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Solarization On The Water Quality Protection Lands And How You Can Do This At Home

Solarization on the Water Quality Protection Lands and how you can do this at home

On the Water Quality Protection Lands, we’ve been experimenting with soil solarization to control invasive grasses in summer (June-August). This process uses solar radiation to heat the roots and seed of herbaceous plants to such high temperatures that they are no longer able to grow and spread. If you have ever pulled weeds in your yard, only to find that they continue to grow and spread from seed or roots left behind, you may want to try this method at home.…

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Look Out Napa Valley, Texas Hill Country Named Among Best Wine Regions In U.S.

Look out Napa Valley, Texas Hill Country named among best wine regions in U.S.

Where is the best place to swirl, sniff and sip wine in the United States? If you guessed Napa Valley, you haven’t been paying attention. The popular Northern California destination did not make the top 10 in the 2021 USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards for best wine regions, but the Texas Hill Country did.   Read more about Texas's award-winning wine from Timothy Fanning with San Antonio Express-News here.

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The Well Fixer’s Warning

The well fixer’s warning

The well fixer and I were standing at the edge of an almond orchard in the exhausted middle of California. It was late July, and so many wells on the farms of Madera County were coming up dry that he was running out of parts to fix them. In this latest round of western drought, desperate voices were calling him at six in the morning and again at midnight. They were puzzled why their pumps were coughing up sand, the…

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Texas Hill Country Harvests No. 3 Ranking Among American Wine Regions

Texas Hill Country harvests No. 3 ranking among American wine regions

Sorry, Napa Valley. Apologies, Sonoma Valley. The Hill Country crushes both of those heavily hyped California destinations (like a grape) in a new ranking of the best wine regions. The Hill Country lands at No. 3 in the 2021 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice awards for the top 10 wine regions. Nine U.S. regions and one region in Mexico made the list, with Washington state’s Walla Walla Valley earning the No. 1 spot. Neither Napa Valley nor Sonoma Valley appears in the…

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Climate Change Is Intensifying The Water Cycle, New IPCC Report Finds

Climate change is intensifying the water cycle, new IPCC report finds

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of the world’s leading climate scientists, released its sixth climate assessment on Monday. The 1,300-page paper is the most comprehensive, up-to-date report yet on the physical science of climate change, synthesizing the findings of thousands of recent publications. The report paints an alarming picture of the future of fresh water. It concludes that man-made contributions to a warming planet are far-reaching.   Read more about the IPCC report from Laura Gersony with…

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2021 Texas Legislative Recap – Key Bills For Agriculture

2021 Texas legislative recap – key bills for agriculture

As we do after every Texas Legislative Session, we’re here with a recap of the 87th Texas Legislature and the bills impacting agriculture.  As you will see, it was a busy session with a number of ag-related bills being passed.  We have linked each bill below to allow easy access to the full text. Also, as has become tradition, J Pete Laney joined me on the Ag Law in the Field Podcast to discuss these bills and give us his…

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Reboot: The Texas Land Trends Data Explorer

Reboot: The Texas Land Trends Data Explorer

In Texas, rural lands define our state’s identity. Whether it be for the agricultural products produced, natural resources and wildlife habitat maintained, or expanses of wide-open spaces left untouched for their intrinsic beauty, our state’s undeveloped acreage plays a crucial role in continuing our proud rural land legacy. Rural land-use changes often go unnoticed to the majority of the state population (over 80%), who reside in concentrated urban areas. Implications of change on rural lands, however, are far-reaching—affecting the state’s…

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Bill Neiman’s Native American Seed Farm In The Texas Hill Country Is On A Mission To Help People Restore The Earth.

Bill Neiman’s Native American Seed Farm in the Texas Hill Country is on a mission to help people restore the earth.

Mid-September, half a year before Texas wildflower season starts, and it’s been terribly dry and horribly hot at the Native American Seed Farm northeast of Junction. The rains of spring and summer pretty much quit back in June. This morning, in the dark, Bill Neiman has a meeting with his workers. It’s time to irrigate the grasses from the river. They can’t wait for rain if they want to have seeds to harvest. Seeds were the reason Neiman — a lean, wiry…

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Financial, Ecological Benefits Of Conservation Easements On Working Lands

Financial, ecological benefits of conservation easements on working lands

A recent report by the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Texas Water Resources Institute and Texas Land Trust Council shows state-funded conservation easements in Texas provide numerous financial and ecological benefits. The purpose of the 2020 Evaluation Report was to examine the benefits of conservation easements established on privately-owned lands under the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program, TFRLCP, a state-funded program that purchases development rights from willing and interested landowners. Read more from Texas Water Resources Institute here.

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New SA Company Aims To Encourage Cattle Ranching With Eco-friendly Tactics

New SA company aims to encourage cattle ranching with eco-friendly tactics

It’s 6:30 a.m., and the Texas sky is just starting to lighten from the black of night to the gray-blue of dawn. Dressed in a flannel shirt, work jeans, and lace-up boots, Schertz resident Zachary Platt is already loading up his Kawasaki Mule and heading out on the 374 acres of land he ranches and farms for a living. Platt drives the off-road utility vehicle to the spot where his 85 cattle – all females with their calves, aside from…

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