Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ranch management University & the "Browsing" Beef Newsletter

Starts October 12th!!

And intensive 4.5 day event for new or inexperienced ranchers and landowners. Topics covered include: soils and soil fertility, forage  establishment, pasture management, livestock management, wildlife management, horse management, ruminant production, pond fisheries management, Field demonstrations.

 All meals ( breakfast, lunch, and supper) and break materials are included in the registration fee. Attendees all receive a large manual filled with all PowerPoint presentation and a resource CD with 100 publications regarding all aspects of livestock production, wildlife management, forages, weed management, and much, much more.

 For more information, visit: Http://


The following link will take you to this months edition of Browsing: Click on the link or copy and paste the link in your web address bar.

In this edition you will find the following:

·      How Much Do Consumers Care About How Beef is Produced?
·      Genetic Effects on Behavior & Structure
·      Using Half-Sisters to Increase Uniformity
·      Produce Beef Without Any Mature Cows?
·      BQA Advisory Statement on Use of Pneumatic Darts
·      Effect of Breed Type on Sale Price in Video Auctions
·      Trends in Livestock Auctions in Texas

Monday, September 28, 2015

October Programs - BOTH FREE!!!

Texas Watershed Steward Program

The workshop will provide an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, including a discussion on Austin urban watersheds and efforts by the Texas State Soil and Water
Conservation Board, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and area residents to improve and protect them. Free continuing education credits are offered for a wide variety of professional disciplines ranging from licensed Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicators to select TCEQ occupational license holders. For a complete list of CEUs offered, or to register, visit our website or call the number below.

Pre-register for the workshop by going to:
or call 979.862.4457

The Texas Watershed Steward program is a free, one-day educational workshop designed to
help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by getting involved in local
watershed protection and management activities.

October 14, 2015:
12:30pm- 4:30 pm

Frank Fickett Scout Training & Svc. Center
12500 North IH35
Austin, TX 78753

Capital Crop Conference
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Travis County
October 29, 2015
The Cele Store
18626 Cameron Rd., 
Manor, TX 78653

3 CEUs Offered for FREE! 
1 IPM, 1 Laws & Regs, 1 General

MUST RSVP by Oct. 27 to Sue Carrasco: 512-854-9610 or

9:00-9:30         Registration

9:30-9:45         Welcome - Julie Zimmerman, County Extension Agent, Travis

9:45-10:45       Market Outlook
Dr. Mark Welch
Associate Professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Economist

10:45-11:30     Sugarcane Aphid Update
                                    Wizzie Brown
                                    Program Specialist - Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

11:30-Noon     War on Sugarcane Aphids
                                    Dillon Demuth
                                    Dow Agri-Science

Lunch Sponsored by Williamson County Grain, Helena & Texas A&M AgriLife-Travis County
                        Lunch speaker:
                                    Dustin Owen, Williamson County Grain - Asst. Manager

1:00-1:30         Weather Outlook
                                    Bob Rose
                                    Chief Meteorologist, Lower Colorado River Authority

1:30-2:30         Laws & Regulations
                                    Beau Whisenant
                                    Regional Education Specialist & Inspector, Texas Department of Agriculture

2:30-3:30         Trailer Safety and Laws
                                    Department of Public Safety & Travis County Sheriff’s Office

3:30-3:45         Update from Farm Services/USDA
                                    Tommy Miertschin
                                    USDA County Executive Director, Travis & Bastrop

3:45-4:00         Evaluation & Wrap Up

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 Travis County at (512) 854-9610 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. 

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*