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The total value of crops grown on this land is $106,781,294, an increase of $5,800,000 over the value for 1934. Preliminary figures, excluding Warren Act lands, for which reports are incomplete, show a marked increase in crop value for 1936. The cumulative total, exclusive of 1936, amounts to $2,177,965,009. I would like to call particular attention to the paragraphs in the statement dealing with settlement, the results of which have been very gratifying. There has been a tremendous influx of people into the irrigated sections from the drought areas, seeking new locations. This is one of the most important trends now apparent. New opportunities must be provided for these people.
There were 170 public-land farms opened to entry in 1936, and they were on a number of projects. They were 80 to 90 percent settled during the year.
There is a very small number of desirable farm units now available on any of the projects.
VALUE OF CROPS RAISED ON LANDS OF FEDERAL RECLAMATION PROJECT*
Mr. Fitzpatrick. What you stated with respect to that figure of 2,177,000,000 was not quite clear to me. Is that the total land in irrigation projects?
Mr. Page. Oh, no. That is the cumulative value of the crops raised on lands in the Federal reclamation projects in about 35 years Considerably less than 3,000,000 acres are irrigated by Federal projects.
Mr. Fitzpatrick. Are the crops produced on these projects sold in competition with those produced on other farms?
Mr. Page. I have here some tables showing what crops our projects produce. I can say, generally speaking, that these products are not sold in competition with those of anv other area.
Mr. Fitzpatrick. The reason that I asked that question is because we are taking millions of acres out of production, and in the reclamation projects we are putting millions of acres back into production. On the one hand we take them out of production, so as to reduce the amount produced and to bring up the prices, and it would be very poor business on the other hand, if we are spending millions of dollars on reclamation plans, to put more acreage mto production in competition with products raised elsewhere. But you have stated that it is not in competition, that it is more for people to settle on and to make their living.
Mr. Page. That is the common argument of the opponents of reclamation, and we have made it a point to investigate carefullythe types of crops which are produced on Federal projects and the destinations to which they go. Of course, there are five major crops in which there are surpluses existing, and the contribution of the Federal reclamation projects to the surpluses in those five crops is entirely insignificant.
These tables will show very clearly what the situation is.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
Relatier order wimportance by value (rope for 1991 an Faheral siropation projecta
I MIX NON' ONARII PROT TO MINI IALI
i Statistics furnished by Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Department of Commerce.
Mr. Fitzpatrick. I wanted to bring that out. Then it is not the >bject of reclamation to put in more acreage in competition with vhat we are taking out?
Mr. Page. That is correct, emphatically.
Mr. Fitzpatrick. It is to make places where people can live, and lot be a burden on their communities.
NATURE OF CROPS RAISED ON IRRIGATED LANDS
Mr. Rich. I cannot quite get the purport of your statement, that t is not in competition. Are there any places on these reclamation irojects where they are raising more foodstuffs or marketable supplies han they use themselves? Mr. Page. Yes, sir.
Mr. Rich. Then certainly you would be in competition with other gricultural lands, would you not?
Mr. Page. We are not in competition on the products where there i a surplus in the United States—that is, corn, cotton, wheat, hogs, nd tobacco, crops in which there is considered to be a surplus in this juntry.
Do you not raise wheat on any of these projects?
Not enough for local consumption.
Corn, hogs, cotton, and—what are the other commodi
What do you raise on these irrigated lands? This is all ;w to me, and that is the reason that I am asking these questions. ou talk about the opponents of reclamation. I think that the question ked by the gentleman from New York was the same question that is my mind, as to why we are spending millions and hundreds of illions of dollars for irrigation and then we are out buying millions acres of land, to take them out of cultivation. I would like to get at cleared up, to see if I understand the philosophy of irrigation. Mr. Page. The six crops of major value on the various projects are
falfa, alfalfa seed, apples, barley, beans, citrus fruit, clover seed
Mr. Rich. What do you mean by citrus fruit?
Then, some corn, some cotton, oats, onions, peaches, pears, pota-
Mr. Page. Berries and cherries. Then, sweetpotatoes and truckr, and a little wheat.
WEST IS ARID
Few of our citizens realize that the United States has roughly 600,000,000 acres of deserts within its boundaries; that almost all tii? western one-third of our land area is semiarid or arid.
Many apparently believe that irrigation is an expensive frill indulgs in by the farmers of our big Western States by which they increa* their agricultural output to the detriment of farmers in other are* This is a mistaken and an unfortunate conception of irrigation.
In the area west of the one hundredth meridian, irrigation is no: magic by which the farmer improves his lot. It is the only method' which sufficient moisture can be supplied to the available fertile, dr land to produce tilled crops.
WHAT IS IRRIGATION?
Irrigation consists of applying water to land to make it yield.! the West the climate is such that large areas receive only 3 inchef rain a year. These areas are as dry as the Sahara. In other sectio: the rainfall is heavier, but nowhere west of the one hundredth meridu: except on mountain tops and in a narrow strip along the Pacific «?■■ north of San Francisco Bay, is the average rainfall as much as -' inches a year. Over most of this vast expanse the average is cossiderably below 15 inches. The natural vegetation of this arcs sagebrush and greasewood, with sparse short grass in the wet;' localities.
Not only is the rainfall scanty, but virtually all of it comes in winter months. The summers are long and very dry. In the imperial Valley in southern California there is no record of rainfall durr June in the last 35 years, for example.
Under such conditions, obviously, there would be no farms and: farmers without irrigation.
Since the earliest pioneer days irrigation has been practiced in tit West. Even before the white man came, the Indians of the Sout! west irrigated their fields to make them produce a little corn atfodder for their goats.
The Spanish missionaries in California and the Mormons in reestablished the first irrigation communities of the type we know tcnis' in the West. It is well to keep in mind that these early pionft-' adopted irrigation as the only means of providing an agriculture base for their communities.
IRRIGATION SEVERELY LIMITED
From these early beginnings the irrigated agriculture of the TVr has grown until it covers about 18,000,000 acres, of which 1,600.0 acres are irrigated within the confines of projects constructed by t Bureau of Reclamation as agent for the United States Governme'
Even the most liberal estimates place at 30,000,000 acres the mav mum that can be irrigated in the West. That is less than one twenr sixth of the total arable land in the United States. Although !-■ West has one-third of all the land in the United States, it can nevK even after it has developed to the limit every river, lake, and stn?a' it possesses, have more than one twenty-sixth of the farmed acres;