Thursday, November 10, 2011
Pesticide applicators can earn 5.5 continuing education units toward
the renewal of their licenses at trainings held on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 at the
Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.
Programming is nearly identical for the two events with one exception. The November training will feature an 8:30 a.m. session titled "Critter Control Around the Home, Farm and Ranch" by a wildlife control expert. On the Dec. 6 training, the 8:30 a.m. session will be "Aquatic Weed Control in Farm and Ranch Ponds."
The rest of the programming for both events will include: Research updates on
maintaining Bermuda grass stands without commercial nitrogen; the release of a
new white clover variety by the legume breeding program at the Overton center;
an update on feral-hog control; current information on the control of Giant Salvinia in private and public lakes and ponds; recovering drought-damaged pastures; and the control of pests in home lawns and gardens.
Presenters will include AgriLife Extension and Texas AgriLife Research faculty.
Both training sessions will begin with registration from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the
Overton center's classroom. The presentations will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at
about 2:15 p.m., with an hour break for lunch at noon.
By state rules, participants may attend both the Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 sessions and
earn 11 continuing education units. Three of the units will be in the general category, one in laws and regulations, and 1.5 in integrated pest management.
Registration for either training will be $30 per person and includes lunch and
refreshments. Registration will be at the door only.
To reduce costs to participants, no credit-card payments or telephone registrations will be taken. Payments may be made either by check, money order or cash. To receive continuing education units, participants will need to present either their driver's license or a copy of their applicator's license at registration.
The Overton center is located 1 mile north of downtown Overton on State Highway
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
COLLEGE STATION – “A weed is simply a plant growing out of place or growing in a site where it is not desired.”
Those are the thoughts of Dr. Barron Rector, Texas AgriLife Extension Service range specialist. And he said following this year’s drought, wildfires and tons of imported hay, there may be a lot more weeds for landowners to deal with, and some could be invasive species or even toxic.
Rector recently presented a webinar, “Invasive Plants of Texas Rangelands,”
as a part of the AgriLife Extension ecosystem science and management department’s Texas Range Webinar Series. This webinar, as well as others in the series, can be accessed at http://naturalresourcewebinars.tamu.edu/.
“The soundest way to control weeds is to prevent the invasion, which means we must understand the biology, limit the movement, understand the human behavior and actions that can cause the spread, and understand the pathways for its introduction,” he said.
Some “weeds” may be a desirable plant in one location and a weed in another, Rector said. For instance, native weeds serve a role of protecting the soil surface after a disturbance, reducing raindrop impact and solar radiation, and providing some organic matter on the soil surface and below ground.
These native weedy plants depend on natural disturbances, such as grazing, fires, flooding, drought, mudslides, earthquakes, volcanoes and land development to spread and reproduce, he said. However, foreign or exotic invasive plant species can survive, reproduce and advance on the same kinds of soil disturbance and human management that produces native weed and brush problems.
“Our major problem with land management today is our inability to recognize an invasive plant species and deal with it accordingly,” Rector said.
And following the recent influx of hay from other regions of the U.S. and even abroad, landowners should expect more invasive plants, he said.
Invasive species of weeds can cause economic or environmental harm due to habitat degradation, displacement of native plants threatening the reduction of wildlife food resources, alterations to the ecosystem of a region or alterations and changes to natural waterways.
“Invasive plants are those that have a tendency to spread and invade healthy landscapes ultimately causing some kind of negative impact,” Rector said.
“Invasive plants are often best defined as plants that do not stay where they are planted.”
Since 2008, portions of Texas have been in moderate to extreme drought, he said.
This has had an important impact on forage production for livestock. In response to the drought, many livestock owners have opted not to sell their herds, but to buy hay that is available.
“That hay is coming from Louisiana, Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, Nebraska, Kansas and other surrounding states,” Rector said. “Some individuals have even purchased hay from foreign countries, such as Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Canada.
“This sets up a potential problem because interstate commerce of hay is not regulated for the most part. There’s no one at the state line to inspect the hay for foreign and invasive plants.
Many landowners and livestock producers could be setting themselves up for weeds they’ve never seen and introduce potentially invasive plants.”
Experience with this type situation goes back to the drought of the ‘50s when hay and other feedstuffs transported from California to Texas are suspected of setting up the invasion of woolly distaff thistle, a native of Italy and the Mediterranean region, he said.
Research has shown the seed of this plant may be viable in the soil for up to 19 years, Rector said. Today, because of the aggressiveness of this plant, it now grows in 47 Texas counties.
A second example would be in the drought of 1994-2002, where hay delivered from Louisiana to Jasper County carried the first tropical soda apple to Texas, he said.
The tropical soda apple is listed 94th on the federal noxious weed list, and woolly distaff thistle is on the Texas list of noxious and invasive plants.
“We want to alert landowners who feed hay from another state that it could carry with it viable seed that could come up on their land,” Rector said.
“It’s a Catch 22. We bought the emergency hay to feed and hold on to our herds, but there is the potential that we can introduce an unwanted plant that will cost more management dollars in the future trying to get rid of it.”
He said there are 1,400 invasive species documented in the U.S. infecting an estimated 1 million acres, and that number will continue to increase 8-20 percent annually, requiring a destruction cost in U.S. estimated at $100 billion annually.
Producers need to start now learning what plants they should be on the lookout for, Rector said. If the hay was purchased from Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, producers should watch for an invasive plant called leafy spurge. If they purchased hay from Florida to Louisiana, that zone is known for the invasive tropical soda apples weed.
Other plants of concern include Canada thistle, spotted knapweed, blessed milk thistle, Russian knapweed and yellow star thistle, he said. Because of their aggressiveness, these will often be the plants that come up on the disturbed areas.
Not only will these invasive weeds keep landowners from producing valuable grass resources in the future, but they can take the place of native weeds that would have come up, such as broomweed, which provides seed that feeds birds such as quail.
Rector said there are several things a landowner needs to do now to prevent problems later.“The first thing to do is be aware of what invasive plants occur in the area you bought the hay,” he said. “Know what they look like.”
Each state has an invasive plant website or every state can be found on the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s invasive and noxious weeds list at http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxiousDriver.
“Make sure you know what they look like and then be on the lookout for them, starting in March,” Rector said. “If they are a warm-season annual, they will be germinating then.”
In general, annual weeds are treated with chemicals when the plant is 3-6 inches tall, he said. It is important to know what the plant looks like in the seedling, rosette and the early vegetative stages because that is when the chemicals and management practices are the cheapest.
“By the time most weeds are flowering and setting seed, it is too late to use a chemical to control most annual plants,” Rector said.
Once a landowner can identify the plant, they need to know the recommendations for management to reduce the impact or eliminate it from the land, he said.
Rector said landowners can go to http://essmextension.tamu.edu/plants and there is a choice of plant identification links that will help a landowner not only identify a plant, but also learn about its habitat, toxicity to livestock and management strategies.
“Try to limit the areas where you feed the hay and not spread it all over your ranch. And then make sure you continually go back and look at pastures where you fed hay in future years,” he said. “With the weather prognosis of continued drought, those seeds may sit in the soil for several years before they emerge.”
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The training will allow those who do not currently have a pesticide applicator license to go through the class, as well as be tested by a representative of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Those persons wishing to take the licensing test should pre-register by calling the Extension Office at (903)455-9885. Private Applicator and Laws and Regulations Manuals, which are recommended study for the class, are currently available at the Extension Office for $40. In addition, there are worksheets to pickup, which must be completed before the class date. Class participants will need to bring their completed worksheet, a calculator and photo id to the class.
Registration for the training and testing for new trainees will begin at 9:45 a.m. with the training beginning at 10:00 a.m. The course will last until mid afternoon, and be directly followed by testing. There will be a $25 charge for all attending.
Current Licensed Applicators who are working towards receiving Continuing Education Units hours may also attend a training that same day, and receive 5 hours of CEU's. This training will begin with registration at 12:30 p.m. and the sessions will run from 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. Topics and speakers for this portion of the program will include:
Pesticide Applicator Laws and Regulations, Mr. Henry Krusekopf, Texas Department of Agriculture
Internal and External Parasites of Cattle, Dr. Jason Banta, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
Forage Recovery with the Use of Herbicides, Mr. Brian Cummins, Retired Van Zandt Co. Extension Agent
Herbicide Update, Mr. Brant Mettler, DOW AgroSciences
Adjuvants and Surfactants, Mr. Steve Thurman, Adjuvants Unlimited
The 5 CEU hours will be certified as 1 Laws and Regulations, 2 General, and 2 Integrated Pest Management. Participants must have their drivers license number or pesticide license number to register. Cost is $25.
As a reminder, private applicators should check their license to determine the month and year of expiration. If you are a Private Applicator, requirements include obtaining 15 hours of CEU's every 5 years. The 15 CEU's must include two hours in Integrated Pest Management, and 2 hours in Laws and Regulations.
Also, all private license holders are required to do self certification. This is a recertification process by which applicators manage their own CEU records. This is not done by Texas AgriLife Extension or the Texas Department of Agriculture. At each training held, instructors distribute certificates of completion. These should always be kept for verification of CEU hours. Check your records, and be sure you have the appropriate number of hours to renew your license. You will receive a notice from the Texas Department of Agriculture when it is time to renew your license.
Both trainings will be held at First Baptist Church in Royse City. First Baptist is located at 900 Pullen Street. From I-30, Exit FM 548 and go south. Pass the frontage road, then take the first left. This is Pullen Street. You will see the church on your right. Parking is available on the side and rear of the church.
If you have further questions or need more details regarding either of these programs, please contact the Hunt County Extension Office at (903)455-9885, or visit us at 2217 Washington Street in Greenville.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Dr. Larry Falconer, 361-265-9203, email@example.com
COLLEGE STATION – Farmers, ranchers and timber operators who produce agricultural and timber products for sale will need a special registration number to claim sales tax exemption on purchased taxable products used for their operations beginning Jan. 1.
The registration number was made a requirement by House Bill 268, which passed in the recent legislative session. The new registration process has implications for agricultural producers.
"While purchases of feed and seed are not subject to sales tax, it is important that agricultural producers obtain an identification number because many of the inputs required for production of crops and livestock are subject to sales tax,” said Dr. Larry Falconer, Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist in Corpus Christi. “Being ineligible for the sales tax exemption would cause a sizable increase in cost of production."
Producers can get a registration number through either a mail-in application or an online application that were initiated Oct. 3.
“Beginning Jan. 1, anyone who wants to claim the agriculture or timber sales tax exemptions for qualifying products will need a registration number to show retailers instead of simply signing an exemption certificate at the time of purchase,” Comptroller Susan Combs said in a statement. “The new registration process takes the burden off retailers to verify whether a purchaser is eligible for exemption. And it narrows the pool of purchasers claiming the sales tax exemption to those actually involved in production of agriculture and timber products for sale.”
For agricultural producers, the new legislation will affect many purchases of particular items used in production of commodities. The new legislation requires a registration number to claim tax exemptions when buying items such as machinery and equipment, fertilizers, insecticides, irrigation equipment, and off-road motor vehicles used for farming and timber production. Those entitled to make tax-free purchases of taxable qualifying products include groups such
- farmers and ranchers who raise agricultural products to sell to others;
- fish farmers and beekeepers who sell the products they raise;
- custom harvesters;
- crop dusters;
- commercial nurseries engaged in fostering growth of plants for sale;
- timber producers, including contract lumberjacks.
The primary owner or operator of a farm, ranch or timber operation may receive one registration number that can be used by anyone authorized by the registrant – including family members or employees – to make tax exempt purchases of qualifying products for the business.
The application for a registration number should take less than 10 minutes to complete, according to the comptroller’s office. Online registration is available at GetReadyTexas.org, Online applicants will receive a registration number immediately.
A paper application may be downloaded from the website or call 800-252-5555 to receive a form by mail.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Please contact the Extension Office at 903-455-9885 Ext. 0# to order or if you have any questions. Payment will need to be made by October 17, payable to Program Development Council, and mailed to the Hunt County Extension Office, 2217 Washington St., Greenville, TX 75401. Quantities and cost follows:
1 lb bag halves – 10.00
3 lb box halves – 29.25
5 lb box halves – 48.50
1 lb bag pieces – 9.75
3 lb box pieces – 28.50
5 lb box pieces – 47.50
Friday, September 30, 2011
9:15 Basic Safety Demonstration - Approaching, ***Tying, Restraining & Picking
Up Feet, Teri Antilley, Texas AgriLife Extension, Horse Program Specialist,
10:30 Pasture & Hay Selection/Usage, Dr. Dennis Sigler, Texas AgriLife Extension
Horse Specialist, College Station
11:30 Lunch (Bring sack lunch or visit local restaurant)
12:30 Basic Horse Nutrition, Dr. Dennis Sigler, Extension Horse Specialist
1:30 General Healthcare (deworming, vaccination, etc.), Sara Allen, County
Extension Agent - Hunt Co.; Kathleen Hooten, Hunt County Extension Ag
and Livestock Committee; Jane Coble, Veterinary Services, Sulphur Springs
2:45 Hoof Care, Kathleen Hooten, Hunt County Extension Ag & Livestock Committee
3:00 Program Evaluation & Adjourn
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Where: L-3 Rec Hall, 10001 Jack Finney Blvd., Greenville,Texas
When: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
Time: 9am – 4pm (Lunch served)
Call for reservations and directions 903-356-4310
Sponsored by Easy Riders Horse Club
Friday, September 2, 2011
The topics discussed at this year’s show will be as important as ever. The highlight of the show will be an educational program presented by retired County Extension Agent Brian Cummins from Van Zandt County. Mr. Cummins will discuss Feeding Livestock During the Winter with Little or Low Quality Hay Supplies. So in the midst of this depressing production year, plan to attend this annual event. We know you will not be disappointed.
As I calculate the information to be provided at the show from the hay entered, the ranges in quality are always evident. Some hay tests are in the 4-6 percent crude protein level, and others reach over 20 percent. This makes it imperative that all producers learn how to best manage their livestock and winter feeding program, based on the hay available to them.
In an effort to continue to assist producers with forage education, a new program has been added to this years event. There will be two hours of educational programs (with 2 hours of CEU credits available for those with a pesticide applicators license) in addition to the traditional aspects of the Hay Show. Beginning at 3 p.m., Dr. Vanessa Corriher, Extension Forage Specialist from Overton will discuss Winter Pastures, Fertilization, Herbicides and Armyworms. She will be followed at 4 p.m. by Mr. Brandt Mettler of DOW Chemical, who will cover Broadleaf Herbicides, Mode of Action, and Timing of Applications. These two sessions are new for this year and are intended to enhance the educational aspects of the show. All interested are encouraged to attend. While CEU hours will be given, these seminars are open to everyone.
Following the seminars, at 5:00 p.m., participants can view the hay entered in the show, participate in the Hay Judging Contest, and visit with vendors. Dinner will be served around 6 p.m., then our speaker for the evening, Mr. Brian Cummins will present his program. Hay show winners will also be recognized, and many great door prizes will be awarded to attendees. A meal will be provided.
Tickets are $10 per person, required for any part of the program and meal, and are currently available at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 2217 Washington Street in Greenville as well as the Northeast Texas Farmers Coop in Greenville and Huffman Farm Supply in Commerce. Tickets have risen in price this year as is required by AgriLife Extension Partial Cost Recovery procedures. Sponsors and donors will still be covering the cost of your meal as in year's past. Call the Extension Office at 903-455-9885 Ext. 0# with further questions. Interested parties are welcome to attend all, or only a portion of the afternoon and evening’s activities, but tickets must be acquired by September 9. You may also come by the Hunt County Extension Office for a detailed flyer.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Fletcher Warren Civic Center
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED
** Early Planting Recommendations
** Clover Selections
** Nutrient Requirements
** Seed Bed Management
** and more…...
For more information call Northeast Texas Farmers Coop at 903-455-6365 or Hunt County Extension at 903-455-9885
HAMBURGER LUNCH PROVIDED
RSVP REQUIRED FOR MEAL—Call 903-455-6365
Monday, August 15, 2011
Please be reminded that entries are being accepted through 5p.m. August 16, for the annual Hunt County Hay Show. The drought has seriously affected the quantity and quality of hay produced this year, but Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Hunt County encourages anyone who has produced hay in 2011 to enter. There has never been a better time to take advantage of a free analysis of your hay, to find out the quality of what you have produced.
Having an analysis of your hay sample can allow you to feed livestock much more efficiently, supplementing only what your livestock need during the winter feeding season.
Entries are due by 5 p.m., Tuesday, August 16, for the show. We hope you will get your samples delivered to either the NET Farmers Coop Store or Fertilizer Plant in Greenville, or Huffmans Farm Supply in Commerce. Entering the show is simple. Take any entries to the drop location, complete an entry form, and you are done. A feed sack full of hay constitutes an entry. You may put 2-3 blocks from a square bale or a sample from the center of a large round bale to fill the feed sack. Please do not use plastic bags, as they cause the sample to mold before the show, and could cause disqualification. Small plastic bags do not hold enough hay and will also be disqualified.
Classes include legumes and legume (clover) grass mixes; forage sorghum, sudans, hybrid sudan, and johnson grass; bermudas; small grains, and winter annuals; and other, which includes prairie, grass mixes, etc.
Hay will be judged on protein score, and acid detergent fiber (ADF). Entries will not be accepted that have injurious foreign material, hardware, or are moldy, caked, dusty, or badly weathered.
If you would like any further information, entry forms or rules, please contact the Hunt County Extension Office at (903)455-9885, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to discuss details of the hay show with you.
Livestock producers can quickly lose animals if they fail to carefully monitor forages as the Texas drought continues, according to a toxicology expert from the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Tam Garland, head of the toxicology section, said producers should look for high levels of prussic acid and nitrate that can build up in drought-stressed forages. Testing is the best way to monitor for these conditions.
Johnsongrass can become especially lethal during a drought, she said. “Typically, we tend to see high levels of prussic acid in johnsongrass when we get hot weather or dry signs,” she said, “or when dry johnsongrass is exposed to a little moisture and grows very quickly. Prussic acid may also be high when johnsongrass is exposed to frost.” Producers should beware when they see a ribbon-like appearance to johnsongrass leaves, she said. “That’s a huge indicator it’s under drought stress and may be hot with prussic acid,” Garland said.
Any of the sorghum species – such as haygrazer, sorghum sudan and some milo – may also contain high levels of prussic acid, she said. Nitrate levels in forages are also a concern, Garland said. Sorghum hybrids, corn and grain sorghum may contain high levels, as may silverleaf nightshade and pigweed or careless weed.
Livestock producers can take several precautions, Garland said. First, producers should test all forages for high levels of prussic acid and nitrate. Each plant sample should include 10 to 12 plants, which should be randomly selected from a field. Cut samples about 3 to 4 inches above the ground.
For a large field, divide the land into manageable sections. Label each sample according to the section from which it was taken, and include that information on the paperwork that accompanies the samples.
Fold the samples if necessary, and place them in a garbage bag (which should be tied tightly) or into a large zip-lock baggie. Next, box up the bags with cool packs and send them by an overnight courier to the TVMDL laboratory at 1 Sippel Road, College Station,Texas 77843.
Samples must arrive within 24 hours after they are cut. Garland suggests cutting samples at 3 p.m. and sending them with the last daily shipment. Garland also advises producers to probe any hay that has recently been baled, if it was not tested before baling. “Take three or four probes, put those individual samples into a glass canning jar, and submit them to the lab for testing,” she said. Be sure to label the jars if the samples represent hay from separate fields.
"If a round bale shows high levels of prussic acid levels," Garland said, "let the bale cure for 30 days, re-probe it and re-test it. Or, roll out the bale and air it out for five days, then re-bale the hay."
Additionally, producers should isolate their livestock from suspected plants, Garland said, including any that may grow on the other side of a fence or along a right-of-way. Farmers and ranchers should also take caution when moving cattle from one pasture to another. Concerned producers should tightly control their livestocks' grazing, Garland said, and should consider supplementing – or replacing grazing entirely – with dry hay.
"This is especially true when forage test values for prussic acid are dangerously high," Garland said. "Finally, producers should be prepared to quickly treat animals that have ingested forage with high levels of prussic acid or nitrate. Treatment generally must take place within minutes to save an animal."
For sample submission instructions, visit http://tvmdl.tamu.edu/services_offered/forms/index_forms.php . For more information about the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory visit http://tvmdl.tamu.edu/ .
Friday, July 22, 2011
The drought is putting great pressure on our livestock producers as forage and hay supplies become more scarce. Waivers will allow hay haulers to carry above height limit and above weight limit loads of hay (round bales). Please note there are some restrictions, but this may be of help as ranchers seek ways to keep forage available to their livestock.
Copies of two waivers approved by the Governor.
1. The "hay waiver"
2. An oversize/overweight permit waiver related to timber cleanup for three of the recent wildfires.
Links to both of these documents are available on the TxDOT Web site, at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/business/motor_carrier/overweight_permit/default.htm , under "Important Notices".
(From the TxDOT Home Page at www.txdot.gov, you can get to "Important Notices" by selecting "Business with TxDOT", then "Motor Carriers", "Oversize/Overweight Permits".)
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also taken notice of the extreme weather and released updated heat safety information.
Factors that May Cause Heat-related Illness
• High temperature and humidity
• Low fluid consumption
• Direct sun exposure (with no shade) or extreme heat
• Limited air movement (no breeze or wind)
• Physical exertion
• Use of bulky protective clothing and equipment
• Poor physical condition or ongoing health problems
• Some medications
• Lack of previous exposure to hot workplaces
• Previous heat-related illness
Health Problems Caused by Hot Work Environments
Heat Stroke is the most serious heat-related health problem. Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature regulating system fails and body temperature rises to critical levels (greater than 104°F).This is a medical emergency that may result in death! The signs of heat stroke are confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures. Workers experiencing heat stroke have a very high body temperature and may stop sweating. If a worker shows signs of possible heat stroke, get medical help immediately, and call 911. Until medical help arrives, move the worker to a
shady, cool area and remove as much clothing as possible. Wet the worker with cool water and circulate the air to speed cooling. Place cold wet cloths, wet towels or ice all over the body or soak the worker’s clothing with cold water.
Heat Exhaustion is the next most serious heat-related health problem. The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, confusion, thirst, heavy sweating and a body temperature greater than 100.4°F. Workers with heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot area and given liquids to drink. Remove unnecessary clothing including shoes and socks. Cool the worker with cold compresses to the head, neck, and face or have the worker wash his or her head, face and neck with cold water. Encourage frequent sips of cool water. Workers with signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion should be taken to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment. Make sure that someone stays with the worker until help arrives. If symptoms worsen, call 911 and get help immediately.
Heat Cramps are muscle pains usually caused by physical labor in a hot work environment. Heat
cramps are caused by the loss of body salts and fluid during sweating. Workers with heat cramps
should replace fluid loss by drinking water and/or carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquids (e.g., sports drinks) every 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat Rash is the most common problem in hot work environments. Heat rash is caused by sweating and looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. Heat rash usually appears on the neck, upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts and in elbow creases. The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid work environment. The rash area should be kept dry. Powder may be applied to increase comfort. Ointments and creams should not be used on a heat rash. Anything that makes the skin warm or moist may make the rash worse.