Full text of Agricultural News Letter : Vol. 9, No. 9
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If'u r A / NEWS LETTER F E D E R A L Vol. 9, No. 9 R E S E R V E B A N K DALLAS, TEXAS OF D A L L A S 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 2 AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER 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 erosion. 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, in the Southwest makes it difficult to gen and it will pay off in increased cotton yields eralize recommendations as to varieties and the following year. The program is most effec types of winter pastures to sow. Small grains tive when promoted on a community-wide —such as 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 received. 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. AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER 3 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 able. 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 infestation. 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 nozzle. 4 AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER 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 Publications 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. 1140. 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 Warren 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 son 1949-50, Bulletin 782, by W. E. last winter compare favorably with other Paulson. 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.