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Mail Tribune 100

Dec. 17, 1915

FIFTY MILLIONS LOST

A practical farmer and prospective investor in the valley estimates that the lack of an irrigation system has cost the Rogue River valley a loss of $50,000,000 during the years since the building of the railroad.

The loss is not exaggerated — indeed, probably underestimated. With irrigation, the annual output would be many times greater, much more varied.

Let us figure the loss for a single year, even on the acreage under cultivation, without any intensified farming, using present slipshod and unscientific methods of cultivation. Take the year 1915, for instance. Were the valley irrigated, the fruit shipments would have totalled between 2,000 and 3,000 cars, conservatively estimated. This would have meant from $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 brought into the valley. Instead, the output was 300 cars, bringing in $300,000, a loss of two million dollars on one crop in one year.

All other crops were shy — grain, hay, potatoes, beans, vegetables — not enough produced for local needs. The shortage is reflected in the livestock and other industries, in creamery and cannery output. The loss totals at least another million.

Here, then, is a loss of three million dollars in one year. But the loss is really much greater, because with irrigation there would be intensified farming, much greater acreage farmed, many more farmers, more livestock and poultry, larger creameries, larger canneries, all of which would create more industries.

The loss to the valley from lack of irrigation is incalculable. It is the one great need, and until water is supplied there will be no established property of values, no market for property, no real prosperity. 

LOCAL AND PERSONAL

Chief Hittson enabled a Eugene jeweler to recover two gold watches that had been stolen recently and hawked in this city. The lad who pawned them here registered from Eugene. That gave the chief a clue. He wired the Eugene authorities with the result that the watches were recovered. The boy subsequently went back to Eugene and was arrested while trying to rob a house. He was sent to the reform school.