Extension Agent: Farmer's Market meeting/training
The Victoria County Farmers Market annual meeting and training will be from 1 to 3 p.m. March 9 at the Victoria County 4-H Activity Center, 259 Bachelor Drive, next to the Victoria Airport Tower.
The meeting will highlight a training for farmers offering one hour of Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide credit; 1/2 hour Integrated Pest Management and 1/2 hour general.
On the agenda, I will present results of the 2011 melon grafting demonstration. In this study, watermelons and cantaloupes were grafted onto wild smellmelon plants and planted on four growers' land in the area. Similar grafting demonstrations in 2010 indicated a positive response to grafting onto smellmelon with increased plant survivability and yield because of increased disease tolerance courtesy of the smellmelon rootstock.
Travis Janak, Texas AgriLife Extension assistant, will discuss the importance of and describe how to properly calibrate a pesticide sprayer. Sara Janak, president of the Farmers Market Association, noted that election of officers will also take place.
The public is invited, as well as anyone interested in joining the association to raise and sell products at the market. Currently, the Victoria Farmers Market is open to anyone who raises any agricultural product within a 100-mile radius.
Any commodity made from raised agricultural products, including vegetables, fruits, eggs (permit required), plants or flowers (requires a nursery license and/or permit), herbs or canned or baked goods (prepared in a certified kitchen), can be sold.
A complete listing of guidelines will be available at the meeting.
The market is held in the Pattie Dodson Health Center parking lot at Airline Road and Navarro Street and is open every Tuesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New extension weed & brush brochure forthcoming
One of my goals before I retired was to write and publish a weed and brush control guide for landowners in Texas who do not have a pesticide license.
Weed and brush control is one of the most-asked questions. While we've trained hundreds of Victoria County landowners to be private pesticide applicators, the majority does not have pesticide licenses, but still has weeds and brush to control. So, a brochure specifically for them would be of value.
Well, time has really gone by fast, and the brochure is not available as of Wednesday, my last day, but it is in the process of review and will be printed shortly. I thought it would be neat to have my son and daughter-in-law, Travis and Sara Janak, jointly write it with me since Travis is an Extension assistant working with weed sciences, and they both work for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
The brochure will feature more than 20 herbicides that can be purchased and used on weeds and brush without a pesticide license and without the added responsibilities of record keeping, obtaining continuing education units and paying a license fee every five years. It will be designed for pasture, hay meadows and rangeland weed and brush control and will note the pesticide rates recommended, price per acre and a checklist of whether it controls brush, broadleaf weeds or grassy weeds.
Once you review the list of herbicides available, you can do further research on each specific label as to which weed or brush it will control and the recommended rate. I really hope this brochure will help the many people who have weed and brush problems, but do not have a pesticide license. It will not be the final answer for all, but it is a good starting point.
As my AgriLife Extension career closes, there are unknown new beginnings that only time will tell. Looking back, I have gained a wealth of knowledge working with the people of Victoria, and I hope I was able to pass some of that knowledge on.
I must say that it is the quality of the people in Victoria that really made the educational efforts of Texas AgriLife Extension Service possible. All the thousands of educational meetings, tours, field days, seminars and shows in more than nearly 35 years (29 in Victoria) would not have been possible without the help of thousands of volunteers. It really epitomizes the extension themes of recent times: people helping people and making a difference. Thank you all for your service.
And if you see me down the road, catch my sleeve and say "hello." Until then, "Na shledanou" (Goodbye).
Joe Janak is a Victoria County extension agent.