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Vol. I




Dallas, Texas, September 15, 1946

The accumubtion of decayed plant and
::mimal matter in the soil, known as soil organic matter or humus, has long been recognized as an effective agent in the nourishment
of plants and as one of the Nation's most
important natural resources. This resource has
been rapidly depleted, however, by the removal of native vegetation and the use of
land for cultivated crops. The removal of
the native vegetation, which acted as a cover
for the soil, exposed the land to winds and
beating rains, and, as a result, a large part of
the top soil, containing most of the accumulated supply of organic matter, has been lost
through erosion. Replacement of organic matter ha.c; been prevented by clean cultivation
. nd the removal of crops from much of the
farm land. As the supply of organic matter
has been reduced, the structure of the soil
h, been destroyed, and the soil particles have
tended to run together and become packed.
ii drainage and the circulation of air have
impaired, and the amount of run-off
iucr ased. The activity of many small organism' nece sary to the replenishment of the
oil ha been retarded, and the formation of
1e ~ soils through the decomposition of the
J arcnt rock material has been slowed.
The reduction in the amount of soil organic matter and the losses in soil fertility
rcpr sent a cost to farmers, even _though it is
a c t which, by not having to be covered
. ch year, may not be immediately apparent.
here the fertility of the land is so low that
the annual changes in its productivity arc
immediately reflected in crop yields, the cost
is recognized at once; but in areas of high
fertility, annual losses may not be immediate-


Number 7

ly reflected in lower crop yields. However,
even in those fertile areas, the first stages of
erosion represent a cost which must ultimate!y be covered unless the erosion is checked
before it affects the crop yield. Reduction in
organic matter in the earlier stages of erosion
paves the way for acceleration in the rate of
loss, so that it is worth while to take preventive or ameliorative measures as soon as

It may be impossible to replace fully organic matter already removed from the soil
as long as the growing of row crops is continued. However, the supply can be increased
substantially by the use of cover and green
manure crops, which will not only prevent
further deterioration, but even improve the
productivity of the land. The use of cover
crops will protect the soil from the impact of
rain and reduce the amount of run-off. Moreover, a leguminous plant used as a cover crop
will increase the nitrogen content of the soil.
Turning under the cover crop will add organic matter to the soil and improve its structure. The land will become easier to cultivate,
the absorptive and water-holding capacity of
the soil will be increased, and the circulation
of air and water improved.
Either legumes or non-legumes can be used
as cover and green manure crops. The chief
difference between them is that legumes add
both organic matter and nitrogen to the soil,
while non-legumes add only organic matter.
From the standpoint of maintaining organic
matter in the soil, such non-leguminous crops
;-is rye or sorghums may be most efficient, but
the bacteria responsible for the decay of these
crops when they arc turned under must have
access to nitrogen if they are to perform their
proper function. If the nitrogen carried in
the green manure crop is not sufficient, the
bacteria will be forced to draw upon the



available nitrogen already in the soil and may
so deplete the supply as to ruin the following
crop. On the other hand, a legume crop, such
as clover, vetch, cowpeas, or soybeans, has the
ability to take nitrogen from the air and store
it in the plant, and thus, when turned under,
it carries more than enough nitrogen for its
decay. As the plant decays, the excess nitrogen is changed by soil bacteria to ammonia
and finally to a soluble nitrate form that will
be available to subsequent crops grown on
the land.

adapted to different parts of the Southwest,
and still others are in the trial stage. Farmers
may obtain detailed information regarding
any of these crops from their local county ex·
tension agent or from the nearest agricultural
experiment station.

It has been found that best results arc
achieved on most soils if fertilizer is applied
to the land to be planted in cover crops. For
most soils in the Southwest region, it is rec·
ommcnded that 150 to 200 pounds of 20
per cent superphosphate be applied per acre.
Both spring- and fall-planted cover crops On lighter, sandy land, however, it is recom·
arc used extensively, but the planting of mended that 200 to 300 pounds of 0-14-7
cover crops during the fall months is usually fertilizer be used. It is also advisable to inocu·
preferable since this protects the land during late all legume seed before planting, whether
the winter season when the soil is generally or not legumes previously have been grown
exposed and when erosion and leaching are on the land, as this will assure an adequate
most exteqsive. Planting in the fall will also supply of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria neces·
make it possible to include a cover and green sary for the proper functioning of the crop.
manure crop in the rotation system of many This practice is inexpensive and will result in
farms without sacrificing a cash crop. The a better growth of plants and the addition o!
United States Department of Agriculture and a greater amount of nitrogen to the soil. At
the Texas Experiment Stations have recom- least two weeks should elapse between the
mended several leguminous crops that may be turning under of a cover crop and the plant·
planted in the fall, between September 15 ing of the succeeding crop in order that new·
and November 1, and will furnish excellent ly-planted seeds or young plants may not be
winter cover. When turned under in the injured by the decay of the green manur~
spring or summer, these crops will increase crop.
the productiveness of the land and replace
some of the organic matter lost each year
through erosion and leaching or used up in
The trend in the farm population of the
the production of other crops. In east Texas,
United Staes turned upward during 1945 for
first choice is given to hairy vetch, with Austhe first time since 1932. Recently released
trian winter peas recommended for use on
estimates of the United States Department of
loam soils. Annual yellow sweet clover and
Agriculture reveal that the Nation's farfll
Hubam clover are recommended for most population totaled 2 5,990,000 at the begin·
of southeast Texas except on very sandy soils, 1 ing of 1946, or more than three per cent
where vetch is preferable. In central and south above the population of the preceding year·
Texas, Hubam clover and annual yellow In the \V/est South Central region, which is
sweet clover are recommended for fall plant- comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma.
ing. Hairy vetch is recommended for the and Texas, the farm population also increased
Cross Timbers section. In central west and about three per cent during 1945. This com·
northwest Texas, hairy vetch may be planted pares with a maximum increase of seven pc!
between August 15 and November 1, and cent in the Pacific region and a minimum of
alfalfa may be sown in either spring or fall. two per cent in the \Vest North Central and
Biennial sweet clover, however, is the only the South Atlantic regions.
legume suitable to this entire area, and it is
Returning servicemen accounted for over
recommended that it be planted between one-hdf of the increase in population, while
March 1 and May I. Many other legumes are the remainder was due to the customary nat·


ural increase arising from the excess of births
over deaths among the farm population. The
migration of civilian population from farms
in 194 5 was completely offest by migration
to forms. In the Nation as a whole, 264,000
more people moved to farms than during the
previous year, and 212,000 fewer migrated
from farms. This b. lancing of migration is
in marked contrast with the condition existing between 1920 and 194 5, when migration
from farms resulted in an average annual net
de line of about 600,000 in the farm population.

New Price Regulations
Under the Price Control Extension Act,
farm products previously controlled
w1.:r · left free, while others have been returned to price control at or above June price
levels. Products for which the supply at any
time is considered ufficient to meet the demand nt «reasonable" prices have been or
may be decontrolled. The prices of certain
product of minor importance in the cost
uf living may not b put under control even
though supply may be short and prices high.

Dairy products, poultry, eggs, and such
grains as wheat, rye, corn, oats, barley, and
orghums, or any livestock or poultry feed
containing only the e grains will remain free
of price controls unless supplies become short
• nd price rise unreasonably above June 30
ceilings plus ubsidics in effect at that time.

The Department of Agriculture has estimated that "the second quarter of 1947 is
lil cly to be a critical one as for as meat production is concerned." The hog-corn ratio has
cen such as to make it doubtful that pork
I roduction would be increased without an
inc1 ease in hog price . The present shortage
of beef, it is said, i likely to become most
criti .11 during lhc first part of 1947; conscuently, ceiling prices of beef cattle have
b en raised to $20.2 5, Chicago basis, or 12. 5
per cent above previous ceilings, in an effort
to ii ure that more cattle will be moved to
fl cd r lnts now and held for the market next
year. eiling on hog also have been increased
16.25 per hundredweight, or 9.4 per cent
above the June 30 price. Lamb ceilings were


raised on ;m average of about $2.8 5 per hundredweight.
Because there is still a critical shortage of
fats and oil , price controls have been reestablished on flaxseed soybeans, and cottonseed, and any foods or feeds derived from
them or containing byproducts of them, since
their price , in the opinion of the Decontrol
Board, have ri n «unreasonably."

Acreage of Hybrid Com Continues to
A recent report released by the United
States Department of Agriculture indicates a
significant increase in the acreage of hybrid
corn in the Southwest in 1946. The total hybrid acreage in the five Southwestern states
of Texas, Okbhoma, Louisiana, New Mexico,
and Arizona was estimated at about 1,246,000 acres, compared with 814,000 acres in
194 5. In spite of this izcable increase of over
50 per cent, however, the proportion of the
total corn acreage planted with hybrid seed
in this area continues small. Hybrids accounted for only about 18 per cent of the
total corn acreage in the c states in 1946,
compared with 68 per cent for the United
States and 99 to 100 per cent in several Corn
Belt states. Farmers using this type of improved corn have achieved yields at least 20
per cent above the average derived from
open-pollin, tcd typ s.
n the Southwest,
where only a small acreage of hybrid type is
planted, the average yield of corn per acre
ranges from 11 bushels in Arizona to 16
bushels in Texas and Oklahoma, while in the
North Central t, tes, where about 90 per cent
of all corn land i pl. nted with hybrid seed,
a vcragc yields ran ae from 40 to 50 bushels
per acre.
Cotton Crop Insurance Program for 1947
The nc program for cotton crop insuranc approved by th Acting ecretary of
Agriculture la t month, makes it pos ible for
cotton rower to in ure their crops again, t
many of the ri I invol ed in cotton production during 1947 :md succeeding years. The
amount of insur.mcc per acre of cotton can
not exceed 75 per cent of the average yield
of lint for the farm. Premiums are paid by



notes which arc redeemable in cotton or cash,
or both.
The insurance contract covers such loss in
yield of lint cotton (and cotton-seed production, if insured) resulting from damage due
to climate, insects, disease, or other conditions
as may be determined by the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Loss of irrigated cotto~ due to failure of the water supply which could not have
been prevented by the insured is also covered.

Govemment Wool Buying Program
The Government has extended its program
of buying wool until April 1 5, 194 7. Prices
will continue at present levels, or about 42
cents a pound, nationally. This extension was
considered necessary in order to provide an
incentive for domestic wool growers to maintain the present production level of wool,
lamb, and mutton, to facilitate transition of
domestic wool production to a peacetime
basis, and to provide domestic growers with
protection against foreign competition. The
Commodity Credit Corporation will administer the program, using normal trade channels
in purchasing, selling, and handling the wool.

New Insecticides Developed
A new chemical, known as Hexaethyl Tetraphosphate, will kill many garden and orchard insects immune to DDT, such as aphids
:md mites. DDT has worked to the advantage
of these insects by destroying their natural
insect enemies, thus making their control
more difficult. 111-is new chemical destroys
mites and aphids on contact, and thus it is
not necessary for them to swallow the material. A further advantage of this new chemical is that it will decompose within a matter
of days after application and does not have
to be washed off food products before marketing.

Another new insecticide, a chlorinated hydrocarbon referred to as «1068", is reported
to be effective in combatting aphids, Colo-

r ado potato beetles, squash bugs, mosquitoe .
roaches, and grasshoppers. It may be formu ·
bted for use as an oil solution, an oil emul·
sion, a dust, or liquid.
A further development in this field appears
in the form of a dust to combat plant disea
and insects in one operation. A dust contain·
ing both DDT and a fixed copper fungicid
for application to potatoes is now available
through dealers.

Texas State Fair
The Texas State Fair will be held in Dalla
October 5-20. There will be extensive e.··
hibits of Texas agricultural products, as well
as of products of canning, dehydration, and
freezing, and the methods and machines for
processing them.
New Publications

Austin Wheat, 1027 Progress Report, I. :M.
Atkins. and E. S. McFadden, Texas Agricul·
tural Experiment Station, College Station·
This is a report on results of experiments un·
dertaken to develop a rust-resisting wheat for
Texas gro\':ers. Austin wheat is a new variet
of soft, red winter wheat recently made avail·
able to growers in central and southern Texa..
It resists rust and smut, but is not hard'
enough to be grown in northern Texas.
Factors Infiuencing Cotton Harvestin
Methods on the High Plains, 1029 Progre
Report, D. L. Jones and H. D. Lynn, Texa
Agricultural Experiment Station, College Sta·
tion. This report discusses briefly certain fac·
tors influencing cotton harvesting that ar
peculiar to the High Plains region, and call
attention to recent developments that would
help to speed up cotton harvesting in t:har

Chemical Defoliation of Cotton, Henry £.
Dunlavy, I. M. Parrott, Merrill Gober, and
Charles H. Brett, Oklahoma Agricultural E .
periment Station, Oklahoma A. & M. College, Stillwater. This bulletin reports briefly
the results of experiments in chemical defoliation tests conducted in 194 5.
Copies of these bulletins may be secured
by request to their respective publishers.