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Noble, Charles

A native of Iowa, Mr. Noble settled in Claresholm, Alberta in 1903. By 1916 he had six farms in operation, the next year, he had up to 30 000 acres. In 1922, he lost his land due to a number of crop failures. Undaunted, he rebuilt his farm. In less than a decade his reputation as one of the most successful farmers in Alberta was secured. A life-long farmer, his energy and persistence lead the way in the techniques of large-scale dry land farming.

Charles Noble was responsible for the Noble Drill, a machine used for planting. Then in 1936, he developed the Noble Blade. The introduction of plowless fallow or shallow tillage was a great adaptation to western conditions. The basic idea was to use an implement that did not bury all plant residues but left some on the surface for protection.

When plows were no longer used, there was an urgent need for an implement that could penetrate unplowed ground, kill weeds without burying the stubble, and operate in heavy trash without clogging. C. S. Noble started work on his blade, getting the basic idea from potato diggers in fields in California. This is a special plow, which was pulled underground, cutting of the roots of weeds without disturbing the surface of the soil, which in turn lessened the risk of water loss.

His emphasis on cultivation techniques and equipment development set the standard for today's progress in agriculture. He was named an MBE in 1943 and received an honourary degree from the University of Alberta in 1952. Charles Noble died in Lethbridge on July 5, 1957.