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All About Cotton: TX organic co-op farmers honored; a new water efficiency product; pollinators boost yields

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The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will recognize a group of Texas High Plains cotton farmers with the prestigious “Organic Farmer of the Year” Leadership Award from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) at its Annual Awards Celebration on September 21 in Baltimore as part of the kickoff event for Natural Products Expo East.
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Headed For Greener Pastures: Ron Wooley worked 47 years with AgriLife Extension and ‘managed to stay relevant the whole time’

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Ron Woolley, a 47-year veteran of Texas AgriLife Extension, retired at the end of last month. He’s worked as an Extension agent since 1971, but he got his first job with Extension spraying peanuts in six Central Texas counties as a farm demonstration assistant in 1969.

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‘It’s Not Pretty Out There’: County agents receive little good news to take home after hearing commodity updates at annual meeting

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County agents from across the state heard a series of commodity updates at this year’s Texas County Agricultural Agents Association (TCAAA) annual meeting in Waco. The agents received kind words for the work they do, but very little good news to take home to farmers and ranchers.
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Looking back at the drought of 2011 finds that it really was as bad then as we thought it was

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Five years ago, in 2011, the entire state of Texas had turned the color of a corn tortilla, except for areas where wildfires made it look like burnt toast. The hottest and driest year on record left a mark on the state’s agriculture as indelible as the drought of the 1950s or the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.
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Hot Cover Crops: What works further north doesn’t apply for organic farms in the heat and humidity of South Texas

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Sustainable agriculture specialist Justin Duncan admits he is more of a legume guy than a grass guy when it comes to cover crops, which explains why his list of the best cover crops for hot and humid climates is heavy with legumes and absent any grasses.

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Bell County Extension Agent Lyle Zoeller knows small-acreage landowners are key to his county’s environmental and agricultural future

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Back in 1993 when Lyle Zoeller started out as a county agent for what is now the Texas AgriLife Extension, he wasn’t sure what he’d end up doing for a living, but he knew it would have something to do with agriculture. Armed with two agriculture degrees from Tarleton State University, he took a job as an assistant agent with the Jim Wells County Extension Office in South Texas.

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This year’s rains have played havoc with the farmer’s most expensive fertilizer

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When it comes to nitrogen and soil, the rains giveth and the rains taketh away. Nitrogen is the most expensive fertilizer a row crop farmer uses, and one of the most important, and it helps the bottom line to know when it’s there and when it’s not before applying it.

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How Watermelons Went Seedless: The USDA said they’d never catch on, but today these varieties account for some 85 percent of U.S. shipments

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Millennials might have a hard time believing this, but there was a time in the fairly recent past when seedless watermelons were as rare as hen’s teeth, not only in Texas but the rest of the world.
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Beware Of Sugarcane Aphids: Their numbers are down now, but agronomist warns the pests will reproduce quickly in warm weather

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Populations of the sugarcane aphid in Texas, a recent bane of sorghum growers, have been well below the threshold level for treatment, but the recent warm and dry weather suits the aphids just fine.

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A Man Of The Land: Cooper Terrill didn’t grow up on a ranch but it’s as if he was preparing to be an Extension agent his whole life

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One week after he got married and a couple of days after his honeymoon, Williamson County Agriculture Extension Agent Cooper Terrill spent a week in Brazoria County helping people and livestock in the aftermath of a historic flood that displaced thousands of animals and hundreds of people. But he never felt sorry for himself over the turn of events.

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