Full text of Agricultural News Letter : Volume V, Number 5
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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. 2 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.” 4 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.