The Texas AgriLife Extension Service will sponsor the Fourth Annual South Texas Beef, Range and Pasture Short Course on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at the Texas Agrilife Research and Extension Center on Highway 44 just west of the Corpus Christi Airport. The course will begin at 6:45 p.m. and conclude by 9 p.m.

Updates on the latest issues affecting Beef Cattle producers will be discussed by Dr. Joe Paschal, Extension Livestock Specialist. Topics will include; improving reproductive performance, nutrition, improving genetics, new trichomoniasis regulations, Country of Origin Labeling, and the spread of fever ticks.

Management of rangelands and pastures now and when the drought does break will be discussed by Dr. Wayne Hanselka, Extension Range Specialist. He will review how grass grows, restoring rangelands and pastures following drought and severe brush infestations, the advantages of establishing some type of rotational grazing system, proper stocking rates and the importance of brush management.

This short course will be of interest to both small and large beef cattle producers and is being sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Nueces and San Patricio Counties and local Agricultural Advisory Committees. Participants in this course will be awarded BQA credits and 1 CEU for their pesticide applicators license. For more information, please call 361-767-5223.

With rain comes


We are all thankful for the recent rains, some folks got significantly more than others. And yes, we are still looking for more rain. The rain however, has begun to awaken the dreaded mosquito.

We are beginning to see our influx of floodwater mosquitoes in the area and over the next few days we should start seeing more mosquitoes coming out from creek bottoms and river bottoms, which are areas where they tend to breed.

In addition to 'floodwater' mosquitoes, 'container breeding' mosquitoes will also be on the increase over the next few weeks, invading backyards and other prime breeding areas as they grow in numbers.

To help Texas residents prepare for the mosquito onslaught, Mike Merchant, an urban entomologist with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and others have developed a new, free interactive Web site called, 'Mosquito Safari.' The site,, is available to teach visitors about mosquitoes and how to control them, he said, and contains scientifically based information in a lively, entertaining format.

"The core of the Mosquito Safari site is a virtual backyard that you can explore with your computer mouse," Merchant said. "As you hit hot spots in the backyard, a window pops up and a narrator discusses what appears on the screen and how it relates to mosquito control."

Merchant said there isn't much people can do to keep floodwater mosquitoes from being a problem when venturing outdoors other than wearing a good insect repellent with the active ingredient DEET. That's because floodwater mosquitoes move easily from their breeding sites, he said. These mosquitoes breed in standing water near creeks and rivers after flooding in residential areas.

"Floodwater mosquitoes are really strong fliers, so you can live far from a creek and still be affected by them," Merchant said "They're there all the time and they're going to come out after any big rain. They can fly up to five to 10 miles from their breeding sites and affect people who don't even live close to water."

The good news, however, is that floodwater mosquitoes don't tend to carry diseases that affect people, Merchant said. You can easily defend yourself against mosquito bites by remembering the "three D's: drain, dress and DEET."

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