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Farm and Ranch News October 19, 2010  RSS feed

Texas crop, weather Tricks and treats at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

Rain helped, but East Texas still dry Halloween at the Hatchery set for October 28
By Robert Burns

A farm crew worker at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton disks a Bermuda grass field to prepare it for over-seeding of a cool-season grass seed for winter grazing. Until mid October, the soil-moisture level in many East Texas fields was too low to make emergence of new seed possible. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns) A farm crew worker at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton disks a Bermuda grass field to prepare it for over-seeding of a cool-season grass seed for winter grazing. Until mid October, the soil-moisture level in many East Texas fields was too low to make emergence of new seed possible. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns) COLLEGE STATION -- While most of the state enjoyed mild fall weather that was conducive to harvesting row crops and even taking another hay cutting, much of East Texas and parts of Central Texas remained dry, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

East Texas got some relief from drought conditions as a cool front brought an inch or more of rain over the weekend.

Though the rain was welcome, many East Texas counties remained critically dry and with short hay supplies going into the winter, said Agrilife Extension county agents.

"We got our first rain yesterday, the first rain in at least a month to a month and half," said Randy Reeves, AgriLife Extension agent for Harrison County, north of Longview.

Halloween at the Hatchery, an annual event at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, provides a safe, family-oriented trick-or-treat experience for East Texans. TPWD Photo by Larry D. Hodge Halloween at the Hatchery, an annual event at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, provides a safe, family-oriented trick-or-treat experience for East Texans. TPWD Photo by Larry D. Hodge Harrison County has had only a 0.5 inch of rain in the last two months, Reeves said.

"I heard that as of a week or two ago, Harrison County was the driest county in the state," he said. "I don't know if that's true or not, but we're really dry here."

Reeves said there was a lot of damage to existing pasture stands, and some of the producers in his area have been feeding hay to livestock for the last month.

"We've got folks who have been frantically calling to even find hay to buy," he said.

Reeves said that if producers in northeast Texas have hay to sell, they may call his office at 903-935-8413.

"We'll be glad to hear from you," he said.

To the south, in Rusk County, the situation isn't quite so dire, mainly thanks to the cold front bringing 3 inches or more of rain, said Blaine Jernigan, AgriLife Extension agent.

Until the rain, Rusk County had burn bans in effect. The rain will allow producers to plant winter pastures, Jernigan said.

Earlier rains helped the hay situation, and although there won't be a surplus, most livestock producers should have enough to get their herds through the winter, he said.

"We've had a tough, dry year of it, for sure," Jernigan said.

ATHENS—The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center will host the annual Halloween at the Hatchery the evening of Thursday, October 28.

Local businesses and organizations will hand out free candy, and the center will be decorated throughout with a Halloween theme.

The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is expected to attract about 3,000 people, most of whom will be dressed in Halloween costumes.

Gates will open to the public promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Halloween at the Hatchery is TFFC’s way of giving East Texas families a safe place to go trick-or-treating while raising money for local causes. Proceeds from the $1 general admission fee will go to the Rainbow Room of Henderson County, the Henderson County Humane Society and the East Texas Crisis Center.

The Anglers Pavilion will be the site of a fright-free area featuring prize and game booths for small children. Parents wishing to visit this area should park in the overflow parking lot on Peninsula Point Road and enter through Gate C.

Decorations for the event are made possible by sponsor donations, and local businesses and organizations provide candy and hand it out to visitors. Sponsors at press time included: Best Western –Royal Mountain Inn; Athens Steel Building; McDonald’s – Lilly Enterprises; Southside Bank; Dallas Manufacturing; Athens Cleaners; Heritage Land Bank; Edom Bakery; TVEC; Farm Bureau; FutureMatrix; Athens Marina; Citizens National Bank; Schneider Electric; Joe Max Green; First State Bank; and Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership.

Sponsors wishing to reserve a table to give out candy should do so by October 21.

For more information, call Jim Booker at (903) 670- 2266.


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