Parker County SWCD #558
817-594-4672,  EXT 109
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Parker County Soil and Water Conservation District #558

CONSERVATION - DEVELOPMENT - SELF GOVERNMENT

604 North Main, Suite 100
Weatherford, TX 76086

Phone: 817 594-4672, EXT 109

Email: 
parkercounty@swcd.texas.gov
Range Plants of North Texas
        By: Ricky J. Linex
Exciting News!

    The District is giving away a wonderful book titled “Range Plants of North Central Texas – A Land User’s Guide to Their Identification, Value and Management” written by Ricky J. Linex, as a thank you to those who donate $20 or more to the Parker County SWCD in support of the District’s conservation efforts.  

    Easy to use and beautifully written, the guide is full of colorful pictures of plants and their seeds. This is a great resource for anyone who would like to identify plants growing on their property. 

                      Rain Barrels​


    All year round, we offer rain barrels for water harvesting, made from food grade recycled containers. Once ordered they are delivered to your door! 

    Rain barrels with various attachments are available all year long, but now is the time to start storing water for your gardening needs next summer. 

    And the good news just keeps coming – RAIN WATER HARVESTING EQUIPMENT AND RAIN BARRELS ARE TAX EXEMPT

    Contact us for more information!




     Our board meetings are on the First Thursday of every month. 

Call us for further information!


HELPFUL LINKS:

Texas A&M Forest Service:

Information and Articles

http://texasforestinfo.tamu.edu/

Can my tree be saved after the storm?

http://tfsweb.tamu.edu?afterthestorm/canmytreebesaved/


​Find an ISA Certified Arborist at:

​www.isatexas.com


Texas Parks and Wildlife   

News Releases

http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150423b



 Annual Sale:

   Between mid September until mid March we offer wildflower seeds for those interested in low maintenance, but beautiful ground cover. 









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     Bluebonnet seeds are sold in 1 lb. bags for $23, wildflower seed mixes are sold in 1 lb bags for $26.

     Planting is generally September through November, weather permitting. Contact us for more information.


   First Week of October until mid February we offer low cost tree seedlings to landowners. Primarily for privacy screens and windbreaks.












    Containerized seedlings may be ordered individually. We usually have extras on delivery day. Call us for information. 

Conservation News!

News from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.

http://www.tsswcb.texas.gov/news
Planting will be a breeze with the District’s Brillion Grass Seed Drill or Turbo Spreader Seeder!
    For landowners who enjoy working on their own land, the District’s Brillion Grass Seed Drill will make planting or over seeding or pastures a breeze.  The seeder is 10 ft. wide, 12 ft. wide with wheels on the ground for transport.  The seeder requires a tractor equipped with rare hydraulics to raise and lower the wheels for transport (a 3 point linkage).   A copy of the Operator’s Manual will be provided at the time the equipment is picked up. 

     The District charges $5 an acre and a day charge of $25 for up to 30 acres.  An acreage meter on the seeder will keep count of the acres seeded, brushes in the fluffy seed box help push out the smaller seeds, while the slick seed box has an agitator to help move the seed along. Fillers may need to be used for bulk.  A $50 deposit is required at the time the Equipment Rental Agreement is signed.     

     The seeder should only be used on a clean, firm seedbed free of stumps and rocks of any size. If the seedbed is too wet or crusty, the grass seed rollers will “ball up”, so the firmer the seedbed the better the stand of grass. A good rule of thumb – you should barely leave a footprint when walking across the field. Some people firm the seedbed by rolling it before planting, while others plant the seed then roll the seedbed. Both ways work in establishing a crop. Turner seed in Breckenridge recommends rolling the seedbed before planting, but they feel it is better to roll the field before seeding and again after seeding. The seeder drops the seed on the ground and the rollers press it into a ½” before covering it up. Good seed/soil contact is very important. 
    For areas not suitable for seeding with the grass seed drill, the District also rents out a turbo Spreader Seeder.  The rental cost is a $50 deposit and $25 per day fee due at the time of rental (Day fee is for how long the spreader is kept).   
 
     A copy of the Operator’s Manual will be provided. The heavy duty spreader fits on the back of a tractor (a 3 point linkage) and distributes seed at a uniform rate in a 10 ft. strip.  3 Point hitch pins are NOT provided. Excellent for small acreages or for seeding hard to get to areas in small pastures, the Turbo Spreader is considered an ideal solution.  
 
     Absolutely no fertilizer used in spreader, and do not use if safety shield over driveline is missing!  Attach driveline safety chains correctly; flopping will throw them out or off. Read operator’s manual and Safety booklet before use.  
    And don’t forget safety. When transporting farm equipment keep a watchful eye on traffic coming up behind as farm equipment travels at a slower mph than normal driving. As an example, the District’s seeder is pulled at a rate of no more than 30 miles per hour. Also never drive with one wheel on the road and the other on the shoulder as it could increase you changes of an accident.

    Also, there are thousands of farm related injuries reported each year. Agricultural activities require lots of outside work; it includes tough and sometimes intense manual labor, often in extreme temperatures. So when using any equipment on site, watch out for uneven areas as well as animals that could appear suddenly from surprising places. Wear proper clothing and never operate farm equipment when sick, medicines could slow reaction time if something unexpected occurs. And if an accident happens be prepared. Keep your cellphone close and easy to get to, let someone know where and when you will be working, and keep young children away from all equipment when in use. It is also a good idea to be proficient in CPR and first aid. 

​                    Texas State Soil and Water Conservation 
                            Board to Enhance and Restore
                                 Monarch Butterfly Habitat
 
Temple—The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) is working in cooperation with 143 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) located in Texas to enhance and restore the Monarch Butterfly habitat.  

It is estimated that over the past 20 years the Monarch population has declined from 1 billion to less than 60 million due to a number of factors. One of the most prominent factors that has contributed to this steep population decline is the loss of habitat and food sources.

The iconic orange and black insects are dependent on nectar producing vegetation to produce energy for their annual migration from Mexico to Canada. The Monarch Caterpillar on the other hand, depends on Milkweed as a critical food source.  

As a result of this decline of the Monarch Butterfly population, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) as well as the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have provided funds to enhance and restore the Monarch Butterfly habitat.

The project provides funding to develop conservation plans and plant pollinator friendly plant species on 1,600 Texas rural lands along the Monarch’s migratory pattern. The funding will be made available to farmers, ranchers or private landowners with tracts of land between 1 and 30 acres. The funds will pay $375 per acre to cover seed cost, planting and maintenance of the land. Entities such as schools or municipalities qualify for funding to develop a Monarch Butterfly garden between 100 and 300 square feet.

Applications will be available on May 2, 2016 on the project website at: www.tsswcb.texas.gov/monarch. Each application will be submitted through the applicants local Soil and Water Conservation District. To find your local SWCD visit: tsswcb.texas.gov/en/swcds/locatormap.

The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the author’s and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and its funding sources. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and its funding sources.
CHECK THIS OUT!!!!
SCHUTTS LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY HONORED WITH OUTSTANDING WILDLIFE AWARD
    Jule Richmond, Association of Texas SWCDs, presented the Outstanding Wildlife Award to Schutts Land and Cattle Company at the Area V Conservation Awards Banquet in Dublin, Tuesday, May 3rd. Pictured from left to right is longtime employee Miguel Mendoza, 4th generation rancher in training, Connor Moeller, Jule Richmond, 2nd generation resident rancher Alan Schutts, and son-in-law Tyler Moeller. Schutts Land and Cattle Company is located in southern Parker County near the Brazos River.  

    Alan has been a soil and water district cooperator for close to fifty years and served on the Parker County District Board for 20 years as a director and chairman. His ranch has been known for high quality cattle, producing some of the top Beefmaster bulls in the country. As early as the 1950s under the management of Alan’s late father Bobby, the ranch operation made the preservation and enhancement of wildlife habitat a top priority. Spotlight deer surveys, planned harvests, and wildlife improvement, with help from NRCS biologists, resulted in big improvements in deer quality. The turkey population also steadily increased and large flocks are usually seen on the ranch.

    Sadly, the quail population was dramatically impacted on the ranch several years ago. The quail population was so low that habitat enhancement was not enough as several failed attempts were made to release birds. Then, about ten years ago the ranch purchased its first surrogators. Being portable, free standing with propane heaters, self-waterers, and feeders with enclosed loafing areas the ranch was able to place seventy-five week old chicks in each during May and June. The surrogators were placed in a remote area with good natural food and water sources. After living in the surrogator for six to eight weeks, they were released into the wild. Unfortunately, the project was less than successful as the young birds were not well flight conditioned and became easy prey. Trapping predators for a week before the release was tried and had little effect in saving the birds.  















    


Alan came up with the idea of placing the surrogators in old shaded cotton trailers with then releasing the eight week old birds into the trailer where they could fly, hide in brush that was placed in the trailer, and learn to eat insects. Two weeks later, the birds were allowed to fly out and the surrogator and trailer were removed. A small amount of feed was scattered on the ground and a waterer placed in a secluded area and maintained for the first two weeks the birds were in the wild. With the use of the trailers and other enhancements the survival rate has dramatically improved. Birds can be heard calling “bob white” in most areas of the ranch in the spring and large coveys of 15 to 18 birds can now be found on the Schutts’ as well as the neighboring Hudson Ranch.

    Habitat enhancements include large native grass pastures, brush and wooded corridors connecting the unimproved areas, late winter discing in strips to promote weed growth and prescribed burns when not in a burn ban. The ranch has forty stock tanks, most of which are stocked with fish, a restored natural spring and a sanctuary area of about a ¼ of a mile along the Brazos River with no grazing and very limited access.

    With most landowners in Parker County saying they can’t remember when they last saw a quail on their property and neighboring landowners to the Schutts Ranch saying that they are hearing the Bob White call in the spring, the program already seems to be a success, but the Schutts’ are convinced that the real increase in population has just begun as established coveys split and pair to raise more wild coveys, then Gentleman Bob will once again becomes a familiar sight both in the field and on the table. 

                     Honorable Mentions: 

    Tarynn Valenthe, Alexandria RcGlothin, Cale Bramblett, Maelic Turner, Kenzie Duggin, Annie Nash, Walker Mathis, Henry Soto, Brett Tutter, Edie Peterson. Front row: Carson Presti, Joseph Polk, Allie Fuller, Brock Riker, Zoie Bell, Carter Cooke, Jana Golightly, Millie M. Thiebaud.

1st place Poster & 2nd place Essay – Sawyer Strosnider, 2nd place Poster – Braiden Bewley. 
3rd place Poster – Addison Cabbage. 
1st place Essay – Caitlyn Vales, and 
2nd place Essay – Austin Wofford. 
4th Grade – Brock Elementary Poster and Essay Winners
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