Using chicken litter as a fertilizer is becoming more common in East Texas. The growing number of houses built to house chickens means more and more litter available. Several years ago, some poultry producers fed litter to their cattle — but, hopefully, this practice has been abandoned. Grass farmers who decide to use poultry litter on pastures or hay meadows should explore their options before buying litter.

First of all a soil test will indicate what your soil needs. Most all our soils are short in Nitrogen and Potassium — but often not phosphorous. That is one snag with poultry litter, as it contains lots of phosphorous. If the soil test shows no need for more phosphorous, why pay for something you don’t need. But if the soil test calls for Nitrogen, Potassium plus Phosphorous, litter may offer a good deal over commercial fertilizer. Also, the poultry folks at Texas A & M point out that litter from a broiler house has up to twice the value of that from a pullet or laying house. Dealing with a reliable litter supplier can save dollars and at the same time give grasslands what they need to grow more forage.

Changes are coming our way in how we get news and other information. We got notices this week that the paper newsletters from two different organizations are to be no more. In order to receive the newsletters, both will be offered only digital. And if you don’t have a computer and e-mail access, customers are out of luck. Frankly, I want a hard copy to read — not words on a small screen where I have to squint to read. Still, I want the newsletters and to “conform” will read them via computer starting next month!

Puerto Rico is an American territory — and flat broke. Jobs are almost non-existent with 45 percent unemployment and an unpaid debt to creditors of over 70-Billion dollars. No wonder that in a national referendum last week most of the voters advocated statehood for Puerto Rico. Result of the election, thank goodness, is not binding on the United States. First of all our U.S. Congress would have to set the wheels in motion to make Puerto Rico our 51st state — and that idea has little merit with our legislators.

Thought for today: The best way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket!