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CUSTOM COMBINING ON THE GREAT PLAINS

Thomas Isern.

Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, c1981.
248.pp, paper, $18.95 (cloth), $10.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88833-085-5 (cloth), 0-88833-084-7 (paper).


Post-Secondary.
Reviewed by Walter Kalyn.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.


This esoteric publication concerns itself with a unique aspect of agriculture that evolved on the Great Plains of North AmericaŚcustom combining. The invention of the harvesting machine known as the combine revolutionized the method of harvesting grain. In its early days, it was scarce and much in demand by farmers. As a result, people who owned these machines would harvest crops for the farmers for a fee, a practice which came to be known as custom combining. This book covers the history of this practice, mostly as it occurred in the U.S.A. The Canadian side of the story is also included as many Canadians were involved in the business, and there was some custom combining in the Prairie Provinces.

The book provides interesting reading for anyone interested in the subject. Although the writing is thorough and well documented, it could easily be read by anyone from high school on. I would guess that interest in the subject would be limited to those interested in a history of agriculture in the West. Not a first choice for school libraries, but a usable publication wherever there is need for information on the subject.


Walter Kalyn, Thorn C. L., Regina, SK.
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