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who by the 1930's were primarily wheat farmers, were particularly hard hit by this drop of the wheat market.
The decline of this market, however, was not the only problem Rhineland farmers had to face. Throughout most of the thirties rainfall in the area was well below normal and crop failures due to lack of moisture were common." Wells in the area ran dry and farmers were forced to haul water by barrel or tank for both livestock and household needs. These drought conditions convinced many farmers in Rhineland to dig new ponds. This was generally accomplished with a team of horses and a scraper, but later in the decade the municipality purchased a dragline that was made available to farmers at the cost of $23 a pond. The balance of the cost was paid by the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA). Moving from one farm to the next, this drag line often operated 24 hours a day. 4
If wheat prices and drought were not enough to drive a farmer to despair, the grasshoppers and rust might. Thriving in hot weather, grasshoppers would destroy whole fields of grain. At the height of the grasshopper plague the R.M. of Rhineland and the Manitoba Depart ment of Agriculture went to great lengths to combat the problem. Carloads of bran were shipped to Rhineland towns where it was mixed with poison and distributed to farmers. Farmers then spread this mixture on road allowances. Some farmers even built grasshopper catching machines, consisting of a trough containing used crankcase oil, pulled
Digging a Dugout near Rosenfeld early in the century.
Credit: D. Zacharias