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The Pig Explosion- Part 1

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By contributing writer Russell Graves
Pulling through the gate of his northeast Texas ranch,
Garry Mills instinctively knew what his eyes were about to
tell him. Just a couple of weeks prior to our visit hundreds
of native pecan trees on his place yielded a bumper crop of
nuts this year and littered the ground with the brown and
black nuggets.
Most years the trees yield a limited harvest – just enough
for his family to pick a few and share the rest with close
friends. This year, however, the trees became heavy with nuts
and with a complimentary price spike, he thought he could
make a little extra money with the harvest.
Mills planned to pick the bounty with the help of contract
labor using pecan harvesting equipment.
Before the mechanical pickers could arrive, pickers of a
different sort beat him to the punch. Over the course of two
nights a pack of wild pigs in untold numbers swept through
his small patch of ground and ate nearly every pecan they
could find.
“The pigs really wiped me out,” he says with a bit of
expected trepidation. “I had expected to make a bit of money
off these pecans but the hogs beat me to them.”
Mills says that it’s not the first time pigs have damaged his
crops or ranch infrastructure.

To read more pick up the March 2014 issue of North Texas Farm & Ranch.

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Outdoor

Grazing North Texas: Bud Break

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By Tony Dean, [email protected]

Many of us who live and work in the country take note of when mesquites leaf out in the spring. For most people, this is just a casual observation of life around us and a promise that warm weather is around the corner.

If you are interested in killing mesquite with an herbicide, “bud break” on mesquites is a significant event and signals the beginning of your planning for a successful control.
Mesquites go through a fairly predictable life cycle every year. This, of course, changes somewhat with location, weather patterns, soils, and other factors, but the overall process is very similar wherever you find mesquite.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Outdoor

The Garden Guy

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By Norman Winter | Horticulturist, Author, Speaker

It’s planting season for many and verbenas are high on the list. We had just fallen in love with Superbena Imperial Blue verbena and piled on a bunch of awards then, stop the presses! It has a new name which is now Superbena Cobalt. Not sure if this would be similar to Shakespeare’s ‘What’s in a name?’ scenario but one thing is for certain, it is even better than ‘The Garden Guy’ thought.

This year a cold spell of a few nights had ‘The Garden Guy’ moving containers to the garage for a series of nights in the mid-teens. It was about five nights straight, when they were afforded protection. Several of these containers had Superbena Cobalt verbena. There were three other containers of verbenas on the hillside that I did not move. All of them are now in a stage of riotous bloom.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Outdoor

Parting Shot: Dogs, Pigs, Goats, Oh My!

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By Jelly Cocanougher

What an extraordinary end to the Wise County Youth Fair – a fantastic opportunity for the Heart of a Champion participants to show. From rabbits to lambs, to pigs to dogs – we’ve seen it all. Through this unique event, the Heart of a Champion Livestock show aimed to promote confidence, friendship, and a sense of accomplishment within our amazing community. Everyone worked tirelessly to create an environment that fosters growth, camaraderie, and a shared passion for agriculture. Until next year!

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