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AGRIC ULTURAL
N E W S LETTER
THE

Vol. II

FEDERAL

RESERVE

BANK

OF

Dallas, Texas, June 15, 1947

DALLAS

Number 6

NEED F OR T R A I N E D MEN IN A G R I C U L T U R E
Speaking recently before the Dallas Agri­
cultural Club, Dean Charles E. Shepardson,
of the College of Agriculture of Texas A. &
M., stated that American agriculture must
have capable, well-trained men. if it is to con­
tinue to fill its vital role in our national
economy. He pointed out that farming is no
longer an occupation which can absorb un­
skilled men who have failed in other lines of
endeavor; that it requires training and knowl­
edge in more different scientific and profes­
sional fields than almost any other type of
industry. The successful farmer must have a
knowledge of soils and of how to conserve
and improve them; of new crops or new
forms of existing crops which are better
adapted to varying local conditions; of the
duty of water and of the water requirements
of different crops; of the control of insects;
of genetics and the principles of livestock
breeding; of the principles of nutrition and
proper feeding and the chemistry of feeds;
and of range and pasture management.

There is, therefore, great need for welltrained owners and operators on American
farms; but there is need also for personnel
to continue research in various fields of agri­
culture and to teach farming people how to
improve the efficiency and profitableness of
their farms.
Dean Shepardson stressed that the call for
people in these fields of agricultural research,
teaching, and demonstration is greater today
than ever before. The war made heavy de­
mands on the resources of the land, and the
meeting of these demands has seriously im­
paired the fertility of American farms. Simul­
taneously war has also reduced the supply of
trained personnel in the field of agriculture
who could repair the damage done to our
farms during the war and could lead the way
in developing a more efficient agriculture.
In order to supply the trained personnel,
who, in turn, will aid in increasing the ef­
ficiency and man-hour output of American

THE BOND-A-MONTH PLAN

During June and July the Treasury Department is promoting the Bond-A-Month Plan. That
Plan should be of especial interest to farmers, since it offers to them the same automatic bondbuy in,g privileges that the Pay Roll Savings Plan continues to afford to millions of wage and
salary earners.
Farmers have enjoyed a high level of income during the past six years; estimates of farm
income for 1947 indicate another igood year. E-bonds bought each month for the farmer’s
account by his bank represent the safest investment of the farmer’s money and make possible
an assured monthly income for his future.
Bankers are urged to support the Treasury Department’s program by bringing to the
attention of all their depositors the real advantages of the Bond-A-Month Plan. Banking
leaders and banking associations have recognized the real merits of the Plan and have pledged
their active support to the program. Advertising and publicity in all media will emphasize
the part played by banks in making the program a success and will direct depositors to “ask
at your bank. . . see your banker” for information about the Bond-A-Month Plan.
—SAVE THE EASY AUTOMATIC WAY—
WHERE YOU WORK—WHERE YOU BANK

2

AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER

farms, Dean Shepardson pointed out that
there is urgent need of increasing undergrad­
uate enrollment in agricultural colleges and
stated that people engaged or interested in
agriculture have a real responsibility to help
draw young, properly-trained men into farm­
ing or the teaching of agriculture by ac­
quainting them with the true opportunities
that exist there. One obstacle which must be
overcome, according to this speaker, is the
present general attitude regarding the type of
men needed in agricultural work. He stated
that many people who are advising high
school graduates encourage them to go into
almost any vocation but agriculture, and that,
as a result, only a very small percentage of
the most intelligent and capable high school
students enter the field of agriculture. Sum­
marizing the results of a study at Texas A.
& M. College, Dean Shepardson said that of
the freshmen entering the College of Agri­
culture only 15 per cent were from the top
30 per cent of the class, while 46 per cent
were from the bottom 30 per cent.
“ If we are to secure and train the top scien­
tists necessary to the solution of the problems
confronting agriculture,” Dean Shepardson
said in closing, "it is our job to show the high
school graduate the challenge and the oppor­
tunity there is for him to exercise his talents
and ingenuity to the limit of his capacity in
this field. We need to acquaint them [high
school graduates] with the fact that agricul­
ture has opportunities to offer. And, if there
are those who still deplore the fact that our
agricultural graduates do not go back to the
back breaking, soul killing manual labor type
of farming, let me say to them that the fu­
ture success and prosperity of agriculture is
dependent not on more men doing that kind
of labor, but on more men with the vision
and intelligence to develop means whereby
we can reduce or eliminate the drudgery
which is driving so many of our young peo­
ple from the farm.”

MORE AND BETTER HAY THROUGH
MECHANICAL DRYING
Use of mechanical drying equipment in
curing hay and other feedstuffs promises to

aid the livestock industry by increasing feed
supplies and improving their quality. Agron­
omists and soil scientists, working with other
interested groups, have increased the yields o f
hay crops grown in this area and have devel­
oped strains well adapted to climatic and soil
conditions found here. A large portion of
these crops is lost each year, however, before
it reaches the farmer’s barn because of un­
favorable weather at harvest time. When hay
is first cut, the moisture content varies from
about 60 to 80 per cent, and this moisture
must generally be reduced to around 20 per
cent before the hay can be stored safely. It
may be necessary for the hay to remain in the
field from one to several days for the sun
and air to reduce the moisture content the
required amount. During this time rain may
ruin or seriously damage the crop. Therefore,
if farmers are to be assured an adequate sup­
ply of low-cost roughage to support their ex­
panding livestock enterprises, it will be neces­
sary to carry the work already done by the
agricultural scientists a little farther and de­
vise ways of reducing this loss.
Hay-drying equipment, developed in the
last three or four years by the Tennessee V al­
ley Authority, Ohio State University, Texas
A. & M. College, and other research groups,
promises to aid in solving this problem. Basi­
cally, this equipment consists of a series of air
tunnels constructed along the floor of the
barn loft or storage shed and a large fan
which forces air through the tunnels and then
up through the hay stacked above. The mois­
ture content of the hay is reduced through
absorption by the upward moving air, thus
making it possible to store hay, either loose
or baled, only a few hours after it is cut. By
reducing the time that the hay must remain
in the field for curing, it is possible to elimi­
nate much of the risk of crop loss resulting
from unfavorable weather at harvest time.
Use of such equipment also aids in maintain­
ing the nutritional value of the crop which
is sometimes reduced by the bleaching action
of the sun and by the loss of leaves due to
shattering during the field curing process.
Hay cured in this manner is more palatable,
for mould from inadequate drying or tough­
ness resulting from overexposure to the sun

AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER
will be eliminated. The fire hazard which fre­
quently develops from farmers’ attempts to
store improperly cured hay is also reduced.
For several years farmers in this area have
indicated their interest in this type of equip­
ment through hundreds of requests to county
agents, vocational teachers, and the A. & M.
College of Texas for information regarding
construction of hay or grain drying, or “ fin­
ishing,” equipment. In response to these re­
quests, agricultural engineers at the A. & M.
College began a series of studies in 1944 to
develop practical equipment adapted for dry­
ing the hay, grain, and other farm products
of the area. The studies were conducted in
the coastal section of the State, and it was
necessary to use heated air in the drying proc­
ess because of the high relative humidity in
that section.
A lateral-type air distribution system was
used in these experiments, consisting of a
main tunnel constructed along one side of a
30 by 60 foot loft or storage area and a series
of small ducts or lateral tunnels extending
out from the main tunnel at right angles. The
main tunnel was 44 feet long, 4 feet high,
and varied in width from 2 feet 6 inches at
one end to 8 inches at the other. It was con­
structed of plywood, but rough lumber, lined
with tar paper to make it air-tight, could be
used. The lateral tunnels were about 1 foot
square, and best results were obtained when
they were constructed of welded steel wire
mesh. A motor and fan, set at one end of the
main tunnel, forced air through the laterals
and up through the stored hay.
The cost of constructing a drying system
varies with the size of the storage area and
with the amount of construction and installa­
tion work the farmer is able to do himself.
Estimates made in other sections of the coun­
try indicate that materials and equipment
similar to those used in the Texas study
would cost $3 50 to $500 without a burner
attachment for heating the air. If a heater
attachment is included in the system, the out­
lay will be raised significantly, due to the cost
of the burner itself and of installing the
burner and a series of automatic switches to
guard against fire.
This new drying method provides a prac­

3

tical way for every farmer to insure himself
an adequate supply of high-quality hay. The
cost of installing and operating such equip­
ment will be more than offset by reduction
in the proportion of the crop lost to rain or
other damage and by improvement in the
quality of the feed. More detailed informa­
tion regarding the construction of both hay
and grain driers can be obtained on request
from local county agents or from A. & M.
College of Texas, College Station.

COMMODITY NOTES
The Poultry Situation
Recent forecasts by the United States De­
partment of Agriculture suggest a moderate
reduction in supply of poultry and eggs but
a generally favorable price outlook for poultrymen for the remainder of this year. The
number of chickens being raised is about five
per cent less than last year, indicating well
sustained prices for broilers and fryers and a
reduction in laying flocks. Turkey produc­
tion in 1947 will be at least 15 per cent below
1946. The output of poults in the first four
months of 1947 was about 20-25 per cent be­
low last year. Turkey prices are not expected
to decline much this fall and winter because
of the reduced production and the govern­
ment price-support program.
Egg production during the first half of
1947, estimated at 99 million cases, is five
per cent less than in the same period last year.
Cold-storage holdings of shell eggs on May 1
were 1.7 million cases, one-fourth of last
year’s large holdings, and the smallest on rec­
ord. Frozen egg holdings were down from last
year’s level of 15 5 million pounds by about
22.5 per cent. Supplies of eggs in the second
half of this year are expected to be about 20
per cent less than in the first half and about
10 per cent below supplies in the last six
months of 1946. Per capita egg consumption
in the United States remains high, but the
demand for eggs for the remainder of the
year may weaken if consumer purchasing
power declines and if meat prices decline sea­
sonally.
Government Begins Purchases of Wheat
The Department of Agriculture has an­
nounced that purchases by the Commodity

4

AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER

Credit Corporation of new-crop wheat for
export are being started. Purchases will be
made at prices not in excess of prevailing
market prices. Offers to sell are invited on a
delivered seaport or lake-port price basis, with
delivery to be made either at seaport or in­
terior elevator, as may be mutually agreed
upon. Purchases will be handled, as in the
past, by the CCC grain offices at Kansas City,
Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon.
World Food Situation
Little, if any, change is forecast in the
world food supply for 1947-48 by the United
States Department of Agriculture, and it is
expected that the demand for and price of
food items produced by American farmers
will continue at high levels, even though
there may be moderate adjustments in the
prices of some commodities. Strong efforts
have been made to expand world food pro­
duction, but present indications are that dur­
ing the consumption year 1947-48 produc­
tion will hardly more than equal that of
1946-47. Grain production in some areas may
be increased, but such increase is not likely
to do more than offset the smaller crops in
prospect in other areas. This is unfortunate
from the standpoint not only of the countries
needing more grain imports but also of the
strain which will be placed upon the trans­
portation facilities of exporting countries.
Some increase in production of sugar, pota­
toes, and fats and oils is expected, but sup­
plies of these commodities will still be below
prewar.
The most important factors thwarting at­
tempts to increase food production are re­
ported to have been labor shortages, floods,
and severe weather, particularly extreme cold
in Europe and droughts in Asia.

TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS
Nitrogen Fertilizers
Research at the Louisiana State University
Experiment Station has shown that a cover
crop of hairy vetch will supply the nitrogen
generally furnished by commercial fertilizers
containing nitrogen, phosphorous, and potas­
sium. Moreover, a higher yield will be ob­

tained from the cotton crop which im ­
mediately follows the vetch. A test was made
of the relative effect of the vetch cover crop
plus an application of 0-8-8 fertilizer on one
plot of land, as compared with an application
of 6-8-8 fertilizer without cover crop on an­
other. The former yielded 38 per cent more
cotton than the latter. In reporting these re­
sults, Mr. I. W. Carson of the Louisiana A gri­
cultural Extension Service pointed out that it
is likely that a smaller increase would have
been shown had smaller quantities of phos­
phorus and potassium been used.
The United States Department of Agricul­
ture has developed a slow-acting nitrogen fer­
tilizer that feeds crops over a long growing
period which may be used if it is not feasible
to secure required nitrogen through the use of
cover crops. This new material is known as
Uraform and as yet is being produced only
on a laboratory scale. Uraform does not leach
out of the soil easily and can be applied to
row crops at planting time, thereby eliminat­
ing the need for additional application of fer­
tilizer after the crops are up.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Eighth Annual Cotton Research Con­
gress convenes in Dallas, July 16-18. There
will be a program of addresses and group dis­
cussions on topics of timely interest to all
who are interested in the cotton industry.
Also the versatility of cotton will be demon­
strated by elaborate exhibits of many of the
almost innumerable products made from cot­
ton and cottonseed.
Recent Publications
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, T ex­
as Agricultural and Mechanical College,
College Station:
Hay and Grain Drying, 1946, Progress Re­
port 1070, by J. W. Sorenson, Jr., and others.
Farm Land Market Activity in Three Tcxas Counties, 1946, Progress Report 1077, by
William F. Hughes and Joe R. Motheral.
Copies of these bulletins may be secured
by request to their respective publishers.