There is a cattle producers meeting tonight, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Marshall (go in through the east entrance) that is loaded with information, and you’re invited if you are looking at improving your return from your beef cattle. A free meal and excellent information. Call today that you are coming (903) 938-3381. The impact of the facts that will be presented could be the difference in a profit for 2019 and the future.

With temperatures down into the “teens” in some areas of East Texas, we did a “winter check” on our plumbing. At our place we made the previous low temperatures fine, but on March 5 we were slipped up on. Cass County folks in the Bear Creek area sent along a picture of Larry Watson’s outdoor thermometer at 16 degrees. That is cold anywhere.

What did the cold weather do to our peach crop? It looks like the Hill Country lost only a small percentage of the crop, and I will check locally this week.

I comment little about the agriculture activities going on in Washington, D.C.

I don’t know how to look through all the politics. There seem to be a determined effort to “take down” the President, and that’s not good as I do believe he was making some progress. Agriculture has so few farmers and votes that our power is less and less. However, we do provide the feed source for the nation and the world. Guess folks will have to get hungry to wake up. Just looking at our Congress, the old adage that we get “wiser as we grow older” is not proving to be true.

With the promise of warmer days and dryer days in the future, gardeners are growing anxious. Those that planted Irish potatoes early have some fine looking vines where the plants were covered. There is still time to plant a later potato crop; be sure cubed seed potatoes have two to three “eyes” on each plant, and dusting with sulfur is a good practice.

Early alert! The Annual Meeting of the Panola-Harrison Electric Cooperative will be April 20 at Marshall Convention Center at 10 a.m. All members are encouraged to attend. There will be lots of prizes, plenty of fellowship, coffee and donuts. This cooperative brought electricity to farmers in the late 1930s in portions of Panola and Harrison Counties in East Texas and Caddo and DeSoto Parishes in Louisiana. Hope to see you there.

County Agent Matt Garrett will be taking soil samples to Stephen F. Austin State University on March 27. Be sure when you take samples that the soil is dry and that you take the samples from different areas of land that you want tested. This is an excellent way to improve your landscape, gardens, pastures... just a tool we should use more often. I have found it best to test every three years and follow the recommended treatments. Thanks to the Master Gardener Program, we are seeing more of our soil tested.

I hesitate to mention feral hogs, yet there is a survey that needs to be responded to, and on our place we have been truly blessed and the hogs have not invaded. On the survey there is no blank to report “no activity.” In the past we did have three, but they immediately disappeared. With everything done “online” and me being “last” online, it is difficult to answer properly, I think.

The 2019 Lone Star Vegetable Planting Guide arrived last week — great tool for vegetable gardeners with planting dates, plants (seeds), planting distance, days to harvest, yield expected and average days to harvest. Listed are both plants for spring and fall gardens. Available at 201 West Travis in Marshall. It’s free and most useful; be sure and get one.

The fish truck came through a little over a week ago and had an excellent turnout of pond and lake buyers on hand. The fish truck will be back on May 29. This should be an excellent year for fish and fisherman.

Are you ready for spring? It arrives next Wednesday.