A Five Year Program for the Development of Agriculture

Grayson County, Virginia Agriculture Report

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A Five Year Program for the Development of Agriculture in Grayson County, Virginia

Prepared by
Grayson County Agricultural Advisory Council
and
David T. Painter
County Agricultural Agent
1927

INTRODUCTION

The program presented in this bulletin is prepared by the members of the Grayson County Agricultural Advisory Council. This council is composed of representative farmers and business men of Grayson, who, after a careful study of the county's agricultural conditions, have worked out a complete program with full recommendations.

These recommendations are made in full accordanceance with resuIts obtained from the experience of the best farmers in the county together with facts found by the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station at Blacksburg.

It is realized by the members of the council that this program is of real value to the agricultural interests of the county only insofar as it is carried out and put in practice on the farms of the county. The real purpose of this agricultural program is to establish a safe and sound farming program for Grayson, which if followed by the farmers will result in an increase of hundreds of thousands of dollars income to them and other business interests of the county. Some of the best farmers in the county have already adapted and put into practice these improved methods as recommended by the council and have found that it pays.

The advisory council therefore presents these recommendations to the farmers of this county as being both practical and profitable when carried out and put in actual practice on the farms of Grayson county. No recommendations are made which are 'probably" all right, but in every case the practices advised are known to be sound by actual experience.

MEMBERS OF ADVISORY COUNCIL

T. M. CALHOUN, Chairman
M. F. JOHNSON, Secretary
DAVID T. PAINTER, County Agent and Assistant Secretary

PAUL BRYANT
W. C. BAGWELL
W. W. BAKER
I. B. BRYANT
R. C. BARTLETT
T. M. CALHOUN
WILL CORNETT
KYLE COX
ARTHUR CORNETT
WINT C. CATRON
WALTER COX
ELLIS COX
CHAP COX
J. E. DELP
JIM DELP
B. L. DELP
WORLEY DELP
JOHN EDWARDS
CAM FIELDS
LETCHER FIELDS
H. A. HOFFMAN
C. W. HARRINGTON
J. P. HALE
I. C. HASH
W. L. HAMPTON
THOMAS HIGGINS
MITCHELL HAMPTON
E. S. HALE
J. M. JENNINGS
A. M. KIRK
JOHN KILBY
WM. C. LARUE
J. W.Mc LEAN
HERMAN MOORE
COOPER McKNIGHT
HALE NUCKOLLS
J. C. B. OSBORNE
M. C. OSBORNE
J. T. PARSONS
L. F. PORTER
CHAS. M. PHIPPS
J. M. PARSONS
A. E. PARSONS
W. J. PHIPPS
H. L. PAISLEY
E. I. PHIPPS
JOS. PHIPPS
JOHN REEVES
ZACK ROBERTS
ELLIS REEVES
E. H. RING
THOMAS ROBERTS
CHARLES RING
DAN ROBERTS
W. C. ROBERSON
R. L. SHAW
CABEL STONE
O. A. SUTHERLAND
MACK SUTHERLAND
G. W. TAYLOR
BAYS TODD
S. G. THOMAS
J. B. VAUGHAN
FIELDEN WARD
JOHN WOODS
CHARLES P. WAUGH
JOHN WARD
ED WARRICK
DON YOUNG
BRUCE YOUNG

Ex-officio members

HON. T. L. FELTS, State Senator
HON. H. T. SMITH, Representative
S. L. BOURNE, Supervisor Providence District
V. S. CORNETT, Supervisor Wilson District
E. J. REEVES, Supervisor Old Town District
W. R. WARD, Supervisor Elk Creek District


METHODS USED BY THE ADVISORY COUNCIL SOLVING OUR COUNTY'S AGRICULTURAL PROBLEMS

The agricultural council realizes that the farmers of Grayson during the past six years have experienced and suffered one the most serious agricultural depressions in the history of our nation. Unfortunately there is no panacea or immediate remedy from the many conditions which were and are now resposible for our agricultural depression. Also there is very little the national government can do in a permanent way by legislation can relieve our various agricultural difficulties. It is up to the farmer of this county, state, and nation to work out their own salvation and solve their own agricultural problems by better and more efficient methods of production, marketing, and cooperative organizations.

The agricultural council of Grayson believes that there are five vital agricuitural principles which have been tried out sufficiently long in this and other counties to have proved their worth and which can be used effectively in meeting our agricultural situation. Upon these five principles the council offers to give the people of Grayson the greatest hope for a permanent and prosperous agriculture.

These five vital principles for a successful agriculture in county are:

  1. More eflicient production per acre and per animal unit. Lowering the cost of production by increasing the yield per acre and thus reducing the number of acres in cultivation and in livestock to secure the maximum growth or grass during the grazing and feeding periods.
  2. Production of more home-grown foods and feeds: To have at home and board at the same place, by growing a sufficent amount of food and feed supplies for yourself and livestock, as the farmers of Grayson county spend over $150,000.00 each year to buy mill feed, flour, pork, etc. for their families and stock.
  3. Fitting production to consumption: Adjusting crop and livestock operations to meet various market demands, by taking advantage of the livestock and crop reports and the agricultural outlook for the present and future supply and demands for certain farm products. The crop and livestock reports and outlook can be secured free from the United States Department of Agriculture.
  4. Better methods of marketing: A country cooperative marketing system and a standardization of farm products so that the farmer shall realize top prices for first grade products.
  5. Establishing a county- wide farm organization: All other classes of American people from the day laborer to the captains of industries of our country are organized for their common good and protection, but agriculture, the basic industry and the foundation upon which the wealth of our nation, the character of its people, and the permanancy of its institutions are all depending, has no definite organization of its own to protect and promote its welfare, nor has agriculture a united representation in our Congress.

The recommendations of the agricultural advisory council given here are built around these five fundamental principles, and it is urged that all who are interested in the development of better agriculture in Grayson county give careful consideration to these recommendations and put as many of them into practice as possible.


AGRONOMY

Soil and Crop Improvement program Recommended by Agronomy Committee

This committee realized the fact that a fertile soil is the basis of successful agriculture, and that the proper cultivation of the soil is the first and most important industry of any thriving county. A glance at the average crop yields of Grayson county shows that the farmers of Grayson do not appreciate this.

Recent figures obtained from cost records kept on a farm in this county show that it costs about $30.00 to produce an acre of corn, $12.50 to produce an acre of wheat, $12.00 to produce an acre of oats, and $20.00 to produce an acre of hay. The present farm prices for corn, wheat, oats, and hay prove that our average county yield of farm crops is not paying expenses, if we allow ourselves a reasonable wage for the work we do.

The committee believes that under present conditions and prices it is the best policy for our farmers to cultivate fewer acres and increase the yield per acre than increase the cultivable area.

Name of Crop Average for
Grayson Co.
Average for the Best
Farms in Grayson County
State Average
Corn 27.4 bushels 50 bushels 28 bushels
Wheat 10.6 bushels 22 bushels 12 bushels
Hay (all varieties) 1.23 tons 2-2.5 tons 1 ton
Oats 28 Bushels 37 bushels 22 bushels
Rye 12 bushels 28-30 bushels 11 bushels
Potatoes 60 bushels 100-120 bushels 90 bushels
Birdeye Beans 7.5 bushels 14 bushels --

Soil Improvement

  1. Crop Rotation. The first essential of successful farming is the establishment of a definte crop rotation. A good crop rotation should furnish most of the food and feeds needed on the farm and at the same time maintain and improve the fertility of soil. This would give an equal distribution of farm labor throughout the year and also provide a clear cash crop (either livestock or farm crop).

    The following rotations are recommended:

    Crop Rotations
    Rotation I II III IV
    First Year Corn Corn Corn Corn (seeded to Rye in Fall)
    Second Year Wheat Wheat Wheat with Sweet Clover Soybeans or Field Beans
    Third Year Clover and Grasses Clover and Grasses   Wheat
    Fourth Year Clover and Grasses -   Clover and Grasses
    Fifth Year - -   Clover and Grasses

    It is strongly advised that a winter cover crop, wheat, rye, or barley be sown in the fall on the land after corn, beans, etc., to prevent the washing of the land and the leaching out during the late fall rains and the freezing and thawing of the fields left bare, leaches out more plant food during the winter than is taken out by a corn crop during the growing season. The committee therefore urges that such poor practice of farming as leaving fields bare during the winter be discontinued. A winter cover crop also furnishes fine winter and early spring grazing for sheep, calves, and dairy cows.

  2. Lime. Investigations prove that where lime has been used in Grayson it has been extrem&y profitable, showing an annual average profit of $10.00 for each ton of lime used, when applied at this rate once every three or four years. We are using only 1/30 as much lime in this county as we should use. Ground limestone can be purchased for $1.50 per ton delivered at the railroad points in the county. It is recommended that one ton of ground limestone or 1/2 ton burnt lime, or 3/4 ton hydrated lime per acre be applied every three to five years on fields used for crop rotation. If the fields have never been limed before, the above amounts should be doubled for best results.

    One ton of ground limestone and marl (sometimes called precipitated lime) is equivalent to 3/4 of a ton of hydrated lime or « ton of burnt lime in correcting the acidity of the soil. Ground limestone and marl should be fine enough for all of it to pass through a fly screen. Coarser than this it is of little value. The lack of lime is the principal cause of so many clover failures and all legumes, as well as other crops, are greatly benefited by lime.

  3. Organic Matter. There is no question that one of the greatest needs of our soils is organic matter. Give back to the soil plenty of organic matter and a greater return from the soil will be the result. Sources of organic matter are: stable manure, crop residue (that which is left after crops have been taken off) and turning under green manure crops, such as clover, soybeans, or rye. Take care of all manure and arrange crop rotation so that the natural residue, with plenty of green manure crops to turn under along with feeding on the land, will be adequate for organic matter.

  4. Legumes. The committee recommends that the acreage of red clovers, sweet clovers, soybeans, and alfalfa be greatly increased. In order to maintain the nitrogen content of the soil and improve the fertility of the land it is necessary to use a legume such as red clover in each crop rotation.... When cut for hay, soybeans should not be considered as a soil-improving crop. All legumes should be inoculated on land where they have not been grown before, especiafly soybeans, sweet clover, and alfalfa.

  5. Fertilizer. The committee find that the use of fertilizers is increasing in Grayson and believes that this will continue to increase for many years. However, much of the fertilizer now used in Grayson is wasted, due to the fact that its use is not fully understood. Commercial fertilizer contains certain plant food elements and should be bought by the analysis or per cent of plant food it contains and not by the brand or trade mark on the bag. Different crops and certain soils need different kinds of fertilizer, and unless the kind is used to suit the land and the crop the full benefit is not obtained.

    Fertilizers recommended for different crops grown in Grayson:

    Fertilizers
    Crops Amount per acre
    pounds
    Phosphoric
    Acid %
    Ammonia % Potash %
    Small grains 300-400 12 2 2
    Corn 200- 400 12 2 2
    Soybeans 200-300 20 - -
    Clover and alfalfa 300-500 12 2 2
    Grass alone 300- 400 12 2 2
    Potatoes 800-1000 4 4 -

    The above recommendations are for soils of average productivity. An average of at least 200 pounds of fertilizer per acre should be applied annually to cultivated crops, including both grain and hay crops. The committee therefore urges heavier applications of higher analysis fertilizers to increase the yield and reduce the cost of production.

  6. Good Seed. Good seed is half the crop, and all seed that "looks good" to the eye is not. Good seed should be of adapted high yielding variety, free from disease, noxious weed, and of high germination. Certified seed should always be used because it represents the same thing in the seed world as registered livestock among animals and produces larger yields of better quality crops. All Red or Mammoth clover seed bought should be of known origin and grown in the northern part of the United States. Good seed of the following varieties are recommended by the agronomy committee for larger yields and more profits in Grayson.

  7. Seeds
    Crop Varieties
    Corn Yellow field Reid's Yellow Dent
      White field Boone County Silver King Hickory King (on thin land)
      Ensilage Cocke's Prolific
    Wheat Bearded V. P. I. No. 131 (certified) Fulcaster Stoner
      Smooth V. P.I. No.112 (certified) Leap's Prolific
    Rye   Piedmont Winter Abruzzi
    Oats Winter V. P. I. No.1 Black Virginia Gray Winter
      Spring Burt, Folghuin and Swedish select
    Soybeans   Virginia Certified Wilson Certified Haberlandt

    All infected wheat and oat seed should be treated for stinking and loose smut. See county agent for method of treatment.

Pasture Improvement

Grayson is a livestock county and its pastures are the foundation of a profitable livestock production. Many of the permanent pastures and grazing boundaries in Grayson need improvement and can be improved without breaking up the old sod and trying to reset it in grass. The committee recommends the following treatment for the improvement of permanent pastures:

  1. Top dress the pasture with 400-500 pounds of 16% acid phosphate and two tons of ground limestone per acre every six to eight years.
  2. Good results are often obtained with top dressing of acid phosphate alone at the rate of 300-500 pounds per acre.
  3. Apply acid phosphate and lime as soon after the growth starts in the spring as possible - April to June.
  4. Do not mix the lime and acid phosphate together before applying.
  5. Mow off weeds in August.
  6. If there is a heavy stand of broom sedge, disk and sow:
    2 lbs. of white Dutch clover per acre
    4 lbs. of alsike per acre
    3 lbs of red top per acre.
  7. On bare spots in the pasture sow the following mixture after applying some litter and making a shallow seed bed:
    3 lbs. of red top
    4 lbs. of alsike
    2 lbs. of white Dutch clover
  8. Apply the fertilizer and lime with grain drill, lime spreader, or by hand.

Results from above treatment will more than double the grazing capacity of old worn out pastures in a year or two after the application of phosphate and lime. Fur further information regarding soils, crops, and plant diseases, see or write your county agricultural agent.

COMMITTEE
J. ERNEST DELP, Chairman
M. F. JOHNSON, Secretary
LEWIS F. PORTER
J. M. RECTOR
ED WARRICK
J. T. PARSONS
LETCHER FIELDS
HALE NUCKOLLS
B. L. DELP
A. E. PARSONS
M. C. OSBORNE
STUART CORNETT
COOPER McKNIGHT
CHAS. P. WAUGH
WILL CORNETT
W. L. HAMPTON


LIVESTOCK

Livestock Improvement Program as Recommended by the Livestock Committee

Grayson is primarily a livestock and grazing county as revealed by a study of its resources. The 1926 Virginia farm statistics show that there are 12,100 beef cattle, 6,900 milk cows, 11,900 sheep, and 4,600 hogs on the farms, and the valuation of all livestock is over one million dollars. During the last year 4,200 cattle, 9,660 sheep and lambs, 120 market hogs, and 8,000 to 10,000 feeder pigs were shipped out of the county. Realizing the importance of these three classes of livestock, the committee submits the following recommendations:

Beef Cattle

Grayson raises more stockers than any other county in the state and ranks first in the production of registered Hereford cattle. Beef cattle like all other kinds of livestock pass through regular cycles of high and low prices. At present we are just starting on the up-grade and if history repeats itself, as it usually does, prices will continue to be good for several years (until about 1932-34).

As this county is a producer of stocker cattle, like others in sections similarly situated we have decreased our herds until we are now from 15 to 20 per cent. below normal. With demand good and prospects of it continuing to be so for several years, it looks like good business to build up our breeding herds to the carrying capacity of our farms. This should not be done at the expense of quality, however, but by reserving some of our best type heifers and breeding to only good type purebred bulls. Seventy-five per cent. of the beef sires used in the county are purebreds. This leaves twenty-five per cent. scrub and grade sires to be eliminated during the period of this program.

Breeding:

  1. Keep or breed to only good type purebred bulls of the three leading beef breeds, Hereford, Shorthorn, or Aberdeen Angus.
  2. Dispose of all scrub or grade bulls and replace them with good type purebred sires.
  3. Increase and improve the cow herd by keeping the best type heifers so as to produce more and better stockers.
  4. Establish purebred herds where conditions are practical.

Feeding:

  1. The livestock committee recommends the improvement of permanent pastures and grazing boundaries as advised by the agronomy committee.
  2. Better wintenng of cattle, especially the young cattle, by feeding plenty of legume hay and some grain.
  3. That more legume hay (clover, soybeans, etc.) be grown and fed in order to give a better balanced ration, resulting in maximum growth and gain.
  4. That silage be fed where practical.
  5. That cheap but adequate shelter be provided.

Disease Control:

  1. Blackleg: Blackleg has caused heavy losses in this county and will continue to do so, unless prevented by vaccinating all calves and yearlings with blackleg aggression to make them immune to the disease for life.
  2. That dipping vats be provided in each community for the control of external parasites (lice and mange).
  3. Scour: Scour is usually caused by improper feeding and germs. Remove the cause if it can be determined. A pint to a pint and one-half of castor oil or pure raw linseed oil will often remedy this condition. Sulphocarbolates Compound given as a drench is also effective. A handful of blood meal put in the feed often is a fine preventive for scour. Calves fed a good balanced ration of wheat bran, corn, or oats with plenty of legume hay seldom, if ever, suffer from scour.
  4. Report all outbreaks of diseases promptly to the county agent.

BEEF CATTLE COMMITTEE:
T. M. CALHOUN, Chairman
I. B. BRYANT, Secretary
J. W. McLEAN
J. PAUL BRYANT
CHAS. W. HARRINGTON
W. J. PHIPPS
JOHN C. DICKENSON
H. A. HOFFMAN
EDGAR I. PHIPPS
J. M. RECTOR
JOHN REEVES
W. C. BAGWELL
JOHN WOOD
FIELDEN WARD
J. C. B. OSBORNE
ELLIS COX
O. A. SUTHERLAND
ZACK ROBERTS
WALTER COX
A. M. KIRK

Sheep

A large part of the county is readily adapted to sheep raising, as much of the land is too rough and steep for cultivation, and in many cases it is really better fitted for grazing sheep than cattle. Sheep have always paid and should continue to do so in a county so well suited to sheep raising as this one. For the last five years sheep have been the most profitable class of livestock in the county. It is not advisable to greatly increase your present flock at this time, but it is recommended that more farms in the county keep a small flock of sheep to utilize their rough lands.

Breeding:

  1. Use only good type purebred rams of the leading mutton breeds.
  2. Keep only ewe lambs of good type and fleece for replacing the old or poor-producing ewes.
  3. Establish purebred flocks where conditions warrant.

Feeding and Management:

  1. Take better care of ewes through the winter, especially before and after lambing by feeding a better balanced milk-producing ration.
  2. Dock and castrate all market lambs.
  3. Feed more legume hay. (Timothy is not fit for sheep.)
  4. Treat flock every four weeks for stomach worms. (May to November.)
  5. Control ticks, scab, and other external parasites as recommended by animal husbandry department.
  6. Change pasture for sheep as often as possible.
  7. Provide a winter grazing crop for the ewes before and especially after lambing, such as rye, wheat, or barley.
  8. Have (Iry shelter for the flock in ba(l weather. (Open sheds.)

Ration for Breeding Ewes

Corn, 2 parts; oats, 1 part; bran, 1 part; legume hay. For three or four days after lambing feed ewes a bran mash.

Disease Control:

Pregnancy Disease (so-called). Winter losses of pregnant ewes are, in most cases, caused by improper feeding and management. A well-balanced ration should be fed. Such a ration should con tain a good quality legume hay or a succulent feed, such as clean (not moldy or frozen) silage or both. This is especially important when snow or sleet prevent the ewes from getting to the sod. Pregnant ewes should be kept gaining up to lambing time. The flock should have shelter in bad weather and access to water and sufficient exercise at all times. Avoid feeding moldy or spoiled feed of any kind.

Stomach Worm Treatment:

Dissolve four ounces of bluestone in three gallons of water, being sure that all the bluestone is dissolved. This will be enough to dose 100 mature sheep. If you do not have this many sheep put what you have left in a crock and save for the next time. Be sure to mix the bluestone in an earthen or glass vessel, since bluestone will corrode tin vessels.

Doses of the above solution should be given according to age:

Mature Sheep - 4 liquid ounces
Yearling Sheep - 3 liquid ounces
Lambs, 6 months old - 2 liquid ounces
Lambs, 3 months old - 1 liquid ounce

This solution is to be given as a drench with a two-ounce syringe or drenching bottle (pop bottle). A dose syringe can be obtained from the county agent if desired.

Precaution: Stir the solution while using. Keep sheep on all four feet while drenching. Don't raise the head too high and don't drench too fast. Do not neglect this treatment if you own sheep.

Why It Pays to Dock and Trim Your Lambs

Lambs should be docked and castrated when from one to two weeks old, as there is little or no danger from losses at that age.

Reasons for docking and castrating:

  1. Wether lambs are not restless and will fatten more quickly than ram lambs.
  2. Docked and castrated lambs bring a higher price. This applies especially to the lambs that are to be sold after the 20th of June. Our local buyers paid from one-half to one cent more per pound for the docked and trimmed lambs this year. Wether lambs dress out a higher per cent. and have a better finished carcass than ram lambs. Seventy per cent. of the lambs grading seconds and culls on the market are ram lambs.
  3. Docking adds much to the cleanliness of lambs and makes the lambs look blockier and more attractive to the buyers. All ewe lambs kept, or to be sold for breeding ewes, should be docked.

COMMITTEE ON SHEEP
CHAS. M. PHIPPS, Chairman
MACK SUTHERLAND, Secretary
W. L. HAMPTON
THOMAS ROBERTS
JOE CASSELL
J. CAM FIELDS
JIM DELP
ELLIS REEVES
CLAUDE STONE
ARTHUR CORNETT
JOHN KILBY
W. W. BAKER

Hogs

One year with another the returns from hogs, especially pigs, have added a great deal to the yearly earnings of the farmers of this county.

The committee recommends the following:

Breeding:

  1. The use of registered boars of good type and of the leading breeds.
  2. To have at least one brood sow on every farm, in order to utilize the waste products and furnish meat for home consumption.
  3. To have purebred herds where conditions warrant.
  4. Breed sows to farrow in March and September.

Feeding:

The committee recommends the following:

That pastures be used as much as possible, both to cut down the cost of production and to contribute to the health of the hogs. Soybeans, clover, or some other good pasture should be used.

Too much corn alone is being fed to hogs, as corn is lacking in muscle and bone-building material. A mineral mixture should be kept before the hogs at all times. It is also urged that breeding or fattening hogs be kept in clean hog lots and not in filthy pens.

Rations:
For Breeding Hogs
6 parts corn
3 parts wheat middlings
I part tankage or plenty of milk

For Fattening Hogs
8 parts corn
4 parts middlings
1 part tankage or milk

For Growing Pigs
5 parts corn
4 parts middlings (wheat)
1 part tankage or milk

Mineral Mixture for All Hogs
Acid phosphate 5 parts
Limestone 5 parts
Salt 1 part

Diseases:

The committee recommends the following:

  1. Control of external parasites by using 4 parts crankcase oil to 1 part kerosene.
  2. Scrub sow with warm water and soap and move to clean lot before farrowing.
  3. Treatment of pigs for round worms.
  4. Vaccination of hogs to prevent hog cholera (where danger).
  5. Report any symptoms of hog cholera to county agent at once.

Treatment for Round Worm in Pigs:

A number of pigs in this county are not thrifty and do not grow out properly, due to heavy infestation of worms, especially when allowed to run where hogs have been kept for a number of years.

Method of Treatment:

Do not feed pigs for a period of from 24 to 36 hours, then give by means of a stomach tube 2 oz per cwt a mixture of 1 part oil of chenopolium to 16 parts castor oil. Withhold feed 2 hours after treatment and repeat treatment again in ten days for best results.

The above treatment is 100 % effective when properly used and is the only sure way of eradicating the round worm.

For demonstrations see county agent.

COMMITTEE ON SWINE
G. W. TAYLOR, Chairman
CHAP. COX, Secretary
BAYS TODD
JOHN WARD
HERMAN MOORE
BRUCE YOUNG
THOMAS HIGGlNS
E. H. RING

Horses

In 1920 there were 4,500 horses in Grayson county and in 1926 there were only 3,840, a decrease of over 600 head in six vears. Horses also decreased over one-half million head in the United States last year and have been decreasing in about that proportion each year since 1918. The 1926 census shows that the average age of draft horses in Virginia is about 14 years. In parts of the south at present there are not enough horses and mules to meet the farmers' needs for the coming season. We are now facing a very serious shortage in work horses, and the committee recommends that each farm should begin this year to raise young stock, if for no other reason than to replace the old work team. We cannot hope to replace the old team four or five years from now at the low level of present day horse prices. In a short time a decided increase in price of draft horses is to be expected. Be prepared to meet this situation by breeding to a good type registered heavy draft stallion.

For further information relative to livestock production and diseases, see or write your county agent.


POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

As Recommended by the Poultry Committee

The poultry industry has become one of the most important branches of agricultural production in Grayson, and has developed very rapidly in the last few years. The value of poultry products sold last year from this county was over $300,000.00; therefore poultry deserves a careful consideration in this program.

After a careful study the committee finds that the income from poultry is still entirely too low and that the bulk of the income is from farm flocks and not from commercial flocks. There before, it is recommended that the farm flocks in this county be given more and better attention, as poultry is the most neglected class of livestock on most farms.

The average egg production in Grayson is only about 50 eggs per hen per year. This low production causes a loss of around $1.00 per bird annually in the cost of feed alone. However there are flocks in the county that average from 150 to 200 eggs per year. These flocks are not just accidents, but are results of following improved practices.

The committee has studied these practices and recommends the following methods to increase the egg production and income received from poultry by the farmers of Grayson county:

  1. Keep only standard bred birds. (Standard means purebred.)
  2. Practice early hatching or purchase baby chicks early.
  3. Purchase a colony brooder and use it early.
  4. Provide suitable houses and a poultry yard.
  5. Feed properly balanced rations in proper proportions, proper times the year round.
  6. Cull out all unprofitable birds.
  7. Select and breed from only the best of the flock.
  8. Market only quality poultry and eggs.

Standard Bred Stock

Since the most popular breeds are Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, White and Brown Leghorn, Orpington, and Wyandotte, this committee suggests the following:

  1. That only one variety be kept on a farm.
  2. That both Mediterranean and American breeds seem best for commercial egg production.
  3. That one of the leading American or English breeds be kept on the average farm.
  4. That eggs for hatching baby chicks and breeding stocks be bought only from flocks known to be free from diseases (diarrhea, etc.).
  5. That poultry raisers keep breeding pens from their one-and two-year-old hens. (These pens made up only of selected birds.)
  6. Use only strong, well-developed, and standard bred males.
  7. That only experienced poultry raisers take up commercial production.

Early Hatching

The best time to sell eggs is when the price is high; early atched pullets are the only ones that lay when the prices are good. Aater hatched pullets do not develop in time to produce eggs in the ill and winter when prices are high. Therefore the committee recommends that chicks of the larger breeds be hatched from Febraary or March to the 15th of April, and that chicks of the smaller breeds be hatched from March to April 30th.

Comfortable Houses

There are many farm flocks in Grayson which are housed in dark, damp, poorly ventilated and draughty houses, while in some causes no house at all is provided; Disease and little or no egg production result from this. The committee recommends that comfortable houses be built or old ones remodeled in the right shape. Houses should be built of seasoned lumber and not later than August. Complete poultry house plans will be furnished free by the county agent.

Proper Feeding

The committee believes that one of the most important causes of low egg production is improper feeding and breeding. Farm flocks are often fed less feed than is needed, resulting in poor production.

Poultry needs a variety of feed, for more than one food element is contained in an egg. No grain or mixture of grain is a complete food, without a mash that will provide for the greatest egg production; also the lack of sufficient animal protein (as meat scraps, milk, etc.) and some green feed (as cabbage, rye, etc.) during the late fall and winter is the most common cause for low egg production.

Rations:

(Scratch Rations for Hens)

1 bushel of wheat - To be fed twice a day, light feeding in the morning and heavier at night.
2 bushel of cracked corn
1 bushel of oats

(Egg Mash Ration)

50 pounds of wheat shorts~
50 pounds wheat bran~ -
50 pounds corn meal~~~
25 pounds meat meal, or plenty of milk
11/2 pounds salt

Keep in hopper before hens at all times when feeding layers. Encourage breeders to range and eat more scratch feed.

Always keep plenty of clean water in clean vessels. Sour milk or buttermilk should be fed at all times.

Feeding Baby Chicks

When chicks are taken from the hen or the incubator a drop or two of sour milk may be given each chick with a medicine dropper, as a preventive of common diarrhea.

Chicks should not be fed until from 48 to 60 hours old, thus giving them time to use up the food nature provides.

Until chicks are ten days old they should be fed five times per day a mixture of wheat and corn bread and hard-boiled eggs, and after ten days keep the following mash before them:

4 pounds bran - Keep plenty of sand on the floor, fine oyster shells, charcoal, and fresh, clean water and buttermilk at all times
2 pounds middlings
2 pounds corn meal
5 ounces bone meal

When chicks are a month or more older feed scratch feed containing equal parts of cracked corn and wheat or a commercial feed.

Flock Management

The best time to begin culling is when the young chickens are feathered, by discarding the poor individuals that are off type and color and show lack of vitality, or diseased. Each year during August, September, or October the flock should be gone over again to cull out all birds which have failed to develop egg laying capacity or lacking in vigor. You cannot afford to feed loafers.

Diseases:

The first step to prevent diseases is to select and keep only healthy, vigorous birds. The second is the proper feeding and are of the individuals of the flock and sanitary conditions of the house, yard, etc.

The use of potassium permanganate in the drinking water is often additional precaution against diseases. Use sodium fluoride to lust all poultry for lice and put crankcase oil on the roosts and dropping boards to keep down mites. Select your breeding flock during November or December.

Turkeys

For the last few years young turkeys have been handled very successfully in Virginia by hatching the eggs under hens or in incubators and raising with brooders. They are confined in a limted area for the first six or eight weeks. It has been found by experiments that the disease of blackhead is increased where the young turkeys run on the land used by chickens, as the young turkeys pick up the round worm or eggs liberated by the chickens, and when taken into the system these worms directly or indirectly cause blackhead. When your turkeys are allowed to run on clean, fresh ground, the loss is less than 10%.

Young turkeys should not be fed until after they are 48 hours old. Put sand on the floor; also provide oyster shells, charcoal, sour milk, and fresh water. For three or four weeks a mash of corn bread, made of yellow meal, mixed up with eggs, sour milk, and soda, should be fed four or five times a day. After that a mash made of one hundred pounds each of bran, shorts, yellow corn meal, and fifty pounds of fine ground oats and meat scraps, three pounds of fine, dry salt, and eight pounds of tobacco dust should be fed. Also feed the following scratch: Equal parts of one cracked corn, wheat, and pin-head oats. Sufficient range for exercise and green feed should be provided.

Most of the digestive trouble in young turkeys which helps to bring on blackhead is caused when turkeys are allowed to run on free range, and eat an excess of berries, new wheat, corn, chestnuts, acorns, etc.

Epsom salts at the rate of I .2 teaspoon to a full tablespoon per bird according to age, should be given in the feed every other way as a preventive and means of eliminating excessive amounts of certain food. Dissolve the salts in water and then mix the solution with bran or a mash, to be fed the turkeys.

COMMITTEE ON POULTRY
JOE PHIPPS, Chairman
DON A. YOUNG, Secretary
C. W. RING
ED. I. PAISLEY
WINT C. CATRON
WM. C. LARUE
OLIN TODD
R. L. SHAW
JOHN EDWARDS
MRS. W. A. ROSS
MRS. C. M. VAUGHAN
MRS. WILEY SENTER
MRS. J. M. JENNINGS

For further information regarding poultry production and diseases, see or write your county agricultural agent.


DAIRY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

As Recommended by the Dairy Committee

Dairy farming is important not only because it provides a vital and essential source of human food but it also provides a system of farming that will increase the fertility of the soil.

Dairying is well adapted to certain parts of this county, especially those sections located near the railroad points. The committee recommends that more farmers in those sections start in the dairy business with a few good type dairy cows, as dairying has already proven profitable there.

There is a place for dairy farming in Grayson and it will pay better on certain farms where the locations and conditions are favorable than any other type of farming; especially on the smaller farms with land suitable for intensive cultivation of grain and hay crops and where most all the work can be done by the owner and family.

The dairy committee wants it to be thoroughly understood that dairy farming is not advised for the county as a whole. it recommends that those who are planning to go into the dairy business start with only a few good type dairy cows and grow into the business gradually. Dairying is an intensive system of farming and different from the old and established livestock and general farming practices carried on in this county.

The committee realizes that it will be very disastrous to both the beef and dairy industries of the county if the two breeds are crossed, (that is, breeding beef bulls to dairy type cows or dairy bulls to beef type cows). The committee therefore condemns and strongly advises against such harmful practices. The committee hopes that the above recommendations will be followed to the letter and that such outlaw breeding practices will never be committed in Grayson county.

Breeding:

The committee recommends the following:

  1. The use of only registered dairy bulls.
  2. Disposal of all scrub and grade bulls during the term of this program.
  3. Breeding cows as far as practical to freshen in the fall.
  4. Keep best type dairy heifers to replace poor producing cows.
  5. Sell all grade dairy bull calves and poor grade heifer calves for veal.

Feeding:

  1. The following is a good home-grown and home-mixed grain ration:
    300 lbs corn and cob meal
    200 lbs. oats
    200 lbs. wheat bran
    200 lbs. cotton seed meal (41% must go in this ration)
    Feed one pound of the above mixture for every three or four pounds of milk produced daily. In addition feed all the good legume hay the cows will clean up, together with ensilage.
  2. A silo should be on every farm where 10 or more dairy cows are kept.
  3. As far as practicable all forage crops and as much of the grain as possible should be produced on the farm.
  4. Ouc acre of legume hay should be produced for every cow in the herd and improve permanent pastures as has been recommended.
  5. Abruzzi rye makes an excellent early spring grazing crop.
  6. Keep records of production and eliminate the poor producing cows by organizing a cow-testing association as soon as enough cows are available.
  7. Do not breed dairy heifers until 16 or 18 months old.
  8. Provide suitable dairy barn, sheds, and other equipment for comfort of the herd.

Eradication of tuberculosis.

Be careful not to bring diseased animals into the herd.

A dairy cow should produce 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of milk 250 pounds of butterfat per year to be profitable. The average cow in this county only produces 2,511 pounds of milk or about 100 pounds of butterfat per year.

For further information on dairying, see or write your county agent.

COMMITTEE ON DAIRYING
JOHN B. VAUGHAN-Chairman
MITCHELL HAMPTON, Secretary
DAN ROBERTS
E. J. REEVES
GLEN THOMAS
G. W. TAYLOR
R.C. BARTLETT
R.L. WILEY


FARM HOME IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

The committee believes that the farm home is the center all rural life and that there are many things that will beautify and add to the comfort of the home that can be had by the expenditure of a small amount of money and some effort.

The committee recommends:

  1. Beautify the farm home by painting the house and setting out some shade trees, shrubs, and flowers.
  2. Put running water in the home and a sink in every kitchen (On most every farm this can be accomplished with little cost and effort, by installing a gravity system water supply.) Washing machine, kitchen cabinet, etc.
  3. Grayson county has vast undeveloped water power resources in its rivers and large streams. There are also innumerable smaller streams running through most of the farms, which can be harnessed and developed to supply lights and power for the needs of the farm. It is recommended that we make use of this power now running to waste and harness this energy to lift and lighten the burdens of farm life.

Home Orchards and Gardens

The committee recommends:

  1. Improve the home orchard by proper pruning of the trees annually. Bearing trees should be cultivated and fertilized as needed to increase the yield and quality of the fruit.
  2. Spray trees according to the recommendations of the V. P. I. Spray Service.
  3. Set out a few good varieties of apple, peach, pear, and cherry trees to replace the old non-productive trees.
  4. Have a good home garden in both spring and fall.

For further information regarding home improvement, orchard and garden, and disease control, see or write your county agent.

FARM HOME AND ORCHARD COMMITTEE
DR. H. T. SMITH, Chairman
WORLEY DELP, Secretary
J. M. PARSONS
EMMETT VAUGHAN
HARVE YOUNG
C. M. PHIPPS

BOYS' AND GIRLS' 4-H CLUB WORK

The committee on Boys' and Girls' Club Work believes that 4-H Club work is the most effective way to improve the rural conditions in our county. We recognize 4-H club work as a definite form of extension work in agriculture and home economics which aids the development of the economic, physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual life of farm boys and girls. The 4-H Club organization, through its meetings, teaches cooperation and leadership which are essential to good citizenship.

The national emblem for the Boys' and Girls' 4-H Club is four-leaf clover with an "H" on each leaflet. It represents the four-fold life program. The four "H's" stand for development of the Hand, Heart, Head, and Health, and the clover leaf represents the leguminous plants which are indispensable for soil building or soil improvement. The main object is to encourage the boys and girls to help their parents to establish better agriculture and to improve the practices around the farm and in the community in which they live. All club members are required to carry a demonstration in some agricultural or home economics project, keep a complete record of their work, take part in all community 4-H club activities; to learn by doing this, and to teach others through their demonstrations.

We believe that the future developmeiit of our country depends largely on the work with the boys and girls, and we strongly urge the cooperation of the people of Grayson county in club work. We especially urge the mothers and fathers of children of club age to enroll them in club work and to help them conduct successful demonstrations.

We recommend that every club member conduct a definite demonstration and have for his or her object the improvement of the crop or livestock with which they are working, and through their demonstration teach better practices.

We recommend that in all livestock breeding club projects only good individuals of purebred livestock be used; in fattening projects, good high grades; in poultry that eggs or birds from standard bred flocks be used; and in all crop club demonstrations that seed of known origin, adaptability, and high-yielding varieties, or certified seed be used.

Grayson county club work has been very satisfactory in 1927 with a total enrollment of 250 members in the following projects: purebred sheep, pig, poultry, corn, and bean clubs. There are ten organized clubs with leaders. There were 90 club exhibits at the county fair this year and the club members won over $300.00 in prizes.

Club work has been a great factor in increasing the number of purebred hogs, sheep, and standard bred poultry throughout the county. The value of club work in products raised or grown this year amounted to $5,250.00.

Reviewing and stating the matter briefly, the main objects of club work are:

  1. To do something worth-while and to stimulate interest in community progress.
  2. To improve farm and home practices.
  3. To teach pride in occupation.
  4. To give training in agriculture and home economics.
  5. To develop appreciation of nature.
  6. To teach cooperation.
  7. To develop rural leadership.
  8. To give vision.
  9. To acquire ownership.
  10. To develop men and women.

We therefore recommend that the goal for club work in Grayson county be:

  1. A 4-H club organized in each of the leading communities of the county, these clubs to be organized and conducted according to plans outlined by the state club department.
  2. Each club to have a local leader who will assist the club members in developing the work of the club and community.
  3. Clubs to be organized as soon as possible after December 1st of each Mear and hold at least one meeting each month.
  4. That the program of club meetings and club demonstrations be built around the needs of the community in which the club is located.
  5. That each member conduct a definite demonstration in home agricultural or home economics project and keep a complete record of same, sending it to the county agent when he asks for it.
  6. That as far as possible all club members make exhibits from their demonstrations at the "Great Galax Fair."
  7. That each club send one or more delegates to the State 4-H Club Short Course at Blacksburg each year.

The committee strongly recommends that each community study the above recommendtions and assist the county agent in organizing a 4-H club in their respective communities. Information and literature for conducting such clubs can be secured from the county agent.

4-H CLUB COMMITTEE
KYLE T. COX, Chairman
E. S. HALE, Secretary
JOE COX
Mrs. DON YOUNG
Mrs. C. M. VAUGHAN
RALPH TAYLOR
JOE B. COX
W. C. ROBINSON
J. M. JENNINGS
Mrs. WINT Catron
Mrs. J. H. COOLEY
WARD SUTHERLAND
BROOKS ROBINSON
C. M. VAUGHAN

FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS

The members of the Agricultural Advisory Committee sincerely trust that this program for the development of better and more profitable agriculture in Grayson will be of direct benefit to each and every farmer in the county. The Council recommends that the reader give careful consideration to this program and put into practice as many of these improved methods of farming as possible.

The Council realizes that the standard of living in the county is in direct proportion to the farm income. Therefore the Council firmly believes that these improved methods will greatly increase the farm income when put into practice on the farm, and that returns from these improved methods will greatly exceed the cost of putting them into practice.

The Council also recommends that more farmers in the county seek the services of the county farm demonstration agent. The county agent, as a joint representative of the State Agricultural College and the United States Department of Agriculture, is always ready and willing to be of personal service to you in any relating to agriculture.