Category Archives: Agriculture and Natural Resources

African horse sickness on Texas A&M, industry radar

African horse sickness is not in the U.S., and it is important it stays that way. Texas A&M AgriLife faculty, various state and federal agencies and the U.S. horse industry are already monitoring the situation, ensuring surveillance and determining practices to prevent the deadly horse disease from crossing our borders. African horse sickness comes out of Africa and is common from Morocco down to the middle of the continent. But it has escaped the African continent several times, most recently into Thailand, where it is believed to have… Read More →

Severe summer wildfire season could be in store

Wildfires are increasing across the state as drought intensifies in some areas and accelerated drying of native grasses and forage occurs in others. Typical summer drying has accelerated this year, according to Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services department head. Rainfall predictions for the next month-and-a-half indicate the situation is likely to continue. Translation? A severe summer wildfire season could impact the Lone Star State. “The dryness we are currently seeing across portions of the state is generally what we would be experiencing in mid- to… Read More →

Legislation to help more farmers tap into PPP loans

The Paycheck Protection for Producers Act (H.R. 7175, S. 3918), which was recently introduced in the U.S. House and Senate, would help more farmers and ranchers participate in the Paycheck Protection Program. “Even as the economy gradually begins to reopen, farmers and ranchers continue to encounter enormous volatility as markets and supply chains rapidly react to the impact of the pandemic,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a letter thanking the bills’ sponsors. While the PPP is providing vital assistance to farmers and ranchers who… Read More →

Uncertain, slightly volatile future ahead for Texas ag

The road ahead for Texas agriculture is paved with uncertainty amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but farmers and ranchers try to remain optimistic about the future. During a Texas Farm Bureau (TFB)-hosted webinar, The Road Ahead for Texas Agriculture, speakers addressed the impact of the global pandemic on Texas and American agriculture. Please click on the link below to watch this discussion.   The Road Ahead for Texas Agriculture mailto:greg.baker@ag.tamu.edu

Rural Texans still need better broadband access

It’s no secret that when it comes to broadband access, rural residents are far behind their urban counterparts. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, nearly 40 percent of rural Americans lack access to high-speed internet connections. The Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott have been working to find solutions and improve access since a bill was passed last May creating the governor’s Broadband Development Council. Helping in those efforts is South Texas cattle rancher and Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) member Lindsey Lee. She was appointed by Abbott… Read More →

USDA issues first Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $545 million in payments to farmers and ranchers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has received more than 86,000 applications for the program…. Farmers and ranchers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at… Read More →

Private Applicator Training June 24, 2020 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

  The Calhoun County office of the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service will be offering a Private Applicator Training Course to assist those interested in obtaining a license. If interested, please stop by the Calhoun County Extension office to purchase your study materials at a cost of $40 (cash or check only). There is also a $10 registration fee (cash or check only) the day of training. 186 Henry Barber Way Port Lavaca, Texas 77979 Phone:361-557-9747 Cell:979-429-7456 mailto:greg.baker@ag.tamu.edu A private pesticide applicator is someone who uses or supervises… Read More →

Calhoun-County-Ag-Talk-Volume 9 Issue 3

Calhoun-County-Ag-Talk-Volume 9 Issue 3   Above was my latest news letter that was mailed out last month, May 19th.  My apologies for not posting it on the Calhoun County Extension Website. Please remember to send me your email to receive the newsletters and other timely information by email.   Sincerely mailto:greg.baker@ag.tamu.edu https://calhoun.agrilife.org/  

USDA launches CFAP direct payment signup details

Farmers and ranchers can begin enrolling next week for $16 billion in direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Signup will start on May 26 at local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. CFAP will provide direct relief to farmers and ranchers who have suffered a 5 percent or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities. Cited from… Read More →

Signup for COVID-19 relief payments could begin soon

The White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday, May 15, completed its review of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) plans to provide farmers with $16 billion in direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. That approval means USDA could announce signup for the COVID-19 relief program any day. Although the program signup is not currently open, USDA is urging farmers and ranchers to begin several steps of the application process ahead of time. Under the CARES Act, USDA will distribute $16 billion to farmers… Read More →