Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 30
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30 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
Hawaii station (coop. USDA) imported 6,000 fireflies representing
both species and released them in a number of swampy areas in the
Islands. There are no other fireflies in Hawaii.
The larvae of the fireflies make tiny slashes in the soft snail when
it emerges from the hard shell, and introduce a paralyzing agent
that keeps the snail from drawing itself back into its shell. The
flesh becomes liquefied and the firefly larva "drinks" its meal. In
the course of its life one larva may kill a number of snails. If climatic
and other conditions are not too different between Japan and the
Hawaiian Islands the fireflies will adapt themselves to their new
environment and multiply. If they become established it will be
some time before their effect on snail populations and the incidence
of liver fluke infestations in cattle becomes evident.
The Georgia station observed a marked increase in the infection
by parasites of nursing calves kept on late summer pastures. This
apparently is associated with a decrease in or cessation of milk production
by the dams of these calves, and a lowering in the quality
and quantity of pasture herbage available. Late summer and fall
appears to be the time when calves may need treatment for parasite
control, or when special provision should be made for a nutritionally
adequate grazing-feeding program for the calves.
Yearling beeves at this station became severely infected by internal
parasites on tall fescue pastures. They finished out poorly and sold
at lower prices than cattle on crimson clover or on a temportary
winter pasture of mixed grasses. Supplementary feeding of corn
decreased internal parasitism in the cattle on all three types of winter
pasture and permitted them to make normal gains and acquire a
finish on fescue grazing.
Spring-dropped, younger calves as a group had over three times
as many worms at post mortem as fall-dropped calves. The spring
calves on crimson clover and on temporary winter pasture in 1952-53
had worm infections as high or higher than the spring calves on
fescue. The spring calves on crimson clover and temporary winter
pasture gained faster and showed little or no parasitic pathology,
whereas the spring calves on fescue made poor gains and showed
pathology of the stomach indicative of severe parasite infection. It
appears that the relatively poor nutritive value of fescue grass predisposed
the animals on that type of grazing to the harmful effects
Parasite-free calves of 5 and 6 months of age at the North Carolina
station picked up heavy parasite populations from paddocks that
had been heavily parasitized for 5 years and then left idle for two
winters and a grazing season. Prolonged drought periods made overgrazing
more severe. The calves were undernourished and appeared
not to have even normal resistance to parasitism. All of the species
of parasites previously found on these paddocks were present in sufficient
numbers to develop parasitism in young calves.
It was evident under these conditions that the period when the
paddocks were host-free was too short to free them of the parasite populations
to a point where they were safe for young calves. It was
also evident that young calves can harvest too many parasites when
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/32/: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.