2014 U.S. Farm Bill

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The Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill), was passed in the United States House of Representatives on January 29, 2014, and the United States Senate on February 4, 2014 during the 113th United States Congress. U.S. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on February 7, 2014. The bill provides for closer integration of farm subsidy and crop insurance policies for farmers and ranchers. The act repeals direct payments, counter-cyclical payments, and the ACRE program but CCP and ACRE programs extend… Read More →

4th Annual Grassfed Beef Conference

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Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is pleased to announce the fourth conference focused on grassfed beef production. Consumer interest in natural, grassfed and organic beef is on the rise. If you’d like to learn more about grassfed beef production and how it’s different, mark your cal-endar for May 29-30, 2014 to be in College Station for this year’s Grassfed Beef Conference. We’re excited about the interest among participants and the outstanding lineup of speakers that will come together for this information-sharing opportunity. As we (hopefully) emerge from the… Read More →

Christmas Tree Selection & Care

For more than 150 years, many Americans have enjoyed the tradition of a fresh, fragrant evergreen tree as part of their Christmas celebrations. Today 30–35 million real trees are sold each holiday season, and there have never been more sources from which to select. As the holiday season approaches each year, many consumers ask the same question. Real, or artificial? Although there are pros and cons to both sides of this argument, one need not feel guilty for environmental reasons about buying a real Christmas tree. Unlike their… Read More →

So What is Proposition 6?

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Proposition 6 will appear on the November 5, 2013 Ballot as: “The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources.” If voters approve Proposition 6, the legislature has also authorized a one-time, $2 billion transfer from the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF, also known as the “Rainy Day Fund”) to the SWIFT…. Read More →

Some Food for Thought (Grass or Grain Fed Beef)

EFFECTS  OF  GRAIN OR  GRASS  FINISHING  Angus steers initially averaging 905 lb were either 1) grazed on mixed species pasture for 84 days followed by ryegrass-clover pasture for 219 days or 2) fed in drylot on 80%-corn ration for 168 days. Results were:      Trait     Grain     Grass ADG, lb        2.95        1.68 Final weight, lb       1410       1353 Dressing %        63.1        58.4 Fat cover, in        0.51        0.40 Ribeye area, sq in        14.4        12.6 Yield Grade         3.6         3.0… Read More →

Establishing Winter Forages

Late September-early October is the ideal time for planting cool season annual forages such as annual ryegrass, small grains (rye, wheat or oats) and/or cool season annual legumes. Anytime we are incorporating new forages into our production systems it is important to make sure to match the forage species to your location (soil type, average annual rainfall, intended use, etc). If you have questions about forages appropriate for your area you can contact the Harris County Extension Office. Three methods for establishing cool-season annual grasses include planting into… Read More →

Plant Identification and Weed Control Seminar

Plant ID and Weed Management – This training will offer 5-TDA ceu’s for license renewal.  Topics will include: Weed and Brush ID, Controlling Pasture Weeds and Brush, Identifying Toxic Plants, Control and Minimization of Spray Drift, Pesticide Laws and Regs Update.  This program will be held at the Harris County Extension Office in Bear Creek Park.  Please contact Diana Todd at 281-855-5614 for more information or to register for this class.  Cost of this class is $35.00 if paid in advance of program and $45.00 if paid at… Read More →

Houston Area Urban Food Production Conference

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Chickens, goats, bees. They may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Houston. But in the nation’s fourth most populous city, they could help feed hungry people at the local level, organizers of the Houston Urban Food Production Conference say. The conference on Aug. 17 will provide educational information and training for participants interested in producing food in the city, according to Dr. Linda Willis, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Harris County, which is sponsoring the event. Registration… Read More →

2013 Urban Rancher Class Graduates

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The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Harris County provides technical training to new and small-scale Beef Cattle producers. The training provides in-depth educational sessions on such topics as Soil Fertility, Landowner Liability, Beef Cattle Nutrition and more. Participants are also involved in hand-on workshops on Fence Building,  Farm Equipment Safety and Herd Health Management practices. A graduation Ceremony was held at the Harris County Extension Office on March 26, 2013. The 2013 Urban Rancher class Graduates are: Lamora Cole, Poonam Kapoor, Linda Houk, Rose Painter, Sarah Painter,… Read More →