Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weed Control in Turf

In lawns and sports fields, weeds are often the result of poor quality turf, rather than the cause of poor turf.  The aggressive nature of weeds and their prolific reproductive capacity enable them to invade thin, weak turf areas.  Cultural practices should always be viewed as the first step to effective weed control.  Always determine why weeds established a foothold and correct those deficiencies.  If the basic problem is not corrected, weeds will continue to occur.  An effective weed-control program also requires identification of the undesirable species as to its classification as a grassy weed, a broadleaf weed, an annual, or a perennial.  Most turf weeds belong to two principal categories – grasses and broadleaf plants.  Chemical controls for these two categories of plants frequently differ. 
            Grassy weeds have jointed, hollow stems; leaf blades have veins parallel to leaf margins, and are several times longer than they are wide; roots are fibrous and multi-branching; and flowers are usually inconspicuous.  In contrast, broadleaved plants often have showy flowers; leaves have a network of veins at diverse angles to one another; stems are often pithy; and a taproot is usually present.  Another group of turf weeds, sedges, have grasslike characteristics, but require a different group of chemicals for control.  Sedges are characterized by three-sided stems (triangular cross-section) which bear leaves in three directions (in contrast to the two-ranked arrangement of grass leaves).
            Weeds can be further grouped according to their life span – annual or perennial.   From the standpoint of chemical control, the grouping is most important, because preemergent herbicides are only effective for control of annual weeds.  Annual weeds germinate from seed each year, mature in one growing season, and die in less than 12 months.  Crabgrass and henbit are examples of annual weeds – crabgrass being a summer annual and henbit being a winter annual.  Preemergent herbicides must be applied according to the expected date of emergence for each targeted species. 
            Perennial weeds live more than one year, and recover or regrow from dormant stolons, rhizomes, or tubers as well as from seed.  Control of perennial weeds requires a postemergent herbicide during its season of active growth.  Products such as Portrait, Amaze and Dimension are available locally and need watering in order to activate.  
            Effective chemical weed control requires identification of the weeds as to their Classification (grass, broadleaf, sedge, etc.), life span (annual or perennial), and season of active growth (cool season or warm season).  Effective chemical control also requires accurate timing of applications, proper rate of application, and uniformity of application.  Always follow label directions for a product, and observe all warnings and precautions relative to safety of the application.  Herbicide labels should be carefully reviewed for additional details on specific uses of each product.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2013 Health Fair Flyer

Please make sure to share this with your friends. This is a GREAT event!! There will be a ton of free screenings and events for the kids.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March & April 4-H newsletter

Health Fair is Just around the corner

As you mark your calendars for the many activities taking place this spring, I would like to encourage you to make plans to attend the Wise County Health Fair scheduled for Saturday, April 13 from 8:30 am to 1:00pm at the Decatur Civic Center. The Health Fair is sponsored by United Way and is promoting a healthier Wise County through community awareness and education.
One of the key features will be the family fun run/walk beginning at 10:30 am. This event is free.  There are many other free opportunities as well.  They include several free health screenings: blood pressure checks; carotid artery; fitness assessments; nutritional eye testing; hearing; blood glucose checks; lower artery duplex; peripheral vascular diseases scan; renal stenosis scan; varicose vein scan; heart rate; and  hemoglobin A1C.
A new feature will be the addition of a Comfort Zone. If a need is demonstrated as a result of the screenings, counseling will be available in the Comfort Zone to help you find a physician or medical home. Several popular activities are returning such as: Drunk Driving Simulator; Texas Lifestar Helicopter; and Facepainting.
Participants will be able to take part in plant pals offered by Wise County 4-H; and the Carter Blood Care unit returns. The Moncrief Cancer Center mammography mobile unit will provide fully funded mammography screenings. Pre registration is required by calling 1-800-405-7739.  
Entry forms for booths/displays/activities space are available via the United Way website at You may also contact the Extension office at 940/627-3341 for additional information.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Educational Series Starting up

The newest in our Agriculture Education Series. Make sure to sign up early and for more information please contact the office.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Youth Fair Schedule of Events

3:00-6:00 pm                Arrival of Longhorn Cattle and Check papers
8:00-8:30 am                Arrival of Broilers & Breeding Poultry               
9:00 am                        Broiler Show
                        Breeding Poultry Show (Released following shows)
8:00 am                        Horse-Check registration papers
8:30 am                        Horse Show (NRS Arena)
1:00 pm                        Longhorn Show
                         -Steers followed by heifers (Released following show)
8:00-4:00 pm                Arrival of:
                        Dairy Breeding Goats, Breeding Boers Goats
                        MUST BE IN PLACE BY 4:00 pm
4:00-6:00 pm                Papers checked (Breeding Goats)
7:00 pm                        Queens Contest
7:30 am                        Breeding Boer Show
                        Breeding Dairy Goat Show
                        (Release following shows)
8:00-4:00 pm                Arrival of:
                        Breeding Lambs
                        Market Lambs - Lambs must be in place by 4:00 pm.
                        Weight/Breed cards are due to Superintendents by 4:30 pm.
8:30 am                        Horse Show (NRS Arena)
1:00 pm                        Arrival of Breeding Swine (Released following show)                   
2:30 pm                        Breeding Swine Show (Released following show)
5:00 pm                        Classifying of Market Lambs
6:30 pm                        4-H Parade of Fashion


8:00 am                        Breeding Sheep Show (Release following show)
                        Immediately followed by:
                          Market Lamb Show        
8:00-4:00                      Begin moving livestock into barns.
                        Animals must be in place by 4:00 pm.
                        Weight/Breed cards are due to Superintendents by 4:30 pm.
10:00 am                      Dog Show
4:00—7:00 pm              -Registration papers & tattoos checked on Beef Heifers
5:00 pm                       Classifying of:
                        Market Steers, Market Wethers, Market Hogs
7:00—8:00 am              Arrival of ALL Rabbits
7:30 am                        Market Swine Show
7:30—10:00 am             Arrival of:
                         4-H Foods, Crafts, and Photography
                         FCCLA Foods and Crafts
8:00 am                         Meat Pen Rabbits judged
                         Followed by Breeding Rabbits
10:30 am                        FCCLA Food & Crafts judged
11:00 am                        4-H Food, Crafts and Photography and Horticulture judged
2;00 pm                          Market Goat Show
5:00 pm                          Ag Mechanics begin moving in (must be in place by 8 am Friday)
5:00—8:00 pm                Viewing of 4-H, FCCLA and Horticulture exhibits
8:00 am               Prospect Steer Show
                           Immediately followed by:
                           Market Steer Show

12:00 noon                     Agricultural Mechanics judged
12:00 noon                     Release of:  Market Goats, Lambs, & Hogs
1:00 pm                        Breeding Beef Heifer Show
                        (All Beef Animals released at conclusion of show)
4:00 pm                        Pictures taken of:                                       
                         4-H Food, Crafts, and Photography winning entries
4:15 pm                        Pictures taken of FCCLA winning entries
4:30—5:30 pm              4-H & FCCLA Food, Craft, Clothing, Photography and Horticulture released
10:00 am                       Pet Show
11:00—12:30 pm           Bar-B-Q Meal
12:30 pm                       Awards
1:00 pm                         2013 WCYF Auction
2:00 pm                         Release of all remaining animals & Ag Mech

For more information about the Youth Fair look at

Rain Water Harvesting

The drought in Texas continues to be devastating across the state.  Forecasters today are suggesting that the drought could continue for the next seven years.  Because of the drought we have experienced recently the interest in rainwater harvesting has increased.  Captured rainwater presents a low cost, high quality, readily available source of water for landscape and greenhouse use. 

            The purity of rainwater as an irrigation source has proven benefit.  Proper rainwater system design includes a “roof washer”, allowing the first portion of rainwater from an event to be captured before entering the tank.  This reduces the impurities captured by the holding tank.  A filter is also recommended prior going into the tank.  Filters further reduce impurities from entering the system, and more importantly decreases small particles which can plug irrigation nozzles on the output side.

            Harvest potential can be calculated based on roof square footage to determine tank size.  A roof drip-line footprint will provide .6 gallons per square foot per one inch of rain.  Measuring the square footage underneath the roof drip-life multiplied by .6 gallons/ foot will equal total gallons per one inch of rainfall.  Matching monthly rainfall with projected utilization should provide a basis for tank sizing.  A wide variety of tank sizes and designs are available.  Attractively designed tanks are available in various shapes and sizes can be purchased to enhance the appearance of a rain collection system.

            Looking into the future, demand for water presents real concern for Texas citizens.  The municipal use will double by year 2060.  Manufacturing will logically follow suit with a projected increase.  There is a projected decrease in irrigation.  Given there is no new water, and ground water in many areas of the state are already stretched or short, better utilize the captured rainwater can reduce individual homeowner demands and thus state-wide needs.