About Me

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As an Agriculture Extension Agent for Texas AgriLife Extension Service I have had an opportunity to be involved in just about every aspect of agriculture. From the 5,000 cow dairy to the types of trees to use in a home landscape I have had a chance to learn how the different parts of an agriculture systems work together. Seedless watermelons, drip irrigation, pecan orchard management, fruit crop development, dairy nutrient management, environmental issues confronting agriculture, producer tours, field days, research projects and more have been a part of my life for over 30 years as I lived and breathed agriculture. Since 2004 I have been actively involved in consulting internationally working in Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, India, and China. I have worked with missionaries and other groups dedicated to alleviating poverty among third world farmers. I lived in the Middle East in 2007-2008 working on a project for the Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture at Texas A&M University. In this project I was the Chief of Party and Team Leader for a $5.7 Million dollar effort to train Iraqi Extension agents and specialists in all aspects of agriculture.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Herbicide Damage on Tomato

Hormone herbicides are used on many lawns to kill weeds. But these
herbicides are very volitale and can twist and curl tomato plants in
the spring.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vegetable “Turn Row” Tour Set for May 18

This has been an interesting year for vegetable producers. Lots of good winter and spring rains have been nice but it sure made things hard getting ready for spring production. Then we have a long cool spring that makes things slow to grow and now we can't seem to get rain. The weather is always a mystery but there are many things growers can do to improve production and promote earliness.
Vegetable growers, small or large, are invited to an informal "Turn Row" tour on Tuesday, May 18th. We will start the tour at the Stiles Farm at 1 PM. The Stiles Farm is located on Hwy 79 just east of Thrall and there is a sign on the highway. At the Stiles Farm we will look at several variety tests including a sweet corn test with 8 varieties, a tomato test with 19 varieties and a watermelon test with 20 varieties. We can discuss the varieties, fertility, weed control and how weather has affected growth. Two general pesticide CEU's will be given to pesticide applicators. Next we will travel to the Selking Farm located on County Road 413 just north of Taylor off FM 619. John has done some unique things this year and he is willing to visit with growers about his production practices. You will also see some of the same variety tests at his farm.
If you are interested in attending the Vegetable "Turn Row" Tour please email alrichey@ag.tamu.edu or call the Extension office at 512/943-3300
to sign up.

Bob Whitney, CEA-Ag

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wheat and Oat Plots Nearing Harvest

Number            Entry Name    Description               Seeding rate (lb/a)
1                       Duster            Hard Wheat                60
2                       Deliver           Hard Wheat                60
3                       Fuller             Hard Wheat                60
4                       Fannin           Hard Wheat                60
5                      Coronado       Hard Wheat                60
6                      TAM 203       Hard Wheat                60
7                      TAM 304       Hard Wheat                60
8                      TAM 401       Hard Wheat                60
9                      Jackpot          Hard Wheat                60
10                    Pete               Hard Wheat                60
11                   TAMO 405     Oat                            90
12                   TAMO 406     Oat                             90
13                    TAMO 606    Oat                             90
14                    Horizon 314    Oat                             90
15                    LA 99016       Oat                            90
16                    TX02U7682    Experimental Oat       90
17                    TX05CS347-1 Experimental Oat      90
18                   TX05CS542    Experimental Oat        90
19                   TX05CS556    Experimental Oat         90
20                    TX07CS3697 Experimental Oat         90

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Transplanting Pomagranates

Moving up these pomagranate "sticks" from the starter pots to larger pots.  I took 24 sticks from each of 10 varieties to plant.  These came from a pomagranate fruit orchard that Dr. Larry Stein started in Uvalde.  We selected the most cold hardy to try here.  After a few more months I hope to move them to the field.  So far I have really good success on most except for Wonderful which looks like only 5 or 6 took. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dr. Appel Speaking at Oak Wilt Workshop

  Dr. Dave Appel, Extension Plant Pathologist and Jim Houser with the Texas Forest Service did a great job in the Oak Wilt Workshop on May 7th.  The 45 who attended learned all about tree diseases and problems with a special emphasis on Oak Wilt.  It is treatable and I will include some treatment pictures in another post.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Great Pecan Meeting

Monte Nesbitt is speaking to the group about zinc nutrition along with orchard fertility.  He also spoke on varieties naming Kanza, Pawnee, Lakota and Caddo as great pecans to plant.  If you want a larger nut then add Nacono to the list as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Great May Pecan Meeting

The May 5th pecan meeting held at the Schwegmann orchard was great.  Look at the chart and you can see when to spray pecans for pecan nut casebearer.  Should be sometime next week.  We found our first moths on May 3rd and using this date the model on PNC Forecast shows us having eggs on May 14 that we might find and some nut entry on May 22.  This is late for our area but we have had a cool spring.
Forecasted Event Dates
Percent OvipositionDate
10%May 12
25%May 14
50%May 17
75%May 20
90%May 22
First Nut Entry : May 22

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rocks Can Grow Plants Too!

I took this picture at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown. This Elm is at least two years old and is doing great growing in the middle of this limestone rock. These rocks can hold lots of water and nutrients and are why west Williamson county looks so beautiful with so little soil.