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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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There Goes The ‘One Ranger’

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In 1969 a young Mexican-American named Johnny Rodriguez ended up in an Uvalde County jail after rustling and barbecuing a goat, which led to the discovery of an unpaid fine. Rodriguez sang in his cell to pass the time, of which he had plenty.

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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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Henry Skillman, Frontier Mail Courier

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Early-day mail couriers like Henry Skillman worked for the U.S. government but they didn’t get much in the way of benefits. If they survived the Apaches, Comanches, rattlesnakes and terrain they got to do the same thing again and again until their contract ran out. Health insurance? They bought Sharps rifles.
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Barbecue Sauce

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Sweet, spicy, tangy sauce for summer barbecues
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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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