Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 31, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
IO The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Tues., Dec. 31, 1974
Cowboys on This King Ranch All Wear Turbans
ADAROUCH, Morocco (AP) — The rolling, grass-covered hills look like Texas cattle country. But the cowboys wear turbans, and at sundown many of them kneel down in the direction of Mecca to recite their prayers.
Morocco’s King Ranch, was started as an offshoot of the great Texas ranch in 1971. It was an experiment to save the local breed of cattle from extinction and has proved a spectacular success Moroccan businessmen are so impressed that they are investing their own money to establish new ranches on 125,000 acres of neglected pastureland in other parts of Morocco.
Small local farmers, who viewed the experiment with distrust and skepticism at first, now bring up their cows at dead of night to “steal” the precious seed of King Ranch’s Santa Gertrudis bulls.
“We suddenly find Santa Gertrudis strains all over the countryside,” said Raoul Estrade, French manager of the Adarouch King Ranch which now has more than 10,-000 cattle and has become by far the largest farming enterprise in North Africa.
'When we flew in the first Santa Gertrudis bulls and cows from Texas and Argentina, the local farmers could hardly believe their eyes.
They had never seen such big. healthy cattle.”
Est r a de's Moroccan ranch-hands patrol the 155 miles of wire fencing surrounding the 30,000-acre ranch in Jeeps and on horseback In more than three years of operations, only seven animals have been lost to cattle rustlers, ranch spokesmen claim.
Adarouch is an Arabic word meaning coyote track The uninhabited valley was a preserve of coyotes and foxes when Estrade persuaded King Ranch owner Robert Kleberg, jr., of Texas that it was the ideal site for the Moroccan experiment.
The French army used the area long ago as grazing land
for its cavalry horses, and nomadic Moroccan herders came on occasional visits
Sparse, Dry Grass
But the grass was sparse and dry, and the Moroccan cows w( re a feeble, disease-ridden caricature of their ancestors, introduced by Portuguese settlers in the 16th C'entury.
“The Moroccan breed of cattle has become degenerate as result of inbreeding, disease and sheer hunger," Estrade said. “There is no doubt that, without outside help, the whole breed would soon become extinct.”
King Ranch replanted the valley with rich Lucerne grass imported from Australia.
Some 800 pure Santa Gertrudis cattle were interbred with 5,(HH) specially groomed local cows.
The first generation of the new breed has proved well adapted to Moroccan conditions, where temperatures range from near zero Fahrenheit, in winter to more than HK! degrees in summer.
The ultimate aim is to regenerate all of Morocco’s estimated 20 million cattle with the new strain bred at Adarouch, and make Morocco — once a major meat exporter — at least self-sufficient in beef production.
But it has to be done gradually, under strictly controlled
conditions," Estrade said “We can’t sell a Santa Gertrude bull to the odd farmer who knocks at the gate — nor allow him to bring in his cows under cover of darkness We do everything we can to stop suc h illicit breeding. "
The Adarouch mixed breed does not have all the qualities of Kleberg’s Santa Gertrudis. An average Santa Gertrudis bull weighs 1,056 pounds at the age of one year, compared to 660 pounds for an Adarouch bull raised under the same conditions. But a Moroccan bull, even when fed on the lush Australian grass, is lucky to reach 330 pounds.
Adarouch Ranch is a 12-mile-long strip of land south
of Mcknes, some 150 miles cast of the Moroccan capital, Rabat The land was contributed by Morocco’s King Bassan ii King Ranch, Inc., owns 51 percent of the ranch, and the Moroccan government owns the remainder.
There have been occasional arguments with nomad tribes angered by the wire fences across the track to their traditional grazing lands and caravans to hashish smugglers regularly used to cut the wire at night on their way through the valley.
“We have a private deal with the smugglers now.” Estrade said. "We don’t bother them, provided they close the wire behind them. After all, we’re ranchers, not policemen.”
Herbigation May Replace Hoe
PALO ALTO, (’alif. (UPI) — A growing number of farmers are mixing weed killer with their irrigation water in an effort to replace the old-fashioned hoe.
A relatively new technique, herbigation, is seen bv advocates as a technological step toward slashing food production and labor costs on the nation's 50-million acres of irrigated farm land, most of it in California, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado and Idaho.
At a recent symposium, a pioneer researcher. Prof. Paul E. Fischbach of the University of Nebraska, called herbigation the newest weapon in the farmer s historic struggle against the world’s most expensive plant — the weed.
Fischbach believes herbicides that inhibit germination of unwanted vegetation have the greatest potential in the new method.
“What s most significant about herbigation is that while the practice is new, it probably is the most efficient and precise method of incorporating herbicides into the soil that we know of,” Fischbach said.
“This is particularly important in irrigated farming because weed growth is considerably more profuse and troublesome than on dryland farming. In fact, (plain) water applied on cropland can benefit and nourish weed seed more readily than crop seed germination.”
Herbigation can be used with any system delivering irrigation water, from sprinklers to pipes, he said.
“But automated center-pivot sprinklers, solid set sprin
klers and automatic surface irrigation systems lend themselves best to herbigation," he believes.
“A disadvantage of herbigation is the possibility of ground water pollution if the proper anti pollution devices are not installed on the irrigation pumping equipment," he said.
“Some of the potential hazards are water back flowing through the chemical injection system causing the chemical supply tank to overflow. And irrigation pumping plants may shut down from mechanical or electrical failures on the irrigation system, but injection equipment could continue operating.
“A lack of a check valve on the irrigation line may result in the mixture of water-and-chemical siphoning back into the irrigation well, polluting the groundwater.
"The pollution hazard to groundwater can In* avoided by-having the proper equipment and hookup to the irrigation
The symposium also was told by Dr. Robert ll. Callihan of the University of Idaho that while many growers are already using the method, “there is still insufficient data and much research work to be done. ”
"For example," he said, "research has not adequately-established whether application in irrigation requires a different rate of herbicide than conventional application ”
But Fischbach said herbigation “should In* considered a significant advance in farm technology . . . greater farm output, more food production and a certain step forward in meeting the critical demands now being placed on U. S. agriculture."
Welfare Reform Plan Raked
WASHINGTON (UPI) - A major new welfare reform currently under consideration by top administration officials could result in worse nutrition for some of the nation's needy families, an agriculture department study indicates.
The study, prepared by-department economists, makes no direct reference to reports that administration officials are debating welfare reforms involving substitution of cash benefits for payments that now 'flow to the poor through the USDA’s food stamp program.
The study concludes, however. that food stamps may Ik* about two or three times as effective as cash in increasing
the food spending of very low income families.
For some families near the upper end of the food stamp income eligibility range, the new study said that “cash income supplements may be nearly as effective as bonus food stamps in expanding demand for food.”
But for “very low income” families the picture is different, the study concluded. It said poor families in the very-low income range given an extra dollar of cash income may use 20 to 30 cents to increase food purchase. But when the same family is given a free SI food stamp, its total food purchases may rise by HO to 65 cents, the report added.
As Previously Advertised in The Gazette Farm Pages
Fit, Jan. 3: Clow out sale, 10 30 a rn , mach., hh goods, Arnold Gilbert, 4 mi. MW of Clarence.
Sat., Jan. 4: (lose out sale, I pm.,
tattle, mach., hay, Dirk Root, 2(4 mi SW of Whittier Farm sale, 10:30 a rn , mach., hh goods, misc.. Leonard Durey and Donald Barclay, 4% mi SW of Maut hosier ( lose out sale, 11 em. Holsteins, mach . Richard and Herman Hessellng, 6 mi. NW of Calamus. Close out sale, ll a in., mach . Howard E. IJmbdenstock, 5 mr MW of Mechanicsville
Sun., Jan. 5: Close out sale, 11:30
a rn., mach , car Wilbur Harbachn
2(4 mi NW of Delhi.
Wed., Jan. I: ( lose out sale, 11:30 am, math . Marvin Schlotterbeck, 6
im N of Newhall Auction, ll a rn., mach , eqpt Weaver Wltwer Farms,
1(4 mi. S of Linn County Home, Marion.
Sat., Jan. 11: ( lose out sale, 11 30 a in., mach., Richard and Chester Risdate, 4(4 mi NE of Norway ( lose out sale, 12, mach , hh goods. Orval I nash, I mi E of Robins
Sat., Jan. It: Close out sale, 12, mach. Robert Becker, 3(4 mi NE of Norway
The dollar food stamp docs not produce a full dollar in extra food spending because families using stamps may switch some of their scarce cash previously used for food for other needs.
The study said food spending varies widely even among households of similar size and income One low-income family may spend a high percentage of its limited cash on food while another may pinch food spending to below the level needtxl for a healthy diet
“For this reason, bonus food stamps are more important in achieving food and nutrition objectives than indicated by measures of average effectiveness in expanding demand for food.” the report said
Under the food stamp
OO to Prom NATIONAL WtAThtA St*VlCt
program, about ll million needy people get stamp aid by purchasing part of their stamp allocations for cash amounts that vary with family income.
A family of four with WU or less cash income per month, for example, gets $150 worth of stamps monthly fret1 while a family with an income close to the $500 a month eligibility ceiling would have to pay cash for all but a small portion of the stamps.
The effect of the stamp program in expanding food purchases for the upper-level poor families is small, experts explained, because they get a comparatively small amount •if fret* stamps and because they tend to use the stamps mainly to frt-e ca^h for other Uses
Not Half A Loaf
All the farm ingredients that go into a pound loaf of bread — including wheat, lard, shortening, sugar, and dried milk — account for only one-fifth of its cost
This is the way the nation's weather shapes up for the next 30 days, according to the National Weather Service.
Farm Bureau Member Record
PARK RIDGE. Ill - The American Farm Bureau Federation established a new record of 2,393.731 members this past year.
This year's increase (if IOO,. 051 members marks the fourth consecutive year that the membership increase has been in excess of IOO IMM) and the nth consecutive year that membership has increased.
Johnson Pork Queen Entry Deadline Nears
IOWA CITY - The deadline is nearing for entries in the Johnson county pork queen contest, according to Mrs. n-roy Kasper of Iowa City, publicity chairman.
The entrant must be between the ages of 17 and 19 years old and a daughter of a Johnson county Pork Producers Assn member. The entrant will be expected to give a five-minute oral essay on pork promotion, consumption or production
The Iowa Farm Bureau was among those reaching 1974 membership quotas.
Massachusetts Is Still Top Cranberry State
By Daniel Q. Haney
PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims picked cranberries 350 years ago. is still the nation's leading producer of the red holiday berries. But W isconsin is challenging that claim.
Cranberries are as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and pumpkin pie, and as of the first of November, the bogs of Cape Cod and the Plymouth area produced 935,000 barrels of them.
Earlier this year, it was predicted that Wisconsin’s crop would surpass Massachusetts’ for the first time. But in September, during the prime growing season. Wisconsin temperatures dropped to nine degrees. So the berries were small, although plentiful.
Wisconsin's crop this year is about 840.IKM) barrels, while New Jersey’s is 240.000 and Washington's 100,000.
In Massachusetts, where agriculture barely exists, being the biggest cranlierry producer is a matter of pride Farmers are not happy about the emergence of Wisconsin as a cranberry power.
Even though Wisconsin's crop was smaller than expected this year, it was still 25 percent larger than the harvest in
Development of new cr. liberty bogs is at a standstill in Massachusetts. The industry is located in the middle of a popular vacation area, and the land is more profitable as house lots. In Wisconsin, new land is still available for growing the berries.
Dr. Chesser Cross, director of the industry’s experimental station in Wareham, said he thought Massachusetts would remain dominant for several years, because its ocean climate makes it less apt to have sudden temperature
As with most farm products, the price of cranberries has risen over the past year. The wholesale price of a one-pound box with a plastic window was 27 cents last year and is 311 cents this November, according to the U. S. department of agriculture.
Season ms Im>s1 orixhos to you • •
Thank you for everything.
Have a Happy and prosperous New Year and many more.
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