Agrilife Today Updates

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48th annual South Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic to be held Oct. 25

Posted: 17 Oct 2019 08:39 AM PDT

Ron Gill, Ph.D., associate department head and AgriLife Extension program leader for animal science, demonstrates during the 2018 cattle handling workshop (Photo by Blair Fannin, AgriLife Communications)

The 48th annual South Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic and Trade Show will be held Oct. 25 at the Washington County Fairgrounds Sales Facility, 1305 E. Blue Bell Road #110 in Brenham. The program is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Washington County. 

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 8 a.m. Registration fee is $20 per person and will provide admission to the clinic. It will be an opportunity to visit with trade show vendors, have refreshments and a catered barbecue lunch, and participate in an afternoon social with a chance for the grand door prize, a heifer, drawn at the conclusion.  

This year’s clinic will focus on emerging issues for cattle producers ranging from landowner liability and changes in animal identification requirements to heifer development and grazing management, said Kara Matheney, AgriLife Extension agent for Washington County. 

(Photo by Blair Fannin, AgriLife Communications)

Presentations will include live cattle demonstrations and a number of contests for participants to test their knowledge and skills, with awards sponsored by Capital Farm Credit. Throughout the day there will be time to visit with vendors, view cattle and network with producers, speakers and others.  

Sessions include: 

  • Update on Animal Health Identification Requirements, Texas Animal Health Commission.
  • Eminent Domain and Pipeline Easement Negotiations, Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension specialist – agricultural law, Amarillo. 
  • Evaluating Heifers and Establishing Breeding Programs, Joe Paschal, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, Corpus Christi.
  • Private Pesticide Applicator Laws and Regulations Update, Don Renchie, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension program leader and Pesticide Safety Education program coordinator, College Station. 
  • Managing Your Grazing Calendar – Southern Pastures, Monte Rouquette, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton. 

For the second year, the South Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic Planning Committee will offer a Youth Track. This new adventure will be a learning opportunity for senior-age 4-H and FFA members who have an interest in animal science with a focus on beef cattle production.  Topics for the youth track include hands-on activities focusing on anatomy and physiology, meats, beef cattle reproduction, AgriLife Extension’s Path to the Plate initiative and a Grilling 101 workshop.

Registration will be limited to the first 100 students and is open to youth in the multi-county area.  

For the sixth year in a row, the Washington County Beef and Forage Committee have partnered with Texas Farm Credit to purchase a commercial heifer at the Washington County Fair as the grand door prize at the end of the day. Participants must be registered for the entire day and must be present during the drawing to win. 

After the meeting is adjourned, trade show vendors, participants and speakers are invited to  stay for the social hour sponsored by Mike Hopkins Distributing and enjoy some beer-battered beef tips.  

New for 2019, the South Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic Planning Committee will be selling tickets for five prizes to support the scholarship and youth program. The prizes will include

(Photo by Blair Fannin, AgriLife Communications)

  1. A pen of five E6 Beefmaster heifers. 
  2. A pen of five F1 tiger stripe heifers. 
  3. A side of custom processed beef. 
  4. A side of custom processed beef. 
  5. A ton of cattle feed.  

Tickets are $100 each and will be on sale through the day of the clinic or until they are all sold. The drawing will be held live during the social following the cow-calf clinic.      

Cow-calf clinic participants who hold a private, commercial, or non-commercial pesticide applicators license will receive two hours of continuing education units, one laws and regulations and one general category. 

For additional information, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Washington County at 979-277-6212. 

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Further Agrilife Today Updates: Southeast Texas Agriculture Summit Dec. 11 at NRG Center in Houston

Posted: 17 Oct 2019 06:00 AM PDT

Hemp production in Texas, emergency management topics to be discussed

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service helped collect donations of hay and other resources to provide to more than 4,500 stranded livestock during Tropical Storm Imelda. Emergency management will be discussed at the Dec. 11 Southeast Texas Agriculture Summit in Houston. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photos)

Hemp production in Texas and a look at emergency response following Tropical Storm Imelda will be featured topics at the Southeast Texas Agriculture Summit Dec. 11 at NRG Center, 3 NRG Park in Houston.

The event is hosted by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Harris County. Ag Workers Mutual Insurance is the lead sponsor.

 Both Texas agriculture industry representatives, as well as farmers, ranchers and elected officials, will be attending the event.

The program will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other topics and speakers include:

  • Farm Policy for U.S./Texas Agriculture, Bart Fischer, Ph.D., co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, Texas A&M University, College Station.
  • Hemp Production in Texas, Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension Service agronomist, Lubbock.
  • Emergency Management in Texas, Livestock Response, Monty Dozier, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension program director for disaster assessment and recovery, College Station.
  • Updates from Southeast Texas agriculture industry representatives.

A variety of vendors will be on hand showcasing agricultural commodities produced in the region.

Seating is limited and registration is $20, which includes breakfast and lunch. Online registration is available at https://agsummit2019.eventbrite.com or by calling the AgriLife Extension office for Harris County at 713-274-0950.  

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New AgriLife Extension agent named in Young County

Posted: 16 Oct 2019 02:25 PM PDT

Savanna Williams has been hired by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service as the new agriculture and natural resources agent in Young County. She began Oct. 7 and offices in Graham.

Savanna Williams has been named as a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent in Young County. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo)

Williams previously served as the AgriLife Extension assistant county agent in Glasscock County.

“Savanna comes to us with a strong 4-H background, excellent leadership skills, public relations experience, knowledge of swine production and the livestock industry,” said Dale Dunlap, AgriLife Extension district administrator, Vernon. “We are pleased to welcome her as a part of our District 3 family.”

Williams grew up as a 4-H’er in Montague County and attended Clarendon College, where she was on the livestock judging team. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Tarleton State University, where she also was a member of the livestock judging team.

After graduation, Williams was employed by Fast Genetics in Canada, a large commercial swine operation. She also was a sales consultant for Cerdos LLC in Wisconsin and managed Kuhlow Girls Showpigs in Wisconsin prior to joining AgriLife Extension.

“I grew up in the 4-H program, so I know exactly what it can do for young, impressionable youth,” Williams said. “Without my involvement in livestock judging and show pigs, I’d be a completely different person on a different path. 4-H made a higher education a more realistic option, provided me with opportunities to travel and has given me life experiences that I’ll forever cherish.

“When I joined the AgriLife team, I wanted to be able to give those same opportunities to other youth. Ideally, I want my main focus to be on creating unity across the county and continuing to build up the 4-H program, while also providing educational opportunities for the producers and ranchers in Young County.”

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Texas Crop and Weather Report – Oct. 16, 2019

Posted: 16 Oct 2019 02:25 PM PDT

Cool-season vegetables looking good so far for Texas producers

Conditions were mixed for cool-season vegetable-producing areas of the state, with the Rio Grande Valley and Wintergarden both experiencing weather that led to a less-than-optimal start to the season, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Serviceexperts.  

Larry Stein, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulture specialist, Uvalde, said drought conditions in the Wintergarden area continued to stress cool-season crops, including cabbage, spinach and leafy greens. Much of the region had received intermittent and spotty showers but no significant rain since June.

Spinach fields like this nearing harvest during a previous growing season in the Wintergarden area rely on irrigation pivots. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Providing the crops enough water to emerge and grow has been a challenge so far, Stein said. But he reported a good rain arrived late in the reporting period.

“Irrigation helps, but what we’re seeing shows the importance of those late-summer rains to these crops,” he said. “There’s only so much water you can apply over 24 hours with irrigation pivots. You can get so far behind that the pivots just can’t keep up with what the plants need to progress.”

Rain, rain, come our way

Stein said the area received 1-2 inches of rain overnight between Oct. 15-16 with 2.5-3.5 inches of “slow, gentle rain with minimal washing” reported in some areas. Temperatures have also been cooler, which helps plants and reduces evapotranspiration losses, Stein said.

Stein said there is one positive to dry conditions – diseases haven’t been an issue.

“The rains we just received should help farmers catch up on the shortfall of water they’ve experienced over the last three months,” he said.

Typical cool-season varieties in the Wintergarden area include cabbage, spinach, leaf lettuce and leafy greens like kale, chard and arugula, he said.

Stein said growers needed to plant their crops in July so they would be ready for market by fall. Crops like cabbage have been stunted or growing inconsistently in fields.

“Cabbage is starting to grow, but we will probably see a lot of unevenness in the fields related to which rows are getting access to more or less water from the pivots,” he said.

Stein said plantings were strong last year because the market for cabbage was strong. Dry conditions this year could make for a similarly strong market.

The Valley

Cabbage grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Juan Anciso, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Weslaco, said planting in the Rio Grande Valley was stalled somewhat by a rainy September. He said growers utilize irrigation from the Rio Grande River and nearby lakes, so rain is typically not needed and can hurt more than help.

“Producers typically start planting cabbage and celery in early September, and it looked like the first few weeks might delay the crop, but everything got back on track,” he said. “So, on the whole, the rain didn’t delay planting.”

Valley producers grow a wide variety of cool-season vegetables, including cabbage, onions, leafy greens, celery and carrots.

Anciso said it is too early to tell how many acres of cool-season vegetables will be planted in the Rio Grande Valley this season. He suspects it will be as much or slightly more than last year because vegetable prices were strong across the board.

“Growers may shy away from some produce based on prices, but most of them have buyers waiting,” he said. “There are a lot of acres contracted, but growers also have plenty of acres they put on the open market.”

AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries: 

CENTRAL: Recent rains brought needed relief, but conditions continued to be dry overall. There was some rain in areas. Some locations received up to 2 inches while others received nothing. Some supplemental feeding of cattle began. Cooler temperatures slowed warm-season forage growth. Nearly all counties reported short soil moisture.

ROLLING PLAINS: Pasture and rangeland varied from poor to fair condition. Cattle remained in good shape. Some cattle producers were supplementing cattle with protein cubes. Cotton producers were preparing fields for harvest by spraying boll openers and defoliants on mature cotton. Wheat fields were planted. Armyworms were being monitored. 

COASTAL BEND: A cool front brought isolated showers with amounts ranging from zero to 2 inches. Most croplands were disked, and cotton stalks were destroyed. Cotton harvest was near completion in northern parts of the reporting area. There were, however, problems with the second-crop rice, including its being late, narrow brown leaf spot, weak tillering, untimely rains, hogs and birds. Winter pasture planting continued. Some hay was baled. Livestock on limited grazing were being fed hay and protein. Livestock were in good condition, and fall calving continued.

EAST: Most of the district received much-needed rain and cooler temperatures. Some areas, like Smith and Marion counties, needed more rain. Pasture and rangeland conditions were poor to fair. Subsoil and topsoil conditions were adequate. Livestock were fair to good. Prices at cattle markets were lower. Some producers were feeding hay. Armyworms were reported. Wild pigs continued to cause damage. 

SOUTH PLAINS: Many areas received some rain with amounts ranging from traces to almost 1 inch. Most counties experienced a hard freeze about three weeks earlier than typical. The freeze may help some producers defoliate, but likely hurt later-planted fields. Some farmers were still waiting for fields to dry out so they can start defoliating cotton. Those with dry fields were busy defoliating mature cotton. Gins were expected to start running soon. The pumpkin harvest was ongoing. Cattle were in good condition. Grains were still being harvested. Producers were digging peanuts. 

PANHANDLE: Temperatures fluctuated with a freeze reported across the district. Cotton was opening in southern areas of the district. Maturity for corn and sorghum was 80%-100% across the district. Cotton was in fair to good condition in most areas due to the early freeze. Winter wheat was planted, but little had emerged. Subsoil and topsoil were adequate. Pasture and rangeland were in fair to good condition.

NORTH: Soil moisture was adequate to short across the district. A cool front dropped temperatures into the upper 30s and 40s at night. Sporadic rains were reported throughout the district. Some producers noticed fall armyworms and began spraying. Farmers were spot replanting wheat due to a lack of rain or in some cases replanting entire fields. Livestock looked good for the most part. Calf market prices were below the breakeven point, which left producers waiting for the market to go up. 

FAR WEST: High temperatures were in the low 90s with lows in the upper 40s. Spotty precipitation brought 0.5-1.25 inches of rain. The majority of dryland cotton was either being stripped or close to harvest. Some cotton producers were slowed by rain. Most irrigated cotton had bolls opening and was close to defoliator applications. Pasture conditions were still fair. Warm-season grasses will go dormant soon as temperatures continue to fall. Producers were anticipating the upcoming fall weather and making winter preparations. Alfalfa farmers made a final cutting, although some could make a last clipping next month. Pecans looked good with some signs of defoliation. An orchard reported one tree was lost to cotton root rot. 

WEST CENTRAL: Conditions were warm and dry. Cotton was in mostly fair condition. Boll size and quality were becoming a concern for many producers. Some cotton fields were being released by crop insurance and destroyed. A few producers began to defoliate fields. Harvest was expected to begin within the next week or so. Winter wheat planting began. Many producers were dry planting fields. Rangeland and pasture conditions were fair to poor. The cattle market opened steady after last week’s price increases on most calves and yearlings. Choice bred cows sold $25-$50 higher this reporting period.

SOUTHEAST: Chambers County was still wet from Tropical Storm Imelda. Some second rice crops might be okay to harvest as soon as conditions dry. In Grimes County, pastures were extremely dry due to the lack of rain and extremely high temperatures. Livestock seemed stressed. Cooler temperatures and rain were expected and should ease livestock and pasture stresses. In Walker County, pastures and forages were holding, although rain was needed. Rangeland and pasture ratings ranged from excellent to very poor with good being most common. Soil moisture levels ranged from adequate to very short with adequate being most common.

SOUTHWEST: Cotton, corn and sorghum were harvested. Preparations for winter forage plantings began. Conditions remained very dry throughout the district. Rangeland and pasture conditions remained poor as well. Livestock and wildlife were still in fair shape with supplemental feeding. Anywhere from 60%-80% of the deer population in Sutton County was lost to the anthrax outbreak earlier in the year. A strong cold front and chance of rain was in the forecast. 

SOUTH: Conditions were warm to hot with short to very short moisture levels. Topsoil was powder dry in some areas. A cold front and some accompanying rain was reported in most areas. Temperatures were in the 90s for the most part but reached into the 60s due to the cold front. Kleberg and Kennedy counties reported 2 inches of rainfall on the west side of Texas Highway 77 to 5 inches on the east side of the highway. Cotton harvest was complete, and peanut harvest began in Atascosa County. Large volumes of cotton were stored at gins, and cotton ginning was very active. Producers were busy with cotton stalk destruction. Forages were being harvested, and hay was being fed to livestock. Wheat and oat planting started. Many producers were not planting fall grains due to dry, hot conditions. There were reports of armyworms in pastures. Pasture and range conditions remained fair to poor and supplemental feeding of livestock continued this week. Pecan orchards were in good condition, and some producers expect a great season. Cabbage and spinach made good progress. Beef cattle markets continued to slide downward. 

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The post Texas Crop and Weather Report – Oct. 16, 2019 appeared first on AgriLife Today.

Texas Wine 101 to be held Nov. 8 in the Gardens at Texas A&M 

Posted: 16 Oct 2019 01:49 PM PDT

The Gardens at Texas A&M University and the Department of Horticultural Sciences will host Texas Wine 101 Nov. 8 in the Leach Teaching Gardens in College Station. 

Participants will learn about the history of the wine industry in Texas while enjoying a stroll through the Gardens with Texas wines paired with tasty nibbles from the Dinner Tonight Essentials cookbook, which features delicious, nutritious appetizers and meals.

The event will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and tickets are $50 per person. Participants must be 21 years of age or older. Free parking is available in lots 97 and 100. 

Texas Wine 101 will feature Andreea Botezatu, Ph.D., assistant professor for the Department of Horticultural Sciences and enology specialist; and Justin Scheiner, Ph.D., assistant professor for the Department of Horticultural Sciences and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service viticulture specialist. 

Discover what to look for on the vine and in the glass while enjoying live music, libations and learning in the Gardens. Register now at Texas Wine 101.

The post Texas Wine 101 to be held Nov. 8 in the Gardens at Texas A&M  appeared first on AgriLife Today Updates

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