Some of our early-planted cotton will be blooming very soon and, thus, enter a growing stage that is of critical importance in the development of the cotton crop.

To address critical management issues during this time of crop development, a Gulf Coast Cotton Management Workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 1, with the focus on "First Bloom to Cutout."

The workshop will be held at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at 10345 State Highway 44, just west of the Corpus Christi International Airport.

Registration will begin at 8:15 a.m., followed by the program at 8:30 a.m., and will conclude by 11:30 a.m. Workshop topics and speakers will include the following; Growth and Development of Cotton by Dr. Carlos Fernandez, AgriLife Research Scientist and Dr. Dan Fromme, Extension Agronomist, Insect Management by Dr Roy Parker, Extension Entomologist and Using Computer Online Tools to Help Manage Crop by Jeffrey Stapper, County Extension Agent - Nueces County.

Participants will then go to the field to see methods of Insect Scouting and Cotton Plant Mapping.

Participants in the workshop will be awarded continuing education units toward their Pesticide Applicator and Certified Crop Advisor Licences. The workshop is being sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Research.

More details are available from the Nueces County Extension Office at (361) 767-5223.

Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin. Individuals with disabilities, who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any of the mentioned activities, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office eight days before all programs for assistance.

Hurricane activity predicated to be above normal

As we observe Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 23-29, it is a good time to reflect on our own personal situation. According to Colorado State University*s Meteorology Department, this hurricane season is predicted to be more active than the average for the 1950-00 seasons.

Their December 2009 report estimates approximately 11-16 named storms, six to eight hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes occurring during the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which is more typical of years in an active era, such as the 1995 season.

The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

With common sense comes having an Emergency Preparedness Kit that is ready to go if a hurricane is heading for the Coastal Bend.

Your kit should include:

Flashlight Battery-operated radio Extra batteries First aid kit Foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking, especially canned foods One gallon or more of water per person Non-electric can opener Prescription medications with copies of the prescription Infant or elderly necessities

For more information visit http://texashelp.tamu.edu/002-protect/pdf/evacuation-grab-box.pdf.

Free seminar on Rural Energy for America Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development will hold a community-wide discussion for those interested in the Rural Energy for America Program, which provides financial assistance to rural businesses and agricultural producers interested in pursuing renewable energy or energy efficiency projects.

The meeting will take place Friday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Johnny S. Calderon County Building, located at 710 East Main Ave. in Robstown.

The Rural Energy for American Program offers competitive grants, guaranteed loans, and combination grant/guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements in rural areas.

The program also provides competitive grants to rural small businesses and agricultural producers to help them pay for the cost of a detailed, professional, independent feasibility study of their prospective renewable energy projects. Assistance is limited to $50,000, or 25 percent of the cost of the study, whichever is less.

According to program details, renewable energy is defined as energy derived from a wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal source; or hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, biomass, or geothermal energy sources.

For more information, call your local USDA Rural Development office at (361) 527-3253, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/tx/bp.htm.

Jeffrey Stapper is the Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent for Nueces County. Readers may contact him at 767-5217.