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Extension Agent: Fall has arrived

By By Peter J. McGuill
Oct. 30, 2012 at 5:30 a.m.

Peter McGuill

Fall is definitely upon us. Temperatures are cooling off a bit, days are getting shorter and the leaves are falling.

This is an enjoyable time of year and a certain break to the hot days that left with the end of summer.

All of the crops are in the bin or bale, fall cattle working is beginning to wind down. Talk of deer camp and the promise of a great hunting season saturates the coffee shops, feed stores and barber shops.

The change in weather that we experienced over the weekend was a reminder to that winter months are fast approaching. Time seems to fly by and there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish all of the tasks that we have planned. It is for this reason that we should continue to plan ahead and prepare.

As livestock producers, preparation for winter is vitally important. There are living creatures that depend on us to provide for their basic needs of food, water and shelter. Although meeting these needs seems like a simple task, it tends to get a bit more difficult as the mercury drops.

By accomplishing some of those last-minute details before the last minute will save time, money and stress in the future.

A few years ago, I made a check list to help me avoid last-minute problems. Most of the things on my list were lessons learned. This list includes things like: Check the heat lamp in the well house to make sure it works. Get an extra bulb.

Stores are flush with heat lamps and bulbs right now, but if you wait until the weatherman reminds us to cover pipes, plants and pets, there won't be a heat bulb within 100 miles.

Other items on the list: Check the antifreeze in the tractor; wrap the pipes at the water trough; move some hay so I can get to it in wet weather.

These are just examples of reminders on my list. I'm sure that most producers could come up with a long list based on past experiences that will serve them well with winter preparation.



South Texas Farm and Ranch Show

The 2012 edition of the South Texas Farm and Ranch Show was a success again this year. A great crowd of farmers, ranchers, and others interested in agriculture attended this 28th event to visit with more than 100 booth exhibitors and attended the educational programs. As you can imagine, it takes a large group of dedicated volunteers and generous sponsors to make an event such as this possible. It is through their efforts and generosity that our show is one of the best in the state of Texas and has contributed almost $110,000 in scholarships to the youth of Victoria County and surrounding counties.

Peter J. McGuill is the Victoria County extension agent - ag and natural resources. Contact him at 361-575-4581 or pjmcguill@ag.tamu.edu.

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