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AGRICULTURAL

N EW S L E T T E R

T HE
Volume V

FEDERAL

RESERV E

BANK

OF

DALLAS

Dallas, Texas, July 15,1950

Number 7

Storing Sorghum Grain in South Texas
Losses of 40 to 50 cents per hundred pounds
of sorghum grain were incurred by many
south Texas farmers in 1949, as lack of suit­
able storage space prevented them from tak­
ing advantage of the government loan. It is
estimated that there was storage space for only
about 2,000,000 of the 12,000,000 bushels of
sorghum grain produced in the area last year.
Providing suitable storage for grain is a
particularly difficult problem in this area. The
generally high temperatures make it impera­
tive that the moisture content of the stored
grain be kept at minimum levels in order to
prevent spoilage. The relatively high humidity
of the area frequently makes it impractical to
field-dry the grain prior to storage and causes
the grain to absorb moisture after storage.
Recognizing that the problem of reducing
the moisture content of grain before storage
is of major importance to farmers in the Gulf
Coast area, the Texas Agricultural Experi­
ment Station began tests in 1945 to develop an
artificial drier suitable for drying sorghum
grains on the farm prior to storage. Instruc­
tions for building and operating a drier are
now available from the Department of Agri­
cultural Engineering, Texas Agricultural
Experiment Station, Texas A. & M. College,
College Station.
As a follow-up to these first experiments,
tests were conducted in 1947 to determine the
effects of artificial drying on the milling char­
acteristics of sorghum grain. Results of this
work may also be obtained by writing to
Texas A. & M. College and asking for Texas
Station Bulletin 710, entitled "Drying and Its
Effect on the Milling Characteristics of
Sorghum Grain.”

The acute storage problem in 1949, which
became apparent early in the season, empha­
sized the need for more adequate farm stor­
age facilities if farmers were to take full
advantage of the government price-support
program. Therefore, the A. & M. experiments
last year were designed to develop safe meth­
ods of storing sorghum grain on the farm. The
results of last year’s tests, while not conclu­
sive, do serve as a guide for storing sorghum
grain in 1950.
The work in 1949 was conducted at the
Beeville Station. In the tests research workers
used seven steel bins and four wooden bins,
ranging in capacity from 1,000 to 2,740
bushels, plus two temporary-type bins and
four small underground pits of 50 bushels
capacity each. Some of the bins were painted
white and others aluminum to determine the
effect, if any, of the color of the bin wall on
storage temperature. False floors were installed
in two of the bins to test the practicability of
drying the grain in the bin. In July 1949, all
of the bins and pits were filled with Martin
variety grain sorghums. Moisture content of
the grain ranged from 10 to 18 percent.
A summary of the experiments reveals sev­
eral significant facts regarding storing of
grain sorghums in the Gulf Coast area.
Sorghum grain with a moisture content of
more than 12 percent at time of storing did
not keep satisfactorily in the Gulf Coast area
without additional drying while in storage.
Grain with such a moisture content became
excessively hot during the storage period, and
it was necessary to turn it to prevent overheat­
ing. Even with this precaution, the grain was

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AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER

"caked” in several places and the grade re­
duced materially.
Insect activity was found to increase
rapidly with a rise in moisture content, and
insect control became difficult when moisture
exceeded 12 percent. In the bins where grain
of 10- to 12-percent moisture was stored, in­
sects were readily controlled and no deteriora­
tion was apparent in grade or quality of the
grain.
Artificial drying of the grain in the bins
which had false floors was reasonably success­
ful, although drying time increased rapidly
when the depth of the grain was greater than
1 foot, 3 inches. Grain with a moisture con­
tent of 14 to 18 percent, however, was dried
successfully in these bins. If speed in drying
is not important and if producers intend to
store the grain in the same bin in which it is
dried, this method of drying should prove
satisfactory.
The two temporary bins and the under­
ground pits were filled with grain having 10to 12-percent moisture and apparently kept
the grain satisfactorily, although the tempera­
tures were somewhat higher than those in the
steel and wooden bins containing grain of a
similar moisture content.
Color of the bin wall had no significant
effect on storage temperatures of the grain.
While further tests will undoubtedly shed
more light upon the problems of storing grains
in south Texas, the results of last year’s experi­
ments suggest the following recommendations
for storing sorghum grain in the Gulf Coast
area:
(1) Use a tightly constructed bin.
(2) Reduce the moisture content of all
grain to 10 to 12 percent before storing.
(3) Fumigate the grain with a mixture of
three parts ethylene dichloride and one part
carbon tetrachloride, by volume, at the begin­
ning of the storage period. Dosages recom­
mended per 1,000 bushels of grain for the dif­
ferent types of construction are: steel bin, 8
gallons; wooden bin, 10 gallons; and tempo­
rary bin, 12 gallons.

(4) Check for insect activity every 2
weeks during warm weather and refumigate
if there are as many as two weevils or five bran
beetles per pint sample of grain.
(5) Check the temperature at least every
2 weeks during the summer and move grain
if temperature remains above 95 degrees F.
for a prolonged period.

Hogging-Off Corn
A new measure of corn yields—pounds of
pork per acre—is becoming common in
Louisiana, where farmers are hogging-off corn
and soybeans.
According to Louisiana State University,
corn growers are able to produce as much as
1,200 pounds of pork per acre by hogging-off
corn and soybeans. In recent years this method
of marketing corn yielded a return equivalent
to about $2.50 per bushel, when the crop was
selling as low as $1.25 per bushel for feed.
Hogging-off corn and beans saves the cost
of harvesting and reduces materially the labor
required for feeding the hogs. It is necessary,
of course, to have a hog-tight fence around the
field, and the animals should have free access
to plenty of fresh water, shade, and a mineral
supplement.

Lighter-Weight Hogs Best
Hogs weighing from 200 to 230 pounds are
most likely to top the market, says E. M.
Regenbrecht, extension swine husbandman of
Texas A. & M. College.
These lighter-weight hogs are in stronger
demand than heavier ones because they yield
neater, more desirable size cuts for the con­
sumer and produce a smaller percentage of

AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER

lard, which is a relatively low-value part of
the carcass.
Another reason for selling hogs at these
lighter weights is that they become less effi­
cient users of feed when they exceed 230
pounds in weight.

APF and Antibiotics?
The use of APF (animal protein factor)
concentrates and antibiotics, such as aureomycin and streptomycin, in poultry and live­
stock feeds has produced sensational results at
several state agricultural experiment stations.
At the Texas experiment stations located at
Gonzales and College Station, Texas, broilers
fed a ration containing no animal protein
weighed 1l/ z pounds at 10 weeks of age. An­
other group of birds fed the same ration plus
APF concentrate weighed 2 /z pounds at 10
weeks, while a third group fed the basic ration
plus APF concentrate containing aureomycin
weighed 2% pounds at the same age. Work at
other stations and on other classes of livestock
has shown similar results.
The use of APF is now quite general in
many rations, and results can be predicted
rather accurately. APF concentrate can be
purchased and added to home-grown feeds, or
an adequate supply can be provided by adding
an animal protein, such as fish meal, tankage,
or meat scraps, to the ration.
The use of antibiotics, such as aureomycin
and streptomycin, in animal feeds is very new
and further research is under way to deter­
mine additional facts. The materials are not
yet readily available to livestock and poultry
raisers, and their general use by farmers should
await the results of more extensive tests.

3

A live virus vaccine should be used when
the birds are between 5 and 14 weeks of age.
Vaccination should be made in the web of the
wing exactly the same way as for fowl pox or
chicken pox. The specialists emphasize that
immunization should take place prior to the
time pullets start laying, as vaccination when
the birds are laying will interrupt egg pro­
duction for several weeks.
Control of Newcastle
disease in broilers can be
achieved by (1) purchas­
ing only chicks hatched
from flocks that have been
immunized against the dis­
ease, which provides im­
munity in the chicks until
they are about 4 or 5 weeks
old, and (2) vaccination at about 5 weeks of
age.

Don’t Starve Poultry
The common practice of fasting or starv­
ing chickens for 24 hours before marketing
results in a loss of weight and, thus, a loss of
income to the farmer, according to Louisiana
State University specialists.
Keeping the birds off feed only 3 or 4 hours
prior to marketing is recommended. If this
practice is followed, the birds will lose about
two-thirds of the intestinal content that
would be lost in the 24-hour period and will
actually gain in body weight during the mar­
keting period.

Vaccinate for Neivcastle Disease
Poultrymen are warned that there is no Cotton Insects Still Threaten
known cure for the destructive Newcastle
disease, but vaccination will give good control Cotton insects have been more numerous
if done properly and is cheap insurance throughout the Southwest this season than in
against the disease, according to Louisiana any recent year. Farmers have been waging a
fairly successful battle against these pests in
State University.

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AGRICULTURAL NEWS LETTER

many communities, but Dr. H. G. Johnston,
head of the Entomology Department of Texas
A. & M. College, warns against any let-up in
the campaign. In many areas it has been neces­
sary to continue applications of insecticides
longer than usual, and farmers should check
with their county agricultural agents to deter­
mine the most effective control measures for
their areas.

Vetch Seed Tested
Germination and purity tests of vetch seed
produced by Texas growers will be made
again this year, without charge, by the Vetch
Seed Testing Laboratory at Texas A. & M.
College.
Samples to be tested should weigh about 2
pounds each and can be mailed by parcel post
to the Vetch Seed Testing Laboratory, De­
partment of Agronomy, Texas Agricultural
Experiment Station, College Station, Texas.
The grower should make certain that his name
and address are plainly written on the tag or
label on the outside of the package.
Officials at the testing laboratory stress that
the accuracy of the tests in indicating the
quality of the grower’s supply of vetch seed
depends upon the care with which the sample
is selected. If the sample is not representative
of the bulk of the seed, the tests are of no real
value to the seller or buyer. E. B. Reynolds,
agronomist in charge of the laboratory,
recommends that, in order to secure a repre­
sentative sample, equal portions be taken from
evenly distributed parts of the seed supply.

TCA Kills Grasses
Bermuda and Johnson grass can be killed
by spraying with trichloroacetate (commonly
called TCA), according to M. K. Thornton,
extension agricultural chemist of Texas A. &
M. College.
The spray should be mixed at the rate of
1/3 to % of a pound of material per gallon of

water and applied at the rate of about 1 gallon
of spray per 100 square feet. It should be
applied directly on the plants, and best results
are obtained if spraying is done during June
or July, when the ground is relatively dry
and rain is less likely to occur soon after appli­
cation. If it rains immediately after spraying,
some of the spray will be washed off and the
percent kill will be reduced materially.
Mr. Thornton points out that the applica­
tion of TCA may affect the growth of all
plants on the land for 90 to 120 days after
application and that while TCA is useful for
eradication of small areas of Bermuda and
Johnson grass, the cost of the material makes
it uneconomical for use on large areas.

Announcement
"Cotton’s Vital Role” will be the theme
of the eleventh annual Cotton Research Con­
gress to be held in Dallas at the Baker Hotel
on July 27-28.

Publications
Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station,
Stillwater:
Growing Soybeans in Oklahoma, Bulletin
No. B-347, by Chester L. Canode.
Comparative Costs of Grain Storage on
Farms and in Elevators, Bulletin No.
B-349, by Adlowe L. Larson and others.
Grasshopper Control rvith Chemical Sprays
and Dusts, Bulletin No. B-3 51, by
Charles H. Brett and others.
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Col­
lege Station:
Citrus Molasses and Corn Molasses Com­
pared with Ground Milo in Rations for
Fattening Beef Calves, Progress Report
12 52, by J. K. Riggs and others.
Copies of these bulletins may be secured by
request to the publishers.