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More than a Grain of Hope

10/2/2015:

You can’t travel through North Dakota without seeing a wheat field. With grain production in every county, it is one of the biggest grain producing states in the America, ranking second only to Kansas. Strong grain production is essential for North Dakota. However things do not always go smoothly.

After two terrible crop years in 1916 and 17, the price was high going into the harvest of 1918, which turned out to be a bumper crop. Consequently, farmers were eager to sell, and the region’s entire wheat harvest flooded in to area elevators, outstripping the railroad’s ability to ship it all. The stuffed elevators caused banks, commission houses, and elevator companies to be taxed to the limit, with grain sales shutting down in some locations.

On this date in 1918 over 100 representatives from elevators and banks from across North Dakota met in Fargo to address the issue. They called upon government authorities to help ease the grain car shortage, and they formed a finance committee to explore options in consultation with the Federal Reserve and other entities. What emerged was a recommendation that the interested parties agree to adopt “trade acceptances,” an alternative to immediate cash payments … promissory notes that called for payment in 30 or 60 days, thereby slowing the flow of money to more closely match the slow flow of grain from area elevators, easing the cash pinch.

All in all, it was a nice problem to have after the drought and frost that had plagued farmers the previous two years.

Dakota Datebook written by Lucid Thomas

Sources:

“The Cooperative Manager and Farmer” newsletter September 1918:

"https://books.google.com/books?id=sPlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA59&lpg=RA2-PA59&dq=october+2nd+north+dakota+history&source=bl&ots=bbnxaiPlFy&sig=DLc5SmzalEuwQozQSFm-nRysvg0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAmoVChMItNmJ-96cxwIVixaSCh3jhgsr#v=onepage&q=october%202nd%20north%20dakota%20history&f=false" https://books.google.com/books?id=sPlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA59&lpg=RA2-PA59&dq=october+2nd+north+dakota+history&source=bl&ots=bbnxaiPlFy&sig=DLc5SmzalEuwQozQSFm-nRysvg0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAmoVChMItNmJ-96cxwIVixaSCh3jhgsr#v=onepage&q=october%202nd%20north%20dakota%20history&f=false

15

https://books.google.com/books?id=g-lMAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA2-PA8&lpg=RA2-PA8&dq=1918+wheat+crop+%22north+dakota%22&source=bl&ots=swiMBynTAD&sig=OQGloC3drOIn4NCKcbawl-Wm-O8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAmoVChMIlpCAua-ByAIVhFmSCh222A5Z

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