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THE YEAR'S PROGRESS IN IRRIGATION. Besides the activity already seen to exist in the artesian wells and underflow areas, the investigations made by the Irrigation Inquiry Office show a rapid increase of interest in the whole subject of irrigation and of the cultivation of the soil thereby, whether the needed supply may be obtained from the surface or subterranean sources. The total area “under ditch” was shown at the close of 1889 to be 13,661,000 acres. That actually cultivated thereby was stated at 7,578,000. The increase in the cultivated area is believed to have been during the past year not less than 500,000 acres, while the area to be served by works now in process of construction will at an early day increase the area served by at least 3,000,000, and possibly 5,000,000 acres. Outside of the artesian wells investigation region a great many discoveries have been made of artesian and underflow water within areas of considerable extent and agricultural importance. In Utah there were reported at the beginning of 1890 not less than 1,794 small flowing wells. According to the officials of the Mormon Church these wells irrigated 1,993 acres. According to the reports made to the Senate committee the area of irrigation was not less than 5,000 acres. Some considerable increase of this area has occurred during the past year. As already stated, Colorado has greatly developed its underflow and artesian area. A remarkable struggle is now going on there between the working farmers and the large ditch corporations. The farmer organizations are a unit in demanding the public control of all irrigation waterways and works. This agitation will probably culminate during the ensuing winter in a vigorous discussion within the State legislature, owing to the fact that a code of irrigation laws has been prepared and will be reported by the State commission. The drift of public opinion in Colorado on the part of water users seems to be toward the establishment of irrigation districts similar to those of the system now under way in California, which, it is claimed, has solved all serious difficulties arising over water title and prior appropriation disputes.

In the north and southwest the area of projected irrigation works has considerably increased, and large systems of reservoirs and canals are being promoted largely by the capital of mortgage land companies in the center and by railroad land-grant owners in the northwest. In California irrigation enormously increases the prosperity of that State. More and more the utilization of the subterranean waters becomes a matter of larger public and individual interest. Sixty thousand acres are irrigated by wells, artesian and bored, driven and gang, 3,000 of which are reported as in operation within California, one tenth of these being used for irrigation. The coming session of the Nevada legislature will be of importance, owing to the fact that reclamation projects under consideration there, are to be debated and decided upon.

In conclusion it may safely be asserted, considering the limitations of time, means, and other conditions, that no more practical investigation has been carried on at less outlay or with promise of larger results to the nation at large and the communities affected than that upon which I have now the honor, in accordance with your directions, to submit a first report. Respertfully submitted.


Special Agent in Charge. Secretary.





SIR: I have the honor to present herewith the report of the Office of Experiment Stations for the year 1890. Although the limits of this report permit only an outline of the operations of this Office and of the stations, I trust the statements here made will suffice to show the value of the work now being done by the stations and the promise of its increasing usefulness. This Office was established in October, 1888, and has therefore been in operation but a little more than two years. Necessarily much of this period has been occupied in learning the needs of the stations, and in devising ways and means for carrying on the work for which the Office was organized. As the stations develop and the scope of their work is enlarged the Office is constantly confronted with new problems. Some of these, together with the need of increased means for discharging the duties imposed on the Office by Congress, are set forth in this report. Respectfully,


Director. Hon. J. M. RUSK,



The report of the Office of Experiment Stations for 1890 is for convenience arranged in three general sections, relating to (1) the operations of the Office; (2) the work of the agricultural experiment stations, and (3) the agricultural colleges with which the stations are intimately connected, and the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, which is an efficient instrumentality in promoting the interests of both the colleges and the stations.

The work of the Office, described in the first division of this report, has included a very large and varied correspondence; visiting stations; attendance on farmers' meetings and conventions of college and station officers; the collection, cataloguing, and indexing of station and other literature; the collection of statistics and historical and other data regarding the stations and colleges; the indication of lines of inquiry for the stations; and the promotion of co-operation among the stations. Besides these things a very large share of the time and energy of the Office has been devoted to the preparation and publication of a record of the current publications of the stations and this Department, with a full index; the proceedings of the convention of the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations; bulletins for farmers and botanists; organization lists of the colleges and stations; and circulars and letters of inquiry on topics relating to station work. The preparation of plans for exhibits of station work at the Chicago Exposition has also engaged the attention of the Office. This part of the report also contains an outline of the proposed work of the Office in 1891, a statement of its needs, and suggestions regarding special lines of inquiry which may be profitably undertaken or carried on more extensively by the stations in the immediate future.

The second division of the report, which relates to the operations of the stations, comprises some general statistics illustrating the extent of the station work; facts regarding the stations recently established; illustrations of the practical outcome of station investigations in a number of the States, as reported in 1890; and some conclusions respecting the status, needs, and prospects of the station enterprise. Statistics regarding the names and locations of the stations, the number of station officers of different classes, the lines of station work, the finances of the stations, etc., are given in tables.

In the third division of the report are presented statements with reference to the relations of the stations and colleges, the recent legislation by Congress for the benefit of the colleges, facts regarding colleges recently organized, and an account of the convention of the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations at Champaign, Illinois. There is also a list of the schools and colleges in the United States having courses of agriculture, with locations and names of chief officers.

Those who desire to investigate the work of the stations in special lines will note that the bulletins and annual reports of the stations are sent, as far as practicable, on application to the respective stations. Communications regarding the work of the stations in any particular line may also be addressed to this Office, where they will either be answered directly or be referred to the proper station. Numerous references to the station publications will be found in this report, either in the text or in foot-notes, and a list of the stations, with the names of directors and addresses, is given on pages 548, 549. The publications of this Office intended for general distribution are sent to those who apply for them. A list and description of these publications may be found on page 548. As the editions are limited, the Office can not undertake to supply full sets of its publications, except in special cases.



Correspondence. --The correspondence of the Office is large and rapidly growing. The number of letters received and written during the year ending November, 1890, is, in round numbers, 10,000. The rapidity with which this portion of the work of the Office has increased is shown by the fact that the number of letters reported as written and received in 1889 was but 4,800. This correspondence, which reaches all parts of the world, includes requests for publications and for information which may be given by sending publications; inquiries regarding the organization and work of the ex

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