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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1948. Department of Geography.


Copyright 1948, the author. Used by permission.


On the marginal lands of the Great Plains, where rainfall is unfavorable to crop agriculture, urban settlements are more scattered and rural-farm settlement is usually more dispersed than in the more humid eastern border of the plains.Some crop agriculture with high returns per acre can be practiced in these marginal lands when supplemental water is added.Supplemental water is supplied to farms in the Great Plains region through large, federally sponsored irrigation districts, or through smaller privately operated districts.

This thesis is the record of a study of settlement in the Pathfinder District, a federally sponsored irrigation district, in the North Platte Valley.

Some of the results of this investigation are:

1) The introduction of irrigation marked the beginning of present settlement conditions.Supplemental water had to be added to the natural supply available to crops in order to attain the production required to maintain a permanent population in the area.

2) Irrigated crops require a greater degree of mechanization. There are increased labor requirements due to high returns per acre of irrigated crops.

3) Present crops could support additional urban and rural-farm population if additional collection and processing industries were established in the area, such as canning factories, and alfalfa dehydrators.

Advisor:Earl E. Lackey