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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
December 26, 1985     The Ponchatoula Times
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December 26, 1985

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1985 not a good farm year An economist with the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service predicts a sharp decline in net farm income for 1985, saying current forecasts call for a drop of around $10 billion. Dr. Clyde St. Clergy says forecasts call for 1985 farm income to be in the $20 billion range, a substantial drop from the 1984 level of $34.5 billion. If that prediction holds true, it will mark the third consecutive decline in net farm income, St. Clergy said. However, the Extension Service economist says problems for farmers don't stop with the losses in net income, Cash income for 1985 also is expected to drop, and St. Clergy says combining that with declines in farm equity puts farmers in quite a bind, "It really puts farmers in a maior stress position as far as credit is concerned," St. Clergy says. "First, their cash flow is declining, which makes it difficult for them to repay loans which they already have outstanding. "On the other hand .... you have a decline in equity," the Extension Service economist says, explaining that the equity problem has been created by drops in land values, which fell by 12 percent in 1984. "The net effect is when a farmer goes to the banker to attempt to borrow money for his next crop, he is in a relatively poor position," St. Clergy adds. "His income has dropped, which means he is having problems paying both principal and interest on previous loans. Stop home wood decay Many people assume that decay is a problem only associated with older homes. This is not necessarily the case. says forester Dr. Bob Mills of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service. "Decay can be just as much of a problem in homes that are only a few years old. People also assume that termite inspections and termite treat- ments will assure safety and structural integrity. Neither provides assurance that decay or factors that can lead to decay are not present," he says. Decay is caused by a microscopic plant called fungus, notes Mills. The funga[ spores are constantly in the air. If a fungal spore lands on wood and the conditions are proper, it will begin to grow, sending thread-like strands deep into the wood. Fungi use part of the wood substance as food. As they develop, more wood is consumed and begins'to lose strength and structure until the wood is destroyed, The key to preventing or controlling decay is to control the moisture in the wood, says Mills. Decay fungi need a wood moisture content of about 28 percent to grow in the wood and continue development. When you maintain wood moisture below this critical level. decay will not occur. It is recommended that the moisture content be kept below 20 percent, tf the wood has started to decay, lowering the moisture content below the critical level will stop the decay. With the wood dry. the decay fungi will be dormant and eventually die. Preservative sprays do not stop decay, but may reduce it for a time. The moisture content of wood depends upon the relative humidity and temperature of the air. the Extension forester continues. ]n [,ouisiana. condi  firms are ida] fr t},  m'i-hlrc "',tent of wood to remain at around 12 to 14 percent. This is well below the critical level, unless moisture is present from other sources. Areas under the house often harbor moisture. In crawl space under a home, sources of water are often present, including the soil itself. The soil's moisture will evaporate into the air in the crawl space, Poor drainage and leaking pipes can also contribute to the moisture problem. See whether rain water runs off or under the house. If ventilation in the crawl space is adequate, excess moisture may be removed. Poor venti- lation will keep the moisture level under the home high, increasing the humidity in the crawl space and making the wood a prime target for decay organisms. Ventilation in many new homes is not adequate, even though it may meet building code requirements. Plastic sheeting placed on the ground in the crawl space will help. but it may not be enough if ventilation is poor. Mills says wood under the house should be checked for evidence of decay and termites. Termites require 20 percent or more moisture to survive and often occur in conjunction with decay. Study drainage patterns around the house during or after heavy rains. The ground around the perimeter of the house should be sloped or channeled to make water run away from the home. In cold weather, he says mildew on framing under the home. moist soil under the home. and caulking outside the home are areas to examine. For more information on keeping wood from decaying and identifying termite problems, Mills says to contact a county agent at the parish Extension office. CITIZENS IN SERVICE Wainwright AIR FORCE Air National Guard Airman Latitia Wainwright, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse C. Wheat of 30595 Adagio Lane. Albany. La.. has been assigned to Keesler Air Force Base. Miss.. after completing Air Force basic training. During the six weeks at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization and customs and received special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force. The airman wilt now receive specialized training m the administration field. Her husband. Thomas. is the son of Jerry N. Wainwright of 34009 Pea Ridge Road. Albany. Packaged Liquor and Wine ( No. 2 store only) DEEP SOUTH Jewelry 1507 5.W. Railroad Ave. 542-6850 THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, DECEMBER 26, 1985, PAGE TEN Jo Jo the Clown Mrs. Fulmer's afternoon entertained the class.Michelle kindergarten was the place to be Falcone and Jodi LeBlanc helped Thursday. Jo Jo the Clown with this magic trick. One Stop Floor Covering - 1st Place How to save $$$ this winter Turning down your water heater to 125 degrees Fahrenheit can prevent accidents and save money on energy and water bills, says Barbara Schilde, health and safety specialist with the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service In a recent survey, 80 percent of homes tested had water of 130 degrees F or higher. "Water at that temperature is hot enough t, cook with and can cause third-degree burns in 30 seconds of contact." says Schilde. Higher temperatures may cause severe burns in even shorter times. Tap water scalds are usually more extensive than other burns because many occur in the bathtub or shower where greater portions of the body are in contact with the hot water. When large body areas are involved, hospitali- zation is frequently needed. The death rate from tap water scalds is 40 times higher than it is from other types of scald burns. The most effective prevention for hot water burns is simply to lower the temperature of the water in the heater. Water heaters are one of the biggest energy users in the home. It's estimated that reduction of water temperature from 150 to 125 degrees F can save between 8 and 9 percent of the average home's water heating costs. Gas water heaters are easy to turn down because the temperature control is on the outside of the heater and marked "hot" and "warm." The safest place to set the control is in the middle of the word "warm." about 125 degrees F. At this temperature, it would take more than a full minute of exposure to get a severe burn. Electric hot water heaters have an adjustable control inside the cover plate of the heater, says Schilde. Lowering this thermostat requires turnin off the electric power. After removing the cover plate, adjust the thermostat, replace the cover and turn the power back on. she advises. The Extension safety expert points out that water temperatures can vary within any tank by as much as 15 to 25 degrees, regardless of the setting, so turning down the thermostat to an exact setting is not a guarantee thin *he v,,ater temperature is accurate. To check water temperatures, Schilde suggests using a candy or meat thermometer at the faucet. Hot water should not be used for at least two hours prior to the test. A temperature check made first thing in the morning provides the most accurate temperature reading for your heater, she says. Models available SLU has always been a source of knowledge, but now it will supply models for fashion shows. Local groups, clubs and clothing stores looking for models for fashion shows can now choose the -South- eastern Fashion Council," made up of male and female student models "We're hoping that the fashion council will grow and expand in both membership and service to the community." said Dawn Bertinot, a junior fashion merchandisi major from Gonzales and the council's vice- chairman. According to Bertinot, the group already has several shows planned for the 1986 spring semester. She empha- sized that the council is available at no charge for use by anyone, particularly businesses and entertainment groups. Interested persons, groups or businesses should contact Miller at (504) 549-3116 or Bertinot at (504) 549-2617. " etting down ? to brass tacks we say thanks for your patronage and wish you every joy of this bright season. From the Staff of Gabriel Building Supply I 142 S. 8th St. Texaco Anti- Freeze....$3. 2 Liter ( Plus an additional 1.50 factory rebate)" 7UP and Pepsi ....98 o Gal. Milk...$1 "" Coke Classic.....$1 Bag Ice.......';' 6-Packs SAVE 12/12 oz. Packs $ Budweiser 85" OOO00OOO0 O0 O00 OOIOOOOOOOIIO000 Light....................$, ='' $2 '' Miller Lite ..$5 "" IOOIOOIOOOI OOOOOIOOIOO0 OIIIO0 $1.7.9. Milwaukee's Best eeoeeeeo oeeoooeee,q't 89..........Buscn Quarts...............89 1 Liter Club Soda, Tonic,Ginger Ale 69 _ f I I I II