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April 2020

No Roadmap to the Future Horace McQueen See page 3

Nature Films Baxter Black See page 5

Game Warden Field Notes Texas Parks & Wildlife See page 8

Resurgence of gardening movement helping families By Jo Anne Embleton Jacksonville Progress

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popular World War II movement has resurfaced as residents throughout the country deal with the economic impact of a COVID-19 pandemic. “Victory Gardens – gardening – are very popular right now,” said Kim Benton, Cherokee County’s AgriLife Extension horticulture agent. “Gardening is economically feasible, because there are crops that can be inexpensive to raise, like greens, that are very healthy for us. Growing a garden makes a positive impact on a family, without having a lot of up-front costs.” According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “during WWI, the National War Garden Commission promoted home gardening and food preservation. They inspired students – calling them ‘soldiers of the soil’ – to help plant Liberty Gardens. When it started to look like the U.S. and its allies would win the war, the name of the gardens was changed to Victory Gardens.”

Even the First Lady of the United States participated, the Almanac stated. “Eleanor Roosevelt began a new Victory Garden campaign after Pearl Harbor was bombed and Americans dug in once again for Uncle Sam. By the end of WWII, 40 percent of the country’s produce came from backyard gardens.” Dr. Deborah Burkett of the Cherokee County Historical Commission pointed out that “the necessity of growing ones’ own food is part of our history. “In terms of Cherokee County, it dates to the beginning, as settlers carved out homes. In the early days of Texas they planted gardens to feed the family and for cash crops. Later, during WWI, the Great Depression and WWII, food production and preservation were taught through home demonstration clubs in Texas,” she said. Each rural community in Cherokee County had its own club, and “several won national and state awards for their creative and productive food preservation. Home demonstration work reached

an all-time high in the 1940s and during WWII with efforts focused on ‘Victory Gardens’ and ‘victory canning.’ Many women in our county belonged to ‘canning clubs,” she noted. Wells resident Carolyn Easter, 83, recalled how, as a small child growing up in rural Houston County, Victory Gardens impacted communities. “If you lived in town, you dug up your front yard and gardened. And people gardened everything,” she said. Because her family lived on a farm, they could raise food yearround. “We ate what we grew,” she said. “And I remember Daddy sometimes taking corn to be ground into meal.” A member of the Central High Texas Extension Education Association Club – started in 1932 as a demonstration club and today one of two left in existence in Cherokee County – Easter said she’s encouraged by the idea that more and more people are taking up gardening. “I think it’s a very good thing –

See Gardening on Page 3

Courtesy photo

Carolyn Easter of Wells takes a break from gardening a small plot on her property.

Sheep prices steady, goats great amid uncertain Angelina Beef carries legacy of quality product to Athens market conditions By Shelli Parker

Ranch to table

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Athens Daily Review

im and David Yates had a dream of raising cattle and living a more sustainable and simple life. The couple decided to go for it 10 years ago when Kim left her corporate job to continue the legacy her grandparents planted in her heart. “The move from corporate America to rural America has been a huge blessing,” Kim said. “I do not miss suits, heels, airports, meetings, conference calls or anything else for that matter. The cows don’t care what my hair looks like.” Descending from ranchers and farmers, the Yates are self-proclaimed “skip-a-generation ranchers.” Kim fondly remembers riding with her “Pappy” to help feed and watch the cows frolic after them like puppies. Her grandfather, Bill McGinney,  took his job seriously and she said he was a good steward of both land and cattle. “He would rotate pastures so they always had fresh grass and water and he would plant crimson clover and vetch to keep them healthy through the winter months,” she said. “People would tell him his cows were overfed and my mother recollects many times when the cows

would be fed before the kids. He was an ethical and admirable steward who took great pride in the land and the well-being of his cattle.” As they got established, Kim and David realized the journey would not be easy. Ranching is an expensive industry to get started, and between natural disasters, droughts and market fluctuation, it is also hard to stay afloat. “Raising cattle isn’t always cute baby calves and green grass.” Kim said. “It can be heartbreaking and backbreaking work where you may only get one paycheck a year. When it’s time to cash in, that check can be good or bad in today’s commodity market. That lack of control over our financial well being in a commodity market is what spurred us to look at direct to consumer beef sales.” The two-person operation decided to pursue a market that would align more with their ethics and principles. So the Yates made a mission to “provide clean, lean grass-fed beef to customers. Their beef is also antibiotic and steroid free. “We take great pride in caring for our cattle and being stewards of the land. We are ethical producers and See Beef on Page 3

Staff Reports

Athens Daily Review Texas sheep and goat producers are experiencing a mixed bag of good-to-stable prices amid increased market uncertainty as they get farther into 2020, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo, said goats and sheep were experiencing two markets beset by myriad factors, good and bad. Thompson recommends the new AgriLife Extension Lamb and Goat Market Forecast app to stay up to date on the latest price and market analysis. “COVID-19 has not created any identifiable problems for meat and wool producers as of yet,” he said. “But there are certainly other marketing conditions that are aiding some prices and hurting others.”

Goats Texas’ goat prices have been “on fire” for several months, Thompson said. COVID-19 and the negative economic ripples it created have not unsteadied supplies, prices or demand so far. The nation’s goat herd is up almost 2% to 2.09 million, compared to 2.06 million last year, Thompson said. Texas increased 3% during the same time to 765,000 head from 740,000 head. The state’s largest sheep and goat market in San AnSee Market on Page 3


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April 2020

Gardening plans relieve stress during pandemic By Guy Chapman Corsicana Daily Sun

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hile people are having to stay in more these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these new homebodies are turning to horticulture to make their time more pleasant. Horticulture is the art or practice of cultivating a garden to produce fruits, vegetables, and flowers and ornamental plants. This practice improves a person’s life by beautifying the area around them, or providing nourishment. It also serves as a great stress relief in light of a highly uncertain time. Even with Texas slowly relaxing its stay at home and shelter in place orders, many people are choosing to stay within the confines of their home as a means to stay safe. However, spending time with nature in one’s backyard or on an apartment porch has been a welcome release to the abundance of free time, and gardening is a project anyone can do. Gardening is an easy and entry-level activity to start. Even if you’ve never opened a packet of seeds before, you can see the results of a prosperous garden within a few weeks, whether it’s within a planter’s box, or a full section of the yard. When is the best time to plant? The last frost of the season usually comes around mid-March, and most plants thrive before the stronger heat of the summer sets in by June. Prime gardening conditions also factor in the amount of cool days and rainfall in between that time. For those planning on growing their own food, this is a great time of year to

consider produce such as beans, corn, okra, peas, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and squash. Blackberries, cherries, apples, grapes, cantaloupe and watermelon are also ideal choices for fruit lovers. For flower enthusiasts, a few simple selections push away those last stages of winter to a vibrant selection of color with recommendations such as salvia farinacea, pansies, hibiscus, snapdragons, cape plumbago, aster, cosmos bipinnatus, alyssum, celosia cristata, petunias, and poppies. While the best time for planting most flowers is usually in the fall, flowers can still thrive during this time for late planters. With social distancing still in effect and some businesses still having reduced hours or closed doors, aspiring gardeners should call a store or check their website before driving over. Even with following current health and safety guidelines, many garden centers are open for phone and online Daily Sun photo/Michael Kormos orders, curbside pick-up and delivery. Gardening professionals are also available The Square Root gardening and nursery store at 222 Main St. in downby phone or e-mail to provide planting town Corsicana. and soil advice. Gardening provides a unique form of naturally decline. Gardening helps keep us As spring’s arrival in the Northern therapy, providing a “feel good” alternative Hemisphere coincides with government emotionally and physically healthy. to sitting on the couch and watching Landscape and lawn maintenance are stay-at-home orders, the itch to get outside Netflix all day. The fresh air, sunlight, necessary for public health and safety. has turned backyard gardens into a and freedom of movement provides an Growing fruits and vegetables are essential getaway for the mind in chaotic times. emotional high and spiritual connection as to keeping our own food chain intact.” Gardeners, who already know that a reminder that life does go on with what This home-grown attitude goes back working with soil is a way to connect with we choose to nurture. nature, say it helps take away their worries, to World War II, when millions of people cultivated victory gardens to protect at least temporarily. against potential food shortages while Rick Johnson and Shannon Cerka, In chaotic times, gardening boosting patriotism and morale. proprietors of Corsicana’s The Square becomes therapy In addition to big-box retailers, many Root gardening and nursery at 222 Main Dig. Plant. Breathe. smaller hardware and feed stores offer St., stressed the importance of the unseen garden vegetable plants, from seeds to benefits of gardening. seedlings. “In times of uncertainty, gardening The virus scare could even usher in a provides a sense of peace and solitude,” new crop of gardeners who start from seed they stated. “When staying home, gardening activities for adults and children rather than risk the crowds buying starter plants. are so very beneficial as we connect with nature. Our stress and anxieties

Ready...Set...PLANT! Spring Vegetables in Texas

If you haven’t tilled your garden and added compost or manure yet, it’s time to get it done. Once your soil is ready, here’s what to plant: April – beans, eggplant, okra, southern peas, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, and watermelon. To have the most success with your garden, be sure to select varieties that do well in East Texas, and buy quality seeds. Some varieties recommended for our area include: • Asparagus– Jersey Giant • Snap Beans – Blue Lake 274, Top Crop • Snap Pole Beans – Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder • Pinto Beans – Improved Pinto • Beets Pacemaker III • Broccoli – Emperor, Green Comet • Cabbage – Rapid Ball, Ruby Ball • Cantaloupe– Magnum 45 • Carrot– Burpee’s Toudo, Park’s Nandor • Cauliflower– Snow Crown • Swiss Chard-Fordhook

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Sweet Corn-How Sweet It Is Cucumber, Slicing– Sweet Success Eggplant– Tycoon, Florida Market Garlic– Texas White Kale– Blue Knight Irish Potato– Northland, Red LaSoda English Peas– Little Marvel or Sugar Snap Sweet Bell Pepper– Big Bertha, Jupiter Tomatoes (determinate-good for canning)-Merced, Celebrity, Carnival, Surefire, President Tomatoes (indeterminate- good slicers)– Champion, QuickPick, Simba, First Lady, Superfantastic Small Fruited Tomatoes– Small Fry, Porter, Cherry Grande, Sweet 100 Watermelon– Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby A more complete list of varieties is available on the web. Go to http:// aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ and click “East Texas Gardening.”

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No Roadmap To The Future!

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pening up the US to the way we were makes no sense at present. The spread of the Corona Virus continues unabated. Regardless of the ridiculous statements from politicians, we are no closer to knowing the source—or cure—for the virus. And testing is almost nonexistent. With 350,000,000 Americans across the land, few have been tested to see if they have, or have had, the virus. Listening to the mutterings of know-it-alls is more confusing every day. There are some, like our esteemed Texas Governor Greg Abbott, proclaiming that Texas must reopen for business now. Regardless of quarantines

and common sense, Abbott says to “Hell with staying inside” and following the directives of our medical professionals. Most of us are being careful of our surroundings—and our interactions with other folks. Lots of workers are doing their jobs from home and other than being bored with being homebound, are still earning a paycheck. Millions of others are still doing their regular jobs wearing face masks and not making contact with co-workers. Then there are those who are looking for productive employment and willing to put their hands—and brainpower—to work. So far, there seems to be no consensus on a master plan to

solve our issues. On our farms and ranches, the tragedy of incompetence is being borne out every day. Without a market, lots of vegetable crops are rotting in the fields, cattle and hogs are not being processed and poultry producers are being left with no birds to feed or eggs to gather. One estimate is that within two weeks major shortages of many food products will result in some empty shelves in grocery stores. We desperately need some real leaders to step forward and tell all Americans that depleting the U.S. Treasury is not going to solve our problems. The oil and gas industry, that is the driver of the Texas economy, is gasping

Beef, continued from page 1 conscientious environmentalists who want to leave the condition of the soil better than we found it.,” Kim said. “We believe an animal finished on grass has a unique flavor of the area just like a fine wine takes on the flavor of where the grapes are raised.” Angelina All Natural Beef was named after a Caddo Creek Native American woman who showed extreme hospitality to the Spanish Conquistadors. They referred to her as Angelina or little angel. She became a guide and Christian missionary who demonstrated the true friendly nature of Texas and is the only woman in Texas history to have a county, river and state park named after her. “We want our beef company to live up to that Texas legacy of hospitality and we believe there is no better symbol of ‘natural’ than Angelina, which is why we named our company Angelina All Natural Beef,” Kim said. “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank the good Lord for this incredible life.” Angelina Beef backs their product and offers it online at www.angelinabeef.com or you can find them at the Athens Farmers Market where they have been vendors since 2016. Meat is sold by the piece and in shares. “I believe this pandemic will change local food economies for the better,” Kim said. “I believe people will want to know where their food comes from now more than ever. Knowing your farmers and ranchers and being able to secure food locally is not only a good thing, it is in our best interest, our national interest, for food security in times such as these. We are excited to be a part of this resurgence of local food and we would love to be a part of what you put on the table for your family.” The Athens Farmers Market is set to open soon for the 2020 season, and is currently establishing

for a return to sanity. And all the while, dozens of crude oil tankers are arriving in the U.S. daily with Saudi Arabian oil destined for our Gulf Coast refineries. Like most of you, I am more interested in protecting our own country rather than bowing to a sheet-attired prince in an Arab sheikdom. All the while our contemptible set of “leaders” in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas sit on their fat behinds and do nothing except pontificate in front of television cameras. Putting America first should be our goal—and forget the pettiness and cowardice that seems ongoing!

That’s --30—Horace7338@live.com

Market, continued from page 1 and planning precautions to ensure a safe visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the Athens Farmers Market Facebook page for more details and learn about other vendors. The Athens Review will feature more farmers in articles like this as we approach peak season.

gelo reported goat sale numbers were 10% higher than in 2019, he said. Even as sale numbers rose, so did prices. “Prices went up an average of 4% this season,” he said. “Volumes are up and prices are up, and those typically don’t go up together. So, demand is obviously there.” Kid and nanny prices in San Angelo were $289.40 and $148.07 per hundredweight, respectively, on March 18, Thompson said. Peak prices for those class goats were $267.47 and $133.96, respectively in 2019. For even more perspective on the rise of goat prices, kids were more than $101 per hundredweight higher this March than the average price per hundredweight in 2011. Thompson said goat meat production may be insulated from any disruptions from COVID-19 because animals are not processed at large centralized facilities. These large facilities could face disruptions including sick workers or shutdown times for extra sanitization. However, multiple smaller operations are expected to fare better and stay on schedule. “It remains to be seen what the impact to beef, chicken and other proteins’ production capacity could be, but most processing operations are running at capacity right now.”

Sheep Texas sheep producers face a bit more uncertainty and risks mostly due to other market factors so far, Thompson said. Wool prices have been down for some time, especially compared to two years ago, he said. Wool production is still profitable, but producers face tighter margins due to labor costs and the availability of shearing crews. “Wool took it on the chin last year,” he said. “The market lost all the gains from the two prior years. There is still money to be made, but it’s not even close to what it was.” The trade war with China may have hurt the wool market because China is a major garment manufacturing hub, Thompson said. But the ongoing petroleum price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia added another negative market factor to the mix. “As oil prices drop, it makes man-made materials, like rayon, more competitive with wool,” he said. “Manufacturers are doing amazing things with wool, but it makes it harder for clothing manufacturers to ignore man-made fabrics due to the price.” In recent years, many Texas producers switched from Rambouillet sheep, which are a wool and meat producing breed, Thompson said, to meat-producing hair sheep like dorpers. Meat prices are experiencing a better price situation, Thompson said. However, COVID-19 could become a market factor due to the amount of lamb consumed in restaurants. “Lamb markets are more at risk, and we don’t know if that could fall into other sheep categories,” he said. “If carcass prices drop on Rambouillet lambs it will likely weigh on the price of hair sheep.” Prices for feeder lambs in San Angelo were $197.03 per hundredweight on March 18, Thompson said. They averaged $166.16 per hundredweight last year. Thompson said lamb has continued to grow in popularity beyond the traditional consumers. Many livestock producers have added sheep herds or switched from goats to sheep to diversify their operations. “There’s a bit more uncertainty in the sheep market right now, and as we have seen, the markets hate uncertainty,” he said.

Gardening, continued from page 1 it’s good to have the fresh veggies and the fresh herbs to put into food to enhance its taste,” she said. In addition to providing a fresh, healthy source of food, a garden can also become an educational tool for families “because you have the science, and the math and the art” that goes into creating a garden, Benton said. “And it’s well-known that gardening is a stress and anxiety-reducer, and it’s a great outlet for energy, because it’s productive.” She suggested that folks who are interested in gardening “only grow what your family is going to eat.” While there are a variety of sources to get seeds and plants, “our local nurseries are a great resource, and we have one in every part of Cherokee County,” she said. There is no “right” way to create a garden and folks have a variety of options, such as container gardening, which is

ideal for smaller spaces, or raised beds, and help is only a phone call away, she added. “They can contact me here at the office, or email me. Our office also has handouts, and there is so much available online, too. The website ‘Aggie Horticulture’ is an excellent online source, with easy access to a wealth of information, including trouble-shooting and help in selecting plants,” Benton said. Contact Benton at 903-683-5416 or email kim. benton@ag.tamu.edu. Facebook links that provide information about gardening include include “Aggie Horticulture,” “Cherokee County – Texas A&M Agrilife Extension service” and “Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service”


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Peas & Beans – Summer Staples T

here are seemingly endless varieties of peas grown in our warm East Texas gardens each year. Many of us have spent some good hours shelling peas, and most of us consider them an essential part of the garden. As legumes, they add vital nitrogen back into the soil, and have held an important role historically as a cover crop for corn and cotton planting, as well as nutritious fodder for animals. Although they used to be members of the genus Phaseolus where most of the beans hang out, they are now considered Vigna unguiculata. Despite the single latin name, there are literally hundreds of varieties – black eyes, pink eyes, crowders, creams and more. They are broken down based on the pods – purple hulls and long pods – and the seed description – black eyes, etc. I have always been fascinated with these many differences! Peas that grow so closely together in the pod that the ends touch are called crowders because it changes the shape of seed so that it has blunted ends. Varieties that have no seed coat color are called cream peas, and in the case of Zipper Creams, are actually cream crowder peas. Even more confusingly, varieties that have purpling on the pods

fall into the purple hull group no matter what the seed color may be! An article by M. J. Stephens, from the University of Florida, breaks it down so well that there is no need to restate. Here is how Stephens broke it down: 1. Blackeye Group The seeds are not crowded in the pods. They are white, with dark black eyes. Examples: Ramshorn Blackeye, California Blackeye #5, Giant Ramshorn, Extra Early Blackeye, Blackeye Crowder, Queen Anne, and Royal Blackeye. 2. Blackeye Crowder Group Similar to regular blackeyes, except the seeds are crowded in the pods. Example: Alacrowder. 3. Colored-eye Group This group has seed-eye coloring other than black. Usually it is brown, tan, or pink. Seeds not crowded. Examples: Alalong (Longhorn), Todd, Alabunch, Big Boy, Texas Big Boy, and Royal Pink Eye. 4. Colored-eye Crowder Group Same as above (No. 3), except seeds are crowded in pods. Includes Red holstein eye pattern. Examples: Pinkeye Crowder, Browneye Crowder, White Pinkeye. Calico (Hereford), and Alabrowneye.

5. Black Crowder Group The Seeds are solid black when dry, purple when immature. Seed most always crowded. Example: Black Crowder. 6. Brown Crowder Group Most crowders fit into this group, and most all brown seeds fit here. Some seeds are tan colored, with only slightly darker eyes. Examples: Grown Crowder, Sugar Crowder, Silverskin Crowder, Alabama Crowder (not the same as Alacrowder), Mississippi Silverbrown, Jackson 21, Dixie-Lee, Producer, Calhoun Crowder, and Colossus. 7. Speckle Crowder Group Speckled blue seeds are moderately crowded in pods. Have largest seeds of the Southern peas. Examples: Blue Goose (Gray Goose), Whittle, Speckled Java, Gray Crowder, and Taylor. 8. Cream Group (Conch) Seeds are light green or white, and relatively small. Cooking water comes out bright and clear. Since most creams are uncrowded, most fit into this group. Examples: Floricream, Sadandy, Cabbage (Bush White Acre), Running Acre (Running Conch), Topset, Snapea, Climax, Bush Conch, White Acre, Terrace, Gentlemen, Texas Creams (40, 8 12 others), Elite, Freezegreen, Mississippi Cream, and Royal

Cream. 9. Cream Crowder Group Uncolored seeds, but crowded in pods. Examples: Lady Cream, Lady Finger (Rice or Catjang), White Sugar Crowder (actually have a colored eye, so would fit the colored-eye crowder group), Zipper Cream (also called Zipper Peas), Mississippi Silver, and Royal Cream Crowder. 10. Purple Hull Group Seed pods show some purple coloring, either at tip or all over. Seeds may or may not be crowded. Usually white peas with buff, brown, or pink eyes. Examples: Jackson Purple Hull, Dixie Queen, Herbken, Knuckle Purple Hull, Pinkeye Purple Hull, Purple Tip Crowder, Purple Hull, Big Boy Purple Hull, Coronet, and Crimson. 11. Field and Forage Group This group includes all those grown most usually for forage cropping and soil improvement. However, they make o.k. table fare. Examples: Iron, Clay, Whipporwill, New Era, Groit, Brabham, Victor, Arlington, Red Ripper, Columbia, Michigan Favorite, Chinese Red Pea, Coronet, and Tetapeche Gray. 12. Long Pod Group This group is characterized by

Kim Benton

Cherokee County Horticulturist having extra-long pods. Length ranges from over 10 inches up to 36 inches. Example: An example of a 10inch variety is Snapea developed by Al Lorz in Florida. A long example would be the yard-long variety called Yard-long Bean (Vigna unguiculata, subspecies sesquipedalis (L.) Verde. Its unusually long pods are borne on trailing, climbing vines reaching 9 to 12 feet in length, requiring trellising. The pods are snapped instead of being shelled. When you plant your peas this Spring and Summer, smile at those seeds and think about all the folks that have planted those varieties for years. They are little Southern history time capsules.

Hay producers should help maximize growth Staff Reports

Corsicana Daily Sun

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eather has affected the transition from cool-season to warmseason forage growth, and producers should be doing what they can to help Bermuda grass emerge and maximize growth, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton, said warm-season forages have broken dormancy. Weather has been erratic for much of the late winter, which has impacted coolseason forage growth, she said. Many producers may not have experienced typical spring flushes of cool-season forages like ryegrass and winter wheat due to cooler temperatures and overcast days. Now, producers are looking to transition from cool-season to warmseason grasses, but weather continues to slow progress, she said. Bermuda grass needs consistent nighttime temperatures at or above 60 degrees and soil temperatures at or above 65 degrees to grow. But there is plenty of work to be done in pastures to prepare them for warmseason emergence, said Corriher-Olson. She has been receiving producer calls about management options to maximize remaining coolseason grasses and assist Bermuda grass emergence. “Cool-season forages were a little later in production this year, but there is still a lot of ryegrass in fields,” she said. “Producers are trying to figure out if they should graze those fields out or cut them for hay.” Corriher-Olson recommends hay and

forage producers focus on reducing competition for warm-season forages like Bermuda grass. They may want to cut and store ryegrass and other coolseason forages if they’re concerned about belowaverage hay production this season. “We’re coming off a pretty good hay production year, but there are still areas where producers fed much more hay this winter because of the erratic weather and poor cool-season forage growth,” she said. “So, they may be anxious and want to restock some bales in case we experience drought going into summer.”

Growing potential good, just add sun Corriher-Olson said moisture levels are good for much of the state going into hay production season. The state’s drought monitor indicates a few areas in South Texas continue to deal with drought, but most of the state has adequate to good moisture. But good moisture levels are another reason producers should cut or graze cool-season grasses, she said. Reducing competition for existing moisture now could pay off later in the season if rains become less frequent. Dealing with weed issues also reduces competition for moisture. “You want Bermuda grass to access that moisture,” she said. “We know that it’s usually drier in June, July and August, so whatever we can do now to reduce competition for subsoil moisture could help later in the season.” Producers should hold off on fertilizer applications until temperatures consistently support warm-

season growth, she said. “You don’t want to be early because you’ll be feeding winter weeds and cool-season grasses,” she said.

Preparation pays Corriher-Olson said the transition period between cool-season and warmseason grasses is a good time to prepare equipment, buy management products and plan ahead. She has already received a few calls regarding armyworms in winter forages and in Bermuda grass that had broken dormancy. “These reports are a good reminder that producers need to be scouting fields when weather is cool and wet,” she said. “This is especially true in fields that are valued for forage or hay production.” Producers should have pesticides ready to apply, and equipment should be calibrated for spraying, she said. Warm-season weeds

haven’t emerged yet, but producers should also be prepared for them as well, Corriher-Olson said. Producers should consider areas in pastures that experienced weed problems last year and be

prepared to treat those areas with herbicides. “They should be planning for herbicide and pesticide applications, buying products and calibrating equipment to be ahead of the game,” she

said. “The last thing you want to be doing is looking for a part or repairing equipment or ordering spray treatment products when you need to be in the pasture addressing the problem.”

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Nature Films A

s the crowd leans in closer to the television we see the swaying Boab trees... an endless sea of grass waving off into the horizon. “Here we are friends, on the Serengeti Plains in the wilds of Serengeti.” We hear the quiet buzz of Tsetse flies humming strains of ‘Baby Elephant Walk’. Just as we are becoming mesmerized into the peaceful surroundings on the screen, a lone gazelle suddenly bursts on the scene! It leaps and dives, with graceful arcs, nimble footwork, and darting back and forth like a cockroach wearing cleats. Then, out of the savannah, like a big shoe, streaks the jungle’s answer to LeBron James; Charlie the Cheetah. Charlie pounces on the gazelle and drags him to the ground.

Another example of nature’s survival of the fittest. But did you ever wonder how the film crew happened to be there at that exact moment? As you may have heard, nature programs are always under close scrutiny. The film makers are accused of staging scenes, of using tame animals or zoo animals and of staking out ‘prey’ for the predators to pounce on. But may I point out to those who are shocked by this revelation that this is television. Movies. Show Business! The media of revisionist history, docu-drama, infomercials and reality shows. A business where the facts are altered and endings changed to make a more entertaining program. Wanton acts of animal cruelty should be avoided. But filming an anteater licking

Peach crop looking good despite early concerns Staff Reports

Corsicana Daily Sun

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exas’ peach crop looks good amid improved growing conditions despite warmerthan-normal weather that impacted tree chill hours, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Larry Stein, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Uvalde, said peach orchards around the state were progressing well despite a warm January that negated good early winter chill hours. “Commercially, producers who applied spray applications that help substitute for those lost chill hours are looking good,” he said. “But if you’re a homeowner and you see trees struggling to leaf out, it’s because of warm temperatures in January.” Moisture conditions for much of the state look good, he said. Southwest Texas and the Hill Country

had been experiencing drought, but rains improved soil moisture conditions dramatically over the last two weeks. The moisture is a blessing, but it also means producers should be vigilant against diseases and pests, he said. “If the weather continues to be wet, they’ll need to keep up with their fungicide and pesticide management programs,” he said. “It’s especially important to be proactive with fungicides. If you have a good crop you have to stay on top of things until you get across the finish line.” So far, Stein said Texas growers have not faced any cold events or storms that negatively impacted trees. Stein said he expects some peach producers with hightunnel-growing technology in the Hill Country to have ripe fruit as early as May. Those producers use high tunnels to extend their growing season.

“High tunnels allow those producers to start earlier and then transition to their regular orchard through the rest of the season,” he said. Peaches amid pandemic Stein said he doesn’t know how the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-athome orders will affect marketing peaches but suspects it won’t hurt. “I don’t think marketing peaches will be a problem,” he said. “I anticipate fruit and vegetable stands and farmers’ markets will be open because food is essential. The situation could help because people might want to get out, and they want to support local business.” Prices for peaches remain steady or are experiencing slight upticks, he said. The trend of direct farm-to-market sales with fruit stands or at farmers’ markets continues to grow as consumers demand quality sourced produce and producers try to realize better profit margins.

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the inside of a termite mound from the termite’s point of view takes a little more planning. I mean, how long can a camera man wait inside a termite’s living room? Anybody that’s ever tried to get a dog or kid to repeat a trick while you run and get the camera knows how hard it is to film spontaneous acts. I’ve always assumed nature films were staged. I figured the crew gathered after breakfast and drove to a carefully selected spot. They arrive when the lighting is just right. From the back of a used stock truck (with Nairobi plates) they unload an old antelope, a gnu with footrot and six crippled rabbits. The director points to the truck driver and the prey limps out. Then the director points to the animal trainer. He releases his leopard. Cameras roll... the

leopard bounds toward the hobbling gnu, leaps for his throat and throws him to the ground. “Cut!” Cries the director. The leopard helps the gnu up, dusts him off and they go back to the truck. Everybody packs up and gets back to the hotel by cocktail time. Isn’t that how they filmed Jurrasic Park?

Producers with deep soil moisture see potential for boom year

Staff Report

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Corsicana Daily Sun

ood rains last fall filled soil moisture profiles for much of the state and set up a good yield potential for Texas farmers, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock, said lines between areas with plenty of good soil moisture and those dealing with drought were distinct. Big rains in the fall delivered deep soil moisture throughout the “root zone” for most areas, while much of South Texas and along the Gulf Coast continue to struggle with drought. The difference in good soil moisture – 4-5 feet down – can make a big impact on harvest yields, he said.  “The place you want to be is to have your soil holding as much moisture as it can hold going into the cropping season,” he said. “Deep soil moisture and regular rains through summer could bump yields of corn, sorghum and cotton up 10%-20%, and even more if you’re a West Texas dryland farmer. That moisture makes a huge difference.” Soil moisture makes the crop The High Plains and Rolling Plains from Midland to Big Springs up to the top of the Panhandle and along Interstate 20 from Abilene to Wichita Falls received good fall and winter moisture. Those rains brought much of those areas out of drought and created a deep soil moisture profile. “The difference between soil holding 5 inches of rain compared to 2 inches of rain at 5 feet deep is big,” he said. “That 3 inches of moisture translates into 1,000 pounds per acre for a sorghum producer. It’s around 150-200 pounds of lint per acre for cotton producers. That’s huge.” Trostle said dryland farmers in the High Plains who receive average summer rain could see up to 480 pound lint yields, or 1 bale, per acre with the combination of moisture and improved cotton varieties. A typical year yields around 250 to 300 pounds of lint per acre. “Farmers are eager to plant this season,” he said. “They see a nice opportunity to maximize their per-acre yields.” Little to no rain In the southern half of the state, rains have been scattered at best. Josh McGinty, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Corpus Christi, said most of the region was in D2 stage drought, or severe drought, according to the U.S. drought monitor.  “A week ago, much-needed rains fell across some of the more inland counties but missed those of us along the coast,” he said. “Corn and grain sorghum fields have emerged to good stands in most areas but there are some inconsistent skimpy stands where soil moisture was marginal.”  McGinty said timely rains would have helped even those fields but have not developed so far. Most producers were finishing cotton planting and were hoping chances of rain in the forecast will materialize.  AgriLife Extension agent reports from other southern parts of the state reported spotty crop emergence, failed germination and delayed plantings due to severe to extreme drought.


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April 2020

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

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Dirt matters in barrel racing competition

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magine attending a big Dallas Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium, but becoming overly frustrated by watching gifted players stumble and fall throughout the afternoon because of unusually bad field conditions. The ground crew at the renowned venue in Arlington would never allow that to happen. But in the world of pro rodeo, the equivalent of a bad football field happens too often at well-established venues in the popular event of barrel racing. Bad arena dirt was an issue for barrel racers throughout the 2019 Wrangler National Finals

Rodeo in Las Vegas. At the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in January in Denver, defending Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world champion Hailey Kinsel said she declined to run her best horse, Sister, in the final round because of concerns that the mare might have sustained an injury because of bad ground conditions. Instead, she saddled up a secondstring horse for the finals. And during a semifinal round, evening performance at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo in February, the judges opted to stop the barrel race because horses were slipping down in

the dirt. San Antonio Rodeo organizers made improvements, and the barrel racers who were on the card that evening were allowed to make another run the next morning. They saw immediate positive results. When Jill Wilson made a rerun the next day, the Snyder cowgirl turned in a time of 13.82 seconds, which turned out to be the fastest run of the entire rodeo. Wilson, who finished runner-up in the barrel racing at the 2020 San Antonio Stock Show, said she was grateful the judges made the bold move to stop the event because of bad arena floor conditions at the high-profile pro

rodeo. The judges were Harry Rose Jr., Cliff Overstreet, Rocky Steagall and Chuck Hoss. “I thought, ‘Wow!’” Wilson said. “At a rodeo that was televised [live on the Cowboy Channel], at a rodeo at this level, for the judges to step up and say and say, ‘Hey, we’re stopping this!’ And to take a stand, that’s outstanding. It kind of made a stand for once.” Two-time world champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi of Lampasas, who clinched the barrel racing title at San Antonio, applauded the judges’ decision. “They definitely were looking out for the welfare

of the animals and the riders,” Pozzi Tonozzi said. “Nobody thinks of barrel racing as a dangerous sport like the bull riding and the saddle bronc riding. But when horses are going out there and falling, you are not only endangering the animal, but the riders as well.” Unlike at the 2019 NFR or at the 2020 Denver Rodeo, the 2020 San Antonio rodeo officials made the right call, which in reality ordered the local organizing committee to make sure the barrel racers had a safe and sound dirt arena floor. However, it’s as if the injustices to barrel racers during the 2019 National Finals, the 2020 Denver rodeo and the 2020 San Antonio rodeo has become a footnote and not enough has been said about it. In a recent interview, Kinsel, a South Texas cowgirl, said the arena floor at the Denver rodeo was “horrendous,” and “too dangerous.” Asked about the ground conditions at the 2019 NFR, Kinsel said: “It was tough for all of us.” Kinsel said we live in a day that rodeo organizers are aspiring to improve the sport and they must prioritize providing a safe and sound dirt arena floor. “We just hope with all of the cool advancements that rodeos are trying to make that they don’t forget that the footing is the most important part of keeping a horse around,” she said.

PBR update The Professional Bull Riders’ has scheduled a closed-for-TV-only tour stop for Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie, Oklahoma. In a statement on pbr. com, Sean Gleason, the PBR’s chief executive officer, said the association has carefully worked out details on how to conduct a PBR show when riders have been forced not to compete in recent weeks because of coronavirus concerns. “We developed a comprehensive safety and wellness plan that has been reviewed and approved by city of Guthrie, Logan County, and Oklahoma state officials,” Gleason

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net.

wrote. “We had set up the facilities at Lazy E at the end of March knowing it was a matter of when, not if, we would be able to resume events. That time is now. Since ‘Be Cowboy” is our motto, we take the coronavirus pandemic very seriously; we haven’t thrown caution to the wind. We’ve approached this with a detailed, thoughtful and intelligent plan than took into consideration any and all interactions among our constituents.” Meanwhile, the PBRsanctioned J.W. Hart Challenge-The Last Ride that’s scheduled for May 16 in Decatur, is still classified on pbr.com as a planned event. The Caveman Invitational PBR that’s scheduled for June 6 in Odessa also is classified as a planned event.

Cowboy Channel update The Cowboy Channel and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association are working together to bring fans a new television series, “ProRodeo Tonight,” that airs on Saturdays at 6 p.m. (CT). “Rodeo is such a diverse business. We talk so much about the sport from the rodeo cowboy’s perspective,” said Jeff Medders, president and general manager of Fort Worth Stockyards-based Cowboy Channel said in a statement. “With ‘ProRodeo Tonight’ we have a chance to dig deeper and tell stories from across the industry. There are so many unsung heroes and compelling stories that go overlooked. This show will finally give us a chance to tell those stories.”


April 2020

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East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

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Hatchery Woes

TPWD facilities running on skeleton crews, freshwater numbers headed for a hit By Matt Williams Outdoors Writer

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t’s springtime in Texas. In a normal year, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s fresh and saltwater hatchery crews would be running full bore with sights set on lofty production goals aimed at raising close to 40 million baby sport fish for future stocking in public reservoirs, rivers and coastal bays. This spring has been anything but normal. While the fish have no idea coronavirus is dancing in the air, the pandemic has caused TPWD leaders to make adjustments to daily operations at the agency’s fish hatchery systems. The purpose is to help keep employees and the general public safe while complying with shelter in place orders issued by county governments. It’s hardly business as usual. All state hatcheries are running on skeleton crews. Works areshuffling in and out as needed to keep fish fed, do necessary maintenance on facilities and perform other assignments that come with the turf. Likewise, a monkey wrench has been tossed into some hatchery production schedules while bringing a host of unexpected challenges to scientists during one of aquaculture’s busiest seasons. In some cases those challenges have made it impossible for personnel to carry out the intricate processes associated with spawning fish in controlled environments while maintaining necessary social distancing protocols to prevent spreading of the disease. The COVID-19 crisis has been especially burdensome on the state’s freshwater hatcheries, an immense system comprised of five facilities with 298 outdoor growing ponds spanning roughly 263 surface acres. Each year, the hatcheries produce around 14 million largemouth bass, catfish, striped bass, hybrid stripers and walleye for stocking in public reservoirs and park ponds. Florida bass usually account for about half (7-8 million) of the annual total. State hatcheries also produce nearly 55,000 pounds of forage (Koi carp, gold fish and fat minnows) for feeding captive largemouth bass brood stock. Other fish are raised on pellets.

Freshwater: Taking a Big Hit Handling and spawning freshwater fish like bass and catfish is much different than saltwater species such as reds and specks. Unlike saltwater brood fish, which are housed and spawned in indoor tanks by manipulating water temperature and sunlight, freshwater brooders live most of the year in outdoor ponds and spawn in natural cycles. Holding ponds are drained each spring so the fish can be gathered and brought indoors for spawning in hatchery raceways. The labor intensive process often places multiple hatchery workers in tight quarters for extended periods. Considering timing of the COVID-19 outbreak, TPWD leaders saw a potential safety hazard for their staff.

According to Todd Engeling, TPWD chief of inland hatcheries, the coronavirus along with social distancing and shelter in place restrictions surfaced during the narrow window of time when freshwater hatchery production is typically at its peak. As a result, production work on largemouth bass that should have gotten underway in early March didn’t happen. “If we had spawned those fish back in March, the fry would have been ready to harvest right now,” Engeling said. “Based on the timing of that, we didn’t think it would be safe for our staff to harvest and distribute those fish during this time frame.” Likewise, Engeling says Florida bass production will take a big hit this year, possibly down by as much as 60-70 percent. “We usually go through two spawning cycles with our largemouth bass, and we completely missed the first one,” he said. “Most of our production comes in that first cycle, then another 30 percent in the second cycle.” Engeling said he is optimistic that hatchery managers can begin pairing bass for the second spawning cycle sometime in late April or early May. If so, those offspring should be available for stocking in early June. “That’s tentative this point,” he said. “We’re waiting to see what shakes out with the shelter in place orders. The main thing is to be safe. We’re hoping to be able to harvest in early June.” The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens produces about 4 million (half of the statewide total) Florida bass fingerlings annually. TFFC hatchery manager Tony Owens says he will be lucky to produce 1.5 million offspring this year. “In a normal year we would have been rocking and rolling in March,” Owens said. “We usually fill our ponds with fry by the end of April, but it didn’t happen this year. We’re like everybody else. We’re in a wait-and-see mode. If things ease up it could be full speed ahead come May.” Overall, freshwater hatchery numbers are expected to be down about 50 percent overall this year. Engeling said managers at the A.E. Woods hatchery in San Marcos were successful in achieving spawns between female white bass and male striped bass in February, and those “sunshine bass” fingerlings are now available for stocking. Blue cat production was deferred this year. “A lot of our efforts right now are focused on raising forage for our captive bass,” Engeling said. “We’re also prioritizing channel cat so we can meet our commitments with our Neighborhood Fishing Program.”

Saltwater Production on Track TPWD’s three saltwater hatcheries are charged with rearing about 20 million red drum, spotted seatrout and southern flounder for stocking in bays along the Texas coast. Red drum comprise about 15 million of the annual output of a diverse system built around stateof-the-art indoor spawning facilities and nearly 100

acres of production ponds, where larvae are nurtured to fingerling size. While freshwater hatchery production is sure to take a dive this year, saltwater hatcheries are on track to meet or exceed their annual quotas on red drum (15 million) and spotted seatrout (5 million), according to Dr. Chris Mace, fisheries enhancement director with TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division. “We’re working really hard to mitigate any effects of the coronavirus,” Mace said. “You never know what is going to come tomorrow, especially in such an unusual time. But right now we are cautiously optimistic for a normal production.” Mace says skeleton crews are alternating 7-day shifts and working from home every other week. “We’re doing a lot of different things to keep from getting too far behind, but there is no doubt we’ll see some impacts, mostly likely in maintenance,” he said. “We’re postponing some of the routine stuff we always did in favor of keeping production goals on the forefront. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul. We’ll pay for that at some point.”

Salt: A different process The main reason the COVID-19 crisis isn’t expected to cause significant cuts in saltwater production hinges on spawning techniques used with red drum and spotted seatrout. As earlier mentioned, brood fish are housed in the same indoor tanks where scientists fool them into spawning by playing around with photoperiods and water temperature. Mace says most procedures require only one person, so social distancing isn’t an issue. “Once the fish spawn, one person can collect the eggs and move them to an incubator. That same person can scoop up the larvae three days later and move them outside to a growing pond that was prepared by one person a few days prior.” Flounder, which are usually spawned during late fall and winter, are a different story, Mace says. “Southern flounder don’t spawn by themselves very efficiently,” he said. “It would be very hard to do with one biologist. If we had to do that right now it would impact us.”

Mutual Problem: Getting Fish Stocked Harvesting fingerlings from growing ponds and transporting them to stocking sites in a timely fashion are additional hurdles all hatchery managers will face later this spring and summer. It takes teamwork to tackle the tasks. If social distancing and shelter in place restrictions are still intact, getting fingerlings stocked where they are needed could become an issue. “If we can’t work as a team harvesting ponds we are going have a real problem,” Mace said. “It takes multiple people working together as a team to get those fish out alive and into a holding tank for transport.” Engeling says freshwater production numbers could decline even more if restrictions linger into the

TPWD Photo

Texas freshwater production numbers are sure to take hit this spring because of disruptions in TPWD hatchery operations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida bass fingerling production is expected to be down 60-70 percent. summer. “I’m hoping things start loosening up by late May and early June so we

can get some these fish stocked,” he said. “If this deal drags on into the summer, our numbers

could drop another 20-30 percent.” Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

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April 2020

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

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Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed in Texas Special to the Jacksonville Daily Progress

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exas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has received test results confirming that Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) was diagnosed in a wild black-tailed jackrabbit in Lubbock County and a wild cottontail rabbit in Hudspeth County. This marks the first confirmed cases of RHD in wild rabbits in Texas and follows the discovery of the disease in domestic rabbits in Hockley County, which was announced in a recent Texas Animal Health Commission news release. Since March 23, detections of the disease in both wild and domestic rabbits have occurred in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Mexico. There have been reports of mortality events in both wild cottontails (genus Sylvilagus) and jackrabbits (genus Lepus) in El Paso, Hudspeth, Brewster, Terrell, Lubbock and Pecos Counties in Texas. Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect both domestic and wild rabbit species. This disease is nearly always fatal and primarily affects adult rabbits. The viral agent, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), is a calicivirus with two strains, RHDV-1 and RHDV-2, being reported in North America in recent years. RHDV-2 is known to affect wild rabbits and was determined to be the agent in the Lubbock and Hockley County cases. RHD is a Foreign Animal Disease (FAD), but has been detected in Canada, Washington and Ohio.

RHDV appears only to affect rabbit species (lagomorphs). It is not known to affect humans, livestock or pets other than rabbits. However, pets should not be allowed to consume dead animal carcasses. “The loss of this prey species can affect big game populations as well as other populations like rodents due to a shift in what predators will go after,” said John Silovsky, TPWD Wildlife Division deputy director. “That’s especially true in fragile areas like the Trans Pecos.” Often the only clinical sign is sudden death. In less acute cases, clinical signs may include the following: dullness/apathy, not eating, ocular and/or nasal hemorrhage and congestion of the conjunctiva. Some may develop neurological signs such as incoordination, excitement or seizure like episodes. Infections in young rabbits are usually subclinical and deaths are rare. This is a highly contagious disease that spreads between rabbits through contact with infected rabbits or carcasses, their meat or their fur, contaminated food or water, or materials coming in contact with them. RHDV2 can persist in the environment for a very long time. These factors make disease control efforts extremely challenging once it is in the wild rabbit populations. “Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will be monitoring wild rabbit populations to determine the extent of the disease,” said Dr. Bob Dittmar, TPWD wildlife veterinarian. “We are continuing to receive reports of dead rabbits from the western part of the state.” People can contact their

local TPWD wildlife biologist if they notice sick or dead rabbits. We want to reassure everyone this disease does not affect people or pets. TPWD will work with TAHC to keep the public informed as we learn more about the extent and severity of the disease.” “Texas Animal Health Commission will continue to work alongside our partners, USDA and TPWD, to provide situational updates for all domestic rabbits confirmed with RHDV2,” said Dr. Susan Rollo, TAHC State Epidemiologist. “In order to slow down and best prevent the spread of RHDV2, it is important that all rabbit owners implement strong biosecurity measures. Protect your rabbits from disease by following these steps: Domestic Rabbit Biosecurity Guide.” Domestic rabbit owners who have questions about RHDV2 or observe sudden death in their rabbits should contact their private veterinarian. Private veterinarians are requested to contact the USDA-APHIS or the TAHC to report any suspected cases at 1-800-550-8242. Report all unusual mass morbidity (sickness) or mortality (deaths) events to the TAHC. You can find more information on RHD in the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service fact sheet on Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease at https://www.aphis.usda. gov/publications/animal_health/fsrhdv2.pdf. Find a TPWD Wildlife Biologist online at https://tpwd.texas.gov/ landwater/land/technical_guidance/ biologists/.

3 Suns Ranch Joins Membership of American Angus Association Staff Reports

Athens Daily Review 3 Suns Ranch in Athens is a new member of the American Angus Association, reports Mark McCully, CEO of the national breed organization headquartered in Saint Joseph, Missouri. The American Angus Association, with more than 25,000 active adult and junior members, is the largest beef breed association in the world. Its computerized records include detailed information on over 19 million registered Angus. The Association records ancestral information and keeps production records and genomic data on individual animals to develop industry-leading selection tools for its members. The programs and services of the Association and its entities — Angus Genetics Inc., Angus Media, Certified Angus Beef LLC and the Angus Foundation — help members advance the beef cattle business by selecting the best animals for their herds and marketing quality genetics for the beef cattle industry and quality beef for consumers.

Game Warden Field Notes The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

This is Hawkward A Hardin County game warden was at the Beaumont District Office when he received a call from the manager of the local Office Depot store. The manager said they had a small hawk flying around inside the store and couldn’t get it to leave, even though they had the front and back roll-up doors open. The warden recruited a licensed falconer who was experienced in handling and trapping birds of prey to help him catch the hawk. After the falconer arrived on scene with a hawk trap and some live bait, they soon discovered that although the bird resembled a hawk, it was in fact a large nightjar or “nighthawk,” which feeds on insects, rendering the trap idea useless. Undeterred, the warden and his falconer friend resorted to the old game warden standby — a ladder and a net. After what resembled a scene from America’s Funniest Home Videos, they were able to finally corral the bird in a back hallway and catch it in the dip net. It was released outside, where it flew off unharmed. The manager of the Office Depot store was very grateful that the bird was removed and would not be setting off the alarm system after closing.

Bad Idea, This is A Hays County game warden received an image from a cellphone game camera showing a man and woman trespassing and digging an archeological Native American burial site. The warden went to the property and found the couple in a large hole previously dug by trespassers. Before the warden could say anything, the man stood up immediately and said he wasn’t digging for arrowheads and hates diggers. The couple were husband and wife out on a date. They were both detained in handcuffs and separated at the front and back of the warden’s vehicle. The man admitted that he had a glass pipe in his pocket that he uses to smoke CBD oils. After a quick examination, the Baby Yoda glass pipe revealed small, clear and white crystals that looked like crystal meth. The warden placed the pipe on the hood and went to the back of the vehicle to speak with

the woman. She said she didn’t know the property was private, despite walking past multiple no-trespassing signs. The warden then walked back to the front of the vehicle and noticed the pipe was no longer on the hood. The man said he didn’t know where the pipe went. Several feet in front of the vehicle, the pipe was found broken in half in the middle of a fresh footprint. Upon further examination of the hole where the couple was found, the warden found a small hand saw and freshly disturbed dirt. The woman’s purse contained several gray rubber gardening gloves, each containing four Native American artifacts. The San Marcos Police Department took the couple to the Hays County Jail. While en route to jail, the man said he believed he had the coronavirus. He leaned forward against the partition and aggressively coughed toward the officers. Both subjects were charged with criminal trespass and Antiquities Code violations. The husband was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and harassment of a public servant. Cases pending.

Fool Me Once A Hays County game warden was contacted by a Hays County sheriff ’s detective about trespassers digging for Native American artifacts on a private property in Buda. The landowner installed several game cameras hidden in trees to monitor the dig sites and caught a man, on two separate occasions, digging for artifacts during March and April 2019. The images were of high quality and showed the man’s face and unique tattoos on his arms. In March 2020, the warden assisted a special agent with the Bureau of Land Management with a federal case involving the removal and sale of Native American corpses/ bones and sacred burial beads from an archeological burial site. The warden shared game camera images of the Buda property trespasser with the agent, and the agent recognized the man as an associate of the suspect he was actively investigating. The agent provided the name, and the trespasser was identified. The warden and the agent interviewed the trespasser and confirmed his identity through his unique tattoos. The trespasser handed over 18 Native American artifacts that were taken from the Buda property. Arrest warrants

were obtained for Antiquities Code violations and criminal trespass. The subject turned himself in. Cases pending.

The Scope of the Problem A Freestone County game warden was contacted by a landowner who said he allowed a man to hunt feral hogs on his property but had killed a deer in addition to the hog. The landowner explained that while driving his property, he found a fresh hog carcass, along with a fresh whitetailed doe. The

landowner asked the hunter what happened and was told that he “accidentally shot the doe when he was shooting at a hog.” The warden contacted the man, who admitted to shooting the doe, saying his “scope was off.” Charges include hunting a whitetailed deer in closed season, failing to take hunter education and hunting without a license.

Look Out Below A Freestone County game warden arrested a suspect in an ongoing investigation that began in February relating to hog hunting from a helicopter. A husband and wife were working cattle on their property when a helicopter began to hover over their property and shoot feral hogs. The husband waved his arms at the helicopter and it flew off. After the investigation, it was clear that the helicopter owner did not have a landowner authorization permit for the property in question. Charges were filed for using an aircraft to manage wildlife without having a landowner authorization permit.

Fishing for Trouble A Williamson County game warden was contacted by a retired law enforcement officer who was fishing the Dickerson River Bottom of the San Gabriel

River in Circleville when he saw a man using a cast net and catching white bass. The retired officer said there was a group of six men, and one was using the cast net. When the warden arrived on scene, he saw the man catching white bass with a cast net, then give it to another fisherman to manually hook the fish in the mouth onto a stringer. The warden contacted the men and found that none of them had a fishing license. The man using the cast net caught 20 of the 25 fish on the stringer, two being undersized. Citations and civil restitution were filed, and the fish were donated to a needy family.

No Sale A game warden was contacted about an Operation Game Thief incident in progress regarding an individual in Killeen selling crappie and catfish on a social media website. The warden located the post and found the seller’s address. After arriving at the seller’s location, the individuals admitted to the warden that they had been trying to sell the crappie and catfish they caught at Stillhouse Hollow Lake on social media for the last two days, but no one purchased them. The warden issued a citation for the sale of protected game fish and seized seven blue catfish, one yellow catfish and a bag of crappie meat. Case pending.

Fishy Business A Harris County game warden was notified through a Facebook post of an individual selling crawfish and oysters from a truck. Contact was made with the seller at the location posted online, and when the warden arrived, a transaction was occurring. When asked whether the seller had current licenses, he said that he did and went

toward his vehicle. After a few moments the warden realized the individual was taking too long to retrieve his paperwork and shortly thereafter the individual admitted to not possessing a commercial license. When the warden asked about the invoices for the product, the seller was only able to produce a receipt from the crawfish and was unable to produce any documentation for the two boxes of crab or the 11 sacks of oysters. The seller was issued the appropriate citations.

Spring Breaking the Law A group of spring breakers celebrating their time off at a house in Concan decided to begin spring turkey season a little early. One March morning, a Uvalde County game warden was contacted by an individual who had seen several boys use turkey calls to call up a gobbler. One of the boys killed the turkey and retrieved it from the brush. The warden, along with a Real County game warden, arrived at the house and contacted the boys. When asked about the turkey, the guilty party readily cooperated, admitted what he had done and showed wardens where he had hidden the bird.

You Can’t See Me A Karnes County game warden was on patrol when he noticed a deputy’s patrol vehicle on the side of the road near the San Antonio River bridge. The deputy approached the warden and told him that there was a truck that had been there for a short while without any occupants. The warden looked in the bed of the truck and found a fishing pole. The deputy and warden looked under the bridge and found two individuals fishing. They watched for a short time to make sure the individuals were both fishing before announcing their presence. When the warden called out to the fishermen, the two individuals squatted down. The warden watched with his binoculars, and both men still didn’t move. The warden called out to them again and told them to stand up. The two men then stood up and came to talk with him. Neither of them had a fishing license and both were issued citations.


April 2020

9

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

East Texas Stock Prices HUNTS LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE

ATHENS COMMISSION COMPANY

Updated: 3/30/2020 Head Count: 543

STEERS

Updated: 4/24/2020 Head Count: 916 Sellers: 152

www.5starrbuilders.com

STEERS

200lb - 299lb

1.00 1.81

300-DOWN

1.00 2.10

300lb - 399lb

1.00 1.77

300lb - 400lb

1.00 1.70

400lb - 499lb

1.00 1.75

400lb - 500lb

1.00 1.55

500lb - 599lb

1.00 1.55

500lb - UP

0.70 1.35

600lb - 699lb

1.00 1.37

HEIFERS

700lb - 899lb

1.00 1.23

300-DOWN

1.00 1.80

300lb - 400lb

1.00 1.50

HEIFERS

Sales

903-407-7627

of Waskom, Texas

200lb - 299lb

1.00 1.57

400lb - 500lb

0.80 1.35

300lb - 399lb

1.00 1.53

500lb - UP

0.70 1.25

400lb - 499lb

1.00 1.55

SLAUGHTER

500lb - 599lb

1.00 1.43

Cows

0.25 0.74

600lb - 699lb

1.00 1.25

Heavy Bulls

0.75 0.96

METAL BUILDINGS OF ALL SIZES

700lb - 899lb

1.00 1.15

PAIRS $1000 $1450

GALVANIZED BUILDINGS ALSO AVAILABLE

SLAUGHTER

Top

Cows

$35 $66.50

Low-Middle

$700 $1000

Bulls

$65 $92

STOCKER COWS

0.55lb 1.05lb

GOATS

$75hd $400hd

BABY CALVES

$50hd $350hd

PAIRS

$900 $1470

STOCKER COWS

$230hd $1260hd

GOATS

NA NA

TRI-COUNTY LIVESTOCK MARKET Updated: 4/25/2020 Head Count: 800

STEERS UNDER 300lb

1.45 2.10

300lb - 400lb

1.35 1.50

400lb - 500lb

1.20 1.45

500lb - 600lb

1.15 1.40

600lb - 700lb

1.05 1.25

700lb - 800lb

HORSES

NA NA

1.10 1.45

400lb - 500lb

1.11 1.25

500lb - 600lb

0.88 1.20

0.95 1.10

600lb - 700lb

0.91 1.25

700lb - 800lb

0.90 1.10

UNDER 300lb

1.30 1.65

HEIFERS

300lb - 400lb

1.20 1.43

400lb - 500lb

Under 300lb

1.28 1.71

1.15 1.25

300lb - 400lb

0.63 1.25

500lb - 600lb

1.05 1.15

400lb - 500lb

0.86 1.20

600lb - 700lb

0.95 1.17

500lb - 600lb

0.80 1.17

700lb - 800lb

0.80 1.00

600lb - 700lb

0.72 1.10

700lb - 800lb

0.65 0.93

Cows

0.35 0.70

PACKER

Heavy Bulls

0.85 1.01

Cows

0.55 0.81

PAIRS

$600 $1400

Bulls

0.70 0.80

$150/hd $215/hd

STOCKER COWS

$600/hd $1400/hd

LOW-MIDDLE

NA NA

EAST TEXAS LIVESTOCK INC.

Updated: 4/21/2020 Head Count: 656 Buyers: 35 Total Sellers: 85 Feeder Calf Order Buyers: 16 STEERS

PAIRS

$1000 $1100

BRED COWS GOATS

$585hd $800hd $75hd $290hd

1.30 2.16

305lb - 400lb

1.32 1.73

300lb - 400lb

1.30 1.76

405lb - 500lb

1.23 1.72

400lb - 500lb

1.20 1.64

505lb - 600lb

1.18 1.43

500lb - UP

1.20 1.44

605lb - 800lb

1.09 1.30

600lb - 700lb

N/A N/A

HEIFERS HEIFERS

UNDER 300lb

1.30 2.22

300-DOWN

1.16 1.76

300lb - 400lb

1.20 1.66

305lb - 400lb

1.10 1.55

400lb - 500lb

1.10 1.61

405lb - 500lb

1.06 1.61

500lb - UP

1.00 1.32

505lb - 600lb

1.01 1.41

600lb - 700lb

N/A N/A

605lb - 800lb

0.93 1.20

SLAUGHTER Cows

0.35 0.74

Bulls

0.65 0.98

0.55 0.78

PAIRS

$900 $2200

0.90 1.03

STOCKER COWS

SLAUGHTER

p u p S orte d u o r r s P

BRED COWS

Receiving Pens

Located outside Trinity, TX Contact Steve Lane (936) 661-7950 259 Westside Rd. Trinity, TX 75862

Each head sold will be entered for a drawing. At the end of the month a ticket will be pulled and that Seller will receive $ cash.

1,000

STEERS UNDER 300lb

PAIRS

Monthly Sellers Giveaway!

Updated: 4/23/2020 Head Count: 1160 Buyers: 99 Sellers: 91

1.38 2.25

Bulls

SALE EVERY WEDNESDAY AT NOON

NACOGDOCHES LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE

300-DOWN

Cows

Includes all labor, tractor work and concrete slab with moisture barrier and electric stub. Standard doors (1) 10x10 roll up or 20x7 garage door and (1) steel walk-in door. (Pad dirt may be extra). We use all the best materials starting with 6x6 ground contact poles with a lifetime warranty and a 40 year warranty on our painted metal. We offer a 4 inch 3000 psi concrete slab reinforced with 3/8” rebar.

STEERS 300lb - 400lb

BABY CALVES

WE BUILD ANY SIZE

Updated: 4/22/2020 Head Count: 55 Buyers: 12 Sellers: 14

1.41 1.65

SLAUGHTER

24x30x10 - 30x30x10 - 30x40x10 - 30x50x10

ANDERSON COUNTY LIVESTOCK

Under 300lb

HEIFERS

Shops • Garages • Barns • Equipment Sheds

$800 $1425

$625/hd $1125/hd

GOATS

$600hd $1625hd $45hd $220hd

BABY CALVES

$125hd $270hd

OPEN COWS

$500hd $950hd

VETERINARIAN ONSITE DR. CORY TUCKER

ELKHART, TEXAS

903-907-7777 Hwy 287 | Hwy 19 (at the intersection of Hwy 294) Elkhart, TX 75839 PH: 903-764-1919

andersoncountylivestock.com

Unsure of what to do about your tax situation? 903-723-6764 Shop local, support small business.

Help is just a phone call away.

222 Oakland Dr• Palestine, TX 75801

Our Services Include:

S Corporations • Individuals • Partnerships • Farms/Ranches • Rental Property Managers • Truck Drivers • Clergy


D1 SIZE: 10.125 x 21.25 | COLOR: 4c | PUB: Athens Newspaper 10 AD: Truck Month

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

A family of brands with family-size savings. 0% APR FINANCING FOR 84 MONTHS WITH NO PAYMENTS FOR 90 DAYS ON ALL NEW 2020 VEHICLES WHEN FINANCED THROUGH CHRYSLER CAPITAL.

April 2020

Profile for Herald Press

Farm and Ranch Living April 2020  

A special publication of the Palestine Herald-Press focusing on Farm and Ranch Living in East Texas.

Farm and Ranch Living April 2020  

A special publication of the Palestine Herald-Press focusing on Farm and Ranch Living in East Texas.

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