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If'u r A




Vol. 9, No. 9






September 15, 1954

Save Those Cotton Stalks
Save those cotton stalks! Cut or shred them Grande Valley of Texas have shown that boll
immediately after harvest and plow them weevil infestation in years following an effec­
tive early cleanup campaign has been as low
under as deep as possible.
as 3 percent, while in years when cleanup has
The stalks, leaves, and other residue will been delayed or incomplete, infestation has
add humus to the soil, improving its mois­ amounted to as much as 50 percent the follow­
ture-holding capacity. A thorough job of plow­ ing June.
ing under the stalks deprives cotton insects of
In central Texas, county-wide stalk destruc­
food during the rest of the season and elimi­
nates many of their winter hibernation quar­ tion programs in past years resulted in boll
ters, both of which reduce the number of weevil infestation of only 9 percent of the
cotton bolls the following July, while in neigh­
cotton insects which survive the winter.
boring counties, where no county-wide effort
Entomologists agree that a cotton stalk de­ had been made to cut and plow under stalks,
infestation amounted to as
struction program is an essen­
much as 63 percent.
tial step in an effective cotton
insect control program. The
value of such a program has
In northwest counties of
been illustrated in the Cotton
Texas, where the harvest of
the cotton crop cannot be
Belt many times during the
past several years. In south­
completed before frost, it is
ern counties of Texas, where
recommended that stalks be
left standing until after a
the cotton crop is harvested
early in the fall, experience
hard freeze. Then, they should
has shown that a thorough
be plowed under as deep as
stalk destruction program,
possible. Even in these areas,
carried out on an area basis, is a vital part of a thorough plow-up and clean-up program fol­
the pink bollworm control program. Under lowing harvest can be effective in reducing
this program, the State Department of Agri­ the number of cotton insects the next year.
culture has set deadlines for shredding and
In addition to plowing under cotton stalks,
plowing under cotton stalks in various areas
farmers should keep pasture fields free of
of south and southeastern Texas.
weeds, especially goatweed and horsemint—
A stalk destruction program is valuable in both of which harbor many cotton insects.
controlling many other cotton insects which Roadsides, ditch banks, fence rows, and other
hibernate during the winter. The boll weevil harboring places should be disked or mowed
is perhaps one of the most common and most in order to destroy the winter quarters of in­
destructive of these. Tests in the Lower Rio sects. In cleaning up these areas, a cover, or



mulch, should be left on the soil to prevent will not be lost but can be used by successive
crops. If moisture does come, the fertilizer will
increase yields as much as 100 percent.
A cleanup program should be carried out
The wide variation of climatic conditions
wherever cotton is grown. It is good business,
the Southwest makes it difficult to gen­
and it will pay off in increased cotton yields
recommendations as to varieties and
the following year. The program is most effec­
winter pastures to sow. Small grains
tive when promoted on a community-wide
oats, rye, barley, and wheat—are
basis, with every landowner participating.
the most popular for fall and winter grazing.
rye grass does well in east Texas, the
Winter Pastures Worth a Gamble Italian
Gulf Coast region, the Blacklands and Grand
Prairie areas of Texas, and northern Louisi­
Many southwestern farmers are reluctant ana. Among the legumes recommended are
to plant fall and winter pastures this year, in vetch, crimson clover, hubam, and Madrid
view of the lack of moisture. However, E. M. sweet clover. All of these can be grown suc­
Trew, Extension pasture specialist of Texas cessfully in combination with grasses or small
A. 8b M. College, recommends that seed be grains. Crimson clover is best adapted to east­
planted, even if it must be “dusted in.” When ern areas of the Southwest.
rain does come, the crop will germinate
quicker and provide grazing earlier than if
Mr. Trew suggests that local county agri­
planting is delayed until after moisture is cultural agents be contacted for information
as to the best combinations of fall and winter
pastures in a particular area.
The value of fall and winter pastures is il­
lustrated by results of tests in central Texas.
All legume seed should be inoculated be­
Through the use of supplemental pastures fore planting. The cost is only a few cents,
during the fall and winter, the cost of winter­ and inoculation insures that the necessary
ing a ewe was reduced $10 and that for a bacteria will be present to enable the legumes
cow, $24.
to take nitrogen from the air and store it in
the soil.
Mr. Trew recommends that farmers plant
The fertilizer program will vary widely
at least 1 acre of fall and winter pastures for
each animal unit on the farm. If weather con­ with climatic and soil conditions. Improper
ditions are favorable, this will provide some use of fertilizer can be expensive, while ap­
surplus feed; if only a moderate amount of plying the proper amounts and qualities can
moisture is received, there will be some sup­ easily double yields. Mr. Trew suggests that
plemental grazing to carry the livestock farmers take soil samples from fields which
are to be sown as pastures and send them to
through the winter.
soil-testing laboratories. There are several lab­
Planting legumes, grasses, or small grains oratories available to farmers in the South­
and legumes in combination also provides a west, and local agricultural agents can supply
protective cover for the soil during the fall the address of the nearest one. In most cases,
and winter months, which tends to prevent a small charge of about $ 1 per sample is made
washing and blowing. The roots and residue to cover the cost of handling the analyses.
of the plants add organic matter to the soil,
improving its tilth and increasing yields of Don’t Forget the Cows’ Vitamins
subsequent crops.
Animals require vitamins for satisfactory
Regardless of moisture conditions at plant­ growth and development, and the wise stocking time, Mr. Trew recommends that the crop man makes provision for adequate vitamins
be fertilized. If it does not rain, the fertilizer and minerals throughout the year.



Ranges and pastures during the past 2
months generally have been dry and lacking
any green feed. During the winter months,
green feed frequently is not available on
ranges, and Mr. U. D. Thompson, Extension
animal husbandman of Texas A. & M. College,
points out that when green feed goes, so does
Vitamin A. In other words, the rations of ani­
mals that do not have access to green feed
will be deficient in Vitamin A unless it is
provided in supplemental feeding.
Lack of Vitamin A in breeding stock re­
sults in smaller calf crops, weak and stunted
calves, loss of appetite and energy, and, in the
end, lower profits for stockmen.
The quantities of Vitamin A required in the
daily rations of livestock are not large. Only
a small expenditure of money and time is
needed to supplement rations and provide
adequate vitamins. Mr. Thompson recom­
mends that cattle be fed green leafy alfalfa
hay each day when green grazing is not avail­
Several commercial feeds available to
stockmen also are well fortified with Vitamin
A. Mr. Thompson points out that livestock
should go through the winter in a healthy,
vigorous condition if their rations include 2 to
5 pounds of green leafy legume hay and IV2
to 2 pounds of 41-percent protein cottonseed
cake or pellets, with steam bonemeal and salt
provided in a self-feeder.
Such a feeding program will pay off with
more calves that are stronger and heavier and
gain faster, giving more pounds of beef per
cow than would be possible if the breeding
herd were forced to subsist on dry, cured feed
lacking in essential vitamins and minerals.

The disease is relatively
new to this country, having
been diagnosed in California
and Texas only about 2 years
ago. In Texas, it was first
called sore muzzle, but later
tests confirmed that it was the same disease
as that known as bluetongue in South Africa.

Vaccine for Bluetongue

Ten pounds of wettable sulphur can be
added to this mixture if a dip is desired in­
stead of a spray. As the animals are run
through the dipping vat, their backs should
be scrubbed with a long-handled brush. If a
dust is preferred, use 1 pound of 5-percent
rotenone mixed with 2 pounds of heavy nonalkaline dust, such as talc, tripolic earth, or
pyrophyllite. Prepared dusts can be pur-

A vaccine has been developed, and is now
available in commercial quantities, which is
effective in the control of bluetongue, a dis­
ease of sheep. Symptoms of the disease in­
clude severe loss of weight, impairment of
fleece quality, and stiffness or lameness. In
extreme cases, death may result.

According to the specialists who developed
the vaccine at the California Veterinary
School at Davis, California, 90-percent pro­
tection can be obtained by the use of the
vaccine. Field trials were conducted in north­
ern California during the past winter on some
10,000 sheep.

Cattle Grubs Reduce Profits
It’s an old story, but one that is ever pres­
ent in the cattle business. Cattle grubs reduce
the value of slaughter animals by puncturing
their hides and lower the rate of gain of the
animals by sapping their strength.
Cattle grubs are killed most readily in the
fall, when they appear as lumps on the backs
of the animals. However, proper spraying to
control flies in the spring will help reduce
A rotenone spray, dust, or dip properly
applied to the backs of the animals when the
grubs appear gives effective, economical con­
trol, according to Neal M. Randolph, Exten­
sion entomologist of Texas A. & M. College.
Seven and one-half pounds of derris or cube
powder of 5-percent rotenone in 100 gallons
of water makes a good spray. Spray machines
should provide 200 pounds of pressure at the



chased, but cattlemen should make certain
that they contain at least 1.67 percent of
rotenone. If a dust is used, rub about 3 ounces
into the back of each animal.

protein, carbohydrates, and fat are available
to the animals from such a mixture. Tests will
be continued, and several feeding specialists
are making analyses to determine if ground
mesquite is a possible feed for cattle in the
Grub treatment— whether with a dust, range country.
spray, or dip—should be repeated at 30-day
intervals until no new bumps appear on the
backs of the animals.

Ground Mesquite As Cattle Feed Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station,
A new use for mesquite has been found by
a Dimmit County, Texas, rancher. A chipping
machine sent to his ranch to grind mesquite
for an experiment to test the value of the
plant as fertilizer gave the rancher the idea
that the material might be suitable for cattle
feed. During the past winter, he fed about
300 calves on a ration consisting of ground
mesquite plus 10 percent cottonseed meal and
25 percent molasses.

Baton Rouge:

Louisiana Crop and Livestock Share Lease,
Agricultural Extension Publication No.
Renting Louisiana Farms, Extension Publi­
cation 1155, by J. A. McDaniel.
Making Silage and Its Use, Agricultural Ex­
tension Publication 1113, by R. C. Callo­
way and E. W. Neasham.

The mesquite is prepared for feeding by
being run through a chipping machine to cut Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Col­
it into chips about 1 to 2 inches long. After lege Station:
this, the chips are blown into a feed grinder
equipped with a 3A-inch screen and then are
The Use of Animal Fats in Lamb Feeding,
rerun through the grinder, using a 3/s-inch
Progress Report 1644, by W. G. Kammscreen. The branches, leaves, and beans of the
lade, Jr., and O. D. Butler.
plant are all ground up together. The resulting
meal is mixed with cottonseed meal, molasses,
Fertilizer Consumption in Texas, 1947-53,
and some grain.
Bulletin 779, by J. F. Fudge.
Cost of the ground mesquite is estimated at
Farmer Cooperatives in Texas— Some Or­
about $3 per ton, which is largely for labor.
ganizational Aspects, Bulletin 780, by
Preliminary analysis indicates that the meal
LeBourveau and others.
contains about 9.25 percent protein, some of
which, however, may not be digestible.
Business and Financial Analysis of Local
Cooperative Associations of Texas, Sea­
Results of using the ground mesquite meal
1949-50, Bulletin 782, by W. E.
last winter compare favorably with other
methods of feeding calves and wintering cows.
The calves gained satisfactorily and sold at
Copies of these bulletins may be obtained
prices and grades comparable with other lots
by request to the publishers.
of similar quality.
Feeding specialists are not ready to com­
ment on the use of this material as cattle
feed until further tests are conducted. There
is no established analysis indicating how much

The Agricultural News Letter is prepared in
the Research Department under the direction
of C arl H. M oore, Agricultural Economist.