Real estate evaluation with respect to potential buyer's requirements. Cattle management strategies that aim at rangeland and economic sustainability. Wildlife population inventory using appropriate and reliable survey methods. Wildlife management plans customized for your unique situation. Strategies to achieve the atmosphere and service you want to provide. Quail populations stand to benefit from sound rangeland management that we provide. Land management strategies and solutions that favor rangeland health also benefit non-game wildlife species.

News

Spring plant sale set for April 13 in College Station

Writer: Laura Muntean, 979-847-9211, laura.muntean@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Rachel Fuqua, rachel.fuqua@tamu.edu
Dr. Andrew King, 979-845-5341, aking@tamu.edu

Spring Plant Sale

The Annual Spring Plant Sale brings people in from all over the community. Mark the calendar to get your favorites! (Photo courtesy of TAMU Horticulture Club.)

COLLEGE STATION — The Texas A&M University horticulture department will host its annual spring plant sale from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 13.

The plant sale will be in Lot 97 on the Texas A&M campus and will be held rain or shine.

There will be a selection of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and edibles appropriate for the area.

“We will have assorted herbs available for purchase that are adapted to our region, including chocolate mint, oregano, sage, tarragon and thyme,” said Rachel Fuqua, publicity chair for the horticulture club. “One plant I like to point out to people is David Verity Cuphea, or the firecracker plant. It is an attractive everblooming shrub that attracts hummingbirds to the landscape.”

Purchases can be made with cash, check or credit cards.

“This is our largest fundraiser each year, and the money raised supports member professional development as well as community outreach projects,” Fuqua said. “The student members grow 90 percent of the plants themselves to get hands-on experience with greenhouse and nursery management.”

Go to the Horticulture Club’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/401768927318282/ for plant sale updates,

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Food manager certification training set March 26-27 in Pampa

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Joan Gray-Soria, 806-669-8033, Joan.Gray-Soria@ag.tamu.edu

PAMPA – A professional food manager certification training course will be offered March 26-27 by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Gray County.

The meeting will be at the Gray County Annex, 12125 Frederic St., Pampa. The fee will be $125, and preregistration is due March 22. To register for the course, call 806-669-8033.

The fee includes training, materials and a national food manager certification examination. The food manager’s certification will be valid anywhere in the state of Texas for five years.  

Gray-Soria said statistics indicate foodborne illness continues to be a health issue in the U.S. For that reason, the Texas Department of State Health Services requires each food establishment to have one certified food manager employed.

This program is designed to prepare foodservice managers to pass the certification examination. It will also provide valuable education regarding the safe handling of food, she said.

She said the benefits of improved food safety include:

  • Increased customer satisfaction.
  • Improved relationships with health officials.
  • Prevention of bad publicity and lawsuits due to foodborne illness.

By attending the course, foodservice managers will learn about:

  • Identifying potentially hazardous foods and common errors in food handling.
  • Preventing contamination and cross-contamination of food.
  • Teaching and encouraging personal hygiene for employees.
  • Complying with government regulations.
  • Maintaining clean utensils, equipment and surroundings.
  • Controlling pests.

For more information, contact Gray-Soria at 806-669-8033.

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AgriLife Extension to sponsor cotton marketing workshop April 3 in Lubbock

Contact:  Jackie Smith, 806-746-6101, Jackie.Smith@ag.tamu.edu

LUBBOCK — Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will sponsor a free cotton marketing workshop in Lubbock before the Texas Cotton Ginners Association, or TCGA, annual meeting and trade show.

The workshop will be from 1-4 p.m. on April 3 in rooms 107-108 of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane.

Tony Williams, TCGA executive president, and the association are providing the workshop meeting rooms. The meeting rooms are most easily accessed from the southwest parking lot.

Coffee, water and snacks will be provided. For more information on the TCGA Annual Meeting and Trade Show, visit http://www.tcga.org/.   

The primary workshop topics will be the best time to price your 2019 crop, cotton and grain markets outlook, pricing strategies, opportunities to improve bottom lines and opportunities in the new farm bill.

Speakers will include:

  • Dr. John Robinson, AgriLife Extension specialist in cotton marketing. Robinson has been the state cotton marketing specialist for over 17 years. His Cotton Market Outlook is available at https://cottonmarketing.tamu.edu/ . Robinson also provides daily crop market news and commentary on Twitter @aggie.prof.
  • Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension economist who specializes in grain marketing. His research and Extension appointments are focused on the interests of stakeholders in the Texas grain industry. Welch writes the weekly feed grain and wheat outlook reports, which can be found at https://agecoext.tamu.edu/resources/market-outlook/.
  • Jackie Smith, District 2 AgriLife Extension economist, has served the farmers of the Lubbock area for over 30 years. The profitability budget spreadsheet he will discuss at the workshop may be downloaded in advance at https://southplainsprofit.tamu.edu/ Smith will discuss how to use crop budgets and how to change them to fit your operation, as well as how to determine the effect of various changes on your break-even prices and/or break-even yields.
  • Kelli Merritt, president of CropMark Select, is a licensed commodity broker, a cotton grower and serves as a link between farmers and spinning mills. A fourth-generation cotton farmer, Merritt teaches risk management to farmers and mills. He has traveled to many of the cotton spinning countries in the world, educating them about U.S. farmers. Merritt will discuss the various marketing tools that can be used to forward price cotton to take advantage of favorable prices.
  • Will Keeling, an AgriLife Extension specialist in risk management, will discuss the key components of the newest farm bill. Keeling is a member of the Financial and Risk Management (FARM) assistance team, part of AgriLife Extension’s Risk Management Education Program.

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Southern Region Water Conference to focus on sustainable water management

Conference will be July 23-25 at Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center

COLLEGE STATION — The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host the Southern Region Water Conference, titled “Improving Adoption of Sustainable Water Management Practices,” July 23-25 at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, 177 Joe Routt Blvd. in College Station.

Dr. Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and conference organizer, said the conference is designed to provide relevant information to farmers and ranchers, agricultural professionals, researchers, agency representatives and students. The conference focus will be optimizing water use efficiency and protecting water quality in the south.

Abstracts for oral presentations, poster sessions or a workshop can be submitted at https://agrilife.org/southern-region-water-conference/submit-an-abstract/. Submission deadline is March 29.

The conference will focus on sustainable water management practices. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)

“This conference will have farmers and specialists describing practices and research with direct application to agricultural enterprises,” Gholson said. “Ag producers and water resource professionals will address barriers to water use efficiency, use of effective techniques and adoption of new practices.”

Early registration is $150 for general attendees, $75 for farmers and producers and $25 for students. After May 15, registration is $200 for general attendees, $100 for farmers and producers and $50 for students. Registration is available at https://agrilife.org/southern-region-water-conference/registration-2019/.

Conference topics include:

  • Irrigation water management.

  • Nutrient and pest control to protect water quality.

  • Water considerations around the home, including private water well management, protecting drinking water supplies, septic system management, turf management and irrigation, rainwater harvesting.

  • Soil health, including cover crops, conservation tillage and no-till.

  • Watershed management, including fish and wildlife water needs,

  • Restoring fish and aquatic habitat, and forest management related to water issues.

  • Programs/incentives for growers, including new Farm Bill programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service programs and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, or SARE, opportunities.

“This conference is intended to be practical and uncomplicated, using straightforward communications to deliver relevant information for the farmer,” Gholson said.

For example, Gholson said, Louisiana farmer Jay Hardwick and his son will present an overview of what they are doing to address water resource concerns and sustainability on their farm.

The conference is a collaboration between SARE, AgriLife Extension, the Texas Water Resources Institute and others, including the cooperative extension programs of Prairie View A&M University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Alabama A&M University and Auburn University.

For more information or questions, contact Gholson at dgholson@tamu.edu or 979-845-1461. The conference is supported in part by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project.

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Contacts: Dr. Drew Gholson, 979-845-1461, dgholson@tamu.edu

Diane Boellstorff, 979-458-3562, dboellstorff@tamu.edu

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Texas A&M’s Hall receives AHS Great American Gardeners award

Dr. Charlie Hall Headshot

Writer: Laura Muntean, 979-847-9211, laura.muntean@ag.tamu.edu

Dr. Charlie Hall Headshot

Dr. Charlie Hall, professor and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture for Texas A&M, honored with American Horticulture Society Teaching Award.

COLLEGE STATION — The American Horticultural Society, or AHS, is honoring Texas A&M University’s Dr. Charlie Hall as the 2019 recipient of the Great American Gardeners teaching award.

According to the AHS, the award is given to an individual whose ability to share horticultural knowledge with others has contributed to better public understanding of the plant world and its important influence on society. Each recipient has contributed significantly to fields such as plant research, garden communication, landscape design, youth gardening, community greening and teaching.

Hall, professor in the department of horticulture and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M, focuses on production and marketing of green industry crops. His research, teaching and outreach include strategic management, market situation and outlook, cost accounting and financial analysis for green industry firms.

“As faculty, we are often recognized for our research efforts or the impact we had on a particular industry, but it is seldom one is recognized for being a good teacher,” Hall said. “That makes this one special.”

Hall said growing up in the nursery business in North Carolina fueled his passion for plants early in life. Watching others struggle to turn a profit prompted him to explore economics and horticulture at the same time.

Through his teachings, Hall hopes to guide his students’ abilities to reason and exercise critical thinking skills in any situation, he said. His goal is to help everyone see plants as a necessity in life and not just as a luxury that can be set aside during an economic downturn.

Known for his enthusiasm, passion and intensity, Hall is a coveted speaker at regional, national and international gatherings.

“My desire is to cure everyone of ‘plant blindness’ and when I see the proverbial light bulb light up in someone’s eyes, that fuels my passion,” Hall said.

Throughout his career, Hall’s awards have included Texas A&M University’s Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching and Texas A&M’s Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Student Counseling and Relations, plus many national and horticulture industry awards.

Hall also serves as chief economist for AmericanHort, an industry trade association, and as co-chair for Seed Your Future’s advisory council — a movement to promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants.

Recipients of the Great American Gardeners Awards will be honored at a ceremony and banquet in June at AHS headquarters in Virginia.

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Texas Crop and Weather Report — March 19, 2019

Cows

As beef cattle numbers rise, cull cow prices drop

Cows

Even though beef cattle numbers have been increasing steadily, prices for cull cows have tumbled, reaching their lowest amount since 2009. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

COLLEGE STATION – Prices for most cull cows recently hit their lowest point since 2009, even as Texas’ beef cattle numbers continue to increase slowly, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station, said Texas producers are adding cattle to their operations, and most classes of cattle were close to breakeven despite the lowest prices in a decade. However, some classes, such as cull cows, have seen prices tumble well below breakeven.

Texas has the largest beef cattle herd in the U.S. with around 4.6 million head in January 2018,  according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Anderson said the state and national herd continues to slowly build with relatively good prices and consumer demand.

“It’s the largest cow herd since 2009, but we’re also seeing the lowest prices at market since 2009,” he said. “We’re hoping to see that seasonal bump in prices that typically occurs between late fall and June. We’ve seen a little bit of an increase, which is positive, but not much.”

Higher costs associated with high-priced hay to supplement winter feeding won’t do anything to help profit margins, Anderson said. The summer drought followed by continuous rains placed a high demand on hay bales throughout the state this winter.

“We fed a lot of expensive hay to cattle this winter, so we need a price recovery to pay for that,” he said.

However, beef and dairy cull cows have hit new lows, Anderson said. Cull cows are typically destined to become hamburger meat.

In Oklahoma City, which had the most comprehensive data, cull cow prices were $46.92 per hundredweight in December, which was the lowest price since $46.58 per hundredweight in December 2009. The highest December price for cull cows was $116.50 per hundredweight in 2014.

“The dairy industry has been struggling with weak prices and lots of dairies going out of business all around the country,” he said. “That is sending so many cows to market that cull prices are seeing low to no profit.”

AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:

Map of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service districts.

CENTRAL: More than 1 inch of rain was reported in many parts of the district. Storms and high winds damaged some buildings, pivots and barns, and there was freeze damage to some small-grain fields. Mild conditions allowed some fields to dry while low areas were still wet,  some with standing water. Corn planting continued. Pastures and rangelands were doing well and beginning to green. Hay feeding of cattle slowed. Nearly all counties reported good soil moisture and good overall crop conditions.

 

ROLLING PLAINS: Most of the district had moisture, which was beneficial to topsoil conditions. Cotton producers were preparing for planting season. Wheat is looking good, especially where producers top-dressed their fields. Spring oats were coming up with good stands. Ranchers continued to supplement cow herds with hay and protein. Lice were a problem in many cowherds.

COASTAL BEND: Winds and drier weather allowed producers to enter fields with sandier soils. Farmers were planting corn, grain sorghum and cotton where possible. Previously planted corn and grain sorghum emerged. Some corn seed was exchanged for cotton seed. Remaining cotton stalks from the previous season were being shredded. Fertilizer was applied in some fields. Livestock were doing well, and calves were growing at a good pace. Auction runs picked up since pastures began drying out. Rangelands and pastures were greening up with sunshine. Wildflowers were abundant.

EAST: Subsoil and topsoil conditions were adequate to surplus. Most counties reported fair to good pasture and rangeland conditions, with Shelby County reporting very poor conditions. Fields were too wet for any row crop or gardening activity in Anderson County. Ponds and creeks were full in Cherokee County. Ryegrass growth increased greatly as temperatures rose. Hay supplies were still short with some producers running out. Livestock were consuming less hay in favor of grass. Livestock conditions were fair to good in Smith County. Headcounts and prices were down at the sale barn in Houston County. Cattle prices were steady to higher on some quality classes of feeder calves in Anderson County. Wild pigs continued to cause problems in several counties. Sabine County reported heavy wild pig damage to pastures and hay fields despite a countywide abatement program.

SOUTH PLAINS: Recent rains improved subsoil and topsoil moisture levels. However, severe, damaging winds evaporated moisture levels quickly. Pasture, rangeland and winter wheat conditions were poor to fair but could improve with moisture. Producers continued to prepare for spring planting as weather conditions allowed. Cattle were in good condition.

PANHANDLE: There were scattered showers in some of the counties, giving winter wheat production a much-needed boost. Stocker cattle worked the forage down quickly, so many of the stockers were moved to other pastures. Despite rainfall, high winds robbed moisture so continued rain is needed for crops and livestock. Cotton, sorghum, corn and soybean producers continued to complete pre-plant operations in fields.

NORTH: Soil moisture was reported to be mostly adequate to surplus for most of the counties. There was some warmer weather across the region and sunshine was visible throughout the reporting period. Severe weather brought very high winds, with some gusts of more than 70 mph in one area, plus caused more rain. Counties received 1.5 to 2 inches of rain, and many fields were soaked or had standing water in them. The ground was still too wet to work, and cotton was still standing from last fall and likely to be claimed as disaster loss for crop insurance. Hay supplies were short, and cattle producers were hoping for more warm weather to promote the growth of planted cool-season pastures and volunteer grass. Wheat has experienced some growth due to the sun and warmer temperatures, while corn planting was delayed due to saturated fields. Most of the cattle were in less than optimal condition due to a difficult winter, and feeding of hay and supplements continued.

FAR WEST: Temperatures ranged from highs in the low-80s to lows in the high-30s. Severe weather brought rain, hail and dust storms to much of the district. Precipitation ranged from trace amounts to more than 1.5 inches. High winds damaged trees, outbuildings and crops, and injured livestock. High winds continued to raise fire concerns. Many producers began plowing fields and started pre-irrigation in preparation of corn and cotton plantings. Cotton acres were expected to be cut in half due to low well-water quality. Most water was expected to be reserved for pecan orchards. Some existing alfalfa fields were expected to stay in production. Record snowpacks should positively impact irrigation allotments for the growing season. Pastures and grassland continued to grow rapidly.

WEST CENTRAL: Conditions were warmer overall. They were cooler early in the reporting period, with high winds and storms before warming and dry conditions later in the period. Some wind damage to farm structures was reported. The district received some rain, which improved soil moisture levels and rangeland conditions. Winter wheat was in mostly good to excellent condition. Fieldwork continued in preparation for planting warm-season crops. Pastures were in good shape headed into spring. Some warm-season grasses began to break dormancy. In the cattle market, stocker and feeder steers and heifers were steady. Lightweight stocker steers sold $5 lower per hundredweight. Packer cows and bulls, pairs and bred cows sold steady.

SOUTHEAST: Walker County received 1.5 inches of additional rain, which saturated the soil. Fieldwork for forages, timber or horticulture was limited. Brazos County experienced mild temperatures and enjoyed some much-needed sunshine. Producers in Jefferson County were able to plant rice per U.S. Department of Agriculture RMA guidelines. In Jefferson County, rice planting was delayed. In Grimes County, pastures were greening up, which indicates soil temperatures were warming. Rangeland and pasture ratings varied widely from fair to very poor, with fair being the most common. San Jacinto County reported 100 percent fair, and Montgomery County reported 100 percent good. Soil moisture levels throughout the region  ranged from adequate to surplus, with surplus being the most common. Brazos County and Fort Bend County reported 100 percent adequate. Walker, San Jacinto, Jefferson and Montgomery counties reported 100 percent surplus.

SOUTHWEST: Some counties received some much-needed rain, albeit very little. In those counties receiving rain, range and pasture conditions improved and green-up began. Corn planting began. Livestock were in fair condition as supplemental feeding continued. Kimble County reported extreme winds, which caused damage to structures, trees and plants.

SOUTH: Cool weather conditions with short to adequate soil moisture levels were reported throughout the district. High winds were reported and these may have affected some early planted crops. Mild temperatures and some rain were reported in Frio County, and crops generally remained the same. Maverick County reported no rain but temperatures around 70 degrees. Some farmers were planting vegetables, while others were preparing the soil for later planting. Coastal Bermuda grass was greening fast and should be ready for a first cut in a few weeks. Rangeland improved after receiving some moisture. In Zavala County, dry conditions  allowed spring planting to become very active. Producers reported sorghum and corn planting at 60 percent complete, and most planting should be completed soon. Spinach and cabbage harvest continued. Native range and pastures began to provide some warm-season grazing for livestock, but some supplemental feeding continued. Carrots and onions made good progress. In Dimmit County, trace amounts of rain improved forage production, but more rain was needed. In Zapata County, range and pasture conditions remained steady, but many areas reported they still needed rain. In Jim Wells County, planting progressed rapidly, with a few producers moving onto cotton. However, cooler temperatures later in the reporting period may have slowed down some planting. Overall, planting season is on target and most producers expected to finish earlier than normal. Range and pasture conditions improved, providing some nutrition to grazing cattle. Local markets continued to be steady in price and volume. In Duval County, the pasture and range conditions were adequate and there was plenty of vegetation in spite of a lack of rain. Oats and wheat pasture were being grazed, and cultivation was getting close. Some ranchers were cultivating and planting haygrazer. Deer breeders and ranchers were supplementing their livestock and wildlife. Kleberg and Kenedy counties had a half-inch of rain, and the corn crop has all been planted. Sorghum planting was nearly completed, and cotton was planted last week. However, cool and overcast conditions delayed greening of pasture and rangeland grasses. In Starr County, mostly all row crops had been planted, and high winds during the middle of the week halted field operations.

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Writer: Adam Russell, 903-834-6191, adam.russell@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. David Anderson, 979-845-4351, danderson@tamu.edu

 

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Corn tar spot could have ridden in on ‘bomb cyclone’

AgriLife Extension advises watching High Plains fields this season

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Dr. Ken Obasa, 806-677-5600, ken.obasa@ag.tamu.edu

Tar spot on corn. (Courtesy photo)

AMARILLO – A new disease affecting corn might have blown in on the recent “bomb cyclone,” and a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist said producers should be aware of what might make its way to their fields later this year.

Corn tar spot was introduced into the U.S. in 2015, first in Illinois and Indiana, said Dr. Ken Obasa, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist, Amarillo. Cases of the disease have since been reported in Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Before moving into the U.S., the disease was confined to Mexico, Central America and some parts of South America. It is believed a tropical storm introduced the disease into the U.S. from Latin America.

“As such, the March 2019 bomb cyclone that hit several parts of the U.S. including northern Texas and some of the states with confirmed cases of tar spot, such as Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, should concern corn stakeholders in the Texas High Plains,” Obasa said.

Disease development is reported to be favored by cool, wet conditions, he said. Symptoms start as oval to irregular bleached to brown lesions on leaves. Within the lesions, the fungus produces black spore-producing structures called ascomata, which have a fish-eye-like appearance. The black structures protrude from the leaf surface, making it feel rough to the touch.

Affected leaf surfaces may become densely covered with the lesions, and associated ascomata similar to rust pustules and lesions may even coalesce to affect larger areas of the leaf, according to reports. Symptoms could be mistaken for similar-looking disorders like old rust lesions or even insect frass.

Two fungi, Phyllachora maydis, which causes the characteristic black spots, and Monographella maydis, which causes the brown lesions that surround the black spots, are currently associated with the disease, Obasa said.

But only Phyllachora maydis has been found in some of the affected states, including Indiana. Infection by Phyllachora maydis alone is currently not known to significantly impact yield; however, if Monographella maydis is also present, it can cause significant economic damage.

Losses of up to 60 bushels per acre have been reported in areas with severe infections, he said. Even when infections do not affect yield, there’s still a potential for it to compromise stalk integrity or strength in affected plants.

“In the High Plains of Texas where high winds are prevalent, this could cause lodging, resulting in significant economic impact from an otherwise non-severe level of infection,” Obasa said.

Investigations are ongoing to learn more about the disease, and several hybrids are being screened for resistance in affected states, he said. Currently, almost all corn hybrids in the U.S. are reported to be susceptible to the disease. The hybrids identified as being resistant to the disease in Latin America are not adapted to this region.

Obasa said the reason he is providing the heads-up to area producers is that states with confirmed cases report the disease has the potential to become endemic in an area following an initial infection episode.

“Growers, especially, should pay very close attention to their crops this season and be on the lookout for the symptoms of this disease,” he said.

Fortunately, Obasa said, a few fungicides labeled for the control of tar spot in corn are already available, including Syngenta’s Trivapro, which also is labeled for leaf blight, rusts, gray leaf spot and smuts among other diseases in corn.

An early season application – V4-V8 growth stages – is recommended for disease control and plant performance benefit, according to the chemical label. Applications can also be made when a designated target disease first appears.

“In the event that symptoms similar to those of tar spot are observed or even suspected by a grower, AgriLife Extension agent or agriculture consultant, please notify us at the Texas High Plains Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Amarillo immediately,” Obasa said.

Obasa and the diagnostic lab can be reached at 806-677-5600 or by emailing ken.obasa@ag.tamu.edu.  

He also advised growers and others to collect and send samples to the diagnostic laboratory for diagnosis and confirmation. Samples should be sent to Texas High Plains Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, 6500 Amarillo Blvd. West, Amarillo, TX 79106.

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Tres Palacios Creek watershed protection plan meeting set April 10 in Palacios

TresPalaciosCreek

Tres Palacios Creek. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

PALACIOS – The Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, is hosting a meeting April 10 in Palacios to discuss the implementation of the Tres Palacios Watershed Protection Plan.

The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at the Matagorda County Navigation District, 1602 Main St.

The institute is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

Michael Schramm, TWRI research associate in College Station, said the Tres Palacios Watershed Plan was recently accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are now working with local stakeholders to assist in implementing management measures identified in the plan to reduce bacteria and nutrient loads reaching the creek,” Schramm said.

Schramm said the Tres Palacios was classified impaired by the state of Texas due to excessive bacteria and low dissolved oxygen levels.

“However, local stakeholders worked extensively to develop a plan that identifies voluntary management actions that will gradually improve water quality,” he said.

Schramm said the meeting will provide an update on recent water quality conditions and a discussion about ongoing and upcoming projects.

“The goal of the meeting is to provide stakeholders with a picture of plan implementation status  and to identify where local stakeholders can get involved to improve water quality,” he said.

For more information, contact Schramm at michael.schramm@ag.tamu.edu.

This meeting is funded by a Texas Coastal Management Program Grant approved by the Texas Land Commissioner pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Contacts: Michael Schramm, 979-458-9191, michael.schramm@ag.tamu.edu

Nathan Glavy, 979-458-5915, nathan.glavy@ag.tamu.edu

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Brady Arthur joins AgriLife Extension as agent for Lubbock County

 

Writer: Susan Himes, 325-657-7315, Susan.Himes@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: Brady Arthur, 806-632-4258, bparthur@tamu.edu

New AgriLife Extension Lubbock agent Brady Arthur.

LUBBOCK — Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has hired Brady Arthur as the agricultural and natural resources agent for Lubbock County. Michael Clawson, District 2 AgriLife Extension administrator, will be his supervisor.

“Brady’s agricultural background and previous experiences in the industry are a perfect fit with the new direction of this position,” said Clawson. “The position is designed to provide ag producers with unbiased, research-based information to assist them with their farming enterprises.

“As an agronomist, Brady will focus his educational programs toward row crop production and integrated pest management issues impacting the ag industry in Lubbock County. AgriLife Extension is excited to have Brady step into this role as the agency works towards enhancing its educational efforts related to production agriculture.”

Arthur earned his master’s in agronomy from Texas A&M University. He previously worked as a Texas A&M AgriLife Research research assistant in College Station and as a TAMU graduate research assistant. While an undergraduate, Arthur worked as a biological research assistant for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

Arthur received the Texas Plant Protection Association’s outstanding graduate student award in 2017.

“Working for AgriLife is a way I can directly impact and help to benefit the producers in the Lubbock area,” said Arthur. “I’m the middleman between them and the research AgriLife is doing. I can work with both sides to help solve complications producers may have and to provide them with solutions in order to ensure they are as successful and profitable as possible.”

As a graduate student, Arthur participated in variety race trials on cotton and conducted a study on nitrogen fertilizer management based on spatial data on soil. He was granted a patent on a dual crane apparatus that assists in the maintenance of sprinkler irrigation systems in 2016. Arthur received the Texas Plant Protection Association’s outstanding graduate student award in 2017.

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Amarillo gardening workshop, Master Gardener training set in April, May

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Megan Eikner, 806-373-0713, megan.eikner@ag.tamu.edu

AMARILLO – A Beginners Gardening Workshop series and Master Gardener Intern Training is planned for four consecutive Tuesdays beginning April 30 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Potter County, 3301 SE 10th Ave., Amarillo.

Each program will be from 6-8 p.m. The event is open to the public, as well as those wanting to participate in the Master Gardener program. The fee is $20, and those planning to attend are asked to preregister by calling 806-373-0713.

The dates and topics will be:

– April 30, Intro/orientation, plant growth and development, and soils and amendments.

– May 7, Earth-Kind, plant health problems: diagnosis and management.

– May 14, Home fruit and nut production, vegetable and herb gardening.

– May 21, Landscape horticulture, lawn care.

“If you are excited about spring flowers and a beautiful lawn, but are unsure about how to get there, come join our workshop series and learn the basics from the pros,” said Megan Eikner, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Potter County.

The intent of the Master Gardener program, offered through AgriLife Extension, is to help train better gardeners and develop Master Gardener volunteers, Eikner said.

Master Gardener interns are required to attend 50 hours of classroom instruction and to volunteer 50 hours of service the first year to earn the title of Master Gardener, she said. The title is only for individuals trained and certified in the program.

For more information, contact Eikner at megan.eikner@ag.tamu.edu or go to the AgriLife Extension-Potter County webpage, https://potter.agrilife.com.

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