Author Dan Egan talks with The Texas Tribune about phosphorus overuse and toxic algae blooms
Egan sat down with Tribune environmental reporter Alejandra Martinez to talk about his new book, “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance,” which explains how overuse of phosphorus is impacting the environment.
Black Texas farmers were finally on track to get federal aid. The state’s agriculture commissioner wants to stop that.
Sid Miller is challenging a debt relief program that the U.S. Department of Agriculture saw as a way to correct historic discrimination. An advocate for Black Texas farmers says the challenge “pushes us back even further.”
Abundance of rain hurting some San Antonio-area farmers’ crops
For many San Antonio-area farmers, crops are their sole source of income, and rain is always a welcome sight, but too much can be a problem. A farmer on the Southwest Side says this week has already brought too much rain, damaging some of his crops.
Texas could give landowners more say in eminent domain negotiations under bill sent to Greg Abbott’s desk
After failing last session, lawmakers finalized a bill — described as a “delicate compromise” — that provides new protections for landowners in negotiating with companies attempting to seize their land through eminent domain.
This Texas beekeeper helps homeowners, honeybees feel like they bee-long
All rights reserved)FILE - In this May 20, 2019 file photo, honeybees are shown on a frame at beekeeper Denise Hunsaker's apiary, in Salt Lake City. Erika Thompson, owner and founder of the Austin-based Texas Beeworks, has a pretty unique job. Sure you’ve heard of beekeeping, but she’s helping to preserve, protect and increase honeybee populations in Texas. The company works by helping to support the bees with hive removals and hive hostings for residents and businesses. You can hire a beekeeper to place and manage hives on your property registered by the Texas Apiary Inspection Service.
More than $600 million in agricultural losses accounted for so far, Texas A&M economist says
SAN ANTONIO – Losses in the agriculture industry brought on by the winter storm in Texas are now estimated to be $605 million, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Dr. David Anderson, the education agency’s livestock economist, said included in that figure are $228 million in losses to the livestock and poultry industries, as well as the animals who died due to the cold. RELATED: Texas Farm Bureau, others assessing winter storm damage“That probably ate up a lot more cost than they were expecting in producing the birds this year,” Anderson said. Full Screen 1 / 6 Image courtesy of Bryan Bettice, Adkins, Texas. Many had pumps that froze up, and damaged pipe systems now need repair to get water to their cattle.
Texas Farm Bureau, others assessing winter storm damage
POTH, Texas – As the president of the Texas Farm Bureau, Russell Boening experienced much of what the rest of the state’s agriculture industry endured during last month’s record cold. Boening said he agrees with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s prediction that the financial impact of the winter storm could be a billion dollars, if not more. AdWith the fragrant orange blossoms already on the trees, Murden said next year’s crop is gone. He said it’s been estimated the citrus industry has an economic impact of $468 million. The Texas Farm Bureau has been assessing the winter storm damage, but its spokesman said the figures, when complete, will come from the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Were your plants damaged by the freeze? Here’s what to do next.
“What we need to do is get some real sharp pruners, get some quality hand pruners, hedge shears, quality loppers and start. Rodriguez also recommends pulling the organic mulch away from plants to allow the late February sun to warm up the soil. Other plant life, like palms and sago palms, also took a beating. As long as their center is nice and firm, sago palms can make a comeback. Also, keep in mind that while we are approaching our average final freeze date in San Antonio, a freeze in March is always possible.
Produce distributor ‘cautiously optimistic’ as farmers across Texas count losses following winter storm
POTEET, Texas – The area farmers who grew crops were unable to completely protect them against the record cold and are finding their prized harvest ruined after last week’s winter storm. “They got really cold, to the point where they just got brittle and they’re falling apart right now,” said Donovan Garcia Jr., who grows some of Poteet’s prized strawberries. Texas A&M AgriLife extension agents will be throughout affected areas assessing the damage and the economic impacts. Fernando Gonzalez, a major produce distributor, said he is “cautiously optimistic” because the supply is good. “There’s so much product that comes into Texas from all over the United States,” Gonzalez said.
‘We should have been a priority’: Consumers may feel the pinch at checkout after Texas farmers hit hard by winter storm
ST. HEDWIG, Texas – Farmers across Texas were hit hard by the recent winter storm and rotating blackouts that knocked out power in many communities. Consumers can expect to feel the effects at the grocery store, with empty shelves and higher prices for some products. But the Scotts could not make it through the 2021 winter storm that left much of Texas without power. State relief for farmers is not available, and federal funds are slow to trickle in, according to the agriculture commissioner. The Texas Department of Agriculture has the STAR Fund, which is made up of private donations that help farmers during a disaster.
Mystery seeds from China showing up in Texas mailboxes
Texas Tiny bags marked as jewelry have been showing up in the mailboxes of Texas residents but it turns out the bags actually contain seeds. Texans arent the only ones who have received packages of mystery seeds, residents across the nation have reported receiving unsolicited packages that appear to have originated in China, according to a CNN report. To date, packages containing these mystery seeds have also been received in Washington, Virginia, Utah, Kansas, Louisiana and Arizona, according to a press release from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. If you do receive a bag of the mystery seeds, do not throw them away. It could be a scam, or it very well could be dangerous, said Agrilife extension horticulturist Larry Stein.
Hemp farm just outside Boerne sees growth in first crop
SAN ANTONIO – Hemp farming has begun in Texas this year and one set of farmers outside Boerne says they have some of the first crops in the state. The Texas Department of Agriculture began licensing farmers and businesses early this year to grow hemp after the state legislature greenlit farming of the plant. Pur IsoLabs in Bergheim, 10 miles east of Boerne off Highway 46, is one of the first to be licensed. Ruple and his wife Jennifer own Pur IsoLabs and have sold hemp products for the past five years, now they are expanding their business by starting to grow hemp right next to their store. This is just the beginning for the hemp farm industry, the future looks very promising for a plant that can be used in many ways.