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AGRICULTURAL

N E W S LETTER

THE
Volume V

FEDERAL

RESERVE

BANK

OF

DALLAS

Dallas, Texas, May 15, 1950

Number 5

1950—A Boll Weevil Year ?
Warnings that the population of cotton
insects may be unusually large in 1950 con­
tinue to be heard in every corner of the Cot­
ton Belt. A note of realism is added to these
warnings by the unusually heavy infestations
of thrips in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of
Texas and the greatest number of weevils
per acre in ground trash in March at certain
northern Louisiana points since surveys were
started in 1936.
Texas entomologists have repeatedly
warned that conditions in that State point to
heavy infestations of cotton insects in 1950.
Weather conditions since last fall have been
unusually favorable for the building up of
large insect populations this season.

Thanks to the new, more powerful, and
more effective insecticides, modern machin­
ery, and the increased knowledge of insect
control methods, this potential danger to the
1950 cotton crop may be largely averted.
The methods are known and the materials
are at hand, but they must be applied to be
effective.
Early season application of poisons and
community-wide action are two of the most
effective methods of combating cotton in­
sects.
Under the early season control program
two or three applications of dusts or sprays
should be made at approximately 7-day inter­
vals. The first application should be made at

In tests near Waco last year early season insect poisioning hastened the fruiting
and maturity of the cotton by approximately 3 weeks and , also , increased
average production of lint cotton per acreby~ -237 pounds and net profit
$54.42 per acre.

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AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER

the usual chopping time or when the cotton
is in the 4-leaf stage. Early season poisoning
not only reduces the damage to the young
cotton plant by thrips, aphids, and fleahoppers but also is the most effective method of
killing off weevils that survived the winter.
Allen C. Gunter, associate extension ento­
mologist of Texas A. & M. College, in empha­
sizing the importance of early season poison­
ing, reminds growers that the last application
of early season poisoning should be made be­
fore blooms appear or 30 days before the time
that bollworms usually appear. This is neces­
sary in order that the population of beneficial
insects can build up and provide protection
against bollworms later in the season. In
many instances, the use of early or presquare
poisoning has permitted maturity of the crop
before bollworms appeared.
Community-wide action is necessary to
prevent weevil populations from building up
on untreated fields and migrating later to all
fields throughout the community. Growers
are urged to consult their county agricultural
agents for details on early season control and
a plan for community-wide action. Whether
or not a community plan is in effect, farmers
should follow the recommendations of their
state extension service. "Eternal vigilance is
the price of victory” in this campaign against
cotton insects.
OTHER IN SECTS THREATEN

Severe Screwworm Outbreak May Occur
in 1950

Screwworm flies apparently are starting
their most destructive year, according to
United States Department of Agriculture
entomologists.
It is reported that the entire central por­
tion of Texas—from the Lower Rio Grande
Valley to the Oklahoma state line—is heavily
infested and that large numbers of screwworms have survived the winter in the south­
ern portions of Arizona and New Mexico.
Farmers and ranchers are urged to use the
following 3-point control program to prevent

losses of livestock and to retard the spread of
screwworm flies:
1. Inspect all livestock twice each week.
Treat all wounds with Smear 62, whether
infested or not.
2. During warm weather, avoid dehorn­
ing, branding, marking, castrating, or other
operations leaving wounds. If such operations
are absolutely essential, keep the animals un­
der close observation and treat wounds at
regular intervals until healed.
3. Examine animals carefully before they
are shipped and treat all wounds found.
Control of Tent Caterpillars

Forest tent caterpillars can be controlled
by spraying the trees when the caterpillars
first appear with a mixture of 4 pounds of
50-percent DDT wettable powder and 100
gallons of water. For smaller amounts, use 4
tablespoons of the powder to 1 gallon of
water.
These caterpillars are especially fond of the
leaves of oak, elm, gum, and poplar trees
and frequently strip them completely. The
insects are bluish or nearly black in color,
with a row of diamond-shape white spots
alternating with small white dots along the
back, and are usually about l l/ z or 2 inches
long.
Corn Earworm Control

Corn earworms, which frequently cause
considerable damage in sweet corn, can be
controlled, according to the United States
Department of Agriculture.
Department specialists recommend spray
applications of DDT, mineral oil, and water
on the silks and husks of developing ears.
Two or three applications are usually neces­
sary—the first being made when the first
silks appear and the second and third appli­
cations following at 2-day intervals.
For power sprayers, the entomologists rec­
ommend 3 quarts of 2 5-percent DDT emulsifiable concentrate and 2 l/ z gallons of white

AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER

3

those from March through August. A brief
survey of similar data for the years 1935-39
in Texas shows a difference of 10 percent in
favor of the fall period.
This seasonal variation in milk prices oc­
curs because the volume of milk produced
fluctuates from season to season, while the
consumers’ demand for milk remains rela­
tively constant throughout the year. Lush
spring pastures, plus the fact that most farm­
ers have their cows freshen in the spring,
boost milk production at that time of year.
Dairymen who manage their herds so that
a large percentage of their cows freshen in
the fall are able to take advantage of the 6
to 10 percent higher milk price during the
fall months.
Such a plan necessitates the development
of a pasture program that will provide for
abundant pasture feed during the fall and
winter months and the production of suf­
FALL MILK PRODUCTION
ficient supplementary hay and silage. This is
MOST PROFITABLE
neither difficult nor expensive in most areas
of the Southwest if grasses and legumes that
Milk prices are usually highest during Oc­ are most productive during this season are
tober, November, December, and January planted.
and lowest during May, June, and July, ac­
cording to a study prepared by J. Z. Rowe, Breeding for heaviest milk production in
New Mexico Agricultural Extension Serv­ the late fall not only gives maximum pro­
ice economist, and illustrated in the accom­ duction during the period of highest prices
but also brings the heaviest labor load in
panying chart.
caring for the dairy cows at a time when
Mr. Row'e points out that during the years field
work is usually at a minimum.
1910-49 milk prices from September to Feb­
Dairymen who also produce cotton may
ruary averaged almost 6 percent higher than
find it desirable to manage
their herd so that most of the
cows freshen immediately
after cotton harvest.
As costs of feed and other
items in the production of
milk increase and the pres­
sure for lower milk prices
becomes stronger, dairymen
who give attention to these
seasonal variations in prices
may find this one factor to
Seasonality of m onthly average wholesale prices be the difference between
received by farmers for 100 pounds of m ilk in New profit and loss in their opera­
tions.
Mexico, 1910-49.

mineral oil diluted with water to make 25
gallons of spray. This will cover about 1 acre
of sweet corn. The cost of spraying is esti­
mated at from $3 to $5 per acre for each ap­
plication.
For home gardens, use 1 quart of mineral
oil, 1 teaspoonful of B-1956 emulsifying
agent, 1/3 pint of 25-percent emulsifiable
DDT, and water to make 1 gallon of spray.
Directions for mixing are as follows:
"Add the teaspoonful of B-1956 emulsify­
ing agent to the quart of tasteless mineral oil
and stir thoroughly. Next, add the 1/3 pint
of 2 5-percent emulsifiable DDT and stir
thoroughly. Add slowly 1 pint of water to the
mixture and mix until a creamy emulsion is
formed. Now add slowly enough water to
bring the volume of the spray mixture up to
1 gallon.”

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AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER
PROFITABLE PASTURES

Pastures for Hogs Reduce Feed Costs

Good pasture can save from 10 to 20 per­
cent of the necessary grains and concentrates
in a hog ration, says A. A. Heidebrecht,
Oklahoma A. & M. College swine specialist.
Pasture is of special value for growing pigs
because it is rich in protein, calcium, and
Vitamins A and B, which are nutritive ele­
ments that are frequently lacking in cereal
grains.
Brood sows can usually be carried on pas­
ture alone if they are also given free access
to a mineral mixture and to water. The sav­
ing in feed costs obtained through the use
of pasture for growing and fattening pigs—
using average prices—is estimated to be about
$50 for each acre of pasture. Measured in
quantities of feed, this would be about 1,000
pounds of corn and 400 pounds of tankage.
In addition to saving feed, the green, suc­
culent feed of good pastures and the exer­
cise the hogs get when kept on pastures aid
greatly in keeping the animals healthy. From
the standpoint of sanitation and control of
parasites, such as stomach worms, pastures
are indispensable in the hog program.
Any of the grasses, legumes, or pasture
mixtures, as well as small grains, are suitable
for hog pasture.
Pastures for Poultry

of green feed are seldom bothered with feath­
er-picking and cannibalism.
New Pastures for Old

Pasture specialists of Louisiana State Uni­
versity offer timely suggestions for making
new pastures out of old ones.
Number 1 on their list is to lime the soil
if tests show that it is needed. The second
step is to tear up the old sod with a disk,
field cultivator, or spring-tooth harrow. Very
shallow plowing can be substituted for this
step, but it is best to work up the soil with­
out plowing, if possible, to facilitate the third
step, which is the preparation of a smooth,
firm seedbed. Failure to do this is probably
the most frequent cause of poor seedings.
The fourth and final step is to apply recom­
mended kinds and amounts of fertilizer at
the time of seeding and follow with a roller
or cultipacker.
Once the pastures are established, the spe­
cialists point out that rotation grazing will
provide about 12 percent more feed than
continuous grazing.
FARM PRICES

The loan rate on the 1950 wheat crop
probably will be about 3 to 5 cents lower
than the rate for the 1949 crop, according
to a recent estimate of the United States De­
partment of Agriculture.
PUBLICATIONS

Green feed for poultry insures that the
Agricultural Experiment Station,
flock receive vitamins and trace minerals fre­ Louisiana
Baton
Rouge:
quently deficient in poultry feeds and may
Pastures, Extension Publication
reduce feed costs as much as 10 percent, ac­ Louisiana
1037,
by
R. A. Wasson and W. E.
cording to Joe P. Davis, Oklahoma A. & M.
Monroe.
College poultryman.
Control of Pecan Pests, Extension Publi­
cation 103 8, by R. G. Strong and John
Mr. Davis points out, however, that the
A. Cox.
green feed should be used as a supplement to
a good ration of grain, rather than attempt­ Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station,
ing to supply all of the feed from pasture.
Stillwater:
In addition to the value of green feed as a Potassium in Oklahoma Soils: and Crop
Response to Potash Fertilizer, Bulletin
source of vitamins and minerals and as a
No. B-346, by Horace J. Harper.
saving of substantial feed costs, pastures for
poultry also provide large amounts of high- Copies of these bulletins may be secured by
quality protein. Moreover, flocks given plenty request to the publisher.