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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fish Dieoff in Farm Ponds

The water comes and now the water goes………The high heat and lack of precipitation the last few weeks is predicted to continue this month. Ponds filled by spring and early summer rains are dropping their levels very quickly in our area. Some landowners are beginning to experience dissolved oxygen depletions leading to chronic fish losses, particularly in small, intensively managed catfish ponds that may contain 1,000 pounds of fish per surface acre—but other ponds are certainly not immune from this issue. 
Dr. Billy Higginbotham has provided the “My Fish are Dying” fact sheet that can be used as a resource for the next few weeks in case of this problem.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Preparing for Disaster

Recent weather conditions in and around Hunt County remind us that a disaster can strike at any time. Whether flooding, severe weather, or other types of disaster, Texas AgriLife Extension provides objective, research-based information, to help people with emergency and disaster preparation and recovery.

Preparedness and disaster materials are available through two agency-related websites. The Texas Extension Disaster Education Network, or Texas EDEN,, has information and materials on specific disasters, including drought, hurricanes and wildfire, as well as information on disaster preparation and recovery.

The AgriLife Bookstore website at has a variety of emergency and disaster-related materials, including publications on general preparedness, first aid and home, property and financial recovery. Most Extension publications can be downloaded and printed for free, and several are  available in Spanish. “Preparing for the Unexpected” is a noteworthy publication for disaster preparedness that may be downloaded for free.

When considering disaster preparedness, families should have a plan. This plan would include an evacuation plan familiar to all family members and practiced before disaster strikes. Another good practice is to have an emergency kit for their home, office and each vehicle, and know where to go in case of an emergency. An evacuation plan should cover escape routes, utility shutoff and safety information, family communication and protecting important documents.

Emergency kits should contain enough supplies to take care of the immediate family for at least three days. Some essential kit contents include water, non-perishable foods, a hand-operated can opener, mouth/nose protection masks, extra clothing, a first-aid kit, gloves, blankets, toiletries, a battery- or hand-powered flashlight, a weather radio, spare batteries, garbage bags, medications and anti-bacterial cleaners or wipes.

For more information on available publications, go to the AgriLife Bookstore or Texas EDEN website. Additional information on preparedness may be found at FEMA’s website or its Spanish-language counterpart,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blackland Income Growth Conference Feb. 3-4

By: Blair Fannin
WACO – An overview of the sugarcane aphid in sorghum and cattle marketing considerations are only a couple of the topics to be featured at the 2015 Blackland Income Growth Conference Feb. 3-4 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco.

According to event coordinators, the conference will offer sessions on a variety of commodities – beef, grain, horticulture, cotton, forage, wildlife and more.

“The Blackland Income Growth Conference has a long history of providing the latest research information and production management practices for farmers and ranchers throughout the region,” said Ronald Woolley, conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional program leader at Stephenville. “This year’s conference will feature several important topics of interest to Blackland producers. We have several experts who will be featured in each commodity session.“Overall, we think we have something for everyone, and producers will take home plenty of strategies they can incorporate into their operations.”

The annual conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension and the Waco Chamber of Commerce.
Registration for the main Blackland Income Growth Conference on Feb. 3 is $20 per person and includes lunch. Several sessions will award continuing education units. Producers can download the brochure at to see specific continuing education credit allocations, sessions and speakers.

The keynote luncheon speaker Feb. 3 will be Dr. Rudy Tarpley, department head for agricultural and consumer science at Tarleton State University.