wagon loads. I raise eight rows of corn 60 yards long, which did well. From one-quarter acre I grew 2,000 pounds of potatoes. All my small garden stuff grew equally as well."

O.J. DEMMON, owner of the Silver Springs Horse Ranch, eight miles south of Lusk writes: "I put in about eight acres of wheat last year, intending to cut it green for hay--as there was no threshing machine in the country at that time. But owing to rainy weather, I put off the cutting until later, and then I found that the kernel had formed, and it was beautifully filled. From what I have threshed I think it would have yielded about 25 bushels to the acre.

I sowed no oats last year, but year before raised eight acres of very fine oats and as a consequence shall put in about 30 acres this year.

I planed 12 acres of corn on sod, and had a splendid stand--the early yellow and white dent being the varieties. I did not get it planted until the last of May, but had the ground been broken I could  have put it in the first of May. As it was, the ears were well formed, and I had 300 bushels of very good corn, besides some soft corn.

I put in four acres of potatoes under the sod (as I broke the ground) and without any further attention what ever, the potatoes weight from 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each. 

We always grow all kinds of garden vegetables, such as sweet corn, turnips, beets, lettuce, etc., and I must say that for all kinds of vegetables, for flavor and size, Wyoming takes the cake. And having had some experience in wheat growing in Colorado, where out best flour comes from, I am satisfied from the color and appearance of the wheat that I  have raised here, could I get it ground, it would make as good flour as the best from Colorado.

I am so well satisfied with my experience in raising corn last year that I shall plant all the ground I can get broken up in time this spring. 

I will stay here for the benefit of those who have timber claims, that I put in 10 bushels of black walnuts one year ago last fall on five acres; that I plowed them in; that they came up well the next spring, growing about a foot high; that I have examined them recently, and find that all or nearly all are alive notwithstanding we have had no snow to protect them this winter. I also find that out native cottonwood does well here, especially on light sandy soil. I think it does the best of all timber." 

DAN HOWE, who lives five miles north-east of Lusk on the divide, gives the following statement: "My crops were all raised on sod, without irrigation.

I had 1/4 acre of potatoes and dug 40 bushels therefrom; about the same amount of land planted to field, sweet and popcorn, all of which matured (except sweet corn which I used green) and made a good crop. I had 75 bushels of turnips from 1/4 of an acre. I also raised pumpkins, watermelons, muskmelons, squashes, cucumbers radishes weighing four pounds each, Danvers short carrots weighing five or six pounds each, ground cherries, vine peaches, onions beets cabbage, kale, lettuce, canary seed, rape seed, parsnips,  tomatoes and seedling fruit and forest trees. I have raspberries, grapes, currant and blackberries, all of which have done well and stood the winter without being harmed. 

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