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Sept. 24, 1996

Oil show organizers in power walk mode

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ODESSA, TX.-Organizers of the 1996 Permian Basin Oil Show may have
enjoyed a rather leisurely pace earlier this year as they strolled
through their planning agendas, but now they are in "power walk" mode
and the mad dash is not far behind.

PBOS officials say 99 percent of the more than 1,100 exhibit spaces are
spoken for, and each committee is intensifying its efforts to ensure
that all the PBOS ducks are in a row by opening day. The world's largest
petroleum show is set for Oct. 16-18 at the Ector County Coliseum
Complex, where at least 100,000 registrants, exhibitors and visitors are
expected to gather to learn about the latest industry developments.

"The chairmen of our committees are some of the most important people
in running the oil show," says PBOS President W.R. "Bro" Hill, owner and
operator of Hill's Specialty Co. Inc., a well servicing supply company
in Odessa. "They recruit PBOS Board members to do a lot of the work, and
of course, they do a lot of the work themselves.

"We have a dedicated, hard working board. Our board is close-knit and
united. This fact, and the fact that committee chairmen work so hard,
are the reasons the show is so successful."

PBOS Executive Director Jay Alvey echoes Hill's comments and adds a few
of his own.

"The show is the success it is because of the hard work by all of the
committees and committee chairmen," says Alvey. "Each member of our
board works one committee or another, and their diligence will pay off
for all the exhibitors and visitors to the show.

"They make it work so well. They have their objectives and they set out
to meet them. All we do is turn them loose. They know what the PBOS
needs, and they do a great job of working together to make sure it all
jells. The committees are the very backbone of the show."

One of the vertebra in that backbone is the registration committee.
Chairman Curtis Mahanay says his committee is gearing up to get as many
folks pre-registered as possible.

"We have had this system for a number of years," said Mahanay, owner of
C & M Consulting Services at Midland. "It greatly reduces the load at
the beginning of the show. Our goal is to register as many people before
the show as we possibly can."

The overwhelming task begins at the first of September, when the
registration committee contacts companies that have more than five or 10
employees. When the companies respond with a list of registrants, the
committee can begin the process of compiling packets and printing name
tags. "We have this list before the show opens," Mahanay said. ~"Then on
the two days prior to the show - Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 14 and 15 - we
can get about the business of pre-registration. We encourage everyone to
pre-register so we can do a volume business for those two days."

Pre-registration is open in several cities, including Odessa, Midland,
Andrews, San Angelo and Hobbs, N.M. "We hope this results in a high
percentage of total attendance that will already be registered," Mahanay

The registration committee will enjoy a first this year, as it goes
from manually typing name tags to cranking them out on computer.

"This will be a better procedure than typing up the badges at the
show," Mahanay said. "The computer and our new word processing software
will improve our accuracy and prevent duplications. Desk and Derrick
clubs will help with the mechanics of pre-registration.

In the past, Mahanay recalls, "thousands of people hit the registration
booth that first day. It took up to two hours for someone to register.
It will be different this year. Our intent is to get people into the
show grounds as soon as we can."

Even though the committee anticipates pre-registering tens of thousands
of people, it also realizes there will be a trickle of last-minute
accommodations to be made. The committee can handle that too, Mahanay

"Our big gear up is set for the first of September, and we are on
course now," he said. "The enthusiasm is building, and we are expecting
record attendance. We look forward to another successful year of

Grounds group takes care of oil exhibitors

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Once Permian Basin Oil Show registrants are equipped with packets and
name badges, they will move into the show grounds, where another
committee's planning efforts will come together.

The buildings & grounds committee will see to it that exhibitors are
well taken care of through the entire run of the show.

"We bridge the gap between the exhibitors and the PBOS once," said
co-chairman Joe Young. "We are there when any exhibitor has a question
or needs something. We orient them; familiarize them with the layout."

During the planning stages, committee members follow the policy outline
of what is required for the biennial show.

"We take it one step at a time: A to B to C and then to D," says Young,
owner of Tripp Construction Inc. in Odessa. "We start off by contacting
the major oil companies and large independent operators, and get them
involved in the buildings and grounds process. They are very helpful in
furnishing superintendents."

Those recruits work two-hour shifts as links between the exhibit floor
and PBOS office. Duties may include anything from helping with
decorations for booth spaces to securing badges for those manning the

"We have a routine that has developed nicely over the last 16 years,"
Young says. "We pretty much have it down pat. We are real proud of our
show, after all, it is the largest inland exposition in the world."

Young, like many other committee chairmen and co-chairmen, commends Jay
Alvey and the PBOS staff for their many contributions. "I cannot say
enough about them. It is amazing when the show actually starts, and it
all comes together.

"When you have hundreds of exhibit spaces, each of which may involve up
to 12 people, it can get to be quiet a madhouse," Young said. "But
thanks to all the volunteers and the PBOS staff, all of the pieces of
the puzzle fit perfectly."

Young also mentions that virtually no physical improvements had to be
made to the buildings and grounds for this year's event. It was at the
last show in 1994 that PBOS visitors first enjoyed the major renovations
to the Ector County Complex. "Rest rooms were put in all the buildings,
and four of the exhibit buildings were air conditioned and completely
rebuilt," Young said. "The entire facility was completely modernized. "

The logistics of getting to and from the facility are streamlined by
the airport shuttle committee. Chairman Gerald Perry and his crew will
see to it that cars are available for transportation to and from Midland
International Airport. Odessa is some 20 miles from Midland, and the
airport is between the two cities.

"We recruit college students to drive during the show," says Perry, who
retired as the West Texas/New Mexico area manager for Dia-log. "We allow
them to take anyone they are transporting to the hotel to check in at
either Midland or Odessa. The shuttle service is not limited to VIPs,
and is available to anyone who needs a ride to the show, Perry reminds.

"However, these have to be quick stops," he said. "Riders have to
understand that they cannot start to conduct business in their rooms
when they arrive. They only check in, and immediately travel to the

The shuttle cars, also are referred to as courtesy cars, will be parked
north of the baggage claim area in the taxi lane. Signs will be posted
in several strategic locations, including the main lobby and the area
reserved for private aircraft.

"The airport people work very well with us," Perry said. "They make our
job much easier. They are great about assigning areas for parking, and
bend over backwards for us. The airport people and me local car dealers
who furnish the cars deserve a pat on the back."

Gulf coast guests get VIP cars

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The airport shuttle committee serves yet another function at the PBOS
by extending special courtesy to visitors from the Louisiana Gulf Coast
Oil Exposition. "We make a certain number of cars available to LAGCOE,
and coordinate their activities for them. They extend the same courtesy
to us when we go to Lafayette, La., for their show (scheduled for
October 1997)," said chairman Gerald Perry.

"Our main goal is to keep the cars moving for everyone. ~We tell the
drivers that when they go to the show to check in at the office. They
see if anyone is waiting for a ride back to the airport. Some people
make this a one-day trip, and we certainly do not want anyone stranded,"
Perry said.

Another group that extends a hand to LAGCOE is the PBOS Hospitality
Committee. "We are charged with entertaining the LAGCOE officers and
directors who come to our show," says hospitality chairman Byron
Greaves, a petroleum engineer with Pennant Petroleum of Midland. "And
they need a little entertainment because of all the hard work they do
while they are here."

The 15-20 LAGCOE representatives will be easy to spot in their
trademark black coveralls with yellow stitching that sport the LAGCOE
logo. Greaves says they will visit each booth, including those that have
exhibited at LAGCQE shows in the past.

"They really are intense while they are here," Greaves said. ~"They
divide up the booths in a marching order, and visit each and every one.
They really hustle."

The food committee will serve up its own brand of hospitality to the
thousands who attend the show. For the first time, the Chuck Wagon Gang
will serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday
during show week. The traditional Friday night barbecue is still on the
agenda, but lunch will not be served that day.

A lot of exhibitors after the last show, and even after previous
shows, asked about a daily lunch for themselves and their customers,"
Chairman Bobby Sparkman said. "So we pursued the idea and sought the
help of the Chuck Wagon Gang and the Coliseum manager."

A mailing was sent in July to all exhibitors that contained all
necessary information, including the menu and prices, reports Sparkman,
who works for Liberty Reversing Units & Rental Tools Inc. in Odessa.

Visitors can count on a lot of good barbecue cooked up by the Chuck
Wagon Gang, which has served meals at the PBOS since its beginning in
1940. "Anyone who is familiar with PBOS will be familiar with the Chuck
Wagon Gang. They have been around a long, long time," Sparkman says.

Meals will be served in a big tent on the northwest end of the
Coliseum, just west of the north service entrance to the Coliseum
grounds off of 46th Street.

"We hope to sell all the tickets in advance," Sparkman adds. "This will
enable us to prepare the right amount of food. We just hope everyone
en~joys it; we want Lo make the PBOS better for our exhibitors and
everyone else involved. "

Mini vans shuttle guests

from parking lot to barn

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The convenience and comfort of visitors is also the priority of the
parking committee, co-chaired by Max Emmert and Norm Hesser. At least
six mini vans will be available to circle the oil show, transporting
people from one point to another.

"We have no problem recruiting drivers," notes Hesser. "It is actually
an enjoyable tour of duty for the drivers, who work in shifts of three

The committee will pay special attention to accommodating people who
park in one of the remote areas. "This is quite a way from the front
gate," Hesser notes. "In fact, it is about a mile walk, and when the
temperature is hot, people are really glad to see us."

~Hesser, who is retired and lives in Odessa, has been involved in the
PBOS for almost three decades. Even after all those years of service, he
is quick to comment that his enthusiasm for this year's show is higher
than ever.

"We get to meet a lot of people, and we have something to offer that a
lot of places do not. We are eager to show off our pride in the PBOS,"
Hesser remarks.

Perhaps the most visible display of that pride is the traditional PBOS
parade. The mile-long parade begins at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at
Odessa Junior College. "The major oil companies, and service and supply
companies participate in the parade," parade committee co-chairman Tony
Fry said. "And we enjoy a lot of community participation from area high
school and junior high bands, the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, and
charitable organizations. We are also working with the Confederate Air
Force to schedule a fly-over with the old fighters and bombers coming

All parking areas at the college are used for the line up of floats,
whose destination is the show grounds.

"Quite a bit of effort goes into putting together the displays and
floats," said Fry, a manufacturers' representative for process
instrumentation and controls. "A little bit of everything is
represented, but of course, it is primarily the oil and gas industry.

"Everyone here is dependent on the industry, whether they work in it or
not," Fry continues. "The parade gives everyone the opportunity to see
who is here and what they are doing."

Old timers lounge caters to

25-year oildfield veterans

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When oil show visitors decide that the time has arrived to take a break
from the full slate of events, the Old Timers' Lounge will be waiting
for them at the northeast corner of the show grounds. The lounge caters
mainly to those who have been in the oil industry for at least 25 years,
but others are welcome, says Co-chairman Percy O'Quinn, a retired oil
and gas executive in Midland.

"It is a place to get together and reminisce," O'Quinn explains. "We
renew old acquaintances, and rest a little from all the walking around."

The lounge features pictures of oil operators from through the years,
as well as equipment used in the oil patch decades ago. Included is a
standard oil derrick with steam drilling equipment that is still
operable. Those who fit the "old-timer" category will receive
certificates with their names inscribed with calligraphy.

"We always have pretty good attendance," O'Quinn says. "It is an
opportunity for folks to visit, and people sometimes run into old
friends they have not seen in 20 or 30 years."

While every committee faces big tasks in organizing the PBOS, one of
the more mammoth undertakings is supervising the freight gate, where
every piece of equipment to be exhibited enters and exits the show
grounds. "We start about four days ahead of the show," chairman George
Carter said. "This is the only gate that is open. We use one big crane
to unload the huge equipment, which can weigh up to 30,000 pounds.
Trucks of all sizes also pass through.

"We have a tremendous amount of traffic from Saturday through Tuesday,
but once the loud speaker announcement that officially opens the show is
heard, that's it. There are no more vehicles on the grounds."

The clearing of the grounds is just as organized, Carter continues.
Amazingly enough, after the official closing announcement, he reports
that it takes little more than 30 minutes to clear the exhibits out the

"The grounds are cleared of anything that will roll," Carter says. "The
police help us, and all the drivers understand that they must be ready
to leave at the closing." The "freight gaters" also keep a record of
what company is in what booth, and who is manning it.

A map marking the locations is kept in a nearby trailer so that
exhibitors know where to set up, and others know how to find them. "And
we can locate someone any time there is a problem," Carter notes. "This
is not only for convenience, but also for security. It is for the
protection and security of all the exhibitors and their exhibits."

This year's show marks Carter's fifth PBOS at the freight gate, and
that experience no doubt comes in handy. "However, just about the time
you think you have it down pat," he said, "something unexpected happens."

Ranch to rail program opens new vistas

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The "Ranch to Rail" program, a five-year effort by cattle producers,
private industry and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service to
assimilate detailed information about production and consumer trends, is
providing new direction for the beef industry in nine states.

Producers, feedlots, packers, retailers and consumers - every link in
the chain from ranch to dinner table - is benefiting from the
information carefully gathered and rapidly shared by the program, said
Dr. John McNeill, associate department head and Extension Service
program leader for animal science at Texas A&M University.

"The program is an information feedback system that sends detailed
facts back to the cow-calf producers," McNeill said. "It tells them how
their products fit or don't fit the system, and gives them an
opportunity to evaluate and modify their genetic and management
decisions to better fit the needs of the beef industry."

Each year since 1991-92, participating ranchers have assigned cattle to
the program, placing them on feed at the Randall County Feed Yard or the
King Ranch Feed Yard. Each animal is sold on a carcass basis when the
feed yard managers determine it is in optimum market condition. Since
the program began, 1,004 ranches in Texas and eight other
cattle-producing states have taken part.

Throughout the feeding period, detailed records are maintained on each
animal's performance. This includes average daily gain, calculated feed
efficiency, total cost of grain, medicine, break-even cost and net
return. Extremes in net return, health costs, performance factors, and
carcass parameters in the Ranch to Rail animals reflect the variability
that exists in the beef industry.

"Reduction of these variables and production of a product that meets
the needs of all segments of the beef industry must be each producer's
goal," McNeill said.

"Looking at the data makes a cow-calf producer realize they are in the
food business," he said. "They're producing food, not just a commodity.
They can look at the data and evaluate their (herd) genetics and
management to determine how their calf crop is filling the needs not
just of the feedlot but providing the type of product the consumer

Ranch to Rail showed Texas producers that nearly 40 percent of their
cattle were discounted at the packer because carcasses were too heavy,
too light, too fat or had physical defects. The cattle weren't measuring
up to packer and consumer demands for leaner, more uniform animals.

Things the producer-driven program has pinpointed have been taken to
heart by all segments of the industry, McNeill noted. Many ranchers have
changed their genetics to get the type of cattle that performs better
and grades out better when marketed. Some have changed management
practices to provide "preconditioning" of calves before they go the feed
yard and adopted the new Value Added Calf vaccination management

As a rule, calves are weaned from their mothers and sent immediately to
the feed yard. Add the stress of the long haul and the new environment
with different bacteria, and the calf has new problems.

If the rancher weans the calves at home and preconditions them, "they
don't get sick, they're under less stress, they know how to eat and
drink out of a trough," said rancher Clyde Williams of Brazos County.

Preconditioning data from Ranch to Rail resulted in the VAC program. It
showed that four to six weeks of preconditioning before shipping and two
rounds of vaccinations resulted in fewer respiratory diseases and fewer
health problems.

Adoption of this management technique by producers reduced the costs of
medicine administered at the feed yard this year over previous years.

McNeill said findings from the Ranch to Rail program also have led to
major changes in the private sector of the beef industry.

Criteria established by the program data have been adopted as standard
by Friona Industries, the nation's seventh largest cattle-feeding
operation and a co-sponsor of the program. It now pays a premium of up
to $8 a hundredweight for preconditioned calves it buys from ranchers.

Two of the leading livestock video marketing operations - Superior
Livestock Video and Producers Livestock Video - also have adopted the
criteria for their video catalogs. And a group of veterinarians in South
and East Texas have used the findings to establish the Vets Advantage
program of livestock health care and marketing.

"It's the cooperation of all industry segments that has enabled us to
gather and share critical information that is the key to the survival of
our beef industry," McNeill said.

Program sponsors are the Extension Service, the Texas A&M department of
animal science, Texas Cattle Feeders Association and Texas Purebred
Cattle Alliance. Cooperators are Randall County Feed Yard, King Ranch
Feed Yard, Iowa Beef Processors, Inc., Excel Corporation, Sam Kane Beef
Processors, Inc., West Texas A&M University and the Federal-State
Livestock Market News Service. This program is one of many supported by
the statewide county Extension network, which needs additional state
funding if it is going to continue to have the capacity to deliver
educational programs to citizens across Texas, agency officials say.

"After a decade of funding constraints, the Extension Service needs
additional monies to ensure county-level staffing is adequate," said Dr.
Zerle Carpenter, director of the Extension Service. "We are making every
effort to work with the state legislature and county government to keep
this system in place."

Rural loans easier to obtain

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"Emergency loans and grants are easier to obtain than ever before for
rural communities," said Sherie Hinton, Acting State Director for USDA
Rural Development. ~A new regulation change has great timing because of
the current drought situation across the state of Texas."

Originally, emergency aid through the Rural Utilities Service, an
agency that falls under the Rural Development (formerly Farmers Home
Administration) mission area, was only available after a Presidential
Declaration was declared. There no longer has to be a
Presidentially-declared disaster for a community to qualify for these
supplemental funds. Funds for this program are limited, and will be
allocated by the RUS National Office

RUS offers loans and grants for water and wastewater systems that have
suffered an emergency disaster within the last two years which resulted
in a significant decline in quantity or quality of water. Funds can be
used to alleviate the problems created by the emergency.

To be eligible for assistance, the applicant must be a public body or a
non-profit corporation serving rural areas and towns of up to 10,000
residents. Qualified applicants should submit a preapplication with a
letter giving extensive details explaining the nature and date of the
natural disaster, the need for emergency assistance due to a significant
decline in quality or quantity of water, and how the proposed
improvements will correct the problem. A comprehensive cost estimate
should also be included.

If you have questions about this program, please contact the Rural
Utilities Service staff located at 101 South Main, Suite 102, Temple,
Texas, 76501, or call 817-774-1306.

Rural Development, as an equal opportunity lender, makes loans or
grants to individuals or groups and guarantees to approved lenders
without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial
status, and
handicap. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to: Secretary of
Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
The Texas Sheep & Goat Commodity Board is busy preparing for another
biennial election to elect one director from each of our three districts.

Directors whose terms expire in 1996 are: Ernest Woodward from District
One, Perry Bushong from District Two, and Billy Roeder from District

The election will use a mail-in ballot and pre-addressed return
envelope format using a list of known producers within the 111 county
referendum compiled for this purpose. Formal date of the election will
be Tuesday, October 29, 1996, and all ballots must be postmarked prior
to midnight of that date to be considered valid.

Severat ballots witt also be mailed to each County Extension Agent in
the referendum area for producers who are eligible to vote and do not
receive a ballot by mail. Any person residing in the referendum area
that is in the business of producing, or causing to be produced sheep
and/or goats for commercial purposes within the referendum area, or who
is required to pay the assessment, is eligible to vote.

Start thinking about who you would like to see as a director to
represent your District. Forms have been developed for producers to
nominate candidates to be placed on the official ballot for each
district. They will be available from your county agent, one of the
current directors, and the TS&GCB once in San Angelo. Nomination forms
should be mailed to the TS&GCB Office as soon as the required ten
signatures of support by producers from the district have been obtained.
(Producers supporting the nomination must reside in the district of the
nominee they support and be eligible to vote in the election).

Survey counts exotic animals

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A total of 198,060 head of hoofed exotic animals were reported in a
special survey conducted by the Texas Agricultural Statistics Service.
The survey was sponsored by the Exotic Wildlife Association and funded
by the Second Ark Foundation. The purpose of the survey was to obtain a
comprehensive inventory of exotic hoofstock in Texas as of May 1. 1996.

The survey population included farms and ranches in the state, as well
as zoos, petting zoos, safaris, circuses and other operations owning
exotic hoofstock.

Exotic hoofstock were reported in 194 of the 254 counties in the state.
One thousand and seven operations reported owing exotic hoofstock.
Seventy-nine percent (157,308 head) of Texas' exotic hoofstock were
reported to be confined within high fencing; the remaining 21 percent
(40,752 head) were reported to be free-ranging animals. Of the
free-ranging exotics, most were deer and antelope.

High fences for confining exotic hoofstock were reported to enclose
908,306 acres in the state. Free-ranging animals were reported to have
access to 2,199,125 acres of farm and ranch land in the state.

The largest exotic hoofstock inventory in the state was deer, with
105,886 head reported in the survey. Axis deer accounted for 55,424 of
the total exotic deer. Texas' second largest exotic hoofstock inventory
was antelope, with 51,498 head reported; 35,328 were blackbuck antelope.

An inventory of 30,428 head of exotic sheep were reported. The exotic
goat inventory totaled 5,110 head. Buffaloes accounted for 1,759 head of
exotic hoofstock. The llama inventory totaled 1,387. The inventory of
zebras was 646, and there were 437 gazelles reported. Also reported were
camels, exotic cattle, elephants, giraffes, gnus/wildebeests,
hippopotamuses, exotic oxen and rhinoceroses.
For additional information regarding this report, contact the Exotic
Wildlife Association at (210) 367-4997 or write to the ERWA at 216
Highway 27 West, Ingram TX 78025.

Farmer-Stockman Show boasts

largest outdoor working farm

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The fourth annual Farmer-Stockman Show is scheduled for October 8-10 in
Lubbock. The largest outdoor working farm and ranch show in the
southwestern United States, boasts 800 acres of show site with 54 acres
of stationary exhibits and 600 acres of crops for field demonstrations.
Crops to be harvested during the show are corn, cotton and alfalfa.

In addition to the many field demonstrations, the exhibit field will be
covered with the latest in agricultural technology. Companies will
exhibit tractors, combines, cotton strippers, tillage equipment,
spraying equipment, irrigation equipment, seed, chemicals, fertilizers,
livestock equipment, trucks, trailers, and many more services and

It's no wonder the most commonly heard comment from first time visitors
is, "I can't believe how big this show is! I need more than one day to
see it all!"

The busy three day schedule will include a variety of activities for
the entire family. For producers, field demonstrations exhibit modem
machinery in harvesting, tillage, and hay handling. Livestock
demonstrations have been expanded this year with live cattle handling
demonstrations, horse training sessions, cutting horse demonstrations,
and current topic seminars.

A new section of the show will address wildlife issues with relation to
agriculture, and a variety of new exhibitors will display their wares.
The popular Family Living area has expanded programs on food safety,
healthy lifestyles, farm safety, quilting and fashion shows. Crafters
and antique exhibits are available for a unique shopping opportunity.

A trip down memory lane will also be at the show with the antique
tractor and equipment exhibits. Over 60 individual exhibits will
participate in this event, and many of the tractors can be seen running
in the parade scheduled for 11:21 a.m. daily.

Continuing education courses are also offered during the show. Two
programs will allow producers to receive CEU credits for attending. The
first course, Cotton Plant Mapping, is scheduled daily at 10:30 a.m.
And, the afternoon course at 2 p.m. daily is Tex-A-Syst - a rural well
water assessment program.

The Farmer-Stockman Show is 1.5 miles east of Loop 289 on East 50th
Street. Show hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission charge is $5 per
person, 18 or younger free.

Wildlife exhibit

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Wildlife may not be a household name, but the Farmer-Stockman Show is
hoping to change that perception. A new wildlife exhibit and
presentation area will be featured at the show in Lubbock Oct 8-10.

"This year, we have concentrated on including wildlife programs and
exhibits to improve the show and hopefully to appeal to another
audience," said Monica Hightower, show manger.

Four wildlife related programs will be presented by Texas Parks and
Wildlife personnel. Gene Miller, technical guidance biologist, will
discuss what your options are for Managing CRP Land for Wildlife.

Jim Ray, waterfowl biologist, will present Managing Playa Lakes for
Wildlife Use.

Calvin Richardson, wildlife biologist, will present Brush Management
for Wildlife and Economic Value of Wildlife.

Several wildlife-related exhibitors and other programs will be
presented in the wildlife exhibit tent during the three-day show.

Hotline aids producers

to locate hay for stock

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Texas Farmers Union has established a toll-free HOTLINE for farmers and
ranchers in the drought stricken areas of Texas who need hay for their
livestock. The service, which will hook up donated hay with needy
livestock producers, will be coordinated by Farm Aid.

In addition, HOTLINE callers can request information regarding credit,
family, personal and stress management, which will be provided free of
charge by Lutheran Social Services of the South, Inc.

"We're seeing the kind of devastation we haven't seen since the Great
Depression in some Texas counties," TFU President Wes Sims said. "Texas
Farmers Union wants to help lessen the burden and stress of farmers and
livestock producers."

Sims says his organization hopes the hay HOTLINE will provide producers
in dire need enough forage to keep their seed stock, so that they will
have a source of income in the future.

The first priority of the HOTLINE will be to get hay to the producers
who are dependent on farming for their livelihood and who will face
immediate crisis if they do not receive donated forage. Producers who
have less dire circumstances will be asked to contribute to the cost of
transporting the donated forage.

"We hope this service will provide help to farmers and livestock
producers, and that it will mushroom as we promote Farm Aid's drought
assistance program nationwide through the media, as well as through our
affiliation with National Farmers Union, an organization representing
nearly 300,000 farm and ranch families," said Sims. "We will seek hay
donations for drought-stricken states and encourage other Farmers Union
states to provide a similar service."

The HOTLINE became operational Sept. 1. Producers who can donate hay,
as well as those in need of hay may call the toll-free HOTLINE at
1-888-264-4429 or FAX the toll-free HOTLINE 1-800-294-1631.

Offers land giveaway

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Associated Press Writer

LEFORS, Texas (AP) - Since the oil bust hit a decade ago, there's not
much left in this Texas Panhandle town.

A couple of swimming holes keep the few kids still here entertained in
the summer and, on Thursdays, the senior citizens' club serves a mean
potluck lunch. Watching a good thunderstorm blow across the rolling
plains always makes for an entertaining afternoon.

But that's about it. When the oil wells were capped and the workers
moved out, Lefors lost two grocery stores, a bowling alley, a bar and
one-third of its population. Only about 600 people remain, and
enrollment is so low that the local school is in danger of closing.

So, with ingenuity born of desperation, School Superintendent Norman
Baxter and Mayor Bob Jones came up with a plan over coffee one morning:
People could write in and, if they were lucky enough, they just might
end up with a piece of Lefors - for nothing.

Twelve vacant lots that failed to sell at auction - worth roughly $150
to $400 apiece - are up for grabs in a drawing Oct. 14. The only
requirement is that each winner put a trailer on the lot or begin
construction in a house within six months.

Before the deadline passed for entries last month, more than 480
postcards streamed in from as far away as California and Maine.

Baxter and Jones are crossing their fingers that the gimmick will
attract young families, restaurateurs and other wholesome, friendly

``We make no discrimination,'' Jones says. ``Of course, we'd like
people with 18 or 20 kids.''

But what Lefors wants and what Lefors gets could be two very different

Meet, for example, applicant Becky Bremmer. She lives with her husband
in a trailer home south of nearby Amarillo. Both are in their 50s and
don't work because of disabilities.

``We want to get farther away from our kids,'' Mrs. Bremmer says. ``I
want to say no when they ask me to baby-sit.''

Then there's Susan Daughety, a Dallas nurse fed up with traffic and
crowds who doesn't like the cramped quarters of her trailer home park.

``Kids play ball here and keep hitting the house and I have to keep
yelling at them,'' she says. ``I don't feel like I need a lot of other
people to get along.''

Not exactly kid-friendly, young families.

If history is destined to repeat itself, in fact, the last thing Lefors
will get is the June and Ward Cleavers of the world.

``I wish them well, but It's not going to work. It's doomed to fail,''
says William W. Savage Jr., a history professor at the University of

``They think they're going to attract the middle class, people with
money to invest, people who are going to add something. The historical
likelihood is that just the opposite is going to happen.''

A century ago, during the land runs of Oklahoma homesteading, most
people lured to the free land were ``bums and losers'' who wanted
something for nothing, Savage notes. And Lefors, he warns, shouldn't
expect any better.

The one thing town officials have going for them, Savage says, is that
they only have 12 lots to give away.

``If they had 40, they'd be up to their hips in trouble by sundown,''
he says.

In more recent history, what sounded so good in Antler, N.D., quickly
turned into a nightmare. Twenty years ago, a benevolent farmer
advertised free land to attract families to - just like Lefors - boost
the economy and keep the school open.

``If it turns out like it did here,'' Antler Mayor Chester Engelstad
laments, ``we got all the scum of the earth moved in and that was it.''

About 40 people arrived, only a few with children. They put up either
decrepit trailers or drafty shacks that couldn't withstand a North
Dakota winter. Within months, many were in town begging for food and
unable to pay their utility bills. Only one man stayed five years, long
enough to claim ownership, but even he left.

`` A lot of the people tried to help get them started, but they refused
to work after they could find work,'' Engelstad says. ``That was the
kind of people they were.''

But Lefors is still optimistic.
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Tuesday, Aug. 27, 1996

Magic box greens up fields of alfalfa

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Staff Writer

PECOS. Aug. 27, 1996 - Pretty yellow butterflies flit from one lush
green plant to another in Jim Batteas' alfalfa field. But they're not so
pretty to Batteas.

Yellow butterflies lay eggs that hatch into a worm that eats alfalfa
leaves. They can devastate a crop in a hurry.

Batteas called in Reeves-Loving County extension agent C.W. Roberts to
evaluate the butterfly population and recommend whether or not to treat
the plants with insecticide.

Roberts recommended waiting, because the plants were about ready to mow
and bale for livestock feed.

"There is not enough damage from butterflies now to warrant spray," he
said. "There is some insect damage, but not nearly enough to pay to

If the butterflies lay eggs on short alfalfa plants that were recently
cut, the resulting larvae can be a problem, he said.

Bud Hayes, a salesman for a "magic box" that Batteas uses to treat his
irrigation water, said an electrical energy field created by the box
kills young alfalfa worms, and Batteas has not had to treat any of his
fields this year.

The electro static preciptor, or E.S.P., unit manufactured by Burkett
Energized Water Systems of Coleman, is the latest scientific application
of an age-old principle based on the sound laws of physics, Hayes said.

Water that passes through a controlled electro-static field has an
improved taste, is odor free, controls algae and electrolysis and is
environmentally safe.

Old scale is removed from pipes, and new scale is prevented from
forming without the use of chemicals.

While it does not remove salt from the water, it changes the chemical
makeup so the salt does not hurt plants. E.S.P. water clears leaf
surfaces of salt accumulation for better water/mineral/nutrient uptake
in the roots, Hayes said.

Soil percolation is greater and more efficient. The E.S.P. water keeps
the root area cleared of salts which will result in greater water,
nutrient and mineral uptake.

The plant uses less energy to acquire water and nutrients, making that
energy available for the purposes of plant maintenance, growth and
insect and disease resistance.

Salt, calciums, carbohydrate that are corrosive are all electron
hungry, Hayes said. The E.S.P. unit satisfies their hunger so they won't
bother the plants or root system.

"A healthy root system is the key to a healthy plant," he said.
"Electrons carry food to the plant. They help it to be stronger and
fight off insects.

Batteas' lush green field appears healthy enough to fight off any

"Here we have had tremendous luck on the worms this year," Hayes said.
"He hasn't had to spray yet for the alfalfa leaf form."

A.B. Foster also planted a test plot of sorghum and another of cotton
with water treated by the E.S.P. unit, but he said the results were
inconclusive because his stand was not good.

"We made a pretty good crop," he said. "More than we had previously on
cotton. I'm still not convinced it won't work and will do more testing.
So far it looks encouraging."

Charlie and Greg Mitchell use the system on their dairy for the cows'
drinking water supply, but have so far been unable to determine if it
has improved milk production.

Hayes said they guarantee the units to work or they will cheerfully
refund the cost.

"We may have to give the money back, but we will do it with a smile on
our face," he said.

The units are built in Port Isabel using 15-year-old technology.

Pressed for a price, Hayes said, "If it works, it is the cheapest thing
a man can buy."

Batteas said his units have paid for themselves this year in savings on
water and poison in four cuttings.

He said he paid $14 per system on wells that range in salts from 4,400
parts per million to 5,400 ppm.

His pivot irrigation systems are cleaner of sand and algae that grew in
the PVC pipe. The electronic energy killed the algae, he said.

The wells pump less sand because the charged water knocks scale and
rust off the pump and liner. The perforated liner is supposed to keep
sand and gravel out and keep the water clean.

"Salt water will rust and corrode it up where you can't get a good,
even flow of water into the perforations," Batteas said. "It has cleaned
the perforations out where I don't pump any more sand through my wells.
I don't have to clean the nozzles twice a week like I used to. Now we
clean them usually when we start."

He said he tries to make three circles with the pivot irrigation
systems, then shut down to cut the alfalfa every 21-24 days.

"Before I started using this "miracle box," I cut every 28-30 days," he
said. "It makes alfalfa grow faster with less water. I was making three
eight-day circles; now I make three six-day circles."

Batteas sowed the alfalfa circles seven years ago and has not had to

Rain, rather than being a blessing, is a curse to alfalfa fields
protected by the electrostatic field created by the small, green box
sitting atop Batteas' irrigation pipe.

"It washes down the electronic field," Hayes said. Fields that were not
rained on have no insect damage and make ½ to ¼ ton more than an older
field that was rained on and should have had the best hay."

The irrigation system drags hoses to emit water close to the root of
the alfalfa plants, rather than sprinkling them.

Salt water sprayed on alfalfa leaves will kill them, Batteas said.

And salt builds up in the soil.

"This is one reason we got the machines," Batteas said. "It is supposed
to break up the salt in the soil and leach it on down. It gets the root
system cleaned up so it grows faster and makes better use of fertilizer.
We spent lots of money on other circles trying to establish hay. You
have to get it up on rain water, or the second watering will kill it."

Roberts said that Batteas had a bad aphid problem year before last.

"In one or two sweeps (of a canvas net), I would get a handful," he

Healthy plants can withstand insect attacks much better than weaker
plants, Batteas said.

"If you have a weak plant, it catches everything that comes along," he

Hayes said that watering the field with treated water builds up the
energy field that kills the small worms.

Batteas is not relying solely on the "magic box," however. He sent soil
and water samples to a consultant in Minnesota for his recommendations
on a test plot of sudan.

"He's trying to come up with different things that will also help to
clean the soil up and get alfalfa started quick enough," Batteas said.

Before the magic box, though, Batteas spent over $70,000 on seed for
two circles and has nothing to show for it.

He now has five circles of alfalfa and sudan on land he contract farms
for Arnoldo Barless, a Brazilian living in New York City.

"He's a diamond dealer," Batteas said. "He can lose money on farming
and go buy another diamond to pay for it."

Newer technology is helping farmers save money by improving the water
and soil to farm more efficiently, he said.

"We have always had plenty of cheap feed and cheap food, but so many
farmers are going out now, they are starting to spend some money so we
can learn how to produce crops with salty water and take care of the

Knowing when and how much to water is one key to successful farming,
Roberts said.

If you water too often or not often enough, your field can be hit by
cotton root rot, and there is no cure for it, he said.

"You can lose your whole stand because there's nothing you can do about

Asked how he knows when and how much to water, Batteas said it is by
trial and error.

Yellow leaves on the plants indicate they are stressed, usually from
not enough water or from packed soil that won't let the water get to the

"I killed some of this the last watering trying to run slow enough to
put in an experimental plot of alfalfa," he said. "You just do the best
you can under the circumstances."

While hail is a menace to most crops in Reeves County, it does little
damage to alfalfa, Batteas said. It may knock off a few leaves, but they
will grow right back. Wind hurts it some, but not that bad, he said.

"This has been the windiest year we have had in 100 years, and I still
made more production than before."

And all because of a "magic box" little larger than a shoe box.

Game warden eager to work with landowners

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Staff Writer

PECOS, TX, Aug. 27, 1996 - Jim Allen listed Reeves County as his first
choice for a duty station upon his graduation from the Texas Parks and
Wildlife training academy in Austin July 31.

And the Sonora native is thrilled to be assigned here.

"I felt like I was lucky to get West Texas," Allen said. "I couldn't
ask for a better duty station."

When you think of a game warden, you may envision a stern, uniformed
peace officer who enforces hunting and fishing regulations.

But Allen sees his work as much more than enforcement.

"A big part of my duty is to teach folks about how to protect wildlife
resources and teach them about firearms and safety," he said.

Serving the public is Number 1. Ranchers and farmers are the
landholders, and that's where wildlife resources are going to be, he

"It is a unique position where you are able to work with and for them
along with the public in helping protect wildlife resources and also
help teach people different aspects of how to protect certain animals
and fish," he said.

Working with youth to teach them about wildlife and nature in general
is important to the young man who loves the out-of-doors and people.

"Youngsters can enjoy outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, and
I enjoy teaching them things," he said.

He hopes to teach classes in boater education, hunter safety and
fishing education for all ages.

"There's been folks 75-80 years old who took hunter safety education
courses with their grandson or granddaughter, and they really enjoy it,"
Allen said.

In enforcing the law, Allen will not be patrolling, just looking for
violators of hunting, fishing and boating laws.

"When you are in the country and you come across these individuals, you
make sure they are following the laws," he said.

Game wardens are state peace officers who have statewide jurisdiction.
They help out other agencies as they are needed.

Allen made the rounds getting acquainted with local officers last week.

"I am looking forward to working with other wardens and other law
enforcement agencies in Reeves and surrounding counties," he said.

Not only will he work Reeves County, Allen will help Robert French with
Ward and Loving counties and Randall Brown in Jeff Davis County.

Allen is familiar with the area, since he graduated from Sul Ross State
University with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice.

Coming from Marfa last Saturday, Allen enjoyed seeing the mountains

"I am looking forward to dove season coming up next month,": he said.
"I have heard it is a big season here in Reeves County. I am looking
forward to getting out and learning the county and meeting the farmers
and ranchers."

He said anyone having questions should contact him at home or through
the Reeves County Sheriff's Office.

Allen and his wife, Catherine, have moved into their new residence at
414 S. Elm Street, where they share cooking duties in the kitchen.

Cooking is one of Allen's hobbies. His specialty is any type of
southwestern recipe.

"I like to open any cookbook and try just about anything," he said. "In
the mall, the first place I go to is the cook books."

He also enjoys reading, especially Elmer Kelton books, jogging and
spending time with his wife of three years.

Catherine is a student at Angelo State University in San Angelo,
majoring in special education for all levels. She expects to be a May,
1997 graduate.

Allen's mother is an ASU professor, and his Dad is a coach. He is the
older brother of two sisters, one in college and one working for the
First National Bank of Sonora in San Angelo.

He played football and ran track with his Dad as coach during high
school at Wolfforth.

"It was unique having him as father on one side and coach on the
other," Allen said. "That was interesting and made you work a little
extra hard, because if you didn't do good on the field or track, you
would kind of be hinted at at home. I enjoyed it and summers in the
cotton fields."

Questioned about the veracity of that last statement, Allen admitted he
didn't really like working 14 hours in the hot sun, but he did enjoy
fellowship with other teenagers working alongside him.

Fellowship and working with others seems to be Allen's top priorities.
He has enjoyed meeting new people in Pecos, where he and Catherine have
been made to feel welcome.

"There is a lot of good folks," he said. "We are looking forward to a
long stay here."



By C.W. Roberts

Manage grazing during drought

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(Article 4 in a Series of 5)

Stocking rate and grazing management decisions during drought may be
the most important decisions made. The effects of these decisions go far
beyond survival during the drought and greatly influence recovery
drought. No two ranches are completely identical and as such, need to
make stocking rate and grazing management decisions during drought that
are compatible with the goals of the operation. This article is intended
to highlight options for stocking rate and grazing management decisions
during drought.

Ranch forage supplies must be constantly evaluated to match supply with
demand. There's an old saying that goes: "Your income got's to exceed
your outgo lest your upkeep be your downfall". While primarily talking
about financial situations, this can be applied to forage situations.
Forage supply must meet or exceed forage demand or the forage base may
eventually contribute to the demise of the operation. Reduction in
stocking rates during drought pays big dividends in terms of less damage
to desirable forage plants, rapid recovery of the range following
drought, reduced supplemental feeding costs, and reduced losses to toxic
plants, just to name a few.

When talking about reduction in stocking rate, herd mix may be the most
important factor. Flexibility must be built into the herd. In general,
breeding herds should constitute no more than 60 percent of the total
carrying capacity of the ranch during normal years, with the remainder
of the herd composed of held-over yearlings or stocker type animals.
When drought conditions occur and forage supplies are limiting,
livestock numbers can be reduced by selling the stockers or yearlings
first without destroying the integrity of the breeding herd.

When the drought becomes even more severe and breeding animals must be
reduced, accurate herd performance records become extremely important.
These should be maintained such that when reducing the breeding herd
becomes necessary, the least productive animals can be identified and
culled first. Another alternative is to find alternative feed sources
such as wheat pasture, crop aftermath, or perhaps in the near future,
expired CRP acreage.

Rotational grazing systems may provide alternative options during
drought situations. Most grazing systems are designed to give plants
rest from grazing. Because plants are under stress during drought, they
need a longer period of rest to recover from grazing. Rotational grazing
or adjustments in rotational grazing plans may give adequate rest to
plants. In a rotation system, pasture numbers may be increased within
the system or the length of stay in a single pasture increased to
facilitate longer periods of rest.
EDITOR'S NOTE: C.W. Roberts is county extension agent for agriculture in
Reeves and Loving counties. He writes a guest column each month for
Living off the land.

Cool season grass hot crop under irrigation

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Even in the midst of the recent drought conditions in the plains states
region, cattlemen are reporting some very impressive success stories
with Matua bromegrass under irrigation.
"Interest in Matua is still very high in spite of the recent weather
conditions," according to Keith Carmichael of CuttingEdge Agri
Products-the nation's largest seller of Matua. "We've been surprised at
the number of inquiries this year, and because producers are beginning
to "get a handle" on how to manage this grass, we're seeing more large
plantings of 1000 acres or more." Although beef prices are in a
relentless down cycle, a recent poll done by Cutting-Edge found many
producers using Matua very satisfied. Reasons given included:
performance of the cattle, cost of gain, animal health, and hay quality.
"Many producers are getting $.40-.45 per pound on the gain basis," says
Carmichael, "and we nearly always have a list of people looking to put
cattle on Matua."
In every part of the country, producers are finding that cattle show a
real preference for Matua over other forages, including wheat, and they
perform well on it. A producer near Lazbuddie, Texas, reported average
fall gains of 2.89 lbs. per day and one near Muleshoe recorded 3.2 lbs.
per day. "These were 'pay-weights' from the producer," says Carmichael,
"and, after all, those are the only ones that matter anyway."
One feedlot manager polled, who also carefully monitors his grazing
system, reported 93,000 head days on one circle (120 acres) during an 11
month period ending in October. "I know they grazed it during November
to go completely around the calendar," adds Carmichael. "That would be
well over 100,000 head-days for the year, and the cattle averaged just
over 2 lbs. per day."
Just down the road on the edge of Muleshoe, another producer recorded
40,000 head-days during the fall season on a newly planted 120 acre
circle of Matua. In this system, early spring growth was chopped and
bagged. Even though the grass was completely "freeze-dried" and
literally "blew away" in February, it was cut twice this spring-yielding
14.4 tons at 62% moisture (5.5 ton DM). Presently there are 855 head
weighing nearly 500 lbs. grazing on the system in 15 acre cells. The
cattle, which are "dry-lotted" each evening and fed haylage, go to a new
cell every 1-2 days. In this system the producer is able to maintain
these numbers and the same high quality forage "all the way through." In
this producer's opinion, "management is the key" to maintaining
consumption and animal performance.
In virtually every case, producers grazing Matua have found that some
of it must be chopped or hayed at some point in order to stay ahead of
its rapid spring growth and maintain forage quality.

Even though Matua is a cool season grass that can provide a lot of
"winter grazing" in some areas, it continues to grow through the summer
months under irrigation. Research done by Dr. Ed Houston at the Texas A
& M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center in San Angelo
last summer shows Matua producing a ton per acre every 30 days
throughout June, July, and August with annual yield of over 8,000 lbs per

During a field day at the station in October in which he presented this
data, Dr. Houston told the group, "We're trying to be cautious, but I
have to admit, we're pretty excited about the Matua." Events this spring
led Dr. Houston to be even more optimistic. A fall planting near the
center went completely dormant during the winter. "It received
absolutely no water," he said."

Then on April 1 it revived. "Every plant came back alive; I don't
believe there was a single plant that didn't survive. I couldn't believe
it," he said.

"Matua has passed its first test with me," he adds. "Surviving the
summer and dry winter conditions-I believe it deserves a good look in
this part of the country."

Some producers seem almost relentless as they try to push this New
Zealand brome to try to find what its limits are. One cattleman near
Plainview, Texas placed 450 head of cattle weighing 450 lbs. on 90 acres
of spring planted Matua in late May.

"When we visited at the Farm Show in October," recalls Carmichael, "all
but 90 head were still on that circle. We sat down and calculated that
he was running over 3000 lbs. per acre through July and August. We just
haven't recommended that, especially on that new of a stand."

Producers were asked to compare Matua to wheat pasture. "The real
difference," states one producer who chops and bags both wheat and
Matua, "is from June to October. Matua just keeps on going after the
wheat is done-that's all bonus, plus you don't have to replant like you
do with wheat."

One producer polled, who manages well over 500 acres of Matua near
Lazbuddie, Texas, put it another way, " We can `graze-out' wheat or we
can graze right on through the summer with Matua-it's really not much of
a choice. Besides, I get tired of replanting each fall."

One cattleman in his second year using Matua near Del City, Texas, is
"very pleased." "We're running between 2,000 and 2,300 lbs per acre now,
and the relative feed value is running 150. I would have to say that the
cattle are doing as good as they could on anything-even the best wheat
pasture you could find," he said.

All producers polled seemed to agree; the key is management. "It
responds to everything you can do to it," says one Friona, Texas,
cattleman, "and it has everything we want. Everyone we know who has it
likes it."

For more information or a free video on Matua, contact Cutting-Edge
Agri Products, 800-753-6511.

Hay supply down 15 percent;

Perry offers help to ranchers

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AUSTIN (AP) - Production of cotton, corn, peanuts and hay in Texas are
down from last year because of the ongoing drought, according to
Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry.

Texas, the nation's top cotton-producing state, is estimated to produce
3.65 million bales, down 18 percent from last year and only the second
time since 1990 that the Texas cotton crop would drop below 4 million
bales, Perry said Monday.

``These numbers tell us just how severe this drought has been and the
toll it's taken on Texas crops,'' Perry said. ``Right now, we're looking
at more than 1 million acres of Upland cotton abandoned across the state
because of drought-related problems.''

Perry said more than 600,000 acres were abandoned on the southern High
Plains, the state's largest cotton-producing area.

Upland cotton production on the southern High Plains is estimated at
1.95 million bales, down 5 percent from last year. Recent rains across
the region have improved the condition of this year's crop, Perry said.

Texas corn production is estimated at 162 million bushels, down 25
percent from last year. Lack of timely rains during the growing season
has reduced statewide yield, which is expected to average 90 bushels per
acre, down 24 bushels from last year, he said.

Some corn producers in South Texas were not able to get a uniform stand
because of dry planting conditions, and producers had to delay harvest
in scattered areas, Perry said.

Dry weather also has cut production of the Texas hay crop. Total
production for all hay is estimated at about 6.9 million tons, down 15
percent from last year and the smallest hay crop since 1988, Perry said.

``Many of our livestock producers will be going into the fall and
winter months with low hay supplies, so I'm reminding producers to
contact the Texas Department of Agriculture's Hay Hotline to get a list
of suppliers who have hay for sale,'' Perry said.

Texas peanut production is estimated at 522.5 million pounds, 3 percent
below last year's crop, Perry said. Statewide average yield is down 100
pounds from 1995.

Texas sorghum production is expected to increase 36 percent from last
year to more than 102.6 million cwt. Although statewide average yield is
down from last year, harvested acreage increased 63 percent to 3.9
million acres, Perry said.

The Agriculture Department's Hay Hotline is (800) 687-7564.

Drought cuts production

of spring-planted crops

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The full effects of the 1996 drought are evident with the first
production forecast of spring-planted crops released by the Texas
Agricultural Statistics Service.

The 1996 Texas Upland cotton crop is expected to total 3.65 million
bales, 18 percent below 1995. Harvested acreage is estimated at 4.1
million acres, 29 percent less than last year. Dry conditions at
planting time, coupled with continued drought, caused poor stands and
many acres were abandoned. Yield is expected to average 427 pounds per
acre compared with 372 pounds last year.

Corn production is forecast at 162 million bushels, down 25 percent
from last year and 32 percent below the record set in 1994. Based on
August 1 conditions, statewide yield is expected to average 90 bushels
per acre, 24 bushels less than 1995 while harvested acreage is expected
to be down 5 percent.

Texas peanut production is expected to decrease 3 percent from last
year to 522.5 million pounds. Statewide yield, at 1,900 pounds per acre,
is down 100 pounds from last year, while harvested acreage increased 2
percent to 275,000 acres. Irrigated peanuts have made good progress
across the state this year, but dryland peanuts have suffered from

Sorghum production is forecast at 102.6 million hundredweight, 41
percent above last year. Harvested acreage is estimated at 3.90 million
acres, up 63 percent, as sorghum replaced some lost cotton acreage.
Yield, at 2,632 pounds per acre, is expected to be 392 pounds below last

The 1996 soybean crop is forecast at 7.02 million bushels, up 17
percent from last year's production. Harvested acreage increased 13
percent, and yield is expected to average 26 bushels per acre, compared
with 25 last year.

United States corn production, at 8.69 billion bushels, increased 18
percent from last year's crop. A yield of 188.7 bushels per acre is
forecast, up 5.2 bushels from last year.

The sorghum crop is expected to increase 59 percent, to 410.9 million
cwt. The U.S. Upland cotton crop is expected to total 18 million bales,
up 3 percent from last year.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.3 billion bushels, 7 percent above
last year. The U.S. peanut crop is estimated at 3.3 billion pounds, 3
percent below a year ago.

Hundreds die each year in farming accidents

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The National Safety Council seeks to protect farm families through a
media safety campaign each year.

Each year hundreds of people are killed in farm-related accidents in
the United States. While agriculture is an icon of American history, it
also is one of the most dangerous industries in America. Safety and
health education can play an important role in reducing fatalities and
mjurles on tarms.

This year is the 53rd anniversary of National Farm Safety and Health
Week. During the week of September 15 - 21, 1996, the National Safety
Council encourages all Americans to put special emphasis on farm safety.

Throughout the 52 years of this observance, progress has been made in
some areas, still other areas are a growing concern to the oldest
industry in the U.S. For example, the average age of the American farmer
is approaching 55 years. Also, 1995 U.S. data shows the number one
killer of farmers 65 years of age and over is tractor overturns.

In addition, thousands of children are injured on farms each year. Many
farm tasks are being performed by young children currently living on
farms. The average age for a child to drive a tractor on the road is 12

Appropriate protective measures should be taken when a farm task
involves children.

Gerard F. Scannell is president of the National Safety Council, a
nongovemmental not-for-profit international public service organization
protecting life and promoting health.

He can be reached at 1121 Spring Lake Drive, Itasca, IL, 60143-3201 -
(708) 285-1121, FAX (708) 285-1315.

Pool to be honored at Permian Basin Oil Show

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ODESSA, TX - The Permian Basin Oil Show has announced that the 1996 Oil
Show Honoree is Frank M. Pool, founder of Pool Company, according to Don
Narrell, PBOS Honoree Committee Chairman.

"We're proud to have Frank Pool as our 1996 Honoree," said W. R. "Bro"
Hill, 1996 PBOS President. "Frank Pool's leadership and enthusiasm in
the petroleum industry and his community make his an extraordinary

Pool is the show's 31st Honoree since 1952. The Permian Basin Oil Show
is the world's largest inland exhibition of oilfield products and

Frank Pool was born in 1918 in Grandview. He graduated from Texas A&M
University in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum
Engineering. Pool began his engineering career with Humble Oil and
Refining Company in East Texas the summer before he graduated. After
graduation, Pool went to work for Humble Oil as the District Petroleum
Engineer in the Gulf Coast Area until he was called to duty in the
United States Army as a Second Lieutenant in 1942. He was later promoted
to the rank of Major as a Task Force Commander.

Upon completion of his military career in October 1945, Pool returned
to work for Humble Oil and Refining Company where he again worked on the
Gulf Coast. In January 1948, Pool and his family moved to San Angelo, to
be closer to his wife's family in Mertzon, Texas. He established Pool
Company with one rig and a one-room office. Pool's hard work and long
hours have brought Pool Company to international recognition for the
company's domestic and international operations based in all the oil
producing states in the United States and in 16 foreign countries.
Today, the company's headquarters are located in Houston, Texas.

Pool served on the Board of Directors for Pool Energy Services Co.
until his retirement in 1995. He currently acts as a consultant for the
Along with his outstanding entrepreneurial skills, Pool played a major
role in shaping the future of the well servicing industry. In 1956, he
and other well servicing contractors founded the Association of Oil Well
Servicing Contractors in Odessa. The mission was to unify the industry
to enable it to meet ~the challenges of governmental regulators, safety,
technology, insurance and contractor/operator relations. Pool was
elected the first President. This year the association broadened the
base of membership to include all energy service companies and is now
recognized as the Association of Energy Service Companies.

Other petroleum related organizations have also been touched by Pool's
leadership. He is a former director of Texas Commerce Bank, General
Telephone Company of the Southwest, the International Association of
Drilling Contractors, the Permian Basin Oil Show and the Board of
Trustees of Hardin Simmons University. He was a member of the Well
Servicing Task Force Group of the National Petroleum Council's Committee
of American Petroleum Institute, Southwest District, a current member of
the West Texas Geological Society.

Pool married Elizabeth Hughes of Mertzon in February 1946. They have
three children, Frank M. Pool, Jr., Mary Ellen Hartje and Martha Jean
Elder, and six grandchildren.

Pool served on the Board of San Angelo Independent School District and
held an elected office for the State Board of Education District 21. He
was also Chairman of the Regional School Board. He has served as council
person and member of the Boy Scouts of America. Pool currently serves on
the Board of Deacons at First Baptist Church of San Angelo.
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