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Grazing Winter Wheat Fields
NUMEROUS TESTS in the great plains regions show that some yield increase from grazing of winter wheat may result in years when moisture is so abundant that un grazed growth is excessive. It has been found that even under nor mal moisture conditions, grazing does not lower wheat yields materially if the wheat field is not over-stocked and if livestock is removed soon enough in the spring. Five-year tests conducted in Kansas on fallowed land resulted in a three-bushel per-acre increase on wheat grazed from October 15 to December 15, as compared with ungrazed land. Fields grazed an addi tional 45 days in the spring, from March 1 Guarding Against Arthritis FARMERS AND RANCHERS are nearly twice as susceptible as city dwellers to the nation's greatest crippler — arthritis — ac cording to the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation. More than 1 million of the estimated 11 million arthritics in the United States are farmers or farm workers. This number is far out of proportion to the size of the farm population. Many city people envy the farmer for the time he spends in the "healthy outdoors. And some other health factors are benefited by the ability of farm people to stay out side. But the winter months bring two ar thritis cases among outdoor workers for every one among indoor workers. Those who perform hard physical labor are more likely candidates for arthritis than those who do not. Physical strain and in jury, more commonly encountered by the farmer and rancher than by people in most other walks of life, sometimes cause arthritis. » A Job for Agricultural Research "BECAUSE OF RESEARCH in all the agricultural sciences—and the technology arising from it—American agriculture today is probably the most efficient in the world, Byron T. Shaw, Administrator of USDA's Agricultural Research Service, told the an nual meeting of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers a few weeks ago. Fewer farmers using about the same acreage are producing more than half again as much as they produced just 20 years ago. In view of present farm surpluses our great est need right now is to find wider outlets for farm commodities, especially in industry. This task includes not only finding new uses but also developing new techniques for producing farm commodities at a cost that will permit their sale at prices competitive with other industrial raw materials. Having thus summarized the present sit uation, Shaw then proceeded to take a good hard look at the future. He pointed out that the census bureau estimates 50 years from now—by the year 2010—we may have 370 million people in the United States, more than twice the population we have today. In other words, just to maintain present diet levels the people of this country will ■ << a >» to April 15, out-yielded ungrazed land by 2.3 bushels. But where cattle were kept in wheat fields up to May 1, yields were 3.1 bushels less than on ungrazed fields. In Kansas, proper rate of stocking is about three acres in the fall and winter grazing period, and 2.5 acres in the spring, per animal for full grown cattle; 1.8 acres per head for calves in the fall and 2.5 acres as yearlings in the spring has proved satis factory. Wheat pasture poisoning occasion ally occurs with bred cows or cows with calves at side after 60 to 150 days on wheat pasture. Grazing of winter wheat has never been practiced very extensively in Montana. As in the case of all health conditions an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is impossible to completely abide by the rules of prevention, but most of us can exercise more care than we do. Here are the ten rules prescribed by doctors for guarding against arthritis: 1. Try not to get tense and worried. 2. Don't put your body beyond its physi cal limitations. 3. Get sufficient rest and sleep. 4. When possible, avoid excessive ex posure to dampness and cold. 5. Avoid sudden and repeated strains on the joints. 6. If you must work hard, warm up your muscles first. 7. Avoid excessive body strain. 8. If you injure a joint get proper medi cal care. 9. Have all infections treated by a doo tor. 10. Keep well nourished but not over weight. require at least twice as much food and other farm products as they are consuming now. Since the total acreage of farm land may not increase much beyond the acreage farm ers are operating today, the challenge facing farmers and agricultural research in the years ahead is tremendous. The research leader told the agricultural engineers that it would be their job to pro vide the scientific technology whereby American farmers, with little more land and considerably less manpower, can during the next 50 years double present agricultural output. Among the many agricultural problems which may yield to research in the years ahead are the following: —how to keep agricultural equipment from compacting the soil; —improved methods of eliminating the necessity of plowing and cultivating land to control weeds through chemical and other means; —develop ways of making all the weed seeds in the soil germinate at once and then killing them quickly by physical, chemical or other means; —better methods of applying irrigation water so that evaporation and soil leaching can be reduced; —more efficient means of applying pesti cides so that cost will be reduced and ef fectiveness increased; —better ways of adapting livestock to environment, and environment to livestock, for more efficient production; —better methods of handling feed roughages through pelleting, watering or other methods in order to reduce storage space, transportation cost, and increase feed efficiency; —practical methods of utilizing solar energy, electromagnetic energy and other forms of energy for agricultural use. Although tremendous changes in farm ing methods and technology have occurred in the past 20 years, scientists and engineers who are familiar with research progress and possibilities agree that the next 20 years will bring a far greater revolution in agri cultural practice. ■^- Afkaun In ths Wind It is often said that consumers are tak ing a beating because of farm programs. This is nonsense. The truth is that while farm prices have dropped 17 per cent since 1952, retail food prices have gone up 6 per cent. The difference is in labor, processing and the cost of maid services now wrapped up with the food. We aren't often told that lower farm prices have been the greatest single contributor to the stabilization of the cost of living index. While prices of raw food products dropped steadily, nearly all other costs climbed. Farmers have subsi dized the cost of living to make it lower. Virtually all farm prices were lower in 1958 than they were in 1952, many of them by substantial margins. These facts do not agree with the general impression of a high ly subsidized agriculture, which has un fortunately been encouraged by our own leaders. Yes, farm programs need over hauling, but we should spend less time cussing them out and more time giving all people, especially city people, an honest pic ture of what is going on in agriculture."— Prairie Farmer. 14 ♦ Most of the wheat produced in the United States is hard wheat. From 1949 to 1958 hard red winter wheat amounted to 49 per cent of total production. During the same period, almost 66 per cent of the national carryover of wheat, on the average, con sisted of hard red winter wheat. So, on the basis of production, hard red winter wheat has been contributing more than its share to the surplus. Hard red spring wheat has also contributed more than its share to the stocks. During the 10 years, 1949 to '58, hard red spring amounted to about 18 per cent of the total U.S. production and 21 per cent of the carryover stocks. MONTANA FARMER-STOCKMAN —COVERS MONTANA AND NORTHERN WYOMING— OFFICE 414 2nd Ave. N.. Great Falls, Montana LESTER COLE. Publisher; DON R. BOSLEY, Feature Editor: LARRY GILL, Livestock Editor; EARL STEFFANI, Staff Artist; RAY OZMON, Roving Reporter; CASEY AN DERSON, Livestock Field Representative. Department Editors: AMY MARTIN, Rural Homes Depart ment; DR. W. W. HAWKINS JR.. Veterinary Department; RALPH D. MERCER. ARTHUR F. SHAW, Soils and Crops; ERIC B. WILSON, Farm Mechanics; GILBERT GUSLER. Market Analyst; OSCAR L. MOLDENHAUER, Weather Forecast; MONT H. SAUNDERSON, Ranch, Farm Manage ment; STANLEY W. HOWARD, Irrigation. Advertising Representatives. Western Farm Paper Unit— CHICAGO 4, Fred Toof, National Adv. Manager, 28 E Jackson; NEW YORK 18. William T. WoodhuU, Manager. 500 Fifth Ave.; SAN FRANCISCO 5, J. J. Mattus. Manager. 321 Sharon Building. Members of Western Farm Paper Unit. 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