Friday, August 29, 2008

Making the Marketing Decision

Get the latest resources, tips and techniques for selling cattle at the Texas Agrilife Extension Services's first-ever Beef Cattle Marketing Seminar October 1, 2008 at the Buffalo Livestock Auction in Buffalo, Texas.
The classroom-style program will highlight cattle, calf and cull-cow marketing options available to local producers. Sale barn presentations will be given by Russ De Cordova of Buffalo Livestock Auction and he will also discuss all other market options for local producers. Dr. Jason Cleere with Texas Agrilife Extension will discuss the advanatges in marketing with a good vac program. The seminar will open with registration at 6:00p.m. In an effort to better prepare for this event participants are encouraged to preregister by contacting the Texas Agrilife Extension Service in Leon County at 903.536.2531 or at We will seek to provide reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities for this meeting. We request that you contact Texas Agrilife Extension three days before the event to advise us of the auxiliary aid or service that will be required. Extension programs serve of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.

Tommy Neyland, CEA-Ag
Texas Agrilife Extension Service

MG Propagation

Local Master Gardener Interns get a lesson on Plant Propagation this week during the Texas Agrilife Master Gardener Traing at the Leon County Annex. Most plants reproduce more of their kind through production of seeds. This is SEXUAL REPRODUCTION and it involves the exchange of genetic material between two parent plants. Many ornamental plants do not come "true" from seed. To increase the numbers of these plants, gardeners and horticulturists use ASEXUAL PROPAGATION. In asexual propagation, the new plants are genetically exact copies or clones of a single parent plant. The methods used in asexual propagation range from taking leaf cuttings of African violets to grafting apple cuttings onto root stocks. Sexual propagation of plants involves the exchange of genetic material between parents to produce a new generation. Sexual propagation offers the following advantages:

* It is usually the only method of producing new varieties or cultivars.
* It is often the cheapest and easiest method of producing large numbers of plants.
* It can be a way to avoid certain diseases.
* It may be the only way to propagate some species.

PIC Caption:
Gail Warren Texas Agrilfe Extension Service Master Gardener provides instruction to Leon County MG Interns.

Tommy Neyland, CEA-Ag
Texas Agrilife Extension Service

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Master Gardener Composting

Texas Agrilife Extension Service Master Gardener Interns get a lesson on composting.

Composting is the decomposition of plant remains and other once-living materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent for adding to houseplants or enriching garden soil. It is the way to recycle your yard and kitchen wastes, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal. It's easy to learn how to compost.

There are a tremendous number of options for containing your compost. Some people choose to go binless, simply building a compost pile in a convenient spot on the ground. Others build bins from materials such as recycled pallets, or two-by-fours and plywood. And, of course, there are many commercial bins on the market.

Composting is not a new idea. In the natural world, composting is what happens as leaves pile up on the forest floor and begin to decay. Eventually, the rotting leaves are returned to the soil, where living roots can finish the recycling process by reclaiming the nutrients from the decomposed leaves. Composting may be at the root of agriculture as well. Some scientists have speculated that as early peoples dumped food wastes in piles near their camps, the wastes rotted and were terrific habitat for the seeds of any food plants that sprouted there. Perhaps people began to recognize that dump heaps were good places for food crops to grow, and began to put seeds there intentionally.

Today, the use of composting to turn organic wastes into a valuable resource is expanding rapidly in the United States and in other countries, as landfill space becomes scarce and expensive, and as people become more aware of the impacts they have on the environment. In ten years, composting will probably be as commonplace as recycling aluminum cans is today, both in the backyard and on an industrial scale. Many states in the USA have stated goals or legislative mandates to drastically reduce the volume of waste being sent to landfills. Utilizing yard and kitchen wastes (which make up about 30% of the waste stream in the USA is a big part of the plan to minimize waste overall.

Pic Caption

Texas Agrilife Master Gardeners Charlene Manning and Mary Foucheux provide new interns with a lesson on composting.

Tommy Neyland, CEA-Ag
Texas Agrilife Extension Service