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An Adequate Water System
Is Important factor In Fire Protection Fan If By DAVID BRAUN Director of Public Information WITH INFLATION increasing the eost of replacing buildings damaged by fire, many farmers are taking a new and critical look at their equip ment for fighting fires. National Fire Prevention Week, Oc tober 9 to 15, is a timely reminder of the importance of checking on fire hazards and on fire fighting equipment. Fire destroys 3,500 lives and an esti mated $110 million worth of property each year in the rural areas of the United States. The modern electric water system is the basis of good fire protection on the farm or for a country home. It is important for fire protection that the water system and the well have adequate capacity. Capacity of System . The factors that determine the ca pacity of a water system are the • amount of water in the well itself and the ability of the well to replace water rapidly. Other important factors are tiie power of the motor and the capaci ty of the pump as well as the size of the pressure tank that is a part of every complete water system. The National Association of Domes tic and Farm Pump Manufacturers recommends as a minimum that the water system provide 500 gallons an hour for fire fghting. Additional protection in the private water system is a pressure or gravity storage tank of 1,500 or more gallons capacity. The water system and stor age tank, together with properly sized piping and adequate hose outlets, serve as' the strongest insurance against loss of life and property by fire. I M Separate Circuit A vital point to remember—or to correct—is that the wiring of the water system must be protected from the possibility of burning out during a fire. The pump should be placed on an en tirely separate circuit from other equipment. It's a good idea to run the wiring connected to the pump under ground rather than alongside a build ing where it could be burned. If the pump is located in one of the buildings, it should be fed by an individual, cir cuit with a separate switch clearly marked as the pump switch only. ■ The wiring for the pump is the life line as far as fire-fighting is con vceraed. If it gets knocked out, you might just as well stand and watch the fire take its course. Hydrants for fire-fighting, which will ordinarily be used for other purposes around the. farm, should be located so you can reach any part of a building, inside or out, with the hose, adding about 15 feet for the spray. Hydrants should—be ^non-freezing so they'll be available for fighting fires even in sub zero weather. Adequate hoses should be immedi ately available for emergency use. They should be kepi in 50 and 100-foot lengths on reels located in one central place. The farmer or country homeowner should be prepared for all the types of fires he might be forced to fight. The most common cause of fire is the burning of wood or paper or some other combustible material. Since all tires must have fuel, heat and air to burn, controlling these three factors controls the fire. Water cools and shuts off the oxygen supply from an ordinary fire. For this reason, it is highly ef fective as a fire-fighting agent. For a fire starting in grease, oil or electricity, water should not be used. Water spreads an oil fire because oil floats and continues to burn. Electrical fires are spread by water, too, since it is an excellent conductor of elec tricity. For these special types of fires, a chemical smothering agent should be used. Some of these are car bon dioxide, vaporizing liquid, foam, or even bicarbonate of soda. Any fire ex tinguishers maintained for this pur pose should be approved by the Under writers' Laboratory and should be checked once each year to see if the chemical needs replacement. Fire Drills Even with the best of fire-fighting equipment on hand, it will be useless unless persons who will fight the fire know what to do. There should be occasional fire drills on the farm so the whole family and all hired hands know what duties to take over if the cry should ever come. Here are some pointers on what to do to prevent loss of farm property or life when fire strikes: 1. Stay calm— don t panic. Previous fire drills should have made it clear to everyone what to do when a fire is discovered. 2. Get to a safe place and give the alarm. Call the neighbors and, if there is one, the town fire department. 3. Start fighting the fire with the equipment you have. If it's an oil or electric fire, smother it with chemicals or dirt or sand—don't use water on it. 4. Protect your other buildings by wetting them down thoroughly. 5. When help arrives, direct it where it will do the most göod. Knowing your property, you'll know where the greatest danger is—and each minute counts. «I 8* swis THE PD He a ß 4 a •j ? /y j MAN'S COMMONEST and worst disease has got my neighbor in its squeeze. The doctors have no name or cure, nor do they know its cause for sure. Its symptoms are a sour mood, a tendency to gripe and brood; in frowns the victim's face is Study Seeks Reliable Method Of Ensiling Immature Corn By. DR. KENNETH TEMPLE, Assoc. Prof, of Bacteriology and Dr. E. R. HEHN, Prof, of Agronomy THE ADVANTAGES of growing corn in Montana are becoming more appar ent. Corn is traditionally one of the easiest materials to ensile and furnishes a highly nutritious winter feed. How ever, in Montana corn silage presents a somewhat different picture because of the difficulty of obtaining a mature corn to start with. In fact, corn silage under Montana growing conditions us ually means starting with an immature corn. This is really a special type of grass plant and is somewhat like grass silage in some of the problems that arise. The accompanying graph shows how higher silage yields are obtained from late corn varieties than from early maturing varieties. Ensiling is fundamentally a way of preserving feed with as little loss of nutrient value and palatability as pos sible. The preservation is accomplished by a natural souring or fermentation. The preservative that appears in this natural process is lactic acid, the same acid that is formed m sauerkraut or in sour milk or sour cream. pleasant taste but that is still acid enough to keep spoilage organisms from Lactic acid is a mild acid that has a growing in silage. In the absence of lactic acid, silage would be decom posed by putrefactive bacteria. These the silage as well as lowering the nu tritive value, would give a bad smell and taste to Molds are resistant to lactic acid but they do not grow in properly prepared silage because there is not enough air for them to develop. Poorly packed or too dry silage allows mold growth. Some molds can make silage poisonous to cattle. The other common type of spoil age is that caused by bacteria that produce obnoxious odors caused by pro froze, there's out-of-jointness in his nosé; upon his shoulder rests a chip, and far down droops his lower lip. Whatever happenings transpire will set the sufferer on fire; to him the world has gone to pot, for nothing has he ever got a word that's kind, a smile that's bright, his outlook is as black as night. My neighbor says he hates to work, yet gripes if any others shirk; if weather's dry, then he'll complain, but he's upset if it should rain. He smokes cigars box after box, and says they taste just like old socks; one day he growls that war's not right, the next he wants to start a fight. He hates the cold of winter time and thinks that summer heat's a crime; with lots of money he is blessed, but it brings him no happi ness. In other words, this guy, like me, might just as well loaf 'neath a tree; he'd be no worse, and after while my kind of life might make him smile. - >< 3* I î ac i - i / ♦ I < i K *a< too MAtoarry ratihc m ya The relationship between silage yield adjusted to 70 per cent moisture and the variety maturity ratings of corn grown at Huntley and at Sidney. pionic and butyric acids. This is the smell of rancid butter. These bacteria grow in the absence of air. Consequent ly, they will grow in well packed silage if there is not a prompt production of lactic acid. In good silage, a small amount of lac tic acid is produced very rapidly. This prevents the growth of undesirable bac teria. Molds do not grow because air is excluded. There are no appreciable amounts of strong acids or erf foul smell ing acids. The silage is said to be sweet" and has good color and odor. . • Also, there is relatively little seepage loss. The problem of corn silage in Mon tana is that immature corn with a high moisture content and a different chemi cal composition from mature corn must be used. Because of this difference in composition, the lactic acid fermenta tion sometimes does not proceed as smoothly as with mature corn. Some times excellent silage is obtained but sometimes the quality is inferior. carried out at Montana State College Some preliminary studies have been by the Departments of Agronomy and Soils and Botany and Bacteriology in ah attempt to increase the reliability of ensiling immature corn. The procedure used has been to put up small samples of silage in earthenware crocks with various treatments and to make bac terial and chemical analysis of the silage at different intervals. .1 h H In this way we hope to find out what is going wrong with the occasional bad samples and how to get Um most fa vorable conditions for preserving the corn. One approach that has shown initial promise is to add cracked barley to the corn so that the moisture con tent is reduced to that of mature com. The barley was cracked so that it would • absorb excess moisture. Corn in the early milk stage was compared with pre-tassel corn with and without barley or a commercial acti vator. The activator could work by im proving water holding capacity or by getting the fermentation under way sooner. Results from these experiments are tentative, but indicate that the addition of barley to immature corn deserves further consideration. An approach that has been used elsewhere is to add an inhibitor that keeps undesirable bac teria from growing but allows acid to be produced. All of these approaches should be looked into further. If the process of making silage from imma ture corn can be made as reliable as that of making silage from mature corn, there is a good economic basis for wider adoption of corn silage in Montana.