Category: Columns

Finding Value in Poultry Litter

by Adam Russell Producers can find value in evaluating fertilizer input costs and comparing traditional nitrogen sources like urea and ammonium nitrate with popular non-traditional sources such as poultry litter, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. Poultry litter is a popular alternative fertilizer for East Texas farmers, said Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton. But producers should evaluate the nutrient value and timing of nitrogen availability to plants to ensure they are getting the most out of fertilizer whether using urea, ammonium nitrate or poultry litter. “Litter is a viable option for nitrogen, phosphorous and...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch – June 7th

by Jan Fielden This past week as I sat on the porch drinking a glass of tea, enjoying myself, I heard a terrible noise.  It was a sound that was more of a growl than anything else.  I thought to myself, what is that horrible sound? Then, I noticed the cows were running towards the sound.  Again and again it came.  It was a very loud and very deep growl.  I thought maybe a cow was having a hard birth and then I realized, it didn’t sound like a cow…it was a growl. Then I thought maybe a cow was caught in something and couldn’t get out, still didn’t sound like a cow…it was a growl.  Some of the cows changed directions and came running out of the Sweet Gum Grove but not all of them. Then, it hit me.  I knew what it sounded like but at the same time I knew there were not any in Texas.  It sounded like a bear.  A grizzly bear!  Just like the bears you see in the movies or on TV; that exact sound. Can’t be, couldn’t be, but what was it? It scared the cows, sounded like a bear and I decided the only way to find out was to go see. So, I got in my GMC, pulled out on to the ranch road and headed down to the...

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Movie Review: Wonder Woman

By Bob Garver It was a poorly-kept secret that Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) was going to be a part of last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” That didn’t stop her from getting a huge reaction when she finally appeared. It wasn’t even that the movie used her well, people just loved “that moment when Wonder Woman showed up.” Demand for Wonder Woman was high, as if people already knew she had more to offer than the current incarnations of Batman or Superman. That demand was well-founded, because Wonder Woman’s story is easily the best of the widely-disliked...

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Home Country

by Slim Randles It was the kind of picnic he’d remember for quite a while, he knew. It didn’t take place at the village park, where folks would normally go, but down along Lewis Creek. There weren’t any tables there, or fire rings, or restrooms. It was just a grassy patch down along the creek. But when the Delgado family invited him to the picnic, he accepted and bought some soda pop for the kids. Jaime Delgado spread the blanket out and his wife, Maria, opened the basket. The kids were called back from tossing rocks in the creek. It was almost like having a family of his own. He hadn’t had one for years now, and, at 35, he missed having someone in his life. But he just didn’t know what to say to people. He wanted to, but every time he tried to join the conversation, he locked up.  This made it very difficult to get to know people, of course, but he kept trying. He went to counseling once. But only once. She was a nice lady, but she kept asking personal questions, and he decided he didn’t really want to answer them. It had cost him $75, but at least he could cross that off his list. It wasn’t for him. But what really was for him? Ever since he was in high school, he...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch – May 31

by Jan Fielden Beagles are very gentle, friendly, and lovable…except…when one of them catches a bird or anything else they consider theirs and theirs alone!  MO and Tasha got into the biggest fight I have ever seen.  You learn to recognize their barking, growling, etc. and after a while and we knew there was something terribly wrong outside. We also knew it wasn’t an intruder because they bark differently then and have, I might say.  This was a signal it was all out war between brother and sister!  And it appeared to be a fight to the end.  They even dropped the bird they were fighting over to fight with each other. The Colonel poured water on them and they were so in to their fighting they just moved away from him fighting the whole time they were moving.  MO got Tasha down and was chewing on her ear and nicked her neck some.  It was a horrible thing to watch because it appeared they wouldn’t stop until one of them was unable to fight anymore. Tasha finally tried to pull out of the battle but MO would not allow it.  He kept coming back at her and she had to defend herself.  This went on for several minutes, probably not as long as it seemed at the time.  MO had the bird in his mouth and ran off...

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