Since January 1, Nueces County has had roughly three times the average rainfall for this period. This has led to a substantial amount of prevented planting acres for cotton and sorghum. Some sorghum and maybe a little cotton may still get planted; however, a significant amount of acres will remain fallow through the growing season. While this excess rainfall has been less than ideal for row crop production, area forage production and native pastures have benefited. Tank water is also abundant again.

With this in mind, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio Counties along with the Nueces and San Patricio Beef and Forage Task Force have planned a Spring Ranch Management Field Day for May 14th in Sinton. The field day will take place on the Hamilton Ranch off Bus US 77 South in Sinton.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. We will start the morning program with a presentation from Dr. Jamie Foster, Forage Agronomist, with AgriLife Research on “Forages for South Texas: What are my options?” This presentation will compare various native and improved forage species and discuss their pros and cons. Dr. Foster’s presentation will also cover proper management for maximizing the production potential for each of the forage types.

Peter Woods, Extension Fisheries Program Specialist, will spend the rest of the morning speaking about pond management. During his presentation we will visit a pond on the Hamilton Ranch and discuss specific issues that pond owners face such as aquatic weed management. Participants are also encouraged to bring samples of pond weeds from their ponds to the field day for identification and control suggestions from Woods.

The program will then continue over a catered lunch with updates on the NRCS and FSA on programs available to livestock producers. An update on the new Texas Beef Check-off Program will also be given by the Texas Beef Council.

After lunch we will spend more time outdoors discussing range pasture management and best management practices to protect range resources with an emphasis on both livestock and wildlife production will be led by Extension Range Specialists, Dr. Megan Clayton. Brush control methods will also be discussed during the program.

Those that participate in the Field Day will be able to receive 3 Texas Department of Agriculture CEUs. A participation fee of $20 will be charged to attendees and includes a catered lunch. Seating is limited, so attendees are asked to RSVP to the AgriLife Extension office in Nueces County at 361.767.5223 by May 13th.