"New feral hog grant funding among top agriculture stories" by: Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent – Agriculture/Natural Resources

Matagorda County Agriculture News and Happenings
December 2019
   Howdy All! I hope this finds you well and enjoying some cooler weather and looking forward to Thanksgiving and spending time with family.
   I know that in the realm of agriculture, this is the time dedicated to reviewing the results of the past crop and calf seasons and making adjustments and plans for 2020.
   This time of the year can also afford a little time off the tractor or horse to catch up on the new technologies and changes that have been evolving over the previous months to better help you in the coming months.
   This newsletter will include information on upcoming events and activities that will provide you with valuable information for the coming year.
   Don’t forget that Dec. 31, will be the expiration date for ag/timber tax numbers provided through the Texas State Comptroller’s office for many of you.
If your status lapses, you will be paying taxes on all agriculture products until you can become current again.
   The form you will have to complete and provide to that office is the ap-228. 
   If you have trouble locating the form, let me know and I will get it to you.
   All pesticide applicators, please look at you license today and make sure you know when it expires also.
   There are quite a few CEUs coming up in the next few weeks that will help you greatly.
   If your license is about to expire there are a few things that you need to do.
   1. If you are within a month of your license expiring and you have not received a renewal notice, call TDA and find out why.
   2. Don’t throw away your old license until you have the new one.
   3. Make sure you have all your proof of trainings to include 2 in laws and regs and 2 in IPM.
  New Feral Hog Grant Funded
   The 2019 Matagorda County Feral Hog Grant ended the last day of August with outstanding numbers of hogs removed from the Matagorda County landscape and 114 of you indicating, through surveys, that you had saved money through reduced damage, increased yields, or improved commodity quality to the tune of almost $500,000 during the year.
   These numbers were compiled through trapping efforts only.
   The Matagorda County Extension office submitted application to continue grant funding for 2020 to extend the efforts to mitigate feral hog issues.
   Last week I received notice that the Matagorda County Feral Hog grant application was successful and will be funded to the tune of $20,000 from now until end of August 2020.
   The trapping efforts of the 2019 grant will continue into 2020.
   The new grant funds will be allocated to aerial gunning and strategic shooting.
   Aerial gunning will work on $15,000 through a cost share to the producer and strategic shooting and education will work on $5,000.
   The Matagorda County Extension office will be holding a feral hog mitigation and management workshop beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the Matagorda County Fairgrounds.
   This event will address trapping strategies and cover other integrated pest management approaches to feral hog mitigation.
   The producer cost share aerial gunning option and the strategic shooting options will also be covered in detail.
   For Matagorda County producers to have access to trapping resources, you must attend a feral hog program.
   Matagorda County producers wishing to receive benefit from the aerial gunning and strategic shooting are strongly encouraged to attend to have a clear understanding of the effort and intended outcome. The event flyer is attached.
For those with a pesticide applicator license, you will be able to receive 3 CEUs at the event.
   The fee is $20 payable at the door and proceeds will be allocated to future feral hog mitigation efforts. Please RSVP by calling the Extension office at 245-4100.
Birding Matagorda County Event
   I am sure most all of you know that Matagorda County is the birding Mecca for birders from all over the world. Matagorda County has been ranked as the birding capital for 26 of the past 27 years and expects to hold that title again this year.
   Each year in December, the Christmas Bird Count is conducted in Matagorda County.
   To add to the festivities associated with the Christmas Bird Count, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office will be holding a birds and birding workshop beginning at 6 p.m.  Dec. 16.
Romey Swanson with Audubon Texas will be the event speaker. Romey is the Director of Conservation Strategy and a Certified Wildlife Biologist.
   There will be no fee for the event but please RSVP to help us make sure we have enough room.
   The location will be the Birding and Nature Center. 245-4100.
Gulf Coast Regional Cattleman’s Workshop and Trade Show
The Matagorda County Cattleman’s Association is pleased to announce the 2020 Gulf Coast Regional Cattleman’s Workshop and Trade Show to be held on January 17, 2020, at the Bay City Civic Center.
   This premiere event is a must on the calendar for the cattle producer on the central Texas Gulf Coast.
   This event is complete with a livestock and forage symposium with 3 CEUs followed by dinner and the featured event program. This event is free, but RSVP is required by January 10, 2019.
   The event flyer is attached.      
   Other Programs to put on your radar!
January 14…Cotton and Grain Handlers Conference in El Campo 5 CEUs requested
January 15…Western Ricebelt Production Conference in El Campo 3 CEUs available
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