Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Preparing For Fall

        Even though we have received rainfall in our area, we are still experiencing effects of the extreme drought.  2011 continues to be the year we blame for our troubles, but the facts are we have been experiencing droughts before then.   2011 was the trigger year that set all the damage in motion. It is very important to continue watering through the fall and winter months.  The meteorologist predict a wet fall and winter.  However, if we endure prolonged dry periods in the fall and winter, trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials will need to be watered periodically to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant.  The result of long, dry periods during fall and winter is injury or death to parts of plant root systems.  Affected plants may appear perfectly normal and resume growth in the spring using stored food energy.  Plants may be weakened and all or parts may die in late spring or summer when temperatures rise.  Weakened plants also may be subject to insect and disease problems.
            Fall is also the time fruit tree care is forgotten or neglected, but it’s a critical time for controlling some of the peach and plum tree diseases to insure a good crop next year.  Applying a copper fungicide now can stop or at least reduce three of the major diseases that attack peach and plum trees in Wise County.  Those diseases are peach leaf curl, bacterial leaf spot and bacterial canker.  Timing of the fall spray is critical for effective control and for avoiding tree damage.  Unless applied correctly, copper, a metal, may cause severe defoliation.  Spraying should be done when 70 percent of the leaves have fallen.
            Another problem many homeowners are experiencing this fall is in St. Augustine grass.  Brown patch is a chronic lawn problem for many Wise County residents.  This fungal disease is characterized by large, circular, brown patches of grass.  Since it is a fungus, fungicides can be helpful.  Granular fungicides are easier to apply than liquid and they have longer residual.  Inspect your lawn, if the blades pull away easily from the stem and have a gray, rotted appearance, which is a sure symptom of the disease. 
      For more information on preparing for fall please call the Extension office at 940/627-3341.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Extension Education Clubs and Greenwood Fall Festival

Wise County Extension Education Clubs were represented at the annual (Texas Extension Education Association) State Convention in Wichita Falls, September 9-10 by Bobbie Ashley, Linda Hood, and Dixie Range of the Greenwood Extension Education Club. ‘Love, Faith and Devotion’ was the theme of the two day conference.

TEEA members also attended workshops, education programs, and AgriLife programs at the Multi-Purpose Events Center which will be shared with TEEA Clubs and counties.

The group's mission is to work with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to strengthen and enrich families through educational programs, leadership development and community service. The Conference commemorated the observance of 100 years of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 and the relationship between TEEA and Extension.

The cultural arts contest saw winners from Wise County. Winners included: Marilynn Collins-2nd place with her Oopsie Daisy quilt. Anna Wattingney and Gerry Galloway also participated with entries in the machine embroidery and scrapbook categories.

The new year for Extension Education clubs begins soon and new members are welcome. Clubs currently formed are in the community of Greenwood. As an EE member you make new friends, participate in fun, fellowship and educational programs.

The first activity for the new TEEA year is the Greenwood Fall Festival which is scheduled for Saturday, October 11 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Everyone is invited to enjoy a parade beginning at 10:00 am and immediately following the parade, handcrafted arts and craft booths will be open. Featured activities will be children’s train rides, food and game booths and door prizes. Booth space is available for $10 by contacting Gerry Galloway at 940/466-7997 or Linda Hood at 940/627-7597.

For those unsure of finding Greenwood, it is a short, scenic drive out of Decatur on Highway 51 North for 10 miles to FM 1204, turn left and travel approximately five miles into the community of Greenwood.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Upcoming 4-H Events

When you hear the word, “4-H”, what image comes to mind? A green clover? Cows? Goats? What about Food and Nutrition, Citizenship, or Public Speaking? Do you think about Shooting Sports, Photography, or Clothing and Textiles? How about traveling across the country and overseas with fellow 4-H’ers?

There is more to 4-H than showing livestock at the Wise County Youth Fair, or at the major stock shows. To get a better idea of what 4-H is all about, we invite you to join the members of the Wise County 4-H Clubs at 4-H Explosion on Saturday, September 27, 2014. The event will be held at the Weatherford College Campus in between Decatur and Bridgeport on HWY 380. The fun will start at 12 p.m. with a free hotdog lunch and last until 2pm.
Youth will learn about 4-H through fun games and activities. There will be a parent session to go over what 4-H is and how it will help youth grow into leaders. 4-H can also help youth pay for college in the future! Each club will have a booth with information and games, and will be happy to share their experiences with you, or answer any questions you might have concerning 4-H. We will also give families the opportunity to register for 4-H for the 2014-2015 year!

This is a free event the whole family can enjoy. Please contact the Extension Office for more information. 940.627.3341.

1st Annual Wise County Hay Show Huge Success

The Wise County Hay Show was a huge success held last Thursday at the Wise County Fair Grounds.  Thirty two entries competed during the show in three different categories such as: Warm Season Perennial Grasses, Summer Annual Grasses and Winter Annual Grasses.

Gary Green exhibited the Grand Champion Hay this year which came out of the Warm Season Perennial Grass Category.  Also coming out of the Warm Season Perennial Grass Category was the Reserve Grand Champion Hay exhibited by Calm Leas Farm/Guy Pegues.

Other winners were; 1st place in the Warm Season Annual Grasses exhibited by Melvin & Todd Meadows, and the 2nd place was exhibited by Rick Wilson.  In the Cool Season Annual Grasses, 1st place went to Rick Wilson and the 2nd place was exhibited by Mote & Sanford/Rodney Mote.

Exhibitors that competed in the show also donated a bale of Hay to the Wise County Livestock and Forage Committee to be auctioned off and all proceeds to be donated to the Wise County Youth Fair.  In its first year the auction raised $2045.00. 

A special thanks to the exhibitors and buyers of the fundraiser for the WCYF.  Hay exhibitors who donated bales to the auction were: Rick Wilson, Leslie Fortenberry, Carla Payne, Todd and Melvin Meadows, S & S Hay, Jared Montford, Charles Brown, Gary Green, James McMillian, Calm Leas Farm/Guy Pegues, Allan Bingham, Jim Stegall.   Buyers included:  Community Bank, Legend Bank, Kevin Downe, Rick Wilson, Carla Payne, Steve Roos, Waggoner-Sauder Ranch, and Jim Stegall.

Kids Still Not Eating Enough Produce

Recent studies are still showing us that many children still aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. The recommendations for fruits and vegetables vary widely. They depend on children’s daily calorie needs, which relate to their age and activity level. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises that:
  • Children ages 2 to 5 should eat 1 to 1.5 cups of fruit and 1 to 2 cups of vegetables a day.
  • Children ages 6 to 11 should eat 1 to 2 cups of fruit and 1.5 to 3 cups of vegetables a day.
  • Children and teens ages 12 to 19 should eat 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit and 2 to 4 cups of vegetables a day.
As you might suspect, most kids don’t eat enough produce. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that while children have increased their overall fruit intake since 2003, most — 6 in 10 — are still not eating enough fruit. What’s worse, 9 in 10 kids don’t meet the recommendations for vegetable consumption.
The findings about vegetables were not as positive. Not only was there no increase in vegetable consumption over the study period, 2003 to 2010, but 30 percent of the vegetables kids consumed were white potatoes, often eaten as less-healthful fried potatoes or even potato chips.
To help kids and teens eat more fruits and vegetables, parents can:
  • Eat fruit and vegetables with your children. Modeling good behavior and enjoying a healthful snack with your kids is always helpful.
  • Make sure a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are available and in eyesight. Cut up and prepare produce ahead of time, and keep it at the front of the refrigerator. Make it easier to reach for an apple or carrot sticks than it is to grab some chips or cookies.
  • Include children when shopping for, growing, and preparing fruit and vegetables.
  • Encourage children to eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Offer options — “Would you like this or that?” — to get kids to try new fruits and vegetables. Don’t just stick with favorites all the time.