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Montana farmer-stockman. [volume] (Great Falls, Mont.) 1947-1993, October 01, 1960, Image 4

Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075096/1960-10-01/ed-1/seq-4/

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An Adequate Water System
Is Important factor In
Fire Protection
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
î ac i
- i
♦ I <
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
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
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.

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