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Table 9 Agricultural Statistics R.M. Rhineland 1891-1900
Under Cultivation Horses
Source: Assessment Rolls
Gretna's first farm implement business was established by Christian Pieper in the early 1880's.
The seed drill, introduced after 1889, replaced the broadcast seeder and was a great boon to farmers. It required half as much seed per acre and allowed no grain to be swept away by the wind, embedding every grain. 33 One indication of the prosperity of the farmers in Rhine land was the sale of these seed drills. In March of 1898 the Nordwesten reported that Christian Pieper, an implement dealer in Gretna, was selling four seed drills a day." Threshing machines were also in creasingly purchased and large threshing companies were formed to provide more effective harvesting in fall.
The Growth of Gretna and the Formation of New Towns
The renewal of immigration and agricultural expansion contrib uted to Gretna's growth and the formation of a number of other railway centers during these years. Increased grain growing in the area quickly made Gretna the third largest wheat market in the province with over 300,000 bushels of wheat shipped annually by 1889.35 With this in crease in economic activity Gretna's population rose from 61 in 1884 to over 500 in 1895.36 Much of this increase in population consisted of the non-Mennonite German immigrants who came to Gretna to find work