Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 24, 2013

AgriLife to present Trinity River workshops series

By Logan Lair
Texas AgriLife

Corsicana — Trinity Waters and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be hosting a third and final round of workshops for landowners in the Trinity River basin area, coordinators said.

The focus will be on beef cattle production and feral hog control so producers can improve profitability, reduce hog damage and benefit area water resources, said Blake Alldredge, AgriLife Extension associate and education and outreach coordinator for Trinity Waters, College Station.

Alldredge said Texas has suffered from a multi-year drought that has caused many difficulties for the state s cattle industry.

In the workshops, Dr. Larry Redmon of AgriLife Extension will discuss stocking rates and pasture management techniques that will help producers manage their land during times of drought, he said.  Redmon will also discuss ways cattle producers can protect the water quality in their area through the innovative Lone Star Healthy Streams program.

While drought has negatively affected cattle numbers statewide, the feral hog population has continued to increase,  Alldredge noted.

Feral hogs cause an estimated $52 million in damage to the agriculture industry in Texas every year, including destruction of pastures and crop fields,  he said. In addition, feral hogs are known to be a contributor to the bacterial impairments that affect our water bodies across the state.

He said an AgriLife Extension wildlife expert will discuss basic biology, laws, regulations and techniques for controlling hogs.  Also, a representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will update participants on the status of financial assistance programs funded through the Farm Bill.

Alldredge said this third round of informational workshops for area landowners is provided at no cost and is open to the public. Two hours of continuing education units — 1.5 general, 0.5 laws and regulations — will be available for participants as well.

The workshops will take place at the following dates, times and locations:

Feb. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m., Navarro County Expo Center, 4021 W. Highway 22, Corsicana.

March 27 from 1 to 5 p.m., Walker County Extension Office, 102 Tam Road Suite B, Huntsville.

April 3 from 1 to 5 p.m., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Center, 5301 County Road 4812, Athens.

To RSVP for one of the workshops, contact Alldredge at 979-845-0916 or balldredge@tamu.edu, or go to http://nrt.tamu.edu/schedule and search for  Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin.

Alldredge said previous workshops provided basic information on what watersheds are and how they function, how the state manages water quality in creeks and rivers, and provided some tools landowners can use to help efficiently manage their land. Presentations from these workshops may be found on the AgriLife Extension wildlife and fisheries unit YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/WFSCAgriLife.

The Building Partnerships for Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute and funded by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board through a Clean Water Act grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.

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Logan Lair is a Texas AgriLife Extension Service agent for Navarro County.