Monday, July 6, 2015

Upcoming CEU program - 3 CEUs (1.5 IPM & 1.5 L&R)

Beef Cattle Management Series
Elgin VFW Hall
 118 Old Sayers Road, Elgin, Texas
July 30, 2015

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.      Registration

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.     Pesticide Laws & Regulations Update- Jody Stelzig, TDA Inspector

9:30 - 10:00 a.m.   Trailer Laws Update & Safety

10:15 – 11 a.m.      What’s on the Horizon for the Cattle Industry? Dr. Rick Machen, Extension Livestock Specialist

11:00 - Noon           Beef Cattle Health Issues- Dr. Gary Warner, Elgin Vet. Hospital

Noon – 12:45 p.m.            Lunch (RSVP and pay by July 22 to ensure an accurate meal count)

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.  Panel Discussion on cattle health issues, feed prices & market outlook

Registration is $25 per person if paid by July 22 to the Bastrop County Extension Office at 901 Pecan Street in Bastrop or the Travis County Extension Office at 1600B Smith Road in Austin.  Late registration onsite is $30.  Make checks or money orders payable to the Bastrop Ag. Fund (no cash will be accepted).   This program is co-sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Bastrop & Travis Counties.  Three hours of CEU credits  (1.5 hour in Laws & Regulations and 1.5 hours in IPM) will be offered to commercial, non-commercial and private pesticide applicators.  

Person with disabilities who plan to attend meetings or functions who may need auxiliary aids or services are requested to contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Bastrop County at (512) 581-7186 two days prior to the event so that appropriate arrangements can be made.  Educational programs of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin.  The Texas A&M University System, U. S. Department of Agriculture and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Info on chiggers from AgriLife Entomologist, Wizzie Brown

Ahhhh....the joys of rain.  While we haven't had rain in the past week, we are still dealing with the rain the we got in May.  I've been getting a lot of questions about mosquitoes of course.  I've also been getting questions on chiggers.  This is one that we really haven't had to deal with since it's been on the dry side.

Chiggers are the larvae, or immature stage, of a mite. These larval mites climb onto people when they walk through infested areas. The chiggers climb up the person's body seeking out a suitable feeding spot. They prefer to feed in areas where skin is thinnest or where clothing fits tightly. This often leads them to ankles, waist area, behind the knees, armpits and the groin area.

Chiggers do not- let me say that again....DO NOT- burrow into the skin as many people believe. "Smothering" them by painting the bite area with nail polish will not do anything to relieve discomfort. Instead of burrowing, chiggers inject a digestive enzyme into the skin which breaks down skin cells. The chiggers eat the broken down skin cells. Itching and redness from chiggers is caused by the body's reaction to the enzymes chiggers inject. Itching typically begins 3-6 hours after being bitten, peaks at 24 hours and may last up to 2 weeks.

Try to avoid chigger infested areas. If that is not possible, then here are some suggestions:
  • wear protective clothing: tightly woven items that fit loosely that include long sleeves and pants with shoes and boots
  • tuck pant legs into boots
  • avoid sitting on the ground
  • remove and launder clothing ASAP after being in infested areas
  • shower/ bathe after being in infested areas; scrub vigorously with a washcloth
  • before entering chigger infested areas, use an insect repellent with DEET or picaridin
To treat chigger infestations around the home, try the following:
  • keeping the lawn mowed
  • maintain vegetation; do not allow vegetation to grow high and keep brush cleared
  • fill in any low lying areas that remain damp or moist
  • try treating with residual pesticide sprays (pyrethroids)- read and follow all label instructions!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Floods, Crop Newsletter & Horn Flies

Greetings All,

Well, I said I was going to try to change my ways and use a different format for our blog.  Needless to say it didn't work.  I am no tech whiz, so we will go back to this format for a while.  To catch you up on what's going's raining, in case you've been living in a cave. 

Suffered Ag Loss in Storms?

If you suffered from agriculture losses from flooding, not including horses or fences in a flood zone, please let me know - as we need to report that to the USDA (FSA).  Just e-mail me: and I will put you in touch with our FSA representative for Travis County.  If you already reported damages to him...Thank you! 

If you do not reside in Travis County, but need assistance, I will be glad to put you in touch with your local USDA office.

Row Crop Newsletter

The fine folks at Texas A&M AgriLife started a row crop online newsletter.  It can be subscribed to, just like you did this blog, or you can just go check on it:
Once you're on the website, check out the "current articles" tab for great info that came out today! 

Their current articles include:
- How Waterlogged Soils Impact Cotton Growth and Management Decisions
- Impact of Ponded Water/Flooding on Corn & Sorghum
- Updated Texas A&M AgriLife Weed Control Guides: Grain Sorghum, Sunflower
- Pre-Harvest Sprouting Threatening 2015 Texas Wheat Crop

Attention Wheat Farmers:

You will be receiving a few pieces of mail from me in the next few days, in snail mail.  Find the letter-opener that you have hidden somewhere...  If you somehow didn't get on the list, I sent the following print outs to those on our mailing list:

Horn Fly Control in Cattle

A few weeks ago I started a Horn Fly result demonstration with a cooperator in East Travis County under the guidance of Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Veterinary Entomologist.  We are testing 3 different types of Horn Fly ear tags efficacy.  Even though we've only had the program going a few weeks, we are already seeing one brand taking the lead.  I will leave that as a teaser; the true test will be how long they last.  We are treating all the herds under the same management practices and in neighboring pastures. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dealing with Drought in Landscapes

Starting in February, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis County will be offering monthly seminars on Dealing With Drought in the Landscape. 
When: 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis County, 1600-B Smith Road
Cost: $10/seminar for early registration; $15/seminar for late or on-site 
ContactDaphne Richards, 512-854-9600 or

February 12 - Landscaping Basics   
Learn basic landscape principals and become familiar with the native and adapted plants to incorporate into your garden. Carolyn Williams has been a Master Gardener for over 14 years and a gardener in Central Texas for over 40 years. She hold both Basic and Advanced Landscape Design Certification from ACC. She will share her experience of working with good Texas tough plants to use in your designs.
March 12 - Using Native Plants in the Landscape 
Native Texas plants bring beauty and function to your garden while being well adapted to handle Texas’ blazing summers, drought, and other weather extremes. In addition to being water-wise, native plants provide great benefits to pollinators and birds. 4-H CAPITAL’s gardening specialist and Texas Master Naturalist Meredith O’Reilly will guide you in choosing the right natives for your yard and your garden goals.
April 9 - Tree Care During Drought 
Many trees are stressed by prolonged periods of hot, dry weather. Selecting trees that use water efficiently is one way to make your landscape more resistant to droughts. Learn about several tree maintenance procedures to increase a tree’s chance during drought such as mulching, proper pruning, limiting fertilization and supplemental irrigation.  Lara Schuman, an ISA Certified Arborist and acting Program Manager at City of Austin Urban Forestry will share her knowledge on caring for trees.
May 14 - Alternative Methods of Gardening 
If you have limited garden space or time yet still have a desire to nurture your green thumb, Master Gardener Pat Mokry will teach you how to raise carefree veggies, herbs and flowers using self-sufficient grow boxes. Then, for some more ‘new’ gardening techniques, Master Gardener Marian Stasney will describe the ancient practices of both keyhole gardening and hugelkultur.
June 11 - Preparing for the Fall Vegetable Garden  
Imagine gardening without sweat dripping from your brow or mosquitos buzzing in your ears or having to water every day. Those are just a few of the many benefits of the cool season vegetable garden. Join us as we discuss vegetable selection, soil preparation and the importance of timing for the fall and winter garden.  Master Gardener Patty Leander is a writer for Texas Gardener magazine and grows vegetables year round in her Oak Hill garden.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Countdown for Last Chance CEUs is here!!!

Travis County East Service Center
6011 Blue Bluff Rd.
Austin, TX 78724

A)   Tuesday, February 10th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 9AM - 4PM
            5 CEUs (3 GEN, 1 IPM, 1 L&R)
                 Dr. Bob Lyons, Professor & Extension Range Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
                 Mr. Jacob Hetzel & Mr. Stefan Hunt, Wildlife Biologists, Texas Wildlife Services
                 Dr. Sonja Swiger, Livestock/Veterinary Entomologist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
                 Cost: $50 - includes light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages

B)    Tuesday, February 10th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 4PM - 7PM
            3 CEUs (1 Drift - can be counted as GEN, 1 L&R, 1 IPM)
                                Delivered via video from “Last Chance Series”
                Cost: $20 - includes dinner, dessert and beverages

C)    Thursday, February 12th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 9AM - 4PM
            5 CEUs (2 GEN, 2 IPM, 1 L&R)
                            Daphne Richards, County Extension Agent Horticulture, Travis
  Wizzie Brown, Extension Program Specialist IPM
  Monte Nesbit - Texas A&M AgriLife Fruit & Nut Specialist
                Cost: $50 - includes light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages

D)   Thursday, February 12th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 4PM - 6PM
            2 CEUs (2 GEN)
                                Delivered via video from “Last Chance Series”
                Cost: $15 - includes snacks and beverages

An opportunity for great speakers, delicious food, CEUs and we guarantee you’ll be entertained and learn something new!  To register, please call Sue Carrasco at 512-854-9610 or e-mail her at:  If you do not already have a scan card to maintain your records, we will make one for you.  Calling ahead also helps us to make sure we have enough food and space.  You MUST PAY WITH CHECK OR MONEY ORDER!!  NO CASH!!  Please make checks payable to: AgriLife Extension Service, and mail to: Sue Carrasco,  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 1600-B Smith Rd, Austin, TX 78721.  We hope to hear from you soon.  This is a popular course and it fills quickly.  Let Sue know which classes you are interested in attending by class letter: A, B, C, D or any combination of the four. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Technology: My best friend or worst nightmare?

I have recently been struggling with this blog.  As you can see there is nothing posted on the left side in the calendar section...well, it is simply because it's not working.  Now granted, that could be user error.  I won't lie, I'm not always at the top of the tech game.  With that said, if this reaches your inbox, I have a request of you.  I will be working with a tech guru soon to be redesigning this blog and changing it to a different format and also creating a new one designated to new landowners in Central Texas.  I will do my best to continue to post to this, but for the time being would like to create a bank of all your e-mail addresses so that I may simply add you to an e-mail and directly contact you with upcoming programs or educational pieces. 

Send an e-mail titled: "Count me in" to

to receive these e-mail updates and be on my.  Also, once we've created the new blog, you will automatically be added to receive e-mails.  I hope to get rid of this specific blog and be transitioned to the new blog by early 2015.

"And now for something completely different" (any Monty Python fans?***all smiles)

We see children and adults alike with faces buried in cell phones and tablets constantly.  Average society today is 5 generations removed from the farm.  People don't know where their food comes from.  I have decided that I want to show the world all the wonderful things in agriculture going on right here under their noses daily.  I've jumped on the bandwagon...Instagram.  Now, if you are like I was you just shook your head and said heck no...that's okay!  Honestly, YOU know where your food comes from and know about farming and ranching, what my second charge to you in this e-mail is to tell your friends, kids, and everyone you know about this new Instagram account.  My user name is: traviscountyagagent - it's all run together. 

Our goal is to teach others about agriculture in Central Texas and where people's food comes from.  Please help me by encouraging everyone you know to follow me on Instagram:


Thank you so much and I look forward to seeing your faces on Instagram.  Get your kids and grandkids involved.  They need to see what's happening around them.  I've already got a handful of photos and have been interacting! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Travis & Bastrop County update on Vesicular Stomatitis 7/25/14

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in Texas Update

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of eight new cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in horses in Central Texas. Five new premises are located in Travis County and three new premises are in Bastrop County.
  • One premises is located 4 miles east of Webberville in Bastrop County
  • One premises is located 6 miles southeast of Spicewood in Travis County
  • One premises is located 8 miles northwest of Bastrop in Bastrop County
  • One premises is located 4 miles east of Webberville in Bastrop County
  • One premises is located 4 miles northwest of Webberville in Travis County
  • One premises is located 2 miles south of Garfield in Travis County
  • One premises is located 3.5 miles northwest of Webberville in Travis County
  • One premises is located 2.5 miles northwest of Webberville in Travis County 
To date, 21 premises in eight Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. Affected counties include(d): Kinney, Hidalgo, San Patricio, Nueces, Jim Wells, Bastrop, Travis and Guadalupe counties. Four premises have been released from quarantine: 1 in Kinney county, 2 in Nueces county and 1 in San Patricio county.
*Case= A premises; a location*

Monday, July 21, 2014

Update Number 2 on VS

One waits around all day for an update and I'll be if it didn't happen right after I posted the first time on the subject.  My apologies for back to back info.  -Julie Ansley


On July 18, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of three new cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in horses in Central Texas. One premises is located 4 miles east of Webberville, TX in Bastrop County, one premises is located 1 mile northwest of Webberville in Travis County, and one premises is located 8 miles southeast of Seguin in Guadalupe County.
To date, 13 premises in eight Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. Affected counties include(d): Kinney, Hidalgo, San Patricio, Nueces, Jim Wells, Bastrop, Travis and Guadalupe counties. The Kinney county premises and one premises in Nueces county have been released from quarantine.
*Case= A premises; a location*
The newly identified infected premises are currently under quarantine by the TAHC. Affected horses will be monitored by regulatory veterinarians while under quarantine.  Premises are eligible for quarantine release 21 days after all lesions have healed. There is no known exposure to other horses around the state, or at any equine events.