Archive for the ‘MISCELLANEOUS’ Category

Cotton and Peanuts

Cotton Weighing :: South Texas

From AgriLife News:

COASTAL BEND: Hot, dry weather continued with highs close to 100 degrees. In the southern part of the region, cotton bolls were opening, and producers defoliated earlier planted fields. Some cotton was being harvested with good yields reported. There was some severe boll rot where fields remained wet. The corn harvest wound down with good yields reported. Some sorghum with sprouted heads was left in the field. Rice yields were below expectations because of rain during pollination and bacterial panicle blight. Sesame began to mature. Hay harvesters worked full-tilt as it became dry enough to cut and bale. Some producers reported record hay yields. Though heat stress has been rough on livestock, body condition scores were kept high due to abundant forages.

SOUTH: The region had extremely hot temperatures with a few spotty showers. Topsoil-moisture levels in fields and pastures dropped rapidly as did stock-tank water levels. Soil moisture ranged from adequate in the eastern, western and southern parts of the region, to short in the northern part of the region. Ranchers were providing modest amounts of supplemental feed. Cattle body condition scores remained good. In the northern part of the region, cotton bolls were open, corn and sorghum were being harvested, and peanuts were pegging. In the eastern part of the region, the harvest of small grains was wrapping up, the cotton harvest began, and the corn and sunflower harvests were ongoing. In the western parts of the region, corn and sorghum had to be heavily irrigated. Pecans and cotton crops also needed irrigation. In the southern part of the region, the sorghum harvest was winding down, while the corn and cotton crop harvests were very active. Producers were also harvesting hay. Some flooding remained along parts of the Rio Grande River.

SOUTH PLAINS: Temperatures were in the mid-to-upper 90s with from 0.5 inch to 3 inches of rain. Soil moisture was short to adequate. Corn was in good condition and continued to mature. Cotton was in good condition, with most fields having reached cut-out, the growth stage prior to boll fill. Growers were monitoring mites in some cotton fields. Irrigation was ongoing. Grain sorghum was in good condition, ranging from mature to boot stage. Peanuts were in good condition with some signs of pod rot. Pastures and rangeland were in good condition, and livestock were in good to excellent condition.


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Foodways Texas

The Founding Fifty :: Foodways Texas (courtesy Robb Walsh)

Foodways Texas (FTX) was launched a week or so ago with the aim to promote, preserve and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas. This organization has been modeled after the Southern Foodways Alliance, an 800-member group based at the University of Mississippi in Oxford that documents and studies foods of the American South. Texas as we all know is not part of the South, so we had to start our own group. The founding fifty came from all over the state to Texas A&M in College Station and included academics, chefs, food producers and food writers. Who made the cut? Bryan Caswell (Reef), Melissa Guerra, Jim Gossen (seafood dealer), Alan Lazarus (Vespaio), Jeff Savell and Davey Griffin (Texas A&M meat science professors), Robb Walsh…Look for more info soon.

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The Graff family in Hondo, Texas own a corn maize and cattle ranch. Their ranching heritage dates back to 1847 when Louis Graff  immigrated to Texas and was one of the original settlers in Castroville. 7A Ranch Heritage Beef cattle are free range and raised naturally without the use of synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics. Ken and Laurie Graff represent the 5th generation to live and work on the 7A Ranch.

From their website

Through the implementation of rotational grazing, our herd is always on fresh healthy grass, thereby producing a healthy animal. The cattle are never placed in a feedlot situation but are supplemented in the pasture environment. We personally grind and mix all of our cattle’s feed on our ranch. Whenever possible we use grain and forages produced on our farm so we can be assured of its quality. We use no herbicides or pesticides on our land. We feel a biologically diverse environment will take care of itself. Our fertilizers match the compounds naturally occurring in our soils. The use of fish emulsion and blackstrap molasses is the backbone of our nutrient applications. Crop rotations and the use of legumes greatly enhance the biodiversity of our croplands.

The South Texas MAiZE, a unique outdoor fall recreational event was established in 2001 to compliment the activities of the diverse farm and ranch and to share how agriculture plays an important role in our everyday lives.

Round trip transportation can be provided from San Antonio to their ranch and they will also ship their gorgeous beef anywhere in the continental US.

The Graff Family 7a Ranch and Corn Maize
545 Private Road 4420
Hondo, Texas 78861


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Texas Wines + Flowers

This is a fun little distraction. Go to the Go Texan Wine website where they have paired local flowers that match the wines. One of my favorite Texas viogniers is from Becker Vineyards, the description seems pretty spot-on, but then again I am a sucker for astrology readings, too.

When the Sunflower opens, it’s not just beautiful — it shines. It’s the same way with a bottle of fine Viognier. Light emanates from the glass and, like the face of that sunny bloom, there is a friendliness in the crisp, lingering flavor. And if you think Sunflowers brighten a meadow, wait until you see what a Viognier can do for your dinner table.

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Oats + Calving Season

From AgriLife News:

COASTAL BEND: Warmer temperatures and some sunshine encouraged growth of cool-season grasses. Wheat, oats and winter rye were doing well. However, a cold front at the end of the reporting period brought rain, further delaying row-crop planting. Farmers began to aerially apply weed herbicides. Volunteer clover and vetch were also doing well. The condition of some cattle was dropping due to low-quality hay and lack of supplemental feed, while others were doing well. Vineyard managers were pruning vines.

SOUTH: Warm temperatures and lots of sunshine were followed by cool temperatures and spotty showers. Most of the region still had adequate soil moisture except for western parts where soil moisture conditions were 100 percent short. Potato planting continued in the northern part of the region throughout the week. In the eastern part of the region, early planted wheat and oats were in fair to good condition. Some sunflower and corn producers were planning to start planting soon. Dryland wheat and oat fields benefited from the light showers, but needed more rain. Growers resumed cabbage harvesting as soon as fields dried out enough. Spinach, carrots and onions were doing well following irrigation. Because of the cold and wet weather, beef producers were supplying large amounts of supplemental feed. Also, cattle’s nutritional demands were high as it was the calving season. Rangeland and pastures were in good to fair condition.

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It took 42 years.

Ketchup isn’t exactly a South Texas food, but we do eat a lot of the condiment and this news item is too juicy to pass up. The smarty pants at Heinz have listened and are making the packets larger and more user friendly. You get 3x times as many packets in one of these babies.

Dave Ciesinski, Vice President of Heinz Ketchup:

A true packaging breakthrough, the Heinz Dip & Squeeze dual-function package gives ketchup lovers two ways to enjoy Heinz Ketchup: either peel back the lid for easy dipping, or tear off the tip to squeeze onto favorite foods. The new package holds three times as much Heinz Ketchup as the traditional packet.

That means more ketchup when it’s wanted and where it’s wanted with less mess and a better overall dining experience. Now, busy Americans have a portable, clean and versatile package that makes it easier and more fun to dip or squeeze Heinz Ketchup no matter where they are.


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Flower from the South Texas Persimmon Tree

This website from Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Uvalde focuses on native plants from the northern portion of the South Texas Plains and the southern portion of the Hill Country. Collections were made from the area bounded by San Antonio on the east, Sonora on the west, Cotulla on the south and Junction on the north. The categories access a list of common and scientific names, or you can use the color chart to find a flower. This wonderful resource was developed by the Texas A&M faculty, a research technician, and undergraduate interns.

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