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News

Research shows late-planted sorghum, other crops good alternatives to failed cotton

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Dr. Qingwu Xue, 806-354-5803, QXue@ag.tamu.edu

Dr. Qingwu Xue’s plant physiology team plants grain sorghum June 12 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research farm near Bushland. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

AMARILLO – The window for planting cotton may have been closed by too much rain, but a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist said past trials show producers could still benefit from all the moisture with dryland grain sorghum or corn or other alternative crops.

“With all this moisture in the ground, producers still have an opportunity to get a crop in the ground and see good yields,” said Dr. Qingwu Xue, AgriLife Research crop physiologist, Amarillo. “Which crop will depend on their particular circumstances in their field.”

Xue said most sorghum is already being managed on limited irrigation or dryland because it is a more drought-tolerant crop. Even when it stopped raining completely in July in 2017 and 2018, dryland sorghum made 50-90 bushels per acre on average when planted in late June, with the help of rains in August and September.

Dr. Qingwu Xue, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant physiologist, inspects the planting of grain sorghum June 12 at the AgriLife Research farm near Bushland. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

“This area’s optimal planting date is June for sorghum anyway, because that’s when the chances of rain are the best in most years,” he said.

Sugarcane aphids, however, could be an issue on late-planted sorghum, whether it is for grain or silage, Xue said. Producers need to make sure they select varieties with some resistance and then scout their fields and be prepared to spray.

“The last two years, the sugarcane aphids have arrived in late July and August and that is when the sorghum will be in the bloom stage,” he said. “This is one of the most vulnerable times.”

Xue said in both 2017 and 2018, planting date and hybrid selection had significant effects on sugarcane aphid infestation, grain yield, water use and water-use efficiency. During those years, early May planted sorghum experienced more drought stress and yielded less than late June-planted sorghum.

More mid- to late-season rainfall resulted in higher yields in the later planted sorghum. In 2017, average yield was 25 bushels per acre in early May-planted sorghum and 70 bushels per acre in the late June-planted crop. In 2018, the average yield was 50 bushels per acre in early planted fields and 61 bushels per acre in the late.

For the early planted sorghum, the sugarcane aphid infestation was minimal or none because the sorghum matured before they arrived. However, there were greater sugarcane aphid populations in late-planted sorghum, which might have affected yield.

He said he also has an ongoing late-planted corn study, and, “I know we can push the date to July 1 and still make about 150 bushels per acre in irrigated corn.”

Dr. Qingwu Xue, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist, has irrigated corn planted on May 15, top, and May 23, bottom, in his study. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

Another potential crop is cowpeas or black-eyed peas, he said. They are very drought tolerant, so make a good option if a producer can get a contract.

“So, we still have windows to plant in, but we may be past most insurance coverage dates for cotton and corn,” Xue said. “Regardless of what crop you are going to grow, the most important thing is getting good soil moisture in the profile, and that shouldn’t be a problem this year.”

A major consideration on what crop to replant will be any herbicides already applied to the field.

“So, you may need to check the herbicide labels or contact an AgriLife Extension agronomist for any replant restrictions and crop selection,” Xue said.

Also, he warned, nitrogen may have been leached out by the heavy rainfall, so more may need to be applied.

More detailed information can be found in the 17th edition of Alternative Crop Options after Failed Cotton and Late-Season Crop Planting for the Texas South Plains,  https://tinyurl.com/lateplantingcropalternatives.

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‘Difficult Family Discussions’ workshop series underway in Lubbock

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

Contact: Nancy Trevino-Schafer, 806-775-1740, Nancy.Trevino-Schafer@ag.tamu.edu

LUBBOCK — The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering the summer 2019 workshop series, “Difficult Family Discussions,” to children ages 10-17 and their parents or legal guardians.

The series is held in partnership with the Buckner Family Hope Center.

Workshops run on select Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-noon at the center, located at 1510 South Loop 289, Lubbock.

The series is free and participants may choose which topics to attend. Childcare will be provided for younger family members but preregistration is required.

For more information or to register, email Nancy Trevino-Schafer at nancy.trevino-schafer@ag.tamu.edu or call the AgriLife Extension office in Lubbock at  806-775-1740.

“The tween and teen years can be difficult for both children and adults,” said Trevino-Schafer, AgriLife Extension agent for urban youth development, Lubbock. “We want to make some of those difficult discussions easier and get families talking and learning together through this series.”

The next three scheduled topics in the workshop series are:

  • June 26, “Sharing Your Values and Expectations with Teens” – Participants will learn and practice techniques for talking about their family values and expectations using media clips and everyday situations.
  • July 17, “Growing Up – Puberty and Reproductive Health” – Participants will learn about physical changes that occur during adolescence, how to talk about health and hygiene, statistics regarding reproductive health concerns and ways to reduce risky behaviors.
  • July 31, “Cooking Together” – Participants will learn kitchen safety skills and practice using kitchen skills while cooking together as a family.

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Pew Latin American Fellows Program awardee to work with Texas A&M AgriLife Research

COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Fausto Andrés Ortiz-Morea, a researcher from Universidad de la Amazonia in Colombia, has received funding from the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences to do research in conjunction with Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Dr. Fausto Ortiz-Morea. (Photo courtesy Ortiz-Morea)

Ortiz-Morea was one of 10 researchers from six Latin American countries chosen. He and the other nine researchers will receive two years of funding from the program to conduct research in U.S. laboratories.

Ortiz-Morea will work under the mentorship of Dr. Libo Shan, a professor of plant pathology and microbiology with the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology at Texas A&M University, College Station.

His research will include investigating how plants integrate and execute an immune response against invading pathogens.

At Universidad de la Amazonia, Ortiz-Morea has been engaged in a variety of research related to agricultural plant science, and molecular and cell biology. This research, aimed at understanding the subcellular signaling networks of plant defense in conjunction with growth and development, could help in the behavioral modulation of food production plants to better protect them from environmental factors.

“Dr. Otriz-Morea will continue his research on cell-to-cell communication related to plant immune responses and the chemical components involved,” Shan said. “He will bring synergy to our lab research on the language of chemical signals, which cells use to communicate with one another during growth and development and when they become infected.”

She said understanding plant cell biology and chemistry will help in the development of food plants with improved resistance against diseases and other adverse environmental challenges, as well as in the promotion of maximum quality and yield.

This year, Pew selected a total of 39 researchers in its newest class of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences and Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research.

According to Pew, these programs award multiyear grants to scholars and fellows are undertaking ambitious research projects, including examining the sensory processes, studying interactions between hosts and microorganisms, and exploring different strategies for combating cancer.

For more information on the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences, go to https://bit.ly/2IgOiym.

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Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. Libo Shan, 979-845-8818, lshan@tamu.edu

Dr. Fausto Ortiz-Morea, fandortiz@gmail.com

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Youth track to be featured as part of Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course

Media contact: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, b-fannin@tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 5-7 at Texas A&M University in College Station will include a youth track featuring a number of educational sessions.

Youth can learn more about the beef industry during a special hands-on program held in conjunction with the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on Aug. 5-7 at Texas A&M University in College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin)

        A tour of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will be one of the highlights along with a meat laboratory experience that includes smoking cooked beef products. The youth track program is open to students ages 13 to 18 and is limited to 45 registrants.

Early registration is encouraged to secure participation.

“The Beef Cattle Short Course youth program is a hands-on opportunity for youth to learn more about the beef cattle industry,” said Dr. Jason Cleere, conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in College Station. “All attending youth will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of demonstrations and learning opportunities that cover a broad spectrum of beef production.

“The youth track is designed to be a very interactive and fun version of the Beef Cattle Short Course for the students.”

Cost is $100 by July 29. Registration includes a prime rib dinner, breakfast and lunch Monday and Tuesday, and breakfast on Aug. 7 before the conclusion of the short course.

For more information, visit https://beefcattleshortcourse.com/ for registration.

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June 14, 2019 Weekly Round Up

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the world of agricultural law.  I want to welcome those of you who I met at speaking events for the Hill Country Cattle Women in Fredericksburg and the Owning Your Piece of Texas Ag Law Workshop in San Antonio.  If you’d like to see an article  and short video about our Owning Your Piece of Texas program, click here.

Here are some of the major ag law stories in the news over the past two weeks.

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

*Lawsuit filed against US Fish and Wildlife related to lesser prairie chicken.  Several environmental groups have filed suit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to list prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act.  These groups filed a petition for listing in September 2016 and the USFWS has failed to make a finding on that petition.  You may recall that back in 2014, the lesser prairie chicken was listed by the USFWS as “threatened” under the ESA, but that decision was later overturned by a federal judge here in Texas.  [Read Complaint here.]

*Governor Abbott signs law paving way for hemp production and legal CBD oil sales in Texas.  Governor Abbot has signed HB 1325, which will set a framework for rules and regulations necessary to allow Texas farmers to begin legally producing hemp.  Importantly, this bill does not allow hemp to be grown, but instead requires the Texas Department of Agriculture to promulgate a state plan to regulate hemp production in Texas.  Before TDA can do so, it will have to wait for USDA rules to be passed on the federal level.  So, while this is certainly a step in the direction of hemp production in the Lone Star State, we still have a long row to hoe, as my dad would say.  [Read article here and bill text here.]

*FDA holds public hearing on regulation of CBD oil.  Although the CBD industry is booming, there remains a lot regulatory uncertainty on the topic.  The Food and Drug Administration recently held a public hearing on regulations of CBD oil.  Steptoe & Johnson PLLC wrote an article summarizing five key takeaways as identified by FDA Deputy Commissioner, Amy Abernethy.  [Read article here.]

*EPA passes rule exempting animal waste emissions from EPCRA.  The Environmental Protection Agency has passed a final rule expressly exempting air emissions from animal wastes from reporting requirements under the EPCRA statute.  You may recall  that in 2018, Congress passed an Act exempting animal waste emissions from CERCLA reporting, but that statute failed to address EPCRA.  This new rule answers that potential issue and affirms the position that EPA has taken on this issue since March 2018.  It is expected that environmental groups may file suit against the EPA, challenging the rule.  [Read article here.]

*Why farmers have not received Syngenta settlement distributions.  Corn farmers may be wondering why they have yet to receive their settlement check from the Syngenta class action litigation that was settled last year.  According to a Syngenta spokesman, Syngenta has contributed the $1.5 billion settlement into a settlement fund to make distributions, but due to pending objections to the settlement and appeals of the court’s settlement approval, payments cannot be made until those legal actions are resolved.  [Read article here.]

*”Should I be worried about death taxes?” Farm Progress recently published a great article on this topic.  Although under current law, many Americans do not need to be concerned with potential federal estate tax liability at death, the article does a good job pointing out that that law is not permanent and there are several considerations to keep in mind. [Read article here.]

 

 

 

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AgriLife Extension 2019 alternative crop replanting guide now available online

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

Contacts: Dr. Calvin Trostle, 806-723-8432, ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu

Dr. Maeda Murilo, 806-746-6101, Murilo.Maeda@ag.tamu.edu

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service cotton specialist Dr. Murilo Maeda discusses cotton crop damage with Shelley Huguley, Southwest Farm Press. (AgriLife Extension photo by Calvin Trostle)

LUBBOCK — The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s 17th annual late-planting guide, “2019 Alternative Crop Options after Failed Cotton and Late-Season Crop Planting for the Texas South Plains,” is now available online at https://tinyurl.com/yybmpbbo.

“The annual guide is a ‘first things’ approach to helping farmers who have lost crops or have been unable to plant,” said author Dr. Calvin Trostle, AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock.

A variety of wild weather conditions affected many Texas producers this year and in some areas delayed planting or wiped out entire crops. The updated late-planting guide is geared toward the South Plains, but contains helpful information for adjacent regions.

Water erosion in a cotton field in Lubbock County has destroyed seedling cotton.  (AgriLife Extension photo by Calvin Trostle)

“Whether to keep a field of young cotton that may have excessive damage is a tough choice,” said Dr. Murilo Maeda, AgriLife Extension cotton specialist, Lubbock, who contributed to the updated guide. “Sometimes we need to wait a week to know for sure if we have a keeper.”

The guide draws on Trostle’s 20-plus years as an agronomist in West Texas and answers  questions about replanting and late-planting options, including the last recommended planting dates for several potential crops.

“We always hope the annual replanting guide is not needed, but the frequency of damaging storms and winds in the Texas South Plains on vulnerable cotton seedlings unfortunately means farmers face undue risk until the crop is well established,” said Trostle.

The guide has three primary goals:

  • Offer guidelines for crop replant options after failed crops, especially cotton.
  • Assist with late-season planting decisions where timely planting, duration to crop maturity and fall weather risks may impact successful cropping.
  • Provide contractor contact information as well as recent approximate pricing, particularly for crops where price is fixed at contract signing.

“As planting season drags on in the South Plains, severe weather has producers in the area scrambling to sand fight, plant and replant cotton,” Maeda said. “Unfortunately, many early planted acres that were looking great have been damaged by hail, blowing sand and standing water. While we are pretty late already for planting or replanting cotton in many parts of the Panhandle, the Lubbock area is not too far out either.”

Cotton stands damaged by hail and sand may survive and have good yield potential, but  producers need to account for the delay in early season growth caused by such damage, and weigh that against a new planting, Maeda said.

“As we know all too well, season length along with water availability are the main limiting factors in the region,” said Maeda. “Although we are not necessarily recommending folks plant/replant cotton at this point in time, those producers considering replanting (or planting since some did not have enough time to cover all their acres), should choose varieties that are as early as possible. This is to try to minimize possible end-of-season problems with fiber quality, in case of an early freeze and/or lack of heat unit accumulation, which are fairly common.”

Normal (left) and damaged cotton seedlings in Lubbock County. The seedling on the right survived wind damage and the growing point is alive, producing new leaves.  (AgriLife Extension photo by Calvin Trostle)

Updates, changes and additions to the guide from the two previous editions include:

  • Added comments on cotton variety selection, growth and regrowth after hail damage, and targeting late-season uniformity across the field.
  • Updated online chemical label look-up information.
  • Added comments about replant and late-plant options for organic cropping.  
  • Cautions about replanting grain sorghum and other crops behind cotton if dicamba has been applied.
  • An update on sugarcane aphid and possible implications for grain sorghum in the South Plains.
  • Links to grain sorghum hybrids that express aphid tolerance.
  • Reporting of recent research that suggests hybrid pearl millet is a poor host of sugarcane aphid and a possible alternative forage option to sorghum family forages.
  • Proso millet for grain is now included as a potential short-season alternative crop for late planting.

Foliar damage on seedling cotton. The growing point in the center is not yet demonstrating any regrowth, which is essential to future productivity.  (AgriLife Extension photo by Calvin Trostle)

Additional AgriLife Extension guides and resources covering a wide range of crop and pest issues related to the South Plains may be found at https://lubbock.tamu.edu/.

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Texas A&M corn breeder looking to build a better bourbon

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Beth Luedeker, 979-458-4044, baluedeker@tamu.edu
Contacts: Dr. Seth Murray, 979-845-3041, sethmurray@tamu.edu
Rob Arnold, rob@frdistiliing.com

Texas A&M’s corn breeding program is researching the affect corn varieties and environment have on whiskey. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Beth Luedeker)

COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Seth Murray may have more than a casual interest in National Bourbon Day on June 14.

Murray, Texas A&M AgriLife Research corn breeder and Eugene Butler Endowed Chair in the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, has an ongoing research project aimed at producing better whiskey through science.

Dr. Seth Murray, Texas A&M corn breeder, pollinates a corn plant. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Beth Luedeker)

Whiskey is the generic name of distilled alcohol made with grain and aged in a wood barrel. Bourbon whiskey must by federal law be produced in the U.S. from at least 51% corn, distilled to less than 80% alcohol and barreled at less than 62.5% alcohol in new charred oak barrels. Most bourbon whiskey brands utilize 70-80% corn in their recipes.

Murray’s corn breeding program evaluates about 7,000 varieties per year for food and animal feed, but his novel corn for whiskey project is attempting to answer the question: Can different corns make whiskey taste different? Better?

He recently conducted a whiskey tasting on Capitol Hill to help educate U.S. legislators on the importance of public agriculture research as a part of the Hill Lunch-N-Learn seminar series sponsored by the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research, or C-FAR.

Rob Arnold, head distiller at Firestone & Robertson Distillery in Fort Worth and doctoral student in Dr. Seth Murray’s corn breeding program at Texas A&M. (Courtesy photo)

More than 100 Congressional staff members taste-tested three Texas whiskeys as Murray discussed research he and his graduate student, Rob Arnold, are doing into the effect corn variety has on the flavor.

Arnold is working toward his doctorate in plant breeding through Texas A&M’s distance program while working as the head distiller at Firestone & Robertson Distillery in Fort Worth.

“Rob and I have had a great collaboration,” Murray said. “He was already an amazing distiller and among the world leaders in the science of whiskey, while I run one of a few remaining public corn breeding programs and was looking for more ways to get our improved varieties out and to help farmers and put Texas industries on the map.”

He said with fewer people involved in agriculture all the time, the importance of scientifically breeding new varieties is not well understood by the public.

“This project has allowed me to connect the positive impacts of my agricultural research directly to something many consumers are excited about, better whiskey.”

TX Bourbon is being commercially produced with Texas corn. (Courtesy photo)

Staffers had the opportunity to taste F&R’s commercially available “TX” Whiskey and TX Bourbon, along with two research samples aged for a year and a half in matched oak barrels. Of the matched samples, one was made from a Texas A&M experimental hybrid grown in Burleson County and the other from a commercial corn variety produced in Hill County.

“The staffers liked the whiskey, but more importantly they thought the flavors of the two matched samples were very distinct,” Murray said. “This is great because it shows that different corn varieties do make a difference.”

Murray also noted that seasoned whiskey drinkers preferred the Texas A&M corn, while the staffers less familiar with whiskey preferred the one made with commercial corn.

“It’s been commonly accepted that flavor differences among whiskeys are caused by the grain species – corn vs. rye vs. wheat – and percentages used, yeast strain, distillation equipment, barrel type, maturation length and the overall production techniques utilized,” Arnold said. “Grain variety and growing location is rarely, if ever, considered for the grains, especially when considering corn.

“But our experiments are showing for the first time that corn variety and growing environment can be a major driver, and most surprisingly that the differences can increase with barrel aging.”

Dr. Seth Murray, Texas A&M corn breeder, works in his lab to get seed envelopes ready for planting. (Texas A&M AgriLife photos by Beth Luedeker)

There are currently no scientific publications to turn to on corn whiskey flavor, Murray said, so he and Arnold are turning to science to determine what makes a difference in taste and to develop repeatable methods to test small samples.

The project is evaluating genetics; does the hybrid matter? Or, is it the environment – location and inputs – that matter? Or is it a combination of the two? From the Texas Panhandle down to Hidalgo County, varieties were grown to compare factors such as soil, topography and climate.

The concept of how wine flavor is impacted by grape variety, e.g. Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, and growing conditions, Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Tuscany, is universally accepted in wine making, Arnold said.

For many reasons — the most important of which being the rise and “blending” nature of the commodity grain market, which distillers turned to for grain after Prohibition — these same concepts of variety and environment, or terroir, have been largely ignored in whiskey, he said.

But this is slowly starting to change, largely due to the craft whiskey movement, and Murray and Arnold say they are working to unravel the underlying science.

They have now evaluated about 30 Texas A&M varieties and are scaling up a proprietary Texas A&M hybrid. One acre each of three hybrids have been planted by the F&R grower to do proof-of-concept work, and hybrid seed production for next year’s much larger production is planted in the Rio Grande Valley on contract.

“We have to work with the timelines of corn growing seasons, and good whiskey and bourbon are aged for a number of years, so unfortunately whiskey aficionados will need to wait a few more years until they, like the Capitol Hill staffers, can taste the difference in corn selected for improved whiskey flavor,” Murray said.

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Sports field, park, turf management program set for July 16 in Floresville

A sports field, park and turf management program will be held July 16 in Floresville. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)

FLORESVILLE – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Atascosa, Bexar, Frio, Guadalupe and Wilson counties will present a Sports Field, Park and Turf Management Program July 16 in Floresville.

The program will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Floresville Event Center, 600 Texas  Highway 97 West.

AgriLife Extension presenters will be Dr. Becky Grubbs-Bowling, turfgrass specialist, College Station, plus the agency’s agriculture and natural resources agents from the participating counties.

Topics will include management of diseases, insects, plant fertility, grass burs, weeds and irrigation.

Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to sign up early. RSVP by July 12 to the AgriLife Extension office in Atascosa County at 830-569-0034 or the AgriLife Extension office in Wilson County at 830-393-7357.

Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units – two integrated pest management and one general — will be offered for private, commercial and non-commercial applicators.

For more information, contact Dale Rankin at the AgriLife Extension office in Atascosa County at 830-569-0034.

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Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contacts: Bryan Davis, 830-393-7357, bryan.davis@ag.tamu.edu

Dale Rankin, 830-569-0034, dale.rankin@ag.tamu.edu

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Jim Bradbury & Jesse Richardson (Pros and Cons of Conservation Easements)

I'm thrilled to have two guests on this episode of the podcast.  We've got Texas-based attorney, Jim Bradbury, and West Virginia University Law Professor, Jesse Richardson, on the show to talk details, pros, and cons of conservation easements.  Jim and Jesse have both done a good amount of work in this area, and while they agree on many issues, they have different perspectives on some areas as well.  I'm confident this episode will be useful in learning about this important topic!

Also, for the attorneys in the crowd, Jim refers to conservation easement work as "the extreme sport of lawyering."  You don't want to miss this!

Contact Info for Jim Bradbury

(Email) jim@bradburycounsel.com 

(Website) http://bradburycounsel.com/

(Twitter) @jimbluewind

 

Contact Info for Jesse Richardson

(Email)  jesse.Richardson@mail.wvu.edu

(Phone) 304-293-9460

(Twitter)  @jessejames8785

Wild Pig Management Workshop set June 27 in Dawson

Event to include Richland-Chambers watershed stakeholder meeting

 

Wild pig management will be the main topic of the workshop scheduled for June 27 in Dawson.  (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

DAWSON – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Tarrant Regional Water District, or TRWD, will conduct a Wild Pig Management Workshop for landowners and the public from 8:15 a.m.-2 p.m. June 27 in Dawson.

The workshop will be at the cafeteria of Dawson High School, 199 N. School Ave., said Page Bishop, AgriLife Extension agent, Navarro County.

There is no charge to attend the workshop, though an optional catered luncheon will be provided for $10. On-site registration will begin at 8:15 a.m., but preregistration by June 21 is requested.

“Wild pigs cause an estimated $52 million in agricultural damages alone in Texas each year,” said Josh Helcel, AgriLife Extension associate with the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute in College Station and a workshop presenter. “In addition to their damaging agricultural production, wild pigs contribute bacteria to our water systems, can transmit a number of diseases and negatively impact other native species and habitat.”

Workshop topics will include wild pig biology, impact and control techniques; water district watershed protection plan updates for the Richland-Chambers Watershed; and wild pig safety and disease concerns and transportation regulations. There will also be a demonstration of control techniques for wild pigs.

Other speakers will include Dr. Tommy Barton, Texas Animal Health Commission Region 7 director; Adam Henry, Texas Wildlife Services wildlife biologist; and Tina Hendon, watershed program manager for TRWD.

Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units — two general and one integrated pest management — will be available for private pesticide applicator licensees.

For more information and to RSVP, go to https://trwdwatersheds.eventbrite.com. Direct any further inquiries to Michelle Wood-Ramirez at 817-720-4552 or http://www.watersheds@trwd.com.

This event is provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-467-6575, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Josh Helcel, 512-554-3785, josh.helcel@tamu.edu

 

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