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Vol. IV




Dallas, Texas, April 15, 1949


Number 4

For the past 20 years American farmers
have lost through destruction by grasshoppers
an average of about $32,000,000 annually,
according to estimates made by entomologists
of the United States Department of Agricul­
ture. These pests destroy many millions of
dollars worth of food and feed crops each
year and also do considerable damage to
ranges and pastures, causing loss of feed and
possibly forced sales of breeding stock and
unfinished meat animals. Their severe damage
to crops, pastures, and ranges sometimes re­
sults in complete destruction of vegetation,
which opens the way to soil erosion.
At the present time it appears that 1949
may be another year of heavy grasshopper in­
festation. On the basis of egg counts made by
grasshopper control workers, H. G. Johnston,
head of the Department of Entomology at
Texas A. & M. College, predicts that 1949
may be a critical year from the standpoint of
possible grasshopper damage. He points out in
a press release that the worst centers of infes­
tation of the differential grasshopper— the big
yellow one with chevrons on his legs— will be
along the Brazos River between Waco and
Richmond and along the Trinity River as far
south as Polk and San Jacinto Counties. Scat­
tered infestations are expected along creek
bottoms in north Texas as far east as Titus
County and west to the West Cross Timbers
area. A lesser— but still above normal— out­
break of the migratory grasshopper is ex­
pected in west Texas, the South Plains, and
the Panhandle. The probability of heavy in­
festations of these destructive pests demands
that plans be made to exert maximum efforts
to combat them.
Although crops and pastures arc threatened
by an imminent grasshopper attack, there are

several things the individual farmer can do
to destroy the pests as they appear. One of
the most simple, inexpensive, and reliable
methods is the use of poison bait. According
to recommendations of the Bureau of Ento­
mology and Plant Quarantine, this prepara­
tion should contain 2 5 pounds of mill-run
bran or mixed feed, 3 l/z bushels of sawdust,
6 pounds of sodium fluosilicate and 10 to 12
gallons of water, or enough water to cause the
bait to drip slightly when pressed firmly in
hand. The best time to spread this bait, says
the Bureau, is when hoppers are on the
ground during their first feeding of the day.
To determine the proper time, a farmer may
scatter a few handfuls of bait where hoppers
are numerous and watch for them to show
evidence of hunger.
Instead of the bran-saw dust-fluosilicate
bait, farmers may dust or spray one of the
several new insecticides available, such as
chlordane, toxaphene, chlorinated camphene,
or benzene hexachloride. When used on weeds
and brush along fence rows, field edges, road­
sides, canals, and railroads, or on crops like
alfalfa, young cotton, flax, and corn, these
new insecticides produce a quicker control
and kill over a longer period than the bransawdust-fluosilicate bait. However, their effec­
tiveness, ranging from one to three weeks, is
governed by conditions of weather and vege­
tation, season, age of hoppers, and the type
and concentration of the dust or spray. In
sprays and dusts used on range lands or idle
lands, in fields of small grains, or in field edges
with sparse vegetation, these new chemicals
are no more effective than the bran-sawdustfluosilicate bait.
For spraying, farmers should apply one
pound o f technical (actual concentrate)



chlordane or one-half pound o f technical
chlorinated camphene per acre; in dusting
they should use one and one-half pounds of
chlordane or two pounds of chlorinated cam­
phene per acre, according to recommenda­
tions of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant
Quarantine. Chlordane and chlorinated cam­
phene are available as emulsion concentrates,
wettable powders, and dusts o f varying
strengths. Benzene hexachloride, which is best
used as a dust, may be applied at the rate of
10 pounds per acre and should contain 5 per­
cent gamma isomer. Toxaphene should be
applied at the rate of 15 pounds of 10 per­
cent concentrate per acre. The most satis­
factory results may be obtained from these
insecticides when spray or dust is applied to
colonies of young hoppers before they leave
hatching grounds.
To prevent hopper damage to most field
crops, the field edges and adjacent infested
grain fields or intervening weed patches should
be treated. But when a whole field of alfalfa
is infested, it is usually most economical to cut
the crop and then try to protect the next
growth by spraying or dusting field edges,
ditch banks, patches of weeds, and uncut strips
of alfalfa, where the hoppers congregate after
the crop has been removed.
Farmers should remember that chlordane,
chlorinated camphene, toxaphene, and ben­
zene hexachloride, like most other insecticides,
are poisonous. Proper precautions should be
taken in handling them and in feeding live­
stock on forage or pasture where they have
been used. The sprayer’s hands should be
washed thoroughly with soap and water after
mixing and applying spray or dust. All ves­
sels and clothing used should be cleaned thor­
oughly before storing or re-using them.
These poisons should not be applied to fruit
trees or leafy vegetables when foliage or fruit
that is to be used as food is on the plant, unless
the residue can and will be removed. One
should avoid applying these m aterials to
legumes in bloom or when bees are active in
the fields, because of the danger of killing the

Although the immediate concern of farm ­
ers is to destroy grasshoppers as they appear
this year, there is need for concern also about
methods for reducing or eliminating the an­
nual threat of grasshopper damage. One
method, which is most effective if used before
the hoppers hatch, is to plow or harrow the
fields. This method destroys the eggs or bur­
rows them so deeply that most of the baby
hoppers cannot climb to the surface. Also, by
turning under all crop residues, the hoppers
are denied both shelter and food. Entomol­
ogists point out that the practice of stubble
mulching (breaking land so as to leave crop
residues on top of the soil) may help to deter
soil erosion, but it also may boost the hopper
birth rate. Where soil erosion is likely to be
a serious factor, farmers should seek to develop
a tillage and seeding program that will pro­
vide as much grasshopper control as is con­
sistent with approved local farming methods.
When hoppers menace crops on only one
farm, individual action generally is sufficient.
When there are many of them, however, and
they threaten crops on other farms, united
community or county-wide action is neces­
sary. Thorough cleaning up of a community
usually reduces the necessity for intensive con­
trols the next year. A well-organized cam­
paign, started early and pushed vigorously to
completion before baby hoppers grow wings,
in most cases will prevent serious crop losses.

Bees Help Increase Legume Seed Production
Until recent years few legume seeds were
produced in the Southwest, and current pro­
duction still does not meet the needs of farm ­
ers, who depend largely upon imports from
the Pacific Northwest and Upper Mississippi
areas. Soil conservation activities have stim­
ulated interest in the use of cover crops, soil
improvement crops, and hay, and in an effort
to produce more of their seed requirements
many farmers in the Southwest are going into
seed production or expanding their operations.
In the Texas Blacklands, for example, fewer
than 300 acres of vetch were planted in 1942,
but this acreage had increased to nearly 9,000

acres by 1947. The seed harvested from the
1946-47 crop totaled 3,500,000 pounds. The
first Hubam clover was planted in the Blacklands in 1934, and by 1947 the area was yield­
ing 11,000,000 pounds of seed.
The phenomenal increase in seed production
in this area has been accomplished with the
help of bees. Through the encouragement of
the Soil Conservation Service, more and more
seed producers are securing hives of bees for
use in pollination, according to Philip F. Allen,
Soil Conservation Service, Fort Worth, Texas.
In the vetch areas near Rising Star, Texas,
some 5,000 hives of bees are being used for
pollination work. In the vicinity of Green­
ville, Texas, 3,500 colonies are being used.
About 800 hives have been moved into Den­
ton County in response to a call for pollina­
tion services. Elsewhere smaller numbers— up
to a few hundred hives— have been moved into
legume-producing localities. Many seed pro­
ducers have reported large increases in yields
of seed per acre as a result of bringing in hives
of bees. Farmers are recognizing that polli­
nation is essential to production of good seed
crops, and the use of pollinating services of
bees is growing rapidly.

Rice Growers Advised to Adjust Their Acre­
age; Too Much Early Rice Gluts Market
Rice growers are being advised to adjust
downward their acreage of early varieties to
avoid glutted rice markets early in the harvest
season such as occurred last year. Agronomists
of the Louisiana Rice Experiment Station ex­
plain that the 1948 crop consisted of too high
a proportion of early rice for orderly market­
ing. More than 50 percent of the 1948 Loui­
siana acreage, as well as a very large part of
the Texas acreage, was sown to early mediumgrain varieties, which resulted in excessive
marketings early in the season. Experiment
station agronomists, as well as officials of the
American Rice Growers Association, are advis­
ing farmers to plant less of such varieties as
the Zenith and Fortuna and to offset these
reductions by increases in such varieities as
Magnolia, Bluebonnet, Texas Patna, Rexora,


and Nira. This would tend to defer some of
the harvesting and would contribute to more
orderly marketing. More detailed information
on rice varieties and their recommended dis­
tribution within the crop may be obtained
from local county agents.

Protect Tomatoes from Diseases and
Increase Yields
Late blight is one of the most destructive
of all plant diseases and may be expected to
destroy a considerable part of the tomato crop
if the weather is cool and rainy. Late blight
first attacks the fruit, causing a spot to de­
velop, usually starting near the stem end. The
skin in the affected area is slightly wrinkled
and has a speckled or brownish-green color.
This spot may spread over one-third of the
tomato within two days. It also attacks the
stems, making light brown cankers, which
often girdle the stems and cause them to split
open lengthwise.
John A. Cox, Louisiana Extension Horti­
culturist, advises tomato growers either to dust
or to spray their crops to control this disease.
Mr. Cox points out that unless late blight
occurs earlier than usual it is advisable to start
spraying or dusting four weeks after the first
cluster bloom and to repeat at seven-day inter­
vals until the weather warms up or the danger
of infection is over. Some of the chemicals
which can be used against the late blight fun­
gus include Dithane Z-78, Dithane D-14, and
such copper fungicides as COCS dust and Bor­
deaux. Dithane Z-78 is favored by many grow­
ers because it can be used either as a dust or
as a spray.

Programs for 1949 Announced
Flaxseed: The 1949 flaxseed crop will be
supported by the Commodity Credit Corpo­
ration at 90 percent of the farm parity price
as of April 1, 1949. The support price has
been set on a Minneapolis basis to reflect 90
percent of the farm parity price; at Corpus
Christi and Flouston, Texas, the support price
for No. 1 flaxseed will be 30 cents below Min­



neapolis, or $3.69 per bushel, which is about
$2.00 per bushel below the support price last
year. Prices will be supported by means of
(1) producer loans, (2) producer purchase
agreements, and (3) purchases only. Loans and
purchase agreements will be available to pro­
ducers from time of harvest through Octo­
ber 31, 1949; purchases will be made through
July 31, 1949. The support price for No. 2
flaxseed will be 5 cents per bushel less than
that for No. 1. N o support price will be avail­
able for flaxseed which does not grade U. S.
No. 1 or No. 2.
'Wheat: The 1949 wheat crop in the South­
west will be supported through farm-storage
and warehouse-storage loans or through pur­
chase agreements. The actual support price
will be computed on the basis of 90 percent
of the wheat parity price as of the beginning
of the marketing year, July 1, 1949. In gen­
eral, wheat price supports in 1949 will fol­
low the pattern of the 1947 and 1948 pro­
grams and will be available to farmers from
time of harvest through January 31, 1950.
Oats, Barley, and Rye: Price support pro­
grams for 1949-crop oats, barley, and rye
will be implemented through loans and pur­
chase agreements, which will be available from
time of harvest through January 31, 1950.
Price support for oats will reflect to producers
a weighted average rate equal to 70 percent
of the parity price, and for barley and rye,
a weighted average equal to 72 percent of the
respective parity prices, as of April 15, 1949.
Grain Sorghtcms: The price of 1949-crop
grain sorghums will be supported by farmstorage and warehouse-storage loans and by
purchases of grain sorghums delivered under
purchase agreements, all of which will be avail­
able from harvest time through January 31,
1950. The support price, on which loans and
agreements will be based, will be established
at a level which will reflect to producers a
weighted average rate equal to 70 percent of
the grain sorghums parity price as of April
15, 1949.

Hay and Grass Seeds: A price support pro­
gram to encourage increased production of
hay, pasture, and range grass seed, in expec­
tation of greater need for such seed during the
next few years for planting on some of the
acreage now in wheat, cotton, and other cash
crops, has been announced by the Production
and Marketing Administration. The hay and
pasture seeds include alfalfa, various kinds of
clovers, lespedeza, and several grasses. Range
grass seeds include buffalo grass, switch grass,
bluestem, lovegrass, and Indian grass. Price
supports, to be operated through purchase
agreements with farmers, range from nominal
sums on hay and pasture grasses to $1.25 a
pound for certified Ladino clover. A complete
list of support prices for such seeds may be
obtained from local representatives of PM A.
A m erican-Egyptian C otton: Loans on
1949-crop American-Egyptian cotton will be
available at 90 percent of the August 1, 1949,
parity price. Loans, which will be available to
producers through April 30, 1950, may be
secured on cotton classed as No. 5 or better
in grade and 1 Jg inches and longer in staple
length, with appropriate differentials to reflect
differences in value due to quality and location.
The Department of Agriculture has an­
nounced that no price supports will be avail­
able this year for broilers and mohair.

1948 Loan Maturity Dates Vary
Commodity Credit Corporation support
price loans on 1948-crop wheat, soybeans, rye,
oats, barley, dry edible beans, and grain sor­
ghums will mature on April 30, 1949 (or
earlier on demand). On 1948-crop corn the
maturity date of loans is September 1, 1949;
on 1948-crop cotton loans the maturity date
is July 31, 1949; and on 1948 alfalfa seed
loans, May 31, 1949, is the maturity date.
The latest dates for getting loans on 1948
crops are April 30, 1949, for cotton, flaxseed,
and sweet potatoes and June 30, 1949, for
corn loans and purchase agreements. Loans are
no longer available on 1948-crop rice and
grain sorghums.