Ag/Timber Tax Exemption Renewal

Texas law requires a person claiming an exemption from sales tax on the purchase of certain items used to produce agricultural and timber products for sale to hold an Agricultural and Timber Exemption Registration Number (Ag/Timber Number).  The law also requires the Ag/Timber Number to be renewed every four years on a uniform date, regardless of the date the number was first issued.

Persons claiming the agricultural exemption on their purchases already give their supplier an exemption certificate that includes the Ag/Timber Number. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the exemption certificate must also include a current expiration date.

Ag/Timber Number holders need to renew their ag/Timber number before Jan. 1, 2016 in order to get a current expiration date

Renewal letters were mailed out in early October 2015 to current Ag/Timber card holders.
– Includes Ag/Timber Number (11 digits)
– WebFile number (RT123456)
There are 3 Options/Methods to Renew
– Telephone (1.844.247.3639)
– Webfile
– Mail. Return to Account Maintenance Division
• For Webfile you will go to
• either log in or sign up. You will need to
• Enter User Id
• Enter Password
• Enter Taxpayer # (11 digits/on card)
• Enter WebFile Number (provided in letter, example: RT123456)
• Agree to 2 statements
• Print cards

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District 8 Farm and Ranch Seminar, 8 Hour CEU program

District 8 Farm and Ranch Seminar
December 10, 2015
MCC Emergency Services Center
7601 Steinbeck Bend Road, Waco
8 CEU’s: 5 Gen-1 L&R-2 IPM

7:30-8:30 Local Laws and Regulation related to Pesticide Applicators
Dr. Shane McLellan, McLennan County Extension Ag Agent

8:30-9:30 Forage Pest Management
Dr. Sonja Swiger, Asst. Professor and Extension Entomologist

9:30-10:30 Riparian Watershed Management
Ricky Linex, Natural Resource and Conservation Service Wildlife Biologist

10:30 – 11:30 Protecting our Pollinators
Mark Dykes, Chief Apiary Inspector, Texas Apiary Inspection Service

** Meal **

12:00-1:00 Tree and Turf Disease
Dr. Kevin Ong, Associate Professor & Director of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostics Lab

1:00-2:00 Range and Pasture Health Conditions
Dr. Larry Redmon, Professor and State Extension Specialist

2:00-3:00 Controlling Weeds and Brush with Prescribed Burning
Dr. Morgan Russell, Assistant Professor & Extension Range Specialist

3:00-4:00 Brush Control Technologies
Dr. Megan Clayton, Assistant Professor& Extension Range Specialist


“Must Call McLennan County Extension Office to RSVP by Dec 7”


$50 registration

Checks payable to: Program Development Fund
Mail checks to 420 North 6th Street, Waco Texas 76701

Licensed Private Applicators must obtain 15 hours of CEU’s every five years to renew/recertify their license. These hours must be from 2 hours of Laws and Regulations, 2 hours of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and any mix of these and General hours to equal the required 15 hours of CEU’s. Licensed commercial and non‐commercial applicators are required to recertify every year by obtaining five continuing education credits; with one credit each from two of the following categories: laws and regulations, integrated pest management or drift minimization

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Retaining Volunteer Wheat

From the Desk of Dr. Clark Neely, Small Grains and Oilseed Crop Specialist-Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

A unique situation is unfolding for many wheat producers across the state of Texas this fall, particularly for areas of the Blacklands, which started back in the spring. Torrential spring rains destroyed or otherwise prevented harvest of many wheat acres throughout Texas in 2015 providing a large seedbank of wheat seed in the soil. Once fields were abandoned or insured out, drought quickly set in for much of the summer months, allowing seed to sit dormant in the soil. Another round of intense and widespread rain at the end of October set the stage for a timely and uniform stand of volunteer wheat. With wet conditions continuing through November, the excessive rain this fall has prevented a number of acres from being planted and leaving many producers wondering, “Will my volunteer wheat make a grain crop?”
The short answer is “Yes it can” under the right conditions. Due to the timing of the rains in October, many of these volunteer wheat fields emerged within or close to the optimum planting window for typical wheat planting throughout the Blacklands and Central Texas. Producers need to next estimate wheat stands and uniformity. General recommendations for wheat stand establishment are between 10 and 25 plants/ ft2, though irrigated or high-rainfall environments favor the higher end of this range. Yield will generally begin to decline below 10 plants/ft2, unless favorable weather conditions (warm winter and/or cool spring) allow for additional tillering. Stand counts above this range can possibly lead to lodging, but will depend on multiple variables.
High rainfall and high fertility can exacerbate lodging problems, especially with thick stands in wheat. Straw strength also varies considerably among varieties. Fannin and Duster are two common varieties in Texas that are known to lodge more easily than other varieties, while varieties such as TAM 304 and WB Cedar are rated as very good or excellent for straw strength. Some producers may consider a growth regulator in the spring to shorten internode length and overall crop height in hopes of reducing lodging potential. While there is research showing that these products can shortened plant height under certain scenarios, results have been inconsistent on reduced lodging.
Another major consideration for growers should be disease observed in their wheat crop from the previous year. Head smuts and bunts can survive in infected seed and infect the following year’s crop. These diseases can multiply rapidly from one year to the next. They are easily treated with seed treatments, but that is not possible with volunteer wheat. Producers should also be aware that any viruses, such as Barley Yellow Dwarf and Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus, present in the previous crop will be transmitted to the following crop via the seed. These diseases can be devastating and symptoms are typically worse the earlier a field is infected.
Producers must remember that volunteer wheat is uninsurable, which does provide additional risk for their farm.
Late Planted Wheat
As mentioned earlier, acres intended to be planted in wheat this fall (that do not have volunteer wheat in them) have been or continue to be delayed. When planting after the ideal planting window, some options producers may want to consider include increased seeding rates or selecting an earlier maturing variety. Seed availability this late in the season may or may not be limited.
The general consensus is that seeding rates should increase by 30-60% for late planting wheat, so a 60 lb/a rate under an ideal planting date would now be 78 to 96 lb/a for delayed planting. Increased seeding rates are thought to compensate for reduced tillering in plants due to a shortened growing season. The majority of winter wheat planted in the Rolling Plains and Blacklands is planted between mid-October and mid-November. Producers may want to consider increasing seeding rates after December 1st. Final planting date for individual coverage plans for insurance is December 15th for the Rolling Plains and Blacklands.
Some examples of early maturing varieties include WB Cedar, Billings, TAM 401, and Fannin for hard red winter wheat and AGS 2035, USG 3120, SY Cypress, and LA 754 for soft red winter wheat.
If planting is delayed into January, producers will need to seriously consider whether it is worth planting wheat. Generally, winter wheat receives enough chilling hours to vernalize if planted on or before early January in the Blacklands or Rolling Plains; however, wheat planted in late January or later may not have enough cold to switch the plant over from vegetative to reproductive growth and prevent the formation of a seed head. In this case, spring wheat would be advised since it does not require vernalization. In either case, yield potential is greatly reduced by planting that late into the season.
Spot Sewing Wheat
Despite best efforts, wheat stands can still emerge unevenly due to weather or other factors, leaving one to wonder if spot planting should be considered. While this decision is often not clear-cut, the best tool a producer has is to take stand counts and determine if stands are less than ideal. Generally, replanting is considered once stands are below 50% of the desired level in a given area. When planting overtop of a thin stand, it is best to seed at a 45 degree angle to the original row direction. Double disk openers are preferred over hoe drills as they do not destroy what remains of the original stand. When over-seeding on a previous stand with a double-disc opener, a 40 to 60 lb/a rate may be desirable, but rates should increase slightly with hoe drills. This rate will need adjusted according to remaining stand and timing of the replanting.
When spot sewing or over-seeding poor stands of wheat, it may be advantageous to plant an earlier maturing variety to compensate for planting later; however, it is difficult to perfectly align harvest timing of the two plantings perfectly and would only work if the original variety planted was medium or later maturity.
For additional information planting/replanting decisions please refer to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension publications:
Wheat Replanting Considerations
Stand Establishment of Small Grains and Annual Grasses for Grain and Winter Pastures (SCS-1999-23)

Wet and saturated soil conditions at germination can be a major issue with emerging wheat plants. A germinating wheat seed respires like many other living organisms, which means it needs oxygen to live and grow. Saturated soils replace the available air in the soil with water and limits oxygen availability to germinating seeds and established roots of larger plants. This can delay germination or kill seeds and seedlings, thereby reducing stands. Wet soils promote the growth of many soil borne pathogens as well, which can lead to infection. Some examples of diseases that thrive in wet conditions include root rots, take-all, soilborne mosaic virus. Although not a full-proof strategy, fungicide seed treatments can help prevent or delay many seedling diseases (excluding viruses) under these less than ideal conditions. For more information on disease identification and seed treatments please visit:

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Beneficial Insects

Many different kinds of insects are found in and around our homes, yards and fields.  Most of these insects are completely harmless and do provide a valuable service for us.  We refer to these insects as beneficials.  The majority of beneficials fall into two general categories: parasites and predators.  Parasites are usually the immature or larval stages of wasp and flies.  Predators are commonly larger than parasites.  Predator insects actively seek and capture pest insects.

A parasite insect kill only one host during their life while a predator will kill and eat many prey.  Some common beneficial insects are the lady beetle, lacewings, Assassin Bug, Syrphid flies and Damsel bugs.  It is important that we pay attention to beneficial insect populations before we apply an unnecessary insecticide application.

Beneficials can keep pest numbers in check however when pest population levels reach the economic threshold, we have to treat to protect our investment.

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Fall Lawn Care

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While our warm season grasses slow their growth this time of year you should continue to mow regularly.  Suggested fall mowing heights are one inch for Bermuda, 2-1/2 to 3 inches for St Augustine.  In my mixed Bermuda/St. Augustine lawn, I have raised my mower height as high as it will go and I mow often.  The nicest well kept lawns are all mowed often.

If you don’t want winter weeds in your lawn, I recommend you apply a pre-emerge herbicide on September 1.  It’s not too late but put the pre-emerge product out soon.  Fall lawn fertilization will prolong color and does promote early spring recovery.  I like a pre-emerge/fertilizer mix with a 15-0-2 fertilizer carrier or something similar for this time of year.  If you dont fertilize very much you might want to put out the 28-0-2 mix.  Fertilizing is best done based on a soil fertility test.  If you don’t have recent soil test results, do not apply more than 1 pound/1000 square foot.

If you have weeds that are actively growing the pre-emerge product wont control them.  You will have to apply a post product to control weeds that in the yard now.

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TSCRA Ranch Gathering, October 1 2015

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There will be a sponsored meal on October 1, 2015 at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame-Knox Center from 6-8 pm.  The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association will have a brief stocker cattle panel discussion for those attending.  To RSVP please call 800-242-7820

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BIG Recertification Training, January 6th

On Wednesday, January 6th the McLennan County Extension Office will host the annual recertification program at the Waco Convention Center “Bosque Theatre.”  2 Laws and Regs, 1 IPM, 1 Drift, and 2 General CEU’s will be offered forTDA pesticide license holders.  The event will begin with registration at 7:30 am.  The fee is $60.  All persons interested in participating must contact the McLennan County Extension Office to pre-register (254)757-5180.

Local ag vendors will still be on display as part of the Blackland Income Growth Conference /Mid-Tex Farm and Ranch Show partnership.

Program topics and speakers include:

Rangeland and Watershed Management

 Brian Hays, Associate Director Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources

Insect Pest of Ag Production

Allen Knutson, Texas A&M Professor and Extension Entomologist

 Drift Minimization

Brandi Kelm, Regional Inspector – Texas Department of Agriculture

** Noon Meal – Mid-Tex Luncheon **

General Laws and Regulations

Dr. Don Renchie, Texas AgriLife Extension Ag & Environmentalist Specialist

Plant ID and Controlling Unwanted Species

Jack LeClair, Bayer Plant and Range Specialist

Laws and Regulations – WPS, Certification and Updates

Perry Cervantes, Coordinator for Pesticide Cert. and Compliance (Ag). TX Dept. of Agriculture


Checks should  be made payable to: McLennan County Master Gardeners, again you must call the McLennan County Extension Office to RSVP at (254)757-5180. Mail checks to 420 North 6th Street, Waco Texas 76701



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Blackland Income Growth Conference, January 5-6

The 2016 BIG Conference will be held January 5-6, 2016 at the Waco Convention Center.  On January 5th the ag commodities will be held.  Sessions on Forage, Beef, Grain, Cotton, Wildlife, Rural Land Management, Horse, Horticulture and Feeding the World will be offered.  There is no pre-registering for the January 5th portion of BIG.  Registration will be $20 and open at 8 am at the Convention Center.  The previous six years have been at the ExtraCo Events Center and in February.  The BIG Conference has been historically held at the Waco Convention Center in early January.”  We think this schedule change will benefit all producers in the Blacklands region,” Woolley said. “The Blackland Income Growth Conference has a long history of providing the latest research information and production management practices for farmers and ranchers throughout the region.”

“The BIG executive board members evaluated the whole conference and presentations,” said Blackland Income Growth Program Chairman Robin Liebe of Waco. “By providing an earlier conference date, this gives farmers a jumpstart to making decisions with regards to new seed varieties, planting methods and other important decisions with a new crop.”

Attracting more young farmers and ranchers is one of the focus areas of planning committee members as well as enhancing programming that appeals to session programs in rural land management, equine and family nutrition.

The Blackland Income Growth Conference coordinating committee of Terry Coufal, Bell County, cotton; Kathy Swetland, McLennan County, family nutrition; Robin Liebe, McLennan County, Blackland Income Growth chairman; Mike Garrett, Falls County, forage; Ron Woolley, BIG coordinator, Stephenville; Gary Phillips, Bosque County, wildlife; Don Griffin, McLennan County, horse; Jason Embry, Limestone County, beef; Bob Carroll, Navarro County, rural land management; Louie McDaniel, McLennan County, horticulture; Steve Beakley, Ellis County, grain; Bill Foshea, BIG vice chairman and Justin Richard, BIG treasurer meet with their County Agent Committee Advisors from their county and volunteers from various counties to plan the event.

Joining Liebe in conference leadership for 2016 is Blackland Income Growth Program Vice Chairman Bill Foshea of Midlothian.

“We want folks to come and participate, share new ideas and help everyone become more profitable,” he said.

The 2015 conference attracted more than 600 attendees.

For more information about the Blackland Income Growth program, visit or  please call the McLennan County Extension Office at (254)757-5180

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Beef Cattle Browsing for the month of June

In this edition you will find the following:

1. White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship
2. How Many Will You Have Left?
3. Trends in Cattle Feeding
4. GMO Beef, Anyone?
5. Effect of Breed/Type on Carcass Traits6. Heat Tolerance & Embryonic Mortality
6. Could There be Flaws in the US Dietary Guidelines
7. Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course

Beef Cattle Browsing for the month of June

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Sugarcane Aphid Update

Questions have arisen on which insecticides to use on pests other than sugarcane aphid so that the chance of having to also treat for sugarcane aphid does not increase. As more fields in Texas are treated with insecticides for various pests like stink bugs, sorghum midge, caterpillars and sugarcane aphid, we have developed some considerations for choosing insecticides for the different pests.

It is also important to treat these “other” pests at their economic thresholds and not withhold treatment out of worry about what sugarcane aphid might do.

Insecticide Selection for Sorghum at Risk to Sugarcane Aphid Infestations , 2015

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