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East Cedar Creek Freshwater Supply District meets at 12:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the ECCFSD office on Hammer Road just off Welch Lane in Gun Barrel City.
Eustace City Council meets at 7 p.m. in the Eustace City Hall the first Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 425-4702. The public is invited to attend.
Eustace Independent School District meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Eustace High School Library. For more information, please call 425-7131. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Council meets in Brawner Hall at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1087. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation meets at 1831 W. Main, GBC, at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1899.
Henderson County Commissioner’s Court meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens. The public is invited to attend.
Henderson County Emergency Services District #4 meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at 525 S. Tool Dr. in Tool.
Henderson County Historical Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the HC Historical Museum.
Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court meets the first, second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9:45 a.m. in the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp City Council meets at Kemp City Hall at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 498-3191. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp Independent School District meets the third Tuesday of each month in the Board Room in the Administration Building. For more information, please call 498-1314. The public is invited to attend.
Log Cabin City Council meets the third Thursday of the month in city hall. For more information, please call 489-2195. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Mabank City Hall the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-3241. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank Independent School District meets at 7:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 887-9310. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs City Council meets at city hall at 7:30 p.m. every third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 451-9229. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs Water Supply Corp. meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Payne Springs Community Center, located at 9690 Hwy. 198.
Seven Points City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Seven Points city hall the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3176. The public is invited to attend.
Tool City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the Oran White Civic Center the third Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3522. The public is invited to attend.
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District is held at 5 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3704. The public is invited.
  Developing a soil fertility program
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Forage production is the key to all livestock operations.
A good soil fertility program is the first step at growing forages for beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses or hay production.
In East Texas soils, one must get the right nutrients in the right ratio, combined with rainfall, to grow forages.
Nutrient application rates will be based on the results of a soil analysis.
Select only those materials recommended for use by qualified individuals from Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas AgriLife Research, Stephen F. Austin State University’s Soils Lab, certified crop advisors or others connected with an accredited testing laboratory.
Soil testing is the foundation of a sound nutrient management program. A soil test is a series of chemical analyses that determine the levels of essential plant nutrients in the soil.
When not taken up by a crop, some nutrients, particularly nitrogen, can be lost from the soil by leaching, runoff or mineralization.
Others, like phosphorus, react with soil minerals over time to form compounds that are not available for uptake by plants.
Soil testing can be used to estimate how much loss has occurred and to predict which nutrient(s) and how much of that nutrient(s) should be added to the soil to produce a particular crop and yield.
Take soil tests at least every two years or at the beginning of a different cropping rotation. The following practices are recommended to develop a good nutrient management plan:
1. Soil test for nutrient status and pH to:
• determine the amounts of additional nutrients needed to reach designated yield goals, and the amount of lime needed to correct soil acidity (ph) problems and
• optimize farm income by avoiding excessive fertilization and reducing nutrient losses by leaching and runoff, also to identify other yield-limiting factors, such as high levels of salts or sodium that may affect soil structure, infiltration rates, surface runoff and, ultimately, groundwater quality.
2. Base fertilizer applications on:
• soil test results
• realistic yield goals and moisture prospects
• crop nutrient requirements
• past fertilization practices
• previous cropping history
3. Manage low soil pH by liming according to the soil test to:
• reduce soil acidity to improve fertilizer use efficiency
• improve decomposition of crop residues
• enhance the effectiveness of certain soil applied herbicides
4. Time nitrogen applications to:
• correspond closely with crop uptake patterns
• increase nutrient use efficiency
• minimize leaching and runoff losses
5. Use animal manures and organic materials:
• when available and economically feasible
• to improve soil tilth, water-holding capacity and soil structures
• to recycle nutrients and reduce the need for commercial inorganic fertilizers
6. Use legumes where they are adapted:
• to replace part or all of crop needs for commercial N fertilizer
• to reduce erosion and nutrient losses
• to maintain residue cover on the soil surface.
 

Tri-County Library books and activities
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The Tri-County Library has acquired a wonderful book for single parents who feel they need some instructions about finances.
The book is titled “Head of Household, Money Management for Single Parents,” by Kara Stefan.
We believe they can get some really valuable information from this timely publication.
For those who are not single, we have a book by John and Stasi Elredge titled “Love and War, Finding the Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of.”
“Arguing With Idiots” by Glenn Beck is full of interesting ideas, and will make you think.
“Stones Into School” by Greg Mortenson is a record of establishing girls’ schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We have his other book on the same subject, “Three Cups of Tea.” He explains how he has endeavored to make peace with books, not bombs.
“Blind Side, Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis deals with college football.
New fictions are “Breathless” by Dean Koontz, “Noah’s Compass” by Anne Tyler, “Wrecker” by Clive Cussler, “First Lord’s Fury” by Jim Butcher, “Pirate Latitudes” by Michael Crichton and “Swan Thieves” by Elizabeth Kostova.
Every Tuesday, free genealogy research help, 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Every Thursday, free GED instruction, 9 a.m. to noon. (No enrollment required.)
Every Saturday, free English classes, noon to 1 p.m.
Every third Monday, Rootseekers (genealogy research), 7 p.m. (May come as visitor, with option of joining.)
From time to time, some meetings may be cancelled for some dates. Call the library to check if this will be your first time to attend.
If you have never visited Tri-County Library, we urge you to come and meet “Whisper,” the library cat.
She is such a good natured cat. The only noises she makes are very soft – even her purring is gentle. Some have told us how loudly their cats meow, but not “Whisper.”
She says, “Well, I am a lady, and also I must live up to my name.”
The library’s phone number is (903) 887-9622, or check the website, www.tricountylibrary.org
The library is located at 132 E. Market St., Mabank.
 

Making the right culling decisions
By Brian Cummins
VZ County Extension Agent

CANTON–Most cattle producers struggle with making culling decisions on their beef herd, because it is not an easy job.
Where do you start and which cows need to go?
The second question is easier to answer – the most unproductive cows.
The big question is how do you identify those unproductive cows?
That is where a good set of records would sure come in handy, and it would give a rancher a good place to start.
A good cow man should evaluate all the breeding females in the herd every year. For most of us, that is at weaning time.
The cows are in the pen, so they can be pregnancy-tested, evaluated for structural soundness and have their age checked by examining their teeth prior to giving any vaccinations.
Even though this may take a little more time, this information will allow a producer to start making a cull list, making decisions easier.
An additional benefit to collecting this information would be during times of drought, which seem to happen with frequency in this area.
It is usually more profitable to cull unproductive cows as a drought is beginning, than to try to hold on until the drought is over.
The first place to start is to cull the cows that have the least chance of being productive in the long term, or those that are the farthest away from being productive.
Here is a set of guidelines to use until you reach your desired herd size.
• Open females
All open females should be culled.
This means cows that have calved and failed to re-breed, and during a drought – the replacement heifers.
Let me explain the reasoning on selling replacement heifers so early in the culling process.
They are the farthest away from being productive, and they have the most value as a feeder animal.
According to some 2006 data, the average annual cash costs to carry a cow was $366. It will be extremely difficult for that open cow to make up the cost to carry her another year.
• Disposition
If you wanted to move this to the No. 1 culling criteria, I wouldn’t argue.
In my younger days, disposition did not mean as much to me, but as I have gotten older and more crippled up, the ill-tempered, hard-to-pen cow just needs to go.
• Structural soundness
Evaluate the structural soundness of each cow, based on her ability to raise a calf.
Anything that limits her ability to raise a calf or get re-bred needs to be noted. This can include bad feet, long toes, eye problems, big teats or bad quarters. Any cow that has history of prolapse needs to go.
• Age
A cow’s most productive years are from 4 to 8. The condition of a cow’s teeth is indicative of her age.
Cows with broken or missing teeth and those whose teeth are badly worn should be sold.
The open cows, cows with a poor disposition and cows with structural and teeth problems should be culled every year.
If further culling is necessary, you will be getting into the productive cattle.
• Bred cows 9 or older
These cows will probably be culled in the near future and are close to the end of their productive lives.
When you are in this group, cull the thinnest cows first.
• Outliers
Sell the cows that don’t fit. This could be cows that are too big or too little, or the wrong breed. Take this opportunity to make your heard more uniform.
Making the decision to cull is tough. When you keep accurate records, it makes the job easier.
 

 

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then will cause another similar change, and so on. My name is Domino, and I got my name not only because I’m black and white like a domino tile, but also because my outgoing, cheerful personality causes my doggie roommates to smile. This also causes our human friends to smile, which even causes the kitties in the cat room to smile.
I am an 8-month-old male Pointer/Terrier mix. I love children, other dogs, and even get along great with kitties. I’ve had all my shots and am ready to be adopted. If you’d like to experience the domino effect, I am sure to put a forever smile on your face when you take me to my forever home.
I currently live with a foster family, so if you would like to meet me, call my friends at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake at (903) 432-3422 to make an appointment. You can also email them at dogshsccl@yahoo.com.
 

We have many animals at the
Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points
in dire need of a good home.
Please call or stop by the Humane Society today
and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on
10220 County Road 2403 in Seven Points.
For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at petfinder.com


 


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