Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Central Texas Irrigation/Turf Maintenance Workshop

October 22, 2014 
Creedmoor Community Center, 12511 FM 1625, Creedmoor, 78610
$50 (through 10/17), $60 (10/18 and on-site)
4 Irrigation CEUs

Register:  https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty or by phone:  979-845-2604
Contact:    Daphne Richards, CEA-Horticulture, drichards@ag.tamu.edu, 512.854.9615

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis Co will hold an Irrigation/Turf Maintenance Workshop on Oct 22, 2014. This conference is in response to our ongoing critical water issues. The general public can attend but the materials presented will be for turf and irrigation professionals such as those working with municipalities, including parks departments; golf courses; and large and commercial landscape maintenance firms as well as contractors; retail nurseries and other users of urban water resources.

The goal of the workshop is to share new technologies and best practices for water conservation and drought survival. Four Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) licensed irrigator credits are available to attendees.

Presentations and speakers will be:
9 AM         Irrigation Scheduling, Brad Smith, Instructor, Irrigator Training, LLC

10 AM        Efficient Irrigation Practices, Brett Briant, Water Conservation Coordinator, LCRA

11 AM        Break

11:15 AM   Turfgrass Selection and Cultural Practices for Water Conservation

12:15 PM    Lunch

1 PM           Water Management for Sports Field Turf, Dr. Casey Reynolds, Assistant Professor        
                   and Extension Turfgrass Specialist

2 PM           Evaluation, Wrap-up and CEU certificate

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 jzansley@ag.tamu.edu

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.

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in Travis & Bastrop Counties

The note below is the latest update from the Texas Animal Health Commission on Vesicular Stomatitis (VS).  In a recent conversation with the local inspector for the Bastrop & Travis County area, he informed me that “we currently have several premises under quarantine or hold order in Travis and Bastrop Counties”.  I will keep you up to date as this develops, however, I encourage you all to check the Texas Animal Health Commission website and subscribe as well.   http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/

From the Texas Animal Health Commission, July 11, 2014  
“On July 10, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of two new cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in horses in Bastrop and Travis counties in Central Texas. One premises is located 2 miles east of Webberville, TX in Travis County. The other premise is located 4 miles east of Webberville in Bastrop County. To date, 10 premises in seven Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. Those counties include: Kinney, Hidalgo, San Patricio, Nueces, Jim Wells, Bastrop and Travis counties. Note: The Kinney county premises has been released from quarantine.     
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.”

From Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Contestants who are preparing to haul horses to shows and contests this summer, including the Texas State 4-H Horse Show, should be cautioned about the importance of using best management practices for disease prevention and good biosecurity practices at all times.
Horse owners should be encouraged to follow important practices such as:  do not comingle your horses with other horses of unknown origin; do not water horses out of a community water trough (each should have their own buckets); do not share halters and bridle bits between horses without first thoroughly washing and disinfecting them; thoroughly clean hands and all equipment when working around multiple horses’ faces and mouths; do not pet other horses on the nose, then go pet your own horse; never use the same needle for injections or vaccinations of multiple horses; use a good insect control spray to protect horses from biting insects.  Under the circumstances, it might even be advisable to carry a spray bottle of stall disinfectant to horse shows and disinfect stalls before putting your horse in stalls at show facilities.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Webinar with 1 IPM CEU credit!!

Huisache and Juniper – How to Treat!
Presenter: Dr. Megan Clayton, and Dr. Alyson McDonald
Date: Thursday, August 7, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CST
Credit: 1 TDA Pesticide CEU - Integrated Pest Management
This webinar will start with a look at huisache, a native, invasive brush species found in the Gulf Coast Prairies and South Texas Plains. This fast-growing plant must be controlled as early and as often as possible, but just how much do we know about its ecology?  We will discuss the most effective control options and how to know which is right for your situation.
The second plant species highlighted in this webinar will be Juniperus pinchotti (redberry juniper).  The distribution of redberry juniper in Texas extends from the western Edwards Plateau northward to the Panhandle and westward to the Rio Grande.  We will discuss important factors that determine the best option for managing this root-sprouting shrub.
If you're interested in this program, shoot me an e-mail at: jzansley@ag.tamu.edu and I will give you all the information you will need!  Cost: $10, free if you're not seeking CEU credit.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Now lets talk Farm Bill...


If you know me, you know I don't like to give out information until I have all of the facts.  You've been asking about the farm bill...here is the information from Farm Services:

Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency.  The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for grazing losses and livestock deaths that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014.  The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires. 
Producers signing up for these programs are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for information on the types of records needed and to schedule an appointment.  Taking these steps in advance will help producers ensure their application moves through the process as quickly as possible. 
(Producers are reminded that all leases covering pastures for LFP for these years must include the following)
* Start date and ending date of the lease
* Terms of the lease (example: cash or set amount) dollar amount is not required.
* FSA Farm Number and/or acres
* All owner signatures as per the FSA farm records
Any leases other than those with this information will not be used or accepted. Producers may use an CCC-855 Disaster Program (LFP) Lease Agreement Certification Statement if needed.
Producers have three to nine months to apply depending on the program and year of the loss.  Details are available from any local FSA office. 
For more information, producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, and the LIP, LFP, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online, or visit any local FSA office or USDA Service Center.


As we roll out the Farm Bill programs administered by FSA, there will be related signups and in some cases multiple management decisions that need to be made by you, the producer, in consult with FSA staff.  To insure maximum use of your time and to insure that you are afforded our full attention to your important business needs, please call our office ahead of your visit to set an appointment and to discuss any records or documentation that you may need to have with you when you arrive for your appointment. For local FSA Service Center contact information, please visit: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app


The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Act), also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, was signed by President Obama on Feb. 7, 2014. The Act repeals certain programs, continues some programs with modi­fications, and authorizes several new programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Most of these programs are authorized and funded through 2018. 
For the latest on 2014 Farm Bill programs administered by FSA, please visit our Farm Bill website at www.fsa.usda.gov/farmbill and for an FSA program overview please read, download and/or print our recently posted FSA Farm Bill Fact Sheet titled, What’s in the 2014 Farm Bill for Farm Service Agency Customers? 
For more information on FSA, please contact your local USDA Service Center or visit us online at www.fsa.usda.gov.  


The 2014 Farm Bill, formally known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, makes the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) permanent programs and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to Oct. 1, 2011. 
LFP provides compensation to eligible producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought and fire after October 1, 2011. LIP provides compensation to livestock producers who suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the Federal Government or protected by Federal law, including wolves and avian predators. Drought is not an eligible cause of loss for the LIP program.  
USDA is determined to make implementing the livestock disaster programs a top priority and opened program enrollment on April 15, 2014.  
As USDA begins implementing the livestock disaster assistance programs, producers should record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:  
·         Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses and dates of death.
Many producers still have questions. USDA is in the process of interpreting Farm Bill program regulations. In the meantime, producers can review the LIP and LFP Fact Sheets. Thanks for your patience as USDA works diligently to put Farm Bill programs into action to benefit the farmers and ranchers of rural America.


The 2014 Farm Bill offers increased opportunities for producers including farm loan program modifications that create flexibility for new and existing farmers. A fact sheet outlining modifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Programs is available here
The Farm Bill expands lending opportunities for thousands of farmers and ranchers to begin and continue operations, including greater flexibility in determining eligibility, raising loan limits, and emphasizing beginning and socially disadvantaged producers.   
Changes that will take effect immediately include: 
·         Elimination of loan term limits for guaranteed operating loans.
·         Modification of the definition of beginning farmer, using the average farm size for the county as a qualifier instead of the median farm size.
·         Modification of the Joint Financing Direct Farm Ownership Interest Rate to 2 percent less than regular Direct Farm Ownership rate, with a floor of 2.5 percent. Previously, the rate was established at 5 percent.
·         Increase of the maximum loan amount for Direct Farm Ownership down payments from $225,000 to $300,000.
·         Elimination of rural residency requirement for Youth Loans, allowing urban youth to benefit.
·         Debt forgiveness on Youth Loans, which will not prevent borrowers from obtaining additional loans from the federal government.
·         Increase of the guarantee amount on Conservation Loans from 75 to 80 percent and 90 percent for socially disadvantaged borrowers and beginning farmers.
·         Microloans will not count toward loan term limits for veterans and beginning farmers.
Additional modifications must be implemented through the rulemaking processes. Visit the FSA Farm Bill website for detailed information and updates to farm loan programs.

Travis County FSA Office
1106 Clayton Lane Suite 210E
Austin, Texas 78723
Phone: 512-454-2571 ex. 2