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Vol. 7, No. 10





October 15, 1952

Meeting This Winter’s Feed Requirements
Winter feed supplies for southwestern live­
stock are the lowest in many years, as a result
of the prolonged drought. Reserves of cured
range feed, as well as supplies of hay and oth­
er roughages, are virtually nonexistent or de­
pleted in most communities. Reducing the
number of livestock to meet this short feed
situation is made more difficult by the weakto-lower cattle prices that have prevailed dur­
ing the past several months.
Under such conditions, there is a strong
temptation to overgraze pastures which may
be revived temporarily by showers and to un­
derfeed breeding stock in an effort to avoid
further liquidation of herds. Experienced
stockmen have learned that such practices
are false economy. Heavy grazing of the new
growth of grasses recovering from drought
may take the remaining vitality from the
plants and cause them to die.
Failure to feed breeding stock adequately
during the winter months results in fewer
calves, lighter weights, and slower gains in
weight. Severe underfeeding may result in
death losses of cows at calving time. Thus, at­
tempts to save money on feed result in even
greater losses in returns the following year.
Results of trials at agricultural experiment
stations, as well as experience of successful
livestockmen, suggest a few rules to follow in
preparing for this winter.
♦ Cull herds severely. Sell all nonbreeders
and weak or unhealthy animals, as they will
be expensive to keep through the winter, and

it will be more profitable to sell them now if
feed is short.
♦ Plant supplemental pasture. Sow as much
acreage as will be needed— one acre or more
per cow in most areas— or as much as moisture
conditions will permit. Grazing can reduce the
cost of wintering cattle by as much as $24 per
head and sheep by as much as $10.
Prepare a seed bed before rains occur and
“dust in” small grains. This will give grazing
from 2 to 4 weeks earlier than if the opera­
tions are delayed until after a rain— assum­
ing, of course, that moisture is received this
E. M. Trew, associate agronomist for the
Texas Agricultural Extension Service, recom­
mends the following crops for winter pastures:
East Texas— oats, barley, rye, or ryegrass,
with vetch or crimson clover.
Gulf Coast— oats, barley, or Italian rye­
grass, with hubam or M adrid sweet
Blacklands and Grand Prairie— oats, bar­
ley, wheat, or Italian ryegrass, overseeded
with hubam or Madrid sweet clover.
West Cross Timbers— oats, barley, wheat,
or Abruzzi rye, with hairy vetch or over­
seeded with hubam or Madrid sweet
Rolling and High Plains— wheat, oats, bar­
ley, or rye, with Madrid sweet clover.
Rio Grande Plain and Edwards Plateau—
oats, wheat, or barley, with hubam or
Madrid sweet clover.



♦ Purchase feed now. Buy sufficient feed to
meet minimum requirements for the winter.
Feed prices usually are lowest at harvest time.
Include some high-quality roughage for breed­
ing cows and ewes, such as green, leafy alfalfa
or peanut hay, to insure ample Vitamin A and
calcium. Provide about 2 to 2 Vz pounds of cot­
tonseed cake or other protein supplement per
beef cow per day and X
A to Vz pound for each
ewe daily until green grazing is available.

Mr. Ryan says that the culling can be done
a little at a time by keeping a catching hook
in the laying house and picking out culls as
they are spotted during the feeding period.
Another method is to use a small hurdle or
fence to catch a few birds at a time in a c o r ­
ner of the laying house. Still another m ethod
preferred by some poultrymen is to use a
flashlight and do the work at night, while the
birds are on the roost.

♦ Keep a mixture of minerals available. Live­
stock should have access to this mixture at all
times. Use equal parts of salt and bone meal
for average conditions and add ground lime­
stone if no legume hay is available. In some
communities, “trace elements” should be in­
cluded, and information on them can be ob­
tained from county agricultural agents.

Only healthy, vigorous birds should be kept.
A strong head, bright eyes, a long, flat, broad
back, and a deep, full, well-rounded breast are
indications of good layers. If the poultryman
has not had experience in culling chickens, it
would be well to consult the county agricul­
tural agent or other poultrymen in the area
who can give additional suggestions in culling
the flock.

Dairymen will find the quantities of feed
suggested above inadequate for dairy cows.
From 10 to 20 pounds of good-quality hay will
be needed daily for each cow if pasture is not
available. In addition, a protein supplement
and some grain should be fed. Winter pastures
are especially valuable to dairymen, for they
can reduce feed costs 50 to 75 percent, as well
as increase milk production. Every effort
should be made to provide some grazing
throughout the winter.

Laying Flocks Should Be
Culled Now
Careful culling of the laying flock at this
season of the year will eliminate many birds
which would be unprofitable to keep during
the winter. Birds which lay only a few eggs, or
for only a short time, are a liability to the
Mr. Cecil Ryan of the Texas A. and M.
Poultry Department suggests that the culling
operation be done as quietly as possible in
order to avoid upsetting the birds. Chickens
are highly excitable, and if the culling opera­
tions result in too much disturbance, the birds
may stop laying for several days.

Increase Egg Production
With Lights
Egg production during the fall and winter
months can be increased substantially by use
of artificial light in the laying house, says W .
J. Moore, poultry husbandman for the T exas
Agricultural Extension Service. High p rod u c­
tion is especially important in October, N o ­
vember, and December, as egg prices are usual­
ly highest during these months.
Artificial lights should be used to lengthen
the working day for the poultry flock to from
12 to 14 hours. Mr. Moore says that this m any
hours of light each day are needed for m a x ­
imum egg production. The lights may be
turned on either in the morning or evening,
whichever is more convenient. Two 25- to 40watt bulbs for each 400 square feet of floor
space should be provided and placed so that
the light falls on the birds, feeders, and waterers. Mr, Moore cautions poultrymen to dim
the lights a few minutes before turning them
off, if they are used in the evening. This w ill
give the birds time to get on the roost before
the laying house is completely dark.


Costs of Raising a Dairy Calf
Many dairymen feel that they can buy re­
placements for their dairy herds cheaper than
they can raise them. However, R. E. Burleson,
Extension dairy husbandman at Texas A. and
M. College, points out that it is possible to
raise a calf from birth to calving time for as
little as $125 to $150.
Mr. Burleson also says that raising replace­
ments is one of the most certain methods of
building a high-producing herd. Through the
services of artificial
breeding a s s o c ia ­
tions, virtually ev­
e ry dairym an can
make use of some of
the best dairy bulls
in the country. This
enables him to build
a h ig h -p r o d u c in g
herd, even from a relatively low-quality herd
of cows. Moreover, such a program reduces
materially the danger of introducing mastitis
and Bangs disease into the herd.
Raising dairy calves requires careful atten­
tion to certain feeding principles, and Mr. Bur­
leson recommends that dairymen obtain as
much information as possible on the care and
feeding of calves before starting their own
program. Texas Extension Bulletin No. B-178
gives considerable information on this subject.
Experienced dairymen in any community are
also a good source of information.

Farm Leases Need Revision
Many farm leases in operation in Texas are
based on customary cash-crop farming sys­
tems and do not fit the conditions brought
about by a shift to livestock, says C. H. Bates,
farm management specialist for the Texas Ag­
ricultural Extension Service.
Mr. Bates suggests that this fall is a good
time to review the lease arrangement and
make necessary revisions to bring it up to
date. A friendly but frank discussion of the


farm program for the coming year will be ben­
eficial to both landlord and tenant. Items such
as needed repairs to buildings, fences, addi­
tional pasture renovation or improvement, and
the sharing of expenses and income are a few
points to be considered. Sometimes it is help­
ful to have a third party, such as the banker,
county agricultural agent, or other mutual
friend, sit in on the discussions. This third per­
son frequently can make suggestions that
neither the landlord nor the tenant would feel
free to make.
Mr. Bates mentions that there are several
publications available from county agricul­
tural agents that may be helpful in drawing
up a satisfactory lease. Among them are sug­
gested lease forms and a bulletin entitled
“Rental Arrangements for Progressive Farm­

Winter legum es increase the following
year’s crop yields. T hey also reduce soil ero­
sion during the early spring months. Perhaps
most importantly, experiments show that
water infiltration on land previously seeded
to a winter legume is from 2 to 12 inches per
hour faster than on land on which a legume
has not been grown.

Get Your Fertilizer Now
In view of the large anticipated demand for
commercial fertilizer in 1953, M. K. Thornton,
Extension agricultural chemist at Texas A. and
M. College, recommends that farmers order
and take delivery on the amount of fertilizer
that they will need next spring.
Such action will enable fertilizer manufac­
turers and mixers to move present supplies to
the farmers. In many years the plants are
forced to shut down because their storage bins
become filled to capacity. Then, during the
spring season, supplies are exhausted or can­
not be moved to the farmers rapidly enough
to meet the demand.



Mr. Thornton rec­
ommends that the fer­
tilizer be stored in a
well-ventilated barn
or shed. The bags can
be stacked directly on
a wooden floor, but it
is advisable to place
b o a r d s on c e m e n t
floors before stacking the sacks of fertilizer.
If they are protected properly from moisture
during the winter months, there will be no rot­
ting of sacks or deterioration in the value of
the fertilizer.

Progress in Pink Bollworm Control
Scientists at the Department of Agriculture’s
Brownsville, Texas, laboratory are testing
hundreds of chemical compounds to determine
their possible use in control of the pink bollworm. These chemicals are designed to be ab­
sorbed by the cotton plant and kill the insects
when they feed on the plant. They are called
“systemic” insecticides.
Workers at the laboratory have found sev­
eral organic phosphate compounds that will
destroy pink bollworms through systemic ac­
tion. However, additional research must be
carried out to prove that they leave no chem­
ical residue in cotton fiber or seed which would
be harmful to men or livestock.
Other problems yet to be solved include
correct dosages, methods and time of applica­
tion, and costs. This type of insecticide has the
advantage of being unaffected by rain and
winds, which wash and blow away dusts and
sprays. Moreover, the systemics kill the pink
bollworm inside the cotton squares and bolls,
which cannot be reached by other insecticides.
Cotton farmers of the Southwest will be
watching developments in this field with a
great deal of interest, in view of the widespread
infestation of pink bollworms that has been
reported this year.

New M exico Agricultural Experiment Station,
State College:
Cotton Variety Tests, 1948-1951, Press B u l­
letin 1074, by A. R. Leding.
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, C o l­
lege Station:
Wheat Production in the Panhandle oi T e x as, Bulletin 750, by Kenneth B. P orter
and others.
Peavine — A Poisonous Range Plant in
Texas, Progress Report 1474, by O m er
E. Sperry and others.
Dried Skimmilk in Rations for Dairy C alves,
Progress Report 1482, by R. E. Leighton
and J. S. Huff.
Finely Ground Peanut Hulls and Prairie
Hay in Rations for Fattening Steers,
Progress Report 1483, by J. C. W illiam s
and others.
Cost of Handling Texas Citrus, Fresh a n d
Processed, 1950-51 Season, Progress R e ­
port 1485, by H. B. Sorensen and others.
Sources of Cotton Labor, Texas High Plains,
Progress Report 1491, by Joe R. M o th eral and others.
The Use of Gypsum in Soils, Press Bulletin
1070, by H. E. Dregne and C. W. Chang.
Precipitation and Sorghum Yields, Press
Bulletin 1069, by Morris Evans.
Desirable Grasses Increase after Post O a k
Control, Progress Report 1448, by V e r ­
non A. Young.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, R ic h ­
mond, Virginia:
An Agricultural Man in Your Bank, by H o r ­
ace G. Porter and Stuart P. Fishburne.

Agricultural News L etter

T he
is prepared in
the Research Department under the direction
of Carl H . M oore, Agricultural Economist.