Weather for Lubbock, TX

Thursday, September 29, 2016

USDA to Provide Cost Share Assistance to Organic Agricultural Producers

Eligibility: Texas-based organic producers (crops, wild crops, and/or livestock) and/or handlers are eligible to participate in the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP). Operations must possess current USDA organic certification to be eligible to receive reimbursements. This means operations either must have successfully received their initial USDA organic certification from a USDA-accredited certifying agent, or must have incurred expenses related to the renewal of their USDA organic certification from a USDA-accredited certifying agent between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Operations with suspended or revoked certifications are ineligible for reimbursement. The application NOP regulations and resources for certification are available on the NOP website.

The cost share program will be conducted on a first come, first served basis. 

Deadline: Applications must be received by close of business (5:00 pm CT) Monday, October 31, 2016.

How to Apply: Visit the Organic Cost Share website to download submission instructions and application materials. TDA will offer two ways to submit your application. You are encouraged to try the new online submission application. All you have to do is fill out the required information, attach your documentation and hit submit. Alternatively, applications may also complete a hard copy form and email to the address listed in the submission instructions. 

Questions: Please contact the grants office at 512-463-6695 or with any questions you have.

Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 High Plains Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide

High Plains Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide

Above is the 2016 Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, updated by Drs. Seth Byrd, Wayne Keeling, and Gaylon Morgan.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cotton Harvest Aid Videos

Dr. Pat Porter (Extension Entomologist) and Kerry Siders (EA-IPM, Hockley, Cochran, and Lamb counties) made two cotton videos that are perfectly timed.

The first is all about cotton harvest aids.

The second is all about determining if your cotton is ready for harvest aids.

Thanks Pat and Kerry! 

Southern High Plains IPM Newsletter, Sept 16

Click here to read last week's newsletter from September 16.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Green cloverworms in alfalfa and soybeans

There are not a lot of soybeans grown on the southern High Plains, but we've seen high numbers of green clover worms causing serious damage this week. Soybeans in Crosby County were sprayed the other day, and Blayne Reed (CEA-IPM, Floyd, Swisher, Hale counties) reports similar high numbers in Floyd county as well.

The following was written by Dr. Pat Porter, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Entomologist, and posted on the FOCUS on Entomology blog.

If you are growing soybeans or alfalfa on the Texas High Plains, it would be a good idea to scout for green cloverworms. I was in a soybean field near Ralls earlier in the week that had approximately 8 larvae per plant, and I just got a call about soybeans near Clarendon that were heavily infested.

In both cases the people making the reports thought the worms were soybean loopers. It is easy to tell the two caterpillars apart because loopers have two pairs of prolegs on the abdomen while the green cloverworm has three pairs. Loopers are fairly lethargic, but green cloverworms hop around quickly when disturbed.

Green cloverworm larvae near Ralls

Typical defoliation in soybean caused by green cloverworm

Fortunately the green cloverworm is only a leaf feeder in soybean and it does not damage pods. For alfalfa here is a quote from the Oklahoma guide, "These defoliators are rarely a significant problem in established alfalfa, although seedling stands can be heavily damaged by their feeding." However, if there are enough of them present they can cause defoliation, which in turn will reduce the amount of nutrients the plants can store for overwintering.

For soybeans, University of Tennessee has a good list of insecticides in their publication here. Oklahoma State University has control suggestions for alfalfa here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Interested in Becoming a Master Beekeeper??

Time To Register For The Next Texas Master Beekeeping Class

“The 2016 fall exam registration form is now available for the fourth round of apprentice testing and second round of advanced level testing,” says Texas Master Bee Keeping Board member Mary Reed.  Late in 2014 a group of bee keepers including AgriLife Extension and Research professionals plus apiary inspectors began the process of creating a Texas Master Beekeepers Certification program, similar to Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. The first offering of the testing was held in March 2015 with 68 students earning the apprentice title. The five year certification is built on training, experience and testing, scoring a 70 percent or higher on both a written and practical examinations. The current registration form is available on the Texas Master Beekeeper Program (TMBP) website under the “Exam Registration” tab. 

If you have been a bee keeper for at least one year and are interested in participating in this exam, you must submit the online registration form by October 27.  The Apprentice level class is limited  to 45 participants, but there is no set limit for the Advanced level slots.  The exam will be held at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, TX on November 3.  The cost for the exam is $50 and must be paid prior to the exam with a check or money order submitted to:
AgriLife Research Department of Entomology
Texas Apiary Inspection Service
2475 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2475

If this is your first year, you will be participating at the Apprentice Level. Check in will begin at 8 am, and the exam will start promptly at 8:30 am.  Part of the exam involves working with a real hive, so come prepared!  Please bring your own suit, hive tool, smoker, lighter, and any other beekeeping equipment you normally use when manipulating a hive.  We will provide pine needles as smoker fuel, but if you are more comfortable using a different material, go ahead and bring that along as well.  All sections of the exam will be completed by noon.

If this is your second year, you will be participating at the Advanced Level. Check in will begin at 1 pm, with the exam starting at 1:30 pm.  There is no in-hive portion for this level, so there’s no need to bring any of your beekeeping equipment.  Please bring your Public Service Credits and completed quizzes for the Learning Modules to the exam!  You will need to submit at least five PSCs and all quiz completions to acquire the Advanced level rank.  These documents will not be accepted unless organized in accordance with the Public Service Credit Documentation powerpoint available on the TMBP website.

In the past we have held the review sessions in the morning of the exam day.  However, to give participants extra time to review the topics of interest narrated powerpoint presentations will be posted to the TMBP website after October 1. 

Thanks to Fred Hall (CEA, Ag and Natural Resources, Tarrant County) for this information.

For more information contact Mary Reed at 979.845.9713 or by email at