Dairy Management Protects the Environment by Mario Villarino
Apr22

Dairy Management Protects the Environment by Mario Villarino

Recent precipitation has got me concerned about the excessive water going into places it should not be. Ponds and lagoons have the tendency to overfill and excess water can take a toll in ditches and retention walls. Our large dairy operations have strict regulations to respond to rainy days just as the ones we had before. According to Texas A&M Extension publications, dairies, swine operations, beef cattle feedlots, and poultry...

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Good Problems to Have by Dr. Mario Villarino
Apr14

Good Problems to Have by Dr. Mario Villarino

Earlier in the week, a phone call of one of our hay producers was very interesting to me. As he shared with me his pasture situation after the rain, we started talking about the clover in his meadow. According to the rancher, his meadow had a large number of clovers in it. With the rain, he was having trouble getting his cattle to eat it. We talked about the need of “pushing” the clover with cattle and the benefits of high nutritional...

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Locust Trees by Mario Villarino
Apr08

Locust Trees by Mario Villarino

This week I visited the property of a recent producer of Hopkins County. The land, in desperate need of care was invaded with locust trees. The trees in the area were of different sizes, proof that those trees where there for several decades. Honey locust (Gleditisia triacanthosL.) is a native tree species also known as honey-shucks locust, sweet-locust, three-thorned acacia, sweet-bean or thorny locust. It has a natural range that...

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April showers!!!
Mar31

April showers!!!

The first days of spring has brought plenty of rain to Hopkins County. As temperature increase, it is important to take actions before our landscapes get out of control (and trust them, they will if you let them!). Texas A&M AgriLife Extension published the following recommendations for the month of April: a) Prune spring-flowering shrubs soon after flowering. Keep the natural shape of the plant in mind as you prune, and avoid...

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Planting Growing Season
Mar25

Planting Growing Season

As temperatures warm-up, our planting season take up and watching plant development as progresses is a fundamental tool to control diseases. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension information states that plant diseases can occur at any stage during the course of plant growth. The rapid, accurate diagnosis of the cause of a disease, along with the implementation of a rapid treatment, is essential to ensure the protection of the crop. Certain...

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Basic Home Vegetable Gardening Training
Mar12
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Vegetable gardening: The mighty tomato by Dr. Mario Villarino
Mar11

Vegetable gardening: The mighty tomato by Dr. Mario Villarino

County Extension Agent for Ag and Natural Resources- Hopkins. Tomato is considering by many, the ultimate crop for the home garden. Personally, tomato are a fundamental part of our family diet. Having both French, Italian and Mexican influences growing up, I vividly remember my mother preparing a roma tomato with salt as a mid-day snack. Joe Masabni, Texas AgriLife Extension horticulturist indicated that tomatoes are the most popular...

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Prolonged winter weather always makes an impact on livestock
Mar05

Prolonged winter weather always makes an impact on livestock

Prolonged winter weather always makes an impact  on livestock. The long effect of commingling plus the natural effect of harsh weather can take a toll into overall livestock health. Older cattle, cows with calves and young stock can suffer because they are at disadvantage and cannot compete with stronger, healthier cows. In reference to proper culling time, Dan Childs from the Samuel Noble foundation wrote: “Deciding when to cull cows...

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One of the Busiest Gardening Months of the Year is Here.
Feb25

One of the Busiest Gardening Months of the Year is Here.

Texas AgriLife Extension recommendations for March by M.C.Hansen, extension horticulturist for East Texas include the following: March weather for Northeast Texas can be very fickle – it could still freeze since average last freeze is around March 12, and yet it still could be very balmy and pleasant most of the month. Freezing weather mainly affects the timing of planting cold-sensitive plants, like tomatoes or begonias. If you...

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Energy and Plant Development
Feb18

Energy and Plant Development

Energy is in constant debate because we as a culture and society have created our surroundings dependent of energy.  Most of our housing, offices and building codes are meant to satisfy safety and personal appeal, not energy efficiency. One very effective way to harness energy is using plants, probably the most effective biological energy collector systems today. However, even plants require light and heat to propagate from seeds. A...

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