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R.M. of Rhineland Dragline circa 19305.
Credit W. J. Kehler
by a horse. As it moved along, the grasshoppers would leap or tumble into the trough of oil and smother. While a large number of grasshoppers were destroyed, the overall effect was not very noticeable and grasshop pers contributed significantly to crop failures during these years. The grasshoppers were eventually destroyed by a parasite and they disap peared almost as suddenly as they had appeared. 5
Rust also presented problems for farmers during the depression. In 1935 abundant rainfall produced stands of wheat that promised 25 bushels to the acre yields, only to be destroyed by rust. Many crops were in fact burnt to the ground because the actual yields did not pay for the harvesting. 6
Being primarily grain farmers, the residents of Rhineland had little to fall back on. Farm income plummeted while indebtedness rose quickly. Farmers who had invested heavily in land and new farm machinery in the 1920's, now stood to lose everything. By 1936, 626 of 1,240 farmers in the R.M. of Rhineland were in danger of losing all of their holdings through foreclosure or bankruptcy. Another 455 were paying a third of their crop to mortgage holders. Tenant farming also increased as mortgage indebtedness rose to over $1,356,000.7 Farmers in these dire straits could no longer look to the Church for aid as both Bergthaler and Sommerfelder Waisenamts had themselves gone bank rupt.
The Waisenamt's original purpose had been to administer the