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Vol. 7, No. 6






June 15, 1952

Balancing Livestock with Forage Pays
Adjusting the stocking rates on pastures to
the amount of feed available has been one of
the principal range conservation practices rec­
ommended for several years. Such a practice
permits the more desirable grasses to reseed
and to build up a more protective cover on
the pastures and ranges.
Actual results also prove that the dollar re­
turns per acre of land are increased when the
number of animals does not exceed the nor­
mal carrying capacity of the pasture.
For example, a M cM ullen County, Texas,
ranchman increased the sale value of his calf
crop more than $2,500 by re­
ducing the stocking rate on
a 1,250-acre pasture. In 1949,
this pasture was stocked with
100 cows, which produced 60
calves that averaged 300
pounds at selling time. In
1950 the same pasture was
stocked with 65 cows, and
the 65 cows raised 62 calves
that averaged 425 pounds at
selling time.
This represents an increase of more than
8,000 pounds of beef produced on the 1,250
acres. Moreover, the pasture was in much bet­
ter condition at the end of the second year
and was able to provide feed for 74 cows and
their calves during 1951, even though the
area experienced a severe drought.
Lower stocking rates also mean a smaller
investment in breeding stock, a lower winter
feed bill, and steady improvement of the
grasses in the pasture.

Dairymen of the Southwest also have
found it profitable to balance the number of
cows with the quantity of feed available. R e­
ducing the number of cows in the herd is
sometimes necessary. But dairymen located
in the more humid areas of the Southwest
frequently can make use of supplemental for­
age crops, such as Sudan and forage sorghums,
to provide additional summer pasture, hay,
or silage, while small grains are excellent for
additional fall and winter grazing.
Production of an adequate supply of roughage to maintain top production is a major
problem of the dairyman, and A. W . Crain,
Extension pasture specialist
of the Texas A. 8b M. College,
points out that proper fertili­
zation can go a long way
toward solving this problem.
Most forage crops suffer
from the lack of nitrogen, and
Mr. Crain says that the appli­
cation of a nitrogen fertilizer
whenever adequate moisture
is available usually will pay
off in increased yield and quality of feed. It
is frequently said that $1 spent for fertilizer
will return from $3 to $7 in increased feed.
Phosphate and potash are also required on
the lighter soils of the Southwest, and in some
areas lime is also needed. Sweet Sudan and
Chinese red peas that follow a fertilized win­
ter legume usually need only nitrogen. Local
fertilizer dealers or the county agricultural
agent should be consulted for the most profit­
able rate and method of fertilizing each area.



Another suggestion to dairymen for in­
creasing forage production is to rotate pas­
tures frequently. M ore pasturage can be ob­
tained when the pastures are permitted to
recover after having been grazed moderately
heavy. Use of the supplemental pastures men­
tioned above frequently makes it possible to
rotate the perennial grass and legume pas­

Parnell, professor of poultry husbandry at
Texas A. 8b M. College, suggests that from 1/3
to V2 of the total sidewall area in the laying
house be converted into ventilators. There
should be openings on all sides of the house
so that there will be ample circulation.

Keep the Hens Laying

W ool that is free from foreign matter, such
as burs, dirt, and trash, commands a higher
price. J. A. Gray, Extension specialist for
Texas A. 8b M. College, offers the following
suggestions for keeping fleeces clean:

Many poultrymen have difficulty maintain­
ing egg production during the hot summer
months, and poultry specialists at Texas
A. & M. College suggest several steps for
preventing this drop in production.
One of the more im­
portant causes of low
production is a slump in
the hen’s appetite dur­
ing the hot weather. A
4-pound hen requires
about 56 pounds of feed
per year to maintain her
body weight. Thus, if
she eats only 56 pounds of feed she will not
likely lay many eggs. But if she eats 81
pounds of a well-balanced feed she will have
enough feed to maintain her body weight and
to lay well over 200 eggs during the year.
One way to avoid this slow-down in the
hen’s appetite and the resultant loss of egg
production is to make the feed more attrac­
tive during the summer months. Adding milk
or water to the mash and reducing the amount
of grain is one way of increasing feed con­
sumption. The moist feed is more palatable,
and the birds usually will respond to in­
creased quantities of this type of feed.

Clean Wool Brings Higher Price

♦ Use only a scourable branding paint fo r
marking sheep.
♦ Keep wool as free from dirt and trash as
possible while shearing and tie only with
regular paper twine.
♦ D o not shear the sheep unless the w o o l
is dry.
♦ Pack black wool separately.
♦ Store fleeces in a dry place.

Bollworms Controlled by
Bollworms were controlled effectively b y
the proper application of insecticides during
tests at the Texas Agricultural Experiment
Substation at Lubbock in 1951.
Use of these control measures increased
cotton yields substantially over yields in
check plots, and net profits were increased
from $60 to $83 per acre.

Providing clean, cool water in sufficient
quantities and also in an adequate number
of waterers aids in maintaining high feed

On a large-scale experiment covering 145
irrigated acres, gamma benzene hexachlorideD D T dust (2-10-40) was used and resulted
in an increase of 453 pounds of seed cotton
per acre over the untreated area.

Another reason for low production and one
that contributes to the loss of appetite is the
lack of ventilation in the laying house. E. D.

Each of the following insecticides applied
at the recommended rates gave good con trol:
toxaphene-DDT dust or spray, d ield rin -D D T


dust or spray, gamma benzene hexachlorideD D T dust or spray, aldrin-DDT spray, and
DDT-parathion dust. Applications were made
when the number of eggs and newly hatched
worms reached 4 or 5 per 100 cotton termi­
The specialists conducting these tests point
out that the increased acreage of irrigated
cotton in northwest Texas, together with a
decline in the acreage of grain sorghums,
probably means that control of the bollworm
will be a major problem in cotton production
in that area. They suggest that growers in­
experienced in the use of insecticides follow
directions carefully and make sure that appli­
cations are made at the proper time and
with the recommended strength of the insec­
Most of the difficulty in controlling the
bollworm on cotton during the past two or
three seasons appears to have been due to a
lack of thoroughness in applying the insecti­
cide or failure to make such application at
the proper time.
If any of the phosphorus compounds, such
as parathion, are included in the insecticide
mixture, care should be exercised to prevent
breathing the vapors and to prevent direct
contact of the insecticide with the skin. Manu­
facturers’ precautions indicated on the con­
tainers should be observed strictly.

June is dairy month. The value of all milk
produced in Texas last year is estimated at
$200,000,000. The top counties in milk pro­
duction, according to Texas A. & M. College,
are Harris, Parker, Hopkins, Bexar, Johnson,
Tarrant, Wise, and Nacogdoches.


ber of gallons per acre that a sprayer is
Mr. Ed Bush of the Agricultural Engineer­
ing Department of Texas A. & M. College
suggests the following procedure: Use only
clear water in the sprayer for this test. Set
the pressure regulator on the sprayer at the
required pressure, with all spray nozzles op­
erating. Next, set the throttle on the tractor
at the proper speed and spray a measured
distance of 40 rods (660 feet).
Multiply the number of gallons sprayed
during this measured run by 66 and divide
the answer by the width (in feet) of the area
covered by the sprayer. The answer to these
calculations is the gallons applied per acre
at the throttle and pressure settings used dur­
ing the trial run.

Tomato Market Reports Available
Daily market bulletins on the east Texas
tomato crop are available from the Dallas
office of the Production and Marketing Ad­
These daily bulletins
contain information on
the crop at sh ipp in g
points and w h olesa le
prices at the major termi­
nal markets. They also
show the volume of ship­
ments by districts and states.
Producers and other persons interested in
receiving these daily bulletins should write
direct to the Production and Marketing Ad­
ministration, Fruit and Vegetable Office,
Room 553, Terminal Annex, Dallas, Texas.
There is no charge for these reports.

How Many Gallons Per Acre?
The Cost of Water
Increased use of sprayers for the applica­
tion of insecticides and weed killers has made
it necessary for many farmers in the South­
west to devise a method of checking the num­

On the High Plains of Texas, the cost of
developing and equipping a new irrigation
well ranged from $4,000 to $5,000, according



to a recent report by the Texas Agricultural
Experiment Station. These cost figures are
based on a study of irrigation farming cover­
ing the 3-year period, 1947-49.
The major item of expense in developing
a new well is the pump, which usually costs
around $2,000. The power unit is the other
expensive item in equipping the well. The
average cost of drilling and casing the well
during this period was $1,272.
The cost per acre-foot of water pumped
ranged from $4.36 to $17.33. M any factors
influenced this cost, with the higher figures
being associated with wells with a low rate
of yield. In general, wells yielding less than
500 gallons per minute had a per acre-foot
cost of more than $10.
Of the three major fuels generally used to
operate the power units, natural gas gave the
lowest average cost per acre-foot. Units op­
erated with electricity had the second lowest
cost, and butane was cheaper than gasoline.
The study emphasizes that a farmer should
have the well drilled before purchasing a
pump and power unit, in order that the equip­
ment for pumping can be of the type and
size best suited to the well. Until the well is
completed, there is no way of determining
the rate of yield or depth of setting that will
be required for satisfactory pumping.
Additional details on this study are given
in Bulletin 745, entitled “Cost of Water for
Irrigation on the High Plains.” Copies of this
bulletin can be obtained from any county
agricultural agent or from the Texas Agri­
cultural Experiment Station at College Sta­

Kill Those Flies
It’s an old story, but the No. 1 step in con­
trol of flies is sanitation.
A. C. Gunter, entomologist for the Texas
Agricultural Extension Service, points out

that the use of D D T and other insecticides
is of little value unless it is accompanied b y
a thorough clean-up of all fly-breeding places.
Garbage containers should be covered tightly
and all trash and other debris removed from
the farmstead.
D D T is still the most common insecticide
and is generally effective in controlling flies
and other household insects. However, if this
fails to give good results, Mr. Gunter recom ­
mends using a 2-percent chlordane household
It is important to start early in the ca m ­
paign against flies, but it is equally important
to maintain control measures throughout th e
summer. Regular checks should be made to
see that the premises are kept clean.

Markets Prefer Cattle Without
Cattle that are free of horns are preferred
by most buyers, says A. L. Smith, animal
husbandman for Texas A. & M. College.
Mr. Smith points out that cattle feeders
are almost unanimous in their preference fo r
polled or dehorned cattle. These cattle are
easier to handle when they are rounded u p
and moved from one pasture to another.
Horned cattle frequently injure each other
while in shipment, and after slaughter th e
carcass often must be trimmed heavily as a
result of bruises incurred during shipment.
There are several methods of dehorning
the cattle when they are from 1 to 6 months
of age. Among the more common are dehorn­
ing with a saw, spoon dehorner, or dehorning
tubes and the use of caustic paste. For old er
calves or yearlings the dehorning saw an d
Barnes dehorner are most commonly used.

Agricultural N ews L etter

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