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Pesticide applicator training set Dec. 1 and Dec. 3

Licensed pesticide applicators will have two chances to earn five continuing education units at upcoming training sessions on Dec. 1 or Dec. 3 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.

Two of the continuing education units will be in the integrated pest management category, one in laws and regulations, and two in general, said Dr. Billy Higginbotham, Texas AgriLife Extension Service wildlife and fisheries specialist.

Topics this year include pesticide management of winter legumes, farm pond management, feral hog control, plant diseases, updates on laws and regulations, and the latest research on ryegrass management and new varieties.

The presentations will be given by AgriLife Extension and Texas AgriLife Research faculty, with the update on laws and regulations given by a Texas Department of Agriculture representative.

"We've tried to supply a variety of information that will go beyond just helping applicators renew their licenses," said Higginbotham, event speaker and organizer. "We wanted to give attendees relevant and timely information they could put to practical use."

For example, Dr. Vanessa Corriher, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, will talk on legume management and herbicide implications. Though the drought is over for East Texas, the long-range effects are not, such a hay shortages. Producers who plan to establish winter legumes need to be aware of several possible pitfalls, she said.

"Producers need to be aware that the herbicides they used during the summer before can have a negative impact on the establishment of winter legumes," she said.

Some herbicides have a long residual effect in the soil, which makes them good herbicides from the perspective of weed control, but can cause problems with establishment, she said.

Corriher will go into details on the establishment of legumes, grazing management and choosing the correct varieties for their location and management goals.

Higginbotham's update on feral hogs will include information on new hunting and control methods using remote cameras.

"Trapping remains the tool for control of feral hogs," Higginbotham said. "Most landowners know that today."

However, Higginbotham said, new research with remote cameras and exclusion fences shows how trapping and other control methods can be optimized. One method that he will describe uses remote cameras in conjunction with solar-powered spotlights, hunting blinds and compound bows to remove several hogs in a single night.

In another study he'll discuss, Higginbotham compared fencing heights to exclude feral hogs from deer feeders.

Both training sessions will begin with registration from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the Overton center's classroom. The presentations will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at about 2:15 p.m., with an hour break for lunch at noon.

Participants may attend both the Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 sessions and earn 10 continuing education credits, Higginbotham said.

Registration for either training will be $25 per person and includes lunch and refreshments. Registration will be at the door only. To reduce costs to participants, no credit-card payments or telephone registrations will be taken this year, he said. Payment may be made either by check, money order or cash.

License holders must either present a valid pesticide applicator's license or their Social Security number to receive credit for the training, Higginbotham noted.

The Overton center is located 1 mile north of downtown Overton on State Highway 3053.

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