Coastal Bend farmers and ranchers who need to obtain additional CEU credits to renew their pesticide applicators license will have an opportunity to earn up to 5 credit hours on Oct. 26.

These classes will be conducted at the Corpus Christi A&M Research and Extension Center's auditorium on Highway 44, two and a half miles west of the International Airport. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. and the training will start sharply at 8:30 a.m. Participants can earn 3 hours during the morning session. Applicators who need more hours can obtain two additional CEU's following the lunch break.

Credits in Law and Regulations and IPM can be earned at this training provided free of charge by Texas Cooperative Extension and the Extension Agents from Nueces and San Patricio Counties. Don't miss this opportunity. Commercial and Non-Commercial License holders are also welcome to participate in this training course.

The long-awaited, first, real cold front to make its way through the Coastal Bend arrived on Monday morning. Unfortunately, for livestock producers who had been seeing a gradual decline in pasture condition during October, this front was not a rainmaker. It arrived with a lot of wind creating gusty conditions throughout the day.

The one or two tenths of precipitation that hit the ground rapidly disappeared with the cooler, steady blast of dry air. The wind made outdoor work somewhat disagreeable, but the mild temperatures were a welcome relief from the 90-degree days of the last few weeks.

Despite the October drying trend that has affected most of region during October some locations east of Hwy 77 continued to have wet soil conditions from isolated downpours earlier in the month. Wet fields combined with fewer picking machines in the area has prevented the completion of cotton harvest. These conditions have also been a serious problem for farmers in the Tivola and Bonnieview areas of Refugio County.

The majority of Coastal Bend area cotton gins wrapped up ginning activities between the 10 and 15 of October. However, a couple of the larger gins in the area still had a few modules trickling into their yards during the final week of the month.

The Corpus Christi Cotton Classing office had classified just over 744,900 bales of South Texas cotton as of Oct. 18. Sample being received by the Classing Office remained steady with a total of 92,021 samples classified between the Oct. 11 and the 18. A large portion of new samples received during the week originated from gins in the Winter Garden area and the Upper Coast region.

Farmers in the lower Coastal Bend have been busy with cotton stalk destruction and other land preparation activities. Cotton stalk destruction deadlines were extended again as the Oct. 15 deadline arrived with most counties in the Lower Coastal Bend still having a few thousand acres of unharvested cotton. Hopefully, the Oct. 31 deadline will be met. Late cotton stalk destruction and a mild winter could let boll weevils rebound.

Drought in south eastern portions of the nation have some Texans wishing that they had a device like the "Star Ship Enterprise" that could "beam" over several thousand rolls of surplus hay to stockmen in the hard hit drought areas of Georgia and South Carolina. Many South Texas hay producers have far more hay than the typical reserves for winterfeeding. Some are willing to sell it at cost to help needy cattle producers. Unfortunately, the cost of trucking this hay a thousand miles or more is nearly as expensive per bale as the hay itself. Winter is arriving and Texas hay may become feasible if other sources of roughage become more expensive for cattle producers in Georgia and surrounding states.

So, keep those fingers crossed for a soaking rain for our neighbors in the southeast, as well as, the home folks that need significant soil moisture improvement.

Harvey Buehring is the former Agricultural Extension Agent for Nueces County. Readers may contact him at (361) 767-5223.