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Vol. 12, No. 12





December 15, 1957

Much of the rangeland in Texas has been
infested by noxious brush, trees, and other
plants which have reduced its carrying ca­
pacity. Ranchmen in the Grand Prairie area
of the State have found Angora goats an
effective and profitable way to control re­
growth of brush on recently cleared pas­
ture, according to a study by A. C. Magee
of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Sta­
Bulldozing and cabling or chaining are
the two methods commonly used for me­
chanical eradication of noxious plants.
Bulldozing is fairly effective in clearing
land of above-ground growth, although
there is considerable sprouting of regrowth
afterwards, particularly of oaks. Cabling or
chaining is an economical and effective
method of clearing large trees; but small
trees and brush often bend without breaking
or without being uprooted, and hand work
usually is needed to clear remaining under­
brush. When cabling or chaining is used,
there also is a large amount of sprouting
and regrowth from roots left in the ground.
Since land clearing is a relatively expen­
sive operation, an economical and effective
means of controlling regrowth is needed.
Information on the costs of brush removal
and control was obtained from 15 ranchers
in the Grand Prairie area of Texas from
1950 to 1955. The average cost for bull­
dozing on the 15 ranches was $8.37 an
acre, and that for cabling or chaining was
$5 per acre. All 15 of the ranchmen kept
cattle, but none had goats before starting
on a brush-control program.
On 11 of the 15 ranches studied by Pro­
fessor Magee, Angora goats were used on
the cleared pastures to control regrowth.

Browse from woody plants furnished forage
for the goats. Sprouts were eaten soon after
they emerged, since the newly cleared areas
were heavily stocked with goats. Such close
grazing tends to weaken the roots of the
undesirable brush.
On the 11 ranches adding the goat en­
terprise after land clearing, goats did not
replace cattle but were kept to utilize browse
and did not compete greatly with the cattle
for grass. The addition of the goat enter­
prise on the 11 ranches — on the basis of
six goats equaling one animal unit — more
than doubled the average number of animal
units maintained.
Four of the ranches studied did not add
goats to control regrowth. On these ranches,
cattle ate limited amounts of tender browse
but did not keep sprouting and regrowth
under control. Reinvasion of undesirable
brush was becoming a problem toward the
end of the 6-year period covered by the
Texas Experiment Station study.
The total investment in land clearing by
the four ranchers who did not add goats
averaged $1,405 per ranch, exclusive of
$214 reimbursed under the cost-sharing
Agricultural Conservation Program. All of
the ranchers’ investment over a 3-year
period was for the mechanical clearing of
For the 11 ranches which used the goats
for control of regrowth, the total added in­
vestment for clearing, fencing, and shelters
and for the purchase of goats averaged
$6,582 per ranch during the 6-year period.
Over half of this investment was made dur­
ing the first year, primarily as a result of
the purchase of goats and other costs coin­
cident with starting the enterprise.



The cost of mechanical clearing on
At 18 weeks of age, control turkeys
ranches using goats averaged $2,809 per weighed an average of 12.7 pounds and re­
ranch, exclusive of $1,063 received by the quired 2.8 pounds of feed per pound of
ranchers under the cost-sharing Agricul­ gain, while experimental birds averaged
tural Conservation Program. The increased 13.5 pounds and required only 2 pounds
investment per ranch for land clearing for of feed per pound of gain. Rations supple­
ranches using goats, as compared with mented with amino acids gave the best re­
ranches which did not add goats, resulted sults. Additional research is necessary before
from the larger amount of acreage cleared the high-efficiency poultry rations can be
recommended for practical usage.
and higher per acre clearing costs.
An average of 4.4 miles of goat-proof
fence, at an average cost of $1,192, was
needed for each ranch adding the goat en­
terprise. Although shed space was available
on some ranches, the cost of additional goat
shelter per ranch was $300. An average of
359 goats per ranch was purchased by the
11 ranches. Except for land-clearing costs,
this was the largest single investment ex­
pense incurred, averaging about $2,281.
Within 5 years, income from the goat
enterprise through the sale of mohair and
goats repaid the additional investment
needed for the original purchase of goats,
the added fencing and shelter, and the an­
nual expenses incurred in maintaining the
enterprise. Furthermore, the earnings from
the goats during this period were almost
large enough to pay for the ranchers’ cost
of clearing the pasture land. As a result of
the addition of kids raised on the ranch, the
average size of the goat flock studied was
increased to 463 head, and the value of the
goats averaged $2,579 per ranch.

High-Efficiency Turkey Rations
Turkey producers soon may be using
high-efficiency turkey starter rations if tests
continue producing outstanding results, ac­
cording to the Oklahoma Agricultural Ex­
periment Station at Stillwater.
In studies conducted at the Oklahoma
station, a 13-percent increase in body weight
and a 30-percent decrease in the amount of
feed required per pound of body weight
have been achieved in an 8-week turkey nu­
tritional trial.

Rats destroy as much food as is produced
on one out of every 25 farms, according to
Louisiana State University specialists. In
addition, they contaminate food, destroy
property, start fires, and carry disease germs
on their feet and fur. Diseases carried by
rats have killed more human beings than all
the wars in history. Rats and mice should
be killed with modern, effective poisons that
will not endanger human beings, pets, or
other animals.

Multiple Management Profitable
for East Texas Forest Rangeland
“Multiple management” is the key to prof­
itable use of forest rangeland in the east
Texas timber area, asserts G. O. Hoffman,
range specialist with the Texas Agricultural
Exension Service. He points out that a
threefold program for developing maximum
production of timber, livestock, and wildlife
definitely will pay big dividends in this 10
million-acre section of the State.
Mr. Hoffman says that the east Texas
farmer should consider the three enterprises
as interdependent and should use manage­
ment practices with this in mind. Timber is
the most important enterprise since east
Texas trees produce more total income than
either livestock or wildlife. The problem is
how to attain higher, more efficient timber
The specialist points out that properly
managed cattle grazing is a partial answer.
The cattle will eat the grass, thereby reduc­
ing fire hazards; and under good manage-


ment practices, goats will consume practi­
cally all of the small green brush. With a
well-manged timber and livestock program,
wildlife has a much better natural environ­
Millions of young pines in east Texas are
being crowded out by worthless hardwoods
and brush. Mr. Hoffman makes the follow­
ing recommendations for starting a multiple
management program in the area.
1. Step up pine seedling and grass growth
through chemical control of brush and hard­
2. Use properly supervised stand thin­
ning, improvement cuttings, and prescribed
3. Plan forest range grazing for spring
and early summer, when grass is most nu­
4. Control livestock parasites and follow
a sound breeding program, so that calving
coincides with best grass growth.

Systemic Insecticide for
Cattle-Grub Control
Extensive experiments during the past 3
years by Federal, state, and industry ento­
mologists, chemists, and veterinarians have
shown that ET-57, a systemic insecticide, is
an effective means of controlling cattle
grubs, according to the United States De­
partment of Agriculture. These pests cause
annual losses which frequently exceed $100
million in damaged meat and perforated
animal hides.
ET-57 is administered to cattle orally in
the form of a large pill or as a liquid by the
use of a dose syringe. It circulates with the
body fluids of a treated animal and destroys
the grubs that have burrowed into the flesh.
ET-57 is the first systemic insecticide which
has proved capable of destroying grubs in
an animal’s body.
Cattlemen are cautioned to use ET-57
strictly according to the dosages, methods,


and precautions recommended on the pack­
age label. Treatments must not be made
later than 60 days before slaughter of the
animals, and lactating cows should not be
treated in order to avoid residues of the pes­
ticide in the milk. The USDA recommends
that the compound be administered to cat­
tle after the adult heel-fly season ends but
before the grubs appear on the backs of the
animals. Treated cattle should have free
access to regular feed and water.

Storing Farmers’ Stock Peanuts
Results of studies con­
ducted during the past 5
years indicate that losses
due to deterioration of pea­
nuts stored (under ordin­
ary warehouse conditions)
for more than 6 months after harvest are
greater than any gains in prices received for
the nuts, according to the United States De­
partment of Agriculture. Different types of
peanuts and storage sites representative of
the varying climatic conditions were used in
the research.
The study showed that, as the length of
storage increased, there was a decrease in
the proportion of sound, mature kernels,
particularly after the peanuts had been in
storage for 6 months or longer. The quality
of the nuts remained about the same during
the first few months of storage.

Save Good Cotton Planting Seed!
Good cotton planting seed with high ger­
mination may be scarce next spring as a re­
sult of late plantings in 1957 and the wet
weather during the harvest season, accord­
ing to Fred C. Elliott, Extension cotton spe­
cialist wtih the Texas Agricultural Extension
Mr. Elliott advises cotton growers to save
and store carefully good-quality seed of
known varieties and to maintain a contin­
uous check on the stored seed. The special-



ist makes the following suggestions for
handling the cottonseed.

At the end of the trials, the pigs on the
“high-protein” ration had gained an average
of 1.57 pounds per day, and the other group
1. Check seed closely for damage before had gained an average of only 1.37 pounds
storing, and store only seed with high ger­ per day. Pigs on the “low-protein” ration
mination (80 percent is very good) and consumed 73 pounds more feed than the
with low free-fatty acid content.
other group. Feed costs for the test period
2. Cure large quantities of bulk-stored averaged $15.45 per pig for the animals on
seed by aeration, in order to maintain qual­ the high-protein ration and $17.70 per pig
ity. A portable fan and duct system can be for those on the low-protein ration.
used to draw air through the seed. Every
effort should be made to bring the moisture
Shirts continued to be cotton’s best cus­
content of stored seed down to 10 or 11
during 1956. Sheets and drapery and
percent. Drawing air through the seed must
fabrics ranked a close second.
be done in daylight hours (preferably be­
tween 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.) and only
in fair weather.
3. Run a germination test on cottonseed
before planting to determine how much seed
to plant. No germination test should be made
until the seed has been in storage for at
least 30 days.
4. Contact the local county agricultural
agent for more details on cottonseed storage

Percent Protein in Pig Rations
Trials at the Oklahoma
Agricultural Experiment
Station have shown that a
slight difference in the
percentage of protein in a
swine ration goes a long way toward de­
termining the margin of profit from pigs.
The tests compared the performance of two
groups of pigs fed different levels of protein
as the animals progressed in weight from 50
pounds to 200 pounds.
One group of pigs was given a 16 percent
crude protein ration when they weighed
from 50 pounds up to 150 pounds and a 14
percent ration when they weighed 150 to
200 pounds. The other group received a 14
percent protein ration when the pigs
weighed from 50 to 100 pounds and a 12
percent ration when they weighed
200 pounds.

Grain Aeration Cuts Maintenance
The use of recently developed aeration
systems can result in a savings of 60 percent
of the normal costs of turning stored grain,
according to the United States Department
of Agriculture. Preliminary findings on
methods of moving air through stored grain
indicate that motor-driven aeration systems
maintain grain quality at a considerably
lower cost than moving the grain through
the air on conveyers.
The new aeration system performs the fol­
lowing functions equally as well as and at
less cost than moving the grain through the
air: prevents mold growth and insect acti­
vity, equalizes grain temperatures, prevents
moisture movement and accumulation, and
removes odors.
According to the report, the total annual
cost of turning grain ranges from 1 cent to
3 cents per bushel, while aeration costs av­
erage less than 1 cent per bushel. Costs of
installing aeration systems range from 1
cent to 5 cents per bushel of capacity, de­
pending upon the size of the storage, type
of system, and other factors.

The Agricultural News Letter is prepared in
the Research D epartm ent under the direction
o f J. Z. R o w e , A gricultural Economist.