The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 77 years ago tomorrow, December 7, 1941, and I can remember the day like it was yesterday…..I was 9 years old.

I can recall the events of the afternoon when my dad drove up and put my bike in the pickup and took me home, just about a half a mile away. What a day that was, and how it lives in the memories of many of us to this time. In fact World War II was “triggered” that day and American has not been as unified since the beginning of that war, as many would say that was the last war we “won”.

Politics aside, the event and its results are still being experienced…at that time everything seemed like it was win or be taken over and Americans did what had to be done. Take time over the next few days to read stories that were written firsthand of the event and the activities that followed. Read a firsthand report, written by eye witnesses as reports “as it was happening”, are not opinions but are observations…it makes a lot of difference.

Few veterans who served our nation during that time are still around and fewer will share of their service. If one “speaks”, listen, as history does repeat itself. The same God saw us through World War II is awaiting our call today for His direction in 2018 and beyond.

We are receiving little “bits” of winter as our typical East Texas weather works its way toward the first day of winter, Dec. 21, 2018, and after a dry summer have had an abundance of rain. I believe we are in the last week that I have NOT seen some hay being baled. Some of the hay baled after the killing frost actually had some green matter in the lower stems and could cure out.

The test is will the cattle eat it and I imagine they will as short as our area is on forage. I haven’t talked with anyone who has tested the “after freeze” hay; it could have more protein available than we think. Feed it first and keep the tubs out containing the mineral and energy licks. The challenge is what kind of roughage will we have for the cattle until spring grass arrives.

Cattle markets are depressed as we look at the prices being paid for cull cattle, other grades of younger cattle, especially the stockers and feeders with quality genetics and holding the weight, markets improved. The big question is how many cattle are we going to be able to market and make a profit.

With the return of moisture we are also having a return of fire ants. Should we treat them now? The experts say yes, if we limit fire ant populations now we will see fewer come spring. Since fire ants are active all winter long, applying those products now while they are near the soil surface makes good sense.

Your county agriculture agent has the “two-step program,” which is one of the best approaches….kill the ants now and not later. Where did fire ants come from? They have been in the United States since the early 1940’s, (they say) arriving on nursery plants being imported in. Whatever the origin, they like it here in the Ark La Tex 12 months a year…..it is a continual fight to keep them under control, but we can.

We enjoy being able to give to others and there are no finer gifts than our agriculture products from right here at home. Pecans are a great example and we have some excellent quality this year, especially from the orchards that have not had standing water problems. If you are “gifting” them, it is always proper to have them cracked and we have a number of growers who have cracking machines. I have been surprised by the number of people that buy raw peanuts and treat them the way they enjoy the “goobers”. Parched is messy, so best eat them on the porch and the hulls make good soil building mulch.

As the landscapes are more easily evaluated, with the grass dormant and the leaves falling we can see the damage done by “string trimmers”. DO NOT use them around your trees or woody plants as they have destroyed more of our plants than all the “critters” that we battle with. In the winter clear (with a hoe) an 18 inch area around the plants of grass and keep it bare.