"We dried out, you know, in 1955, in the fall of 1955. By the middle of August, we was putting up hay, and you could look – We had stacked the hay loose. And you looked over the fields there was white spots all over. And the only corn there was – There was a few low spots and the draws. And that we picked out, and we got three wagonloads of ear corn… But that year it just didn't rain and didn't rain… And then the next year we had sprinkler irrigation, hand-moved. And I planted corn and my brother had lived a few miles away on a farm. And he was dry land [farming]. And I asked him to help me move sprinkler pipe on the corn. Well, you know, eight foot corn [laughs] moving sprinkler, hot and dry. It was quite a job. When we got done that fall I said, 'What do you think? Do you want to help me next year?' [He laughs.]
     "He said, 'No way.' He said, 'If you want to plant corn, go ahead.' But he said, 'Don't look for me to help you.' …
     "So that's what I'd do. I'd get up at 5:00 o'clock in the morning or whenever it got daylight, turn the well off, move the pipe, start the well again, and go home and do chores. And then in the afternoon, same thing. I'd wanted to keep chores sequence right. So, that's what you'd do. And you have to run – In order to get four inches of water on, you'd have to run 10 hours…
     "Yeah. It was a lot of work, but I said, you know – Agriculture and farming is something you have to – Well, it's like anything. If you don't like doing it, don't do it because I'd hate to think of getting up in the morning and going to work and not liking what I'm doing."

Virgil Obermier – Drought & Irrigation


Other Excerpts from Virgil Obermier’s Interview:

The Korean War
Farming After the War
Fertilizer Use
Center Pivots