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counties for the accommodation of the farmers.

At this time the road mileage is 16,000 miles more
than in 1913, an average annual increase of more
than 3,000 miles, which is all in the farming sections,
and for the service and convenience of the farmers.



COLORADO-AN UNDEVELOPED EMPIRE





The Colorado farmer does not depend solely upon one crop. Tlie farm producing a diversity of crops makes the highest average
income. Wheat and corn are leading crops in Eastern Colorado



With three-fourths of her agricultural land unde-
veloped, Colorado's greatest present need is more farm
homes, more tillers for her fertile lands. In this State,
where miner, manufacturer, tourist and city dweller
depend upon the farm for good things to eat, the
person who comes to establish a farm home will receive
a hearty welcome.

^TFRN rni oRAno

The eastern section of the State, consisting of the
twenty-seven counties lying east of Larimer County
on the north to Huerfano County on the south, is one
of the most widely varied districts of the State from
the standpoints of topography, climatic conditions
and industries. In it are hundreds of thousands of
acres of irrigated lands, intensively cultivated, and
millions of acres of non-irrigated land capable of suc-
cessful cultivation under known dry-farming methods.
The western part of this division extends to and
includes the foothill regions on the Eastern Slope of the
Rocky Mountains. Commencing at the foothills, and
extending eastward for many miles along the larger
streams of eastern Colorado, lie the irrigated valleys,
and between these streams are vast stretches of graz-
ing and dry-farm lands.

The twenty-seven counties contain a total of 3 1,534, -
080 acres. Of this total 17,397,279 acres are patented
land, 9,186,001 acres being classed as grazing land and



the remainder being classified as coal, timber, min-
eral, agricultural lands, etc. The district includes
2,174,872 acres of State land subject to sale or lease,
and 1 ,444,474 acres of National Forests, National Parks
and Monuments. There is included also 735,358 acres
of Government land open to homestead entry, but as
the district has been settled for many years and the
available public lands carefully searched, it may be
said that only occasional tillable tracts of this Govern-
ment land can be found within reasonable distance of
railroads and markets, and that most of the available
lands, with the possible exception of foothill tracts,
have been searched and discarded by settlers in the
past.

The growth and development of eastern Colorado
during the past few years has been tremendous. Due
to the necessity for food production during the war,
large areas of virgin land were plowed and planted to
beans, potatoes, wheat and corn. It is estimated that
Eastern Colorado has increased the amount of land
under tillage more than 20% since the spring of 1917.
Yet it is safe to say that nearly 70% of the tillable
lands have never been plowed. Land values have
increased rapidly. In many sections lands are now
worth many times the value a few years ago. Pros-
pects for settlement during the present year are the
brightest on record.

The climate of eastern Colorado varies largely,
owing to the varying latitudes and altitudes, and to
the proximity to the mountains. In the foothill



U. S. RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION




Pinto beans are an important crop on dry lands of Eastern Colorado and fit in well with crop rotation. Yields of 200 to 400 lbs. an
acre are commonly secured. The growing of these beans prepares the land for winter wheat



valleys there are many protected areas where trees
and small fruits do splendidly and as a rule the dis-
tricts adjacent to the mountains are afforded pro-
tection from the more rigorous winter winds. The
annual rainfall varies fromlO to 20 inches in the larger
part of the district. Some of the foothill counties have
more than 20 inches.



This district is one of the most progressive sections
of the West. Sixteen of its counties now have the
services of competent county agricultural agents, who,
with the aid of home demonstrators, have organized
farm bureaus and boys' and girls' clubs and have fos-
tered and developed scientific farming and the com-
munity spirit to an encouraging degree. In almost
every section of eastern Colorado there are many
progressive farm organizations working unitedly for
better living conditions and the improvement of farm
methods. The influence of these organizations has
been proved in the last few years by the more intelli-
gent cultivation of farm lands, the improvement of live
stock and the evident development of community
spirit.

The exceptional educational facilities offered in all
parts of eastern Colorado have occasioned no little
surprise among newcomers in the district. The schools
may almost be said to be in advance of the require-



ments of population, but the people of this district
long since recognized the importance of education,
and, inspired by the extension departments of the
State educational institutions, have made wonderful
progress in this respect. They have at their command
at all times the hearty support of the State University,
the State Agricultural College and the State Teachers'
College, all of which have made a special study of
rural school problems and have aided materially in
enabling comparatively isolated districts to have ade-
quate educational facilities. Numerous consolidated
schools have been built throughout the eastern section,
offering advantages which cannot be excelled.

Eastern Colorado, the Gateway

One of the greatest recreational regions in the United
States is reached through eastern Colorado. The
Mountain Parks and National Forests offer unrivaled
opportunities for the summer's outing and it may be
said without exaggeration that the proximity of the
mountains and their recreational advantages adds
materially to the pleasure of living in eastern Colorado.
Motor travel through eastern Colorado to the moun-
tains is very heavy during the summer months. Many
tourists investigate eastern Colorado lands in this way.

Industries

Agriculture and the manufactories which are allied
with it unquestionably furnish the chief industries of



CO-LORADO-AN UNDEVELOPED EMPIRE




The dry farm home in Eastern Colorado is made attractive by the growing of trees and a windmill and small storage reservoir
provide irrigation water for the garden. This is not expensive, and adds much to the attractiveness of the home surroundings



this section. Hundreds of important manufacturing
institutions, dealing with the raw products of the
farms, have sprung up along the railroads in this
district which contains the most important sugar
beet areas of the West and many of the most highly
developed dairy districts.

The sugar beet industry has given employment to
thousands of men and women, has provided feed for
stock during the winter months and has added tremen-
dously to the value of farm lands in the irrigated areas.
The dairy industry, providing a cash market for but-
ter fat, has brought prosperity to many sections and
has given impetus to the establishment of several large
condenseries, which supply the world's markets.

Alfalfa meal mills have provided a cash market for
this crop and throughout the irrigated section canning
plants, operated by some of the largest companies in
the world, have encouraged the intensive cultivation
of lands suitable to canning crops, and have doubled
and trebled the value of the lands close by.

Stock-raising and winter-feeding are among the
most important of the agricultural industries. Graz-
ing is possible on some of the unoccupied sections of
the Plains Region and in the National Forests ad-
jacent to the foothills, and thousands of cattle and
lambs are fattened each winter on silage, hay and
other crops, and the by-products of the sugar factories.

From Wyoming to New Mexico, along the foothills,
runs a vast stretch of coal-bearing lands, which has



made coal mining one of the most important indus-
tries of this region. At Pueblo, close to inexhaustible
supplies of coal, is located one of the largest steel mills
in the West, furnishing a market for the ores lying in
the hills and mountain regions.

Resources and Opportunities

The undeveloped resources of eastern Colorado
challenge the imagination. Dry-farming, once con-
sidered a hazardous occupation, is fast becoming an
exact science, subject to misfortune only under the
most exceptional climatic conditions. Rural mail
deliveries, telephones and the automobile have robbed
isolation of its discomforts, and the silo, the dairy cow
and the conservation of moisture have demonstrated
the possibilities of successful dry-farming.

Low-priced lands, no longer to be had in the Cen-
tral or Eastern States, are available in this district. In
the irrigated valleys prices range from $75 to $300 an
acre or more, depending upon soil, improvements and
proximity to markets, but hundreds of thousands of
acres in the non-irrigated district may yet be pur-
chased at prices ranging from $15 to $50 an acre, and
by intelligent farming may be made to yield a splendid
return on the investment. The development of manu-
factories using the raw product of the farms is also
comparatively in its infancy.

This State, through all its educational and develop-
ment agencies, stands ready to assist the settler in



U. S. RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION




One of Colorado's modern sugar beet factories. There are sixteen sugar factories in the State. The raising of beets has greatly
increased the value of irrigated lands, and added largely to the general prosperity of the communities in which they are grown



every way, and to give him the benefit of the experi-
-ence of those who have given their hves to the study
of the problems of dry-farming. The land is reasonable
in price, transportation facilities are adequate, cli-
matic advantages are excellent and community de-
velopment is progressing wonderfully. The eastern
section is just beginning to know its own possibilities,
and it is freely predicted by those who are familiar
with its history that the next ten years will constitute
a period of growth, development and prosperity un-
surpassed in the history of the State.

Types of Agriculture
Agriculture in eastern Colorado is of three types:
irrigated, so-called dry-land farming, and grazing.
Often two, and sometimes all of these methods are
combined on one farm or ranch, but each is adapted
for certain conditions of topography, rainfall and soil.
Only limited areas can be irrigated, and not all of the
region can be profitably dry-farmed, but there is very
little land that is not more or less valuable for grazing
purposes.

Irrigated Farminsj

Irrigation in the Plains Region is principally con-
fined to the valleys of the Arkansas, South Platte and
their tributaries. The irrigated areas in the South
Platte Valley are in Larimer, Weld, Morgan, Logan
and Adams counties. In the Arkansas Valley there are
irrigated lands in Fremont, Pueblo, Otero, Bent, Prow-
ers, El Paso, Lincoln, Cheyenne, Crowley and Kiowa



counties. Except in the few instances where the water
supply is obtained by pumping, it is taken from streams
and either run directly on to the land through systems
of canals, or is stored in reservoirs, and later turned
into the canals when needed. Hence, only such land
can be watered from the streams and reservoirs as will
permit of the carrying of water to it by gravity. There
is some land remaining in the region which can be
rendered irrigable, and although that already under
irrigation is highly developed, and brings big prices, a
settler who has sufficient capital can find irrigated land
which can be bought at attractive prices. Few lands
are more productive than the irrigated portions of
eastern Colorado.

Sugar Beets

The sugar beet industry of the irrigated valleys is
the largest agricultural industry of the State in point
of value of the manufactured product. Beets, coupled
with alfalfa and manure for the renewal of the soil,
have increased the population of the irrigated regions,
raised the value of the land, and widened the areas of
cultivation. One acre of beets, properly cared for, will
yield from twelve to thirty tons. Colorado beets have
an exceptionally high sugar content. Besides this, the
farmer gets the tops and a share of the by-product
pulp for feeding.

Alfalfa and Alfalfa Seed

The main crop of the irrigated region is alfalfa.
There are also many districts, where the water table is



COLORADO-AN UNDEVELOPED EMPIRE




Cantaloupe production in the Arkansas Valley of Colorado is one of the leading industries. This section is known througho
the United States as the home of the Rocky Ford melon



near the surface, which produce splendid crops of
alfalfa, without irrigation. It not only is the principal
hay crop for all live stock, but also is an important
factor in maintaining the fertility of the soil. The
practice in most irrigated sections is to keep one-
fourth of the farm in alfalfa, rotating periodically with
the other crops in order to maintain or build up soil
fertility. The alfalfa crop, as all legumes, takes the
nitrogen out of the air and stores it in the soil for the
use of other crops. Besides the nitrogen which is stored
in the soil, the large root system of the alfalfa plant
loosens up the soil and leaves an abundance of humus
to improve the soil condition. Alfalfa usually gives
three cuttings of hay per season, except when seed is
raised, then only one cutting of hay is taken. The
average yield of hay is from three to four tons per
acre, worth in recent years from $10 to $18 per ton
in the stack. There is also a good market for alfalfa
seed. Colorado has only been able to supply about
one-fourth of the local demand for alfalfa seed.

Wheat, Oats and Barley

Wheat yields from 35 to 60 bushels per acre under
irrigation. Oats produce from 40 to 100 bushels per
acre, barley yields as high as 90 bushels.

Melons

These are a great crop, especially in the Arkansas
Valley. Rocky Ford melons are famous the world over.
The Arkansas Valley, from Ordway to Rocky Ford,



has just that type of sandy loam soil which, in the pre-
vailing climate, under irrigation, feeds flavor to can-
taloupes, producing very high quality. It has also
been found that the seed grown in these districts is
superior to that produced elsewhere. This is the reason
twelve to fifteen other states producing the Rocky
Ford types of cantaloupes, commercially, come to this
district for their seed stocks.



Apples are successfully grown in nearly all of the
eastern section. The Arkansas Valley has gained great
fame in the production of apples. The cherry is another
profitable fruit and many canneries have been estab-
lished. Pears and peaches do well, and other fruits,
such as strawberries, dewberries, blackberries, rasp-
berries, currants and gooseberries, are extensively
raised.

Vegetables

Vegetable raising, especially for canning, is a growing
industry. Colorado potatoes and canned peas are
known the country over.

Colorado celery is unsurpassed. The soil and cli-
matic conditions give it a brittleness which enables it
to command the top market price.

Live Stock

The irrigated regions of Colorado have become great
live stock feeding centers — because of the abundance



U . S . R A I L R O AD ADMINISTRATION




Dairying is a safe business on the farm. Returns on dairy cow investments are quick, sure and large.
Market the rough feeds in the form of milk. Here are ten Holstein daughters of one good sire



of good feed, and the mild, open winters. Thousands
of cattle and sheep, produced on the ranges, are driven
into the irrigated sections where alfalfa, beet pulp,
beet tops, grain and silage are produced in abundance
every year. In these regions feeders are always sure
of an abundance of good feed for their feeding opera-
tions. Farm experiences, covering more than forty
years, confirmed by the Colorado Experiment Station
demonstrations, show that feeding the hay on the
farm more than doubles its cash value to the farmer.

Dairying

The dairy cow is fast becoming recognized as one
of the greatest profit makers on irrigated lands. First-
class dairy cows are being imported from other dairy
regions. The State already has 75 creameries, 5 con-
denseries, 13 cheese factories, 45 ice cream plants and
hundreds of cream stations. Farmers are learning
that, by feeding their crops to the dairy cow, they can
make large profits. In many districts in eastern
Colorado, dairying not only is the most profitable, but
also the safest business.



THE ARKANSAS VALLE i

The Arkansas Valley begins at Canon City and
extends eastward to the Kansas line. The altitude of
the valley at Canon City is 5,343 feet, and at the
State border 3,500 feet. Thisvalleyincludes, from west
to east, the counties of Fremont, Pueblo, Otero, Bent,



Prowers, El Paso, Lincoln, Cheyenne, Crowley and
Kiowa.

Practically all Arkansas Valley farmers agree that
alfalfa is the basis of their crop success. Three cut-
tings per season can always be counted on and some-
times a fourth is obtained. Three to four tons is the
usual yield. While a large amount of alfalfa is fed
to fattening lambs and steers, several alfalfa mills
grind many thousand tons and ship out as alfalfa
meal. The production of alfalfa seed has reached com-
mercial importance.

These irrigated valley farms have a great diversity
of crops. Several large sugar factories encourage beet
production; for many years flouring mills have en-
couraged increasing acreages of fall wheat; canning
factories in many localities call for vegetables for can-
ning; milk condenseries and creameries urge bringing
in of good dairy cows; these require the growing of
corn and other feed crops for silage and grain feeds to
supplement alfalfa hay. Hogs are an asset, found on
many farms, and poultry is on every farm. Special seed
crops have been found profitable in certain districts of
the valley, and are grown in commercial quantities.
Special types of cantaloupes and watermelons go
from certain districts by the train load to eastern
markets.

The rotation of crops has been reduced to a science
on most Arkansas Valley farms. Farmers' experience
demonstrates that general farming on irrigated land



15



COLORADO-AN UNDEVELOPED EMPIRE




Large yields ot forage crops, healthful climatic conditions and plenty of fresh water make possible the production of pork
on a large scale. Every farm should have enough hogs to utilize the wastes and supply the winter meat



should include one cash crop, one cultivated crop, one
legume crop and one live stock or feeding crop.

Irrigated farms sell for $75 to $300 an acre, accord-
ing to distance from the railroad, and the farm im-
provements.

THE SOUTHIPLATTE RIVER^VALLEY

The valley of the South Platte River and its tribu-
taries cover a large irrigated area comprising Larimer,
Weld, Morgan, Logan and Adams counties. Northern
Colorado has a most complete system for impounding
water for irrigation. This district has over one hun-
dred reservoirs, each with an average capacity of
1,000,000 cubic feet of water. There are also several
hundred smaller reservoirs in this district. About one
million acres of cultivated land are under irrigation in
this area, comprising practically one-fourth of the
entire irrigated land in the State.

This valley is known for its enormous production of
all kinds of cash crops, as well as live stock. The
leading crops are beets, potatoes, beans, wheat, and
alfalfa. Nine sugar factories call for a large sugar
beet acreage; nearly as many canneries call for
a considerable acreage of peas, sweet corn, toma-
toes and other canning vegetables; flour mills encour-
age small grain production; and in the Greeley
section of the valley is found the largest potato dis-
trict of the State. This gives a great diversity of crops
that enhances the value of the valley as a farming
section.



At the 1919 Western Stock Show, at Denver, the
champion carload of hogs came from this valley. This
speaks for good blood, good feeding and good care.
As an example, Johnstown, which is an inland town, is
becoming widely known for its intensive dairy farming.
Their local annual Dairy Show in exhibit, attendance
and interest exceeds many state fairs. The daily
receipts of the condensery of this town average 23,000
pounds of milk delivered by approximately 175 farmers.
According to records of the condensery the 175 farmers
milk about 8,000 cows. The total returns from these
cows is over $250,000 annually. There are a number
of other communities in this valley that are develop-
ing the dairy industry on the same basis.

There is a large area of alfalfa grown in the South
Platte Valley and practically all of it is fed upon the
farm to fattening lambs and steers. This gives the
farm added value through the barnyard manure that
goes back to enrich its soil and make it more pro-
ductive.

Irrigated farms may be purchased for $75 to $300
an acre and up. There are raw lands, at present un-
irrigated, for which there iswater to put them "under the
ditch." These now await development by the settler.

DRY-LAND FARMING IN EASTERN
COLORADO

The dry-land farms of eastern Colorado offer desir-
able opportunities to the homeseeker. In fact, with



16



U. S. RAILROAD ADM I N I S T R A T I O N




cd i,uin ,11 uiy-laiiJ ociiuno i^t Culu.cJ.^. i K<= njm=. oic mijic Liiaii uiic mile luflg. NuLC ihc <=«.,.cllciii. Lilih.

This is an important crop in this district. The soil in these sections is very fertile and easily handled



improved methods of tillage, and a change from the
old idea of raising only cash crops, dry-land farming
has been made more certain and safe. The old grazing
lands of the past have for the most part been turned
into prosperous farmsteads, and the possibilities of the
region have been too well demonstrated to consider
farming without irrigation an experiment. Where
once it took 640 acres to support twenty head of
cattle on a yearly basis under the old regime of grazing,
320-acre units, devoted to forage and cash crops, now
furnish comfortable and prosperous homes for thousands
of families.

To practice successful dry-land farming is not
difficult. It is merely adapting yourself to the con-
ditions to be met — rainfall, soil and length of growing
seasons. While the annual rainfall is limited, sufficient
moisture can be stored by thorough cultivation at the
proper time of the year to produce an abundance of
forage crops and such cash crops as beans, potatoes,
wheat and rye every year. This will assure the settler
sufficient feed to carry on his live stock operations,
which should be the basis of his business, and some
returns from cash crops.

Those having had years of experience in dry-land
farming, recommend that from twenty to forty acres
should be summer-tilled on each farm every year.
Summer-tilling means to cultivate throughout the
entire season without cropping, thereby storing up
two years of rainfall for the production of one crop. A



large yield of grain or forage crops can usually be
secured every year by this method.

In addition to this summer-tilled ground, the settler
should carefully cultivate, under the best known dry-
land method, as much more as he can take care of.
The degree of the settler's success with dry-land
farming depends almost entirely on the extent that he
can adapt himself to the methods found most success-
ful by those who have had years of experience in that
particular community.

).st of Gettinp- Started

One should have at least a sufficient amount to make
the first payment on land, provide the farm with
house, barn, water for domestic and stock uses,
work stock, a few cows, pigs, chickens and implements
for effective work. He should have left a sufficient gum
to feed and clothe the family until a crop can be grown,
harvested and marketed. This amount will vary with
cost of material, the character and amount of improve-
ments made, size of the family and the individual
farmer. It is believed that to get safely started, the
prospective settler should have from $1,500 to $2,500
capital after the first payment is made on the purchase
price of his land. Success has been achieved by many
new settlers with less capital than this. To a very
great extent final success depends upon the individual.

The dry-farm unit must be of sufficient size to grow


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Online LibraryUnited States Railroad AdministrationColorado .. → online text (page 2 of 4)