Agriculture & Natural Resources

Industrial Hemp Seminar December 10th in Wharton
By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

Anyone who’s been keeping up with current events in agriculture will know that there’s a growing interest in growing industrial hemp.  This new interest began with the enacted 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. Thus, the 2018 Farm Bill allows for expanding cultivation of hemp, but not marijuana. In the 86th Texas Legislative session this year, the Texas Legislature approved Industrial hemp production in Texas with House Bill 1325.  On Tuesday, October 29 USDA released their interim rules which Texas and other states will now use in crafting their state-specific guidelines for hemp production.  Now, Texas Dept. of Agriculture will work to finalize Texas rules, which must then be submitted to USDA for federal approval.

There could be opportunity for producers growing hemp, but not without careful consideration of all the risks. With no infrastructure or research on hemp in the region, we want to provide the most relevant and unbiased information for our area so producers and potential investors can make informed decisions in the outset of a potential new ag industry.  To begin this process of educating potential producers, an industrial hemp seminar will be held on December 10, 2019 by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, in cooperation with the Wharton Economic Development Corporation at the Wharton Civic Center in Wharton, Texas.  The Wharton Civic Center is located at 1924 N. Fulton St, Wharton, Texas 77488.

Registration will begin at 6 p.m.  The seminar will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a brief welcome from Corrie Bowen, Wharton County Extension Agent, and Chad Odom, Director – Wharton Economic Development Corporation.  Our first guest speaker, Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock, will provide an introduction to the hemp industry. He will discuss hemp products and processing as well as the differences in growing seeds and transplants, growing for CBD oil or fiber, and agronomic considerations for growing industrial hemp.  Dr. George Knapek, Texas A&M AgriLife Agriculture and Food Policy Specialist will present the Economic Considerations for Industrial Hemp in Texas. Dr. Trostle and Dr. Knapek will allow time for questions and answers.  The program will conclude at 9:00 p.m.  If you are interested in attending the Industrial Hemp Seminar, please call Stacey by 5 p.m. on December 9 at the Wharton County Extension Office at 979-532-3310 to let us know that you’ll be attending.  The fee is $20/person, which can be paid at the door on December 10th.  Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any Extension activity, are encouraged to contact the Wharton County Extension Office at 979-532-3310 for assistance 5 days prior to the activity.

The members of Texas A&M AgriLife will provide equal opportunities in programs and activities, education, and employment to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity and will strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunity throughout Texas A&M AgriLife. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating

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Corrie P. Bowen
County Extension Agent – Agriculture & Natural Resources
Wharton County
979-532-3310
cbowen@ag.tamu.edu


Annual Western Rice Belt Conference-El Campo, Texas – January 15, 2020

The annual Western Rice Belt Production Conference will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at the El Campo Civic Center.  Registration for the conference will begin at 7:30 a.m., with the main program to begin at 8:10 a.m.  After a catered lunch, provided by area agribusiness sponsors, the program will conclude around 2:00 p.m.

This joint effort of our Western Rice Belt planning committee, The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, U.S. Rice Producers Association, and Texas A&M AgriLife Research will offer growers and others the opportunity to hear presentations from the top Extension and Research scientists from Texas as well as respected individuals from the rice industry.  Topics and speakers will include Auxin Herbicide Application in Rice – Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan; Timing of Disease Applications – Dr. Shane Zhou; Insect Management  – Dr. Mo Way; Pesticide Laws and Regulations Update, Melissa Barton; 2018 Farm Bill Update –  presenter TBA;  Rice Market Outlook – Thomas Wynn; and a presentation on Conservation and Working Lands Programs.    The Conservation and Working Lands Programs presentation will introduce producers to the different conservation programs that provide financial assistance to farmers who adopt practices that  reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters on land in agricultural production.  Rice producers will have an opportunity at the conclusion of the conference to discuss conservation programs, individually, with USDA-NRCS, Ducks Unlimited, and Texas Soil and Water Conservation Board.

The Texas Rice Council will also conduct their Annual Meeting in conjunction with the 2020 Western Rice Belt Conference.

At 2:00 p.m., the USDA-NRCS and the Wharton County Soil and Water Conservation District will conduct their annual Local Working Group (LWG) meeting.  The meetings’ purpose is to collect input from farmers, ranchers, federal, state and local agencies, agricultural leaders, organizations, businesses and other individuals who have an interest in natural resource conservation.  Input allows a LWG to identify and prioritize a county’s resource concerns that need to be addressed through eligible Farm Bill conservation practices and also aids in establishing ranking criteria for county based funding.

For more information, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension office in Colorado County at 979-732-2082; in Matagorda County at 979-245-4100; or Wharton County at 979-532-3310; or go to https://wharton.agrilife.org and click on Events to view a flyer for the Rice Conference. 3  CEU’s (1 L&R,1 IPM, and 1 GEN hour) for TDA Pesticide Applicators will be awarded at this event.  CCA hours have been applied for and will be offered pending approval.  Pesticide Applicators are reminded to provide their Pesticide Applicator License number at registration.

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Corrie P. Bowen
County Extension Agent – Agriculture & Natural Resources
Wharton County
979-532-3310
cbowen@ag.tamu.edu


Upper Gulf Coast Feed Grain and Cotton Production Conference at Crescent – January 23, 2020

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Wharton County

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Wharton, Matagorda, Jackson, and Colorado Counties are happy to announce the Upper Gulf Coast Feed Grain and Cotton Conference for Thursday, January 23, 2020.   This year’s conference will be held in Crescent Hall at the Wharton County Fairgrounds at 6036 FM 961 Road Wharton, Texas 77488.  Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., with our first speaker beginning at 8:30 a.m.  The conference will include a catered lunch meal will conclude at 1:45 p.m.  3 CEUs will be awarded to pesticide license holders with the Texas Department of Agriculture (1 IPM, 1 L&R, 1 General); and 4.5 CEUs for Certified Crop Advisors have been applied for.  Thanks to ag industry sponsors, no registration fee will be charged.

The Feed Grain and Cotton conference will address the following topics: Bollworm and Fleahopper  Update – David Kerns, Texas IPM Coordinator; Feed Grain Research Update- Dr. Ron Schnell, Extension  Cropping Systems Specialist; Weed Control in Grain Crops – Dr. Josh McGinty, Assistant Professor and Extension Agronomist;  2020 Texas Auxin Herbicide Training Dicamba and Enlist Technologies – Dr. Scott Nolte, Extension Weed Specialist; Introduction to Gene Drive Technology – Kate Crumley, Extension Agent – IPM; Emerging Cotton Diseases -Tom Isakeit, Extension Plant Pathologist; Cotton Market Update – John Robinson, Extension Cotton Marketing Specialist; and RACE Trial Update/Current Cotton Research – Dale Mott, Extension Program Specialist.

The annual Auxin training will be a one-hour training for 2020.  The Auxin training that is provided as part of the Feed Grain and Cotton Conference will fulfill the annual auxin training requirements for Dicamba and 2,4-D Choline products and will include 1 hours of Laws and Regulations CEUs.

For more information or for a copy of the conference flyer, go to https://wharton.agrilife.org, or contact Stacey at the Wharton County Extension Office at (979) 532-3310, or stacey.shanks@ag.tamu.edu.  Please call or email Stacey by 12 noon on January 22nd just to let us know that you’ll be attending.

The members of Texas A&M AgriLife will provide equal opportunities in programs and activities, education, and employment to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity and will strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunity throughout Texas A&M AgriLife.

The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.  Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any Extension activity, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office for assistance 5 days prior to the activity.

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