Interesting Facts about Kansas, Southwestern Explorer Report, Great
Times in Kansas.
makes news in South Western Kansas at 3,117 feet above sea level.
An Ideal crop for the Southern Great Plains.
Going to Elkhart and Hugoton and coming from Cimarron, KS,
along the Dry Trail of the Santa Fe, this was Mexican Territory in
1831. The Arkansas River and north was under control of the US
Military. Therefore Indian Attacks were likely without the US
Cavalry supporting the westward migration of the Dry Trail of the
Santa Fe. The Cimarron Dry Trail got
started as trade with Sante Fe and Mexico City became important.
About 1821 the trail was started and it is assumed the Dry Trail
started about the same time.
(Bent’s Fort on the Arkansas River, Santa Fe, Fremont’s Pathfinder,
Jedediah Strong Smith (1831, Murdered at the Wagon Bed Spring,
Zebulon Pike (1806, Pikes Peak, died in the Battle of New Orleans,
These western explorers were the most famous developers and
followers of the trail. They were considered Mountain Men and led
the charge out of the east to the western regions of the Great
American Desert. In 1880 the railroad reached Santa Fe and the trail
faded into history.
The Cimarron dry trail saved about 4 to 6 to days travel time
or about 44 miles to Santa Fe…The
Trail had very little water and was under control of the Comanche
Indians several times. The Trail connected with
Mexico Camino Real that terminated in Mexico City. In 1821 Mexico
gained independence from Spain and the Mexican government began to
expand trade and favored the Santa Fe Trail.
From the Arkansas River at Cimarron, KS at 2,628 feet, elevation
pioneers travel southwest to Wagon Bed Springs at the North
Bend of the Cimarron about 66 miles by the crow with
an elevation rise of 352 feet. This Wagon Bed Springs area was a
large campground. The elevation increases to 2,976 feet at
the North Bend of the Cimarron or Wagon Bed Springs. This would be
about 4 to 5 days of travel by foot from Cimarron to
Wagon Bed Springs.
The elevation changes substantially along the Cimarron in SW Kansas.
At Elkhart, KS the elevation along the Cimarron River at Troy Coen’s
farm is 3,446 feet. As measured 66 miles by the crow from
Troy Coen’s Farm to Travis Fieser’s farm the elevation of the
Cimarron changes 955 feet. Almost 1,000 feet in 66 miles. The
Cimarron River travels about 90 miles in the elevation drop of 1,000
At Hugoton, Kansas, Rattler’s Corner, Winter Canola has a good
start on a dryland pivot corner. The large full section pivot has
been planted to Confection Sunflowers.
About 30 days after planting Winter Canola is ready for management.
The corn harvest is
on as the combines and wagons are on the move about Oct. 7, 16.
Rattler’s Corner looking to the west on Road Y.
is backed up by a funny and life threatening story as best told by
Managing a new
crop in SW Kansas, Winter Canola.
A good stand on dryland pivot corners at Hugoton, Hwy 25, Brewer at
Rubisco Varieties were
planted, Mercedes, Garnet and Hornet. They are ready for growth
regulators and fungicide treatment.
Good Tap Roots, the crown set is good, and there are enough growth
at 8 to 12 leaves to reset the plant. At 8 leaves it is time time
to slow the plant down for winter using growth regulators.
Growth regulators and fungicides to be applied on
10, planted on 20 inch rows in early September,
about 30 days in the deck. Emergence was 4 to 5 days and was
planted at the 2 inch depth.
Deere 1710 on 20 inch with row cleaners. RRV, 90 cell meters were
Notice the irregular emergence of the Winter Canola, there is a
Water Injection helps to overcome the irregularities of the dryland
soils adequate germinating moisture line.
The stored soil
moisture is not evenly distributed in relation to the surface
appearance. The variable moisture line changes due to OM, tillage,
soil type, and slope. Low OM soils require water injection.
Water Injection is required in dry conditions on low OM soils to
produce a competitive stand. All plants should emerge together and
within a range of 24 to 48 hours of each plant.
Water Injection is a powerful management tool and in a dry start up,
the use of water injection will add up to 800 to 1,000 lbs per acre
of seed production .
Water injection allows growth regulators to be managed.
Closing rows on 20 inch spacing with low organic matter, sweeping
tillage system, Pivot Corner. Rattler’s Corner.
Water Injection could improve the stand, the stand is adequate for
good yields in dryland production, but higher yields and better
management occurs with water injection..
Water Injection is utilized with Dwarf Essex (Winter Rape)
production in the PNW. The Winter Canola population will eventually
be reduced to 40,000 to 60,000 population in dryland production at
3,117 feet above sea level in SW Kansas.
One good plant every 4 to 5 inches will allow better economic
Herbicide damage, better know the history.
Do not mix
Banvel with Roundup in the burndown. Banvel damaged the Winter
Canola stand on two high quality pivots.
Canola Stress, 1. Banvel
Damage. High crown set. Use only Roundup in the Burn-down….A. No
history of sulfonated urea’s are allowed except with specific
varieties, B. No crop year history of Banvel in high pH, low OM
soils, (1 inch of store soil moisture per inch). C. No current or
burndown use of 2-4-D. D. Residual herbicides can be tested with an
indicator crop, lentils in precision row placement.
Canola Stress, 2.
High levels of residue in the seed row, wind-blown residue after
planting resting over the emerging plant. Also residue in an
improper location interfering with full spectrum light penetration
at the cots and the first true leaves. Improper residue position
will also produce a high crown set.
Canola Stress, 3.
The winter canola crown set should be at the ground line. An
elevated winter canola crown is a sign of stress and reduced winter
hardiness. Row cleaners creating seed row light penetration are thus
popular on planters. Strip till can be used in extreme cases (high
yielding irrigated winter wheat) on 20 or 30 inch planter row
Canola Stress, 4.
Certain varieties may have more sensitivity to light interfering
residue and residual chemicals. Dwarf Essex could be used as and
indicator crop standard.
Canola crop is very sensitive to residual herbicides.
Winter Canola is
a possible new crop in this semi-arid landscape along the Santa Fe
On the Dry Trail
of the Santa Fe.
Great Plains Explorers Report.
Within five air miles of the Winter Canola production site you can
find a very historic landmark. A four wheel drive road allows
access to a fenced area along the Cimarron River Bank. The
restoration of the Wagon Bed Spring is impressive. The trees are
part of the river bank.
The trees are not maintaining or replenishing the stand due to an
extended five year drought. Irrigation from the Ogallala is pulling
the prehistoric water table down from the last ice age, about 10,000
The Cimarron River starts in New Mexico and passes through Oklahoma
Panhandle and Kansas and crosses back into Oklahoma not too far from
Liberal, Kansas and joins the Arkansas River at Tulsa, OK.
True Story, 60 years of Ruts…intensive traffic and ruts formed up in
the 1840 to 1850 period in the war with Mexico. Find your rut and
follow it for 1,000 miles to Santa Fe.
Oregon Trail was about 2,000 miles in length with 20,000 people dead
along the way, mostly from poor quality water and Cholera. The
children were the first to go as they drank the water and the
parents drank the boiled coffee. A high quality spring was very
The Santé Fe Trail was so busy during the Mexican war that the
heavy traffic actually slowed the migration of the Buffalo. And
thus the starvation and changing life style of the American Indian
From 1840 the Buffalo were a 30 million count herd.
By 1880, the 30 million Buffalo were gone and the Indian wars were
still on. After the civil war the American cattle herd was replacing
the Buffalo herd since the cattle would ship on a train.
Soon barbed wire would stop the cattle drives and the western lands
were settled and homesteaded.
Buffalo Bill killed 65 Buffalo with a US Cavalry, 50
caliber, Springfield Rifle in one professional hunting day.
cattle drives kept moving further west as the railheads moved
further west. The cattle drives stopped in 1886 when the rails had
the transportation to market bet covered. Barbed wire stopped the
migration of the cattle herd north from Texas on this time line.
1870 about 25 cents was invested in a cow and $25.00 was
paid when the animal was ready for market at the Cimarron railhead
in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
The trains allowed the live animals to be shipped to eastern markets
for slaughter. There was no refrigeration so the big packing houses
Armour & Company
formed in 1867 at the Chicago stockyards.
Ice from the Great Lakes and Wisconsin was used to refrigerate the
special built ice box rail cars to distribute the beef.
The new immigrants, Irish and Polish provided the labor for the
stock yards and slaughter houses.
Oklahoma became Indian Territory or a sanctuary for various Indian
tribes about 35 miles Southeast of Wagon Bed Spring.
Lower Cimarron Spring or Wagon Bed Spring on the Santa Fe Trail
was “an Oasis“ in the grassland of the Kansas
prairies that was populated with 30 million head of Buffalo in 1840.
American Desert was considered a treeless plain east of the Rocky
Looking south towards the Oklahoma Panhandle.
A deep rut is visible next to the four wire barbed wire
fence. The grasses have been restored and animals cannot graze in
the spring area.
Near Joel McClure’s Farm you will find the Santa Fe Trail Wagon
Ruts next to the fence, “The Wagon Ruts Are
Deep “, at least 3 to 4 feet in a deep depression. The
Santa Fe Trail developed the Southwestern US and was utilized until
Along the Santa Fe Trail, Wagon Bed Spring was most effective from
1822 to 1868 when the ATSF reached Granada on the Arkansas
River. Obviously the vernal spring was
a significant camping area and an ideal area to rest the
teams of oxen and horses.
Union Pacific and the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe or ATSF
railroads eventually closed off the Cimarron Dry Trail to local use
only after 1868. Only portions of the trail remained in use to 1880
due to the progress of the changing railheads.
Changing Times for 60 years, barbed wire, railroads, and elimination
of Buffalo civilizing the American Indian.
The western desert
landscape received an economic tillage overhaul to support
the pioneer. The pioneers with tractors and tillage eventually
destroyed the soil and created “the Dust Bowl” in this desert 12-18
inch annual rainfall climate.
Contributor to this historical article, Karen McClure, Bed and
Breakfast, at Wagon Bed Spring.
Call for a Canola and Cimarron tour with the mother of three
children and a Fort Collins trained Animal Doctor.
Have her tell you the story about Rattler’s Corner.