Food Handlers Class September 25

The “Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER)” was revised and updated and will be effective October 11, 2015.  A major change in the revision now requires all food employees to complete an accredited food handlers training program within 60 days of employment, effective September 16, 2016.

A food handlers course accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services is being offered by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services of Wharton County.  Food Safety: It’s In Your Hands is scheduled for Monday, September 25, starting at 4:00pm at the Extension office at 315 East Milam Street.

This 1-2-hour course will now be required for all food service employees to help promote the service of safe food. The certificate is good for 2 years and is valid anywhere in the State of Texas. The course is a basic overview of food safety practices that are necessary to ensure that safe food is served at your establishment. Practices discussed include good personal hygiene, cross contamination, and time and temperature abuse.

To register for the course, call the Extension office at 979-532-3310.   Registration can also be done in-person the day of the course.  The cost is $20.00 per person and must be paid in full before the course begins.

Please bring Check or Money Order made out to: Food Handlers #230202. No cash or credit cards accepted.


Individuals with disabilities who require auxiliary aide service or accommodation in order to participate in the event are encouraged to contact our office within 5 working days prior to the program.  Educational programs of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, national origin or genetic information or veteran status. The class is taught in English but Spanish handouts are available if requested in advance.

IPM: Whiteflies


By Kate Harrell
IPM Extension Agent • Wharton, Jackson & Matagorda Counties


Harvest has been going on great in the upper gulf coast. I’ve seen and heard about good corn, milo, and cotton yields this year. We’ve had a few disagreements with the weather and its behavior lately, but otherwise it’s been going well.

I’ve been seeing whiteflies in some of our later planted cotton. As everything is being defoliated or drying down, these insects are moving into the areas that are still green. Whiteflies reproduce rapidly, they reach reproductive maturity in about 15 days, and the adults live and reproduce for 2-3 weeks. The adults are small white, flying insects, while the nymphs look more like scale insects. The first stage nymph is called a crawler and is the only mobile stage of the immature whitefly. After the nymph molts the first time, it will remain feeding in the same place, and look much like a scale insect.


Agent Bowen Awarded for Distinguished Service

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Agent Corrie Bowen recently received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents during their Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference held in Salt Lake City, UT.

This award is given to Agents with more than 10 years of service in Cooperative Extension and have exhibited excellence in the field of Extension Education. This award is only presented to 2% of the County Extension Educators in Texas each year.

Bowen has served as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent in Wharton County since 2012. Throughout his eighteen year career he has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the areas of beef cattle, row crops, rice, wheat, animal issues, emergency management, and new landowner education.

He received AgriLife’s Superior Service Award in 2012 and the Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence in 2013. Bowen received his bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University and his master’s degree from Texas Tech University.

5 DAT and 12 DAT Cotton Defoliation Study Ratings for 2017 – Wharton County

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Attached are the final results for the cotton defoliation study that was sprayed on July 28, 2017 in Wharton, Texas.  Ratings were taken at 5 and 12 days after the original treatment date of July 28, 2017. This email includes the  results of the defoliation study taken at  12 days after the initial defoliation.  Due to the recent rains on recently defoliated cotton, you may want to look at how the individual treatments rated for  % regrowth.  Below is the 12 DAT results.  The attached file contains the 5 DAT, approximate cost/acre, and the 12 DAT results on page 2.  The cotton variety on the site of the defoliation study was PHY 490, which was planted on March 22, 2017.

2017 Cotton Harvest Aid Rating

Results for the cotton defoliation study that was sprayed on July 28, 2017 in Wharton, Texas are listed below.  A rating of the July 28th application (Application Timing A)  of 13 different defoliation treatments was taken on August 2, 2017.  The percentages given for % Defoliation, % Desiccation, % Green Leaf, and % Open Boll for the attached report is a measure of only Application A at 5 days after spraying.  The attached report does not reflect the second application of defoliant (Application Timing B), as the treatments that called for a second spraying were not sprayed until August 4th.  Approximate cost estimates reflect total cost of the treatment (e.g.  Total cost of Treatment A and Treatment B).   I will follow up later this week with the results of the defoliation study taken at  12 days after the initial defoliation.  The second report will also reflect % regrowth for the 13 treatments.

Cotton Defoliation Field Day Aug 7

Food Manager Certification Training Sep 20-21

The Food Manager 2-Day Certification Training will take place September 20-21, 2017 at the Wharton County Extension Office. This exciting, hands-on food safety course will equip you with the latest in food safety principles and practices and will help prepare you for the National Certified Food Manager Examination. The cost of this course is $125.00 and includes the course, national certification examination, coursebook, and all course materials.

Click here to download the FPM Registration Form

Mail completed registration form with your check or money order to:

118 Cater-Mattil
2253 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2253

Parenting 101

What is Causing Pre-Mature Defoliation in Cotton?

What is Causing the Pre-Mature Defoliation in Cotton?

by Dr. Tom Isakeit, Extension Plant Pathology; Dr. Gaylon Morgan, Extension Cotton Agronomist

Cotton fields in Upper Coast counties of Texas that are experiencing browning or bronzing of the foliage (Figure 1), often accompanied by defoliation, usually have leaf spots.  There can be several different species of fungi associated with these leaf spots.  These are species of the genera Corynespora (Figure 2), Cercospora (Figure 3), Alternaria and Stemphyllium (Figure 4).  Some fields have leaf spots associated with one species only, while several species may be present in other fields.  It’s been my opinion that non-pathogenic stresses are the predominant problem in these fields and that the fungal leaf spots are a secondary problem.  An example of such a stress is potassium deficiency, which is confirmed by tissue or soil tests.  Often, there are interactions with fluctuating moisture and boll load.  Although leaf spots can be found on otherwise normal-looking leaves, they generally are found on senescing leaves or leaves showing the other stress symptoms.  My hypothesis is that the fungi are growing on leaf tissue weakened by the other, non-pathogenic stresses.  The fungi are probably hastening the defoliation, but I do not think that they are the main factor in defoliation.


ABC Child Care Conference Sep. 9