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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Monthly Archives: July 2016

Training for Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) private pesticide applicator licenses will be held in the Fort Worth Room at the Tarrant County Extension Office on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Training begins promptly at 8 a.m. and will be completed by 12 noon. Pre-registration is required by calling the Tarrant County Extension Office at 817.884.1946 or on-line at:

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It is becoming more common to see pet-owners travel abroad with their pets on holiday. If you have plans to travel with your pet, check out the new Web site dedicated to international pet travel and helping travelers and accredited veterinarians easily determine country-specific requirements for pets. “We know pets are members of the family, and our goal is to ensure pets meet the requirements to relocate with their families internationally – whether temporarily or permanently,” said Dr. Jack Shere, Deputy Administrator for APHIS’ Veterinary Services (VS). “We recognize each country has different entry requirements, and our new website makes it easy to understand and meet those requirements so travelers can avoid last-minute problems.”

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Anyone interested in private water well management is invited to a Texas Well Owner Network training Aug. 18 in Crowley.

The training, which is free and open to the public, will be from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Crowley Recreation Center, 405 S. Oak St., said Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator in College Station.

“The TWON program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs, so they can learn about improving and protecting their community water resources,” Gholson said. “The program was established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment.”

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In 2015 West Nile virus (WNV) infected 40 horse in Texas, so far in 2016 only one case has been identified and that is in Limestone County, but it is early in the season.

West Nile virus is defined as zoonotic, which means it can be transferred between animals and humans.The virus is generally transmitted from birds by mosquitoes to horses and humans. For this reason, the virus is more common in the summer or fall when birds are migrating from the north. Horses and humans are considered to be dead-end hosts for the virus and are not directly contagious from horse to horse or horse to human.

Since the fatality rate for horses exhibiting clinical signs of WNV infection is over 30 percent, utilizing a vaccine is recommended.

All of the current West Nile vaccine products carry one year duration of immunity. Veterinarians recommend adult horses previously vaccinated, be vaccinated annually in the spring, prior to the onset of the insect vector season; but, the important issue is to get the horse vaccinated and then put it on a spring schedule.

“Vaccination has significantly decreased the incidence of West Nile disease in horses in the face of a steady increase of case numbers in humans, where there is no vaccine available,” says Dr. Leslie Easterwood, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “Horses are recommended to be vaccinated twice yearly in areas of the country where mosquitos are present all year.”

For horses at high risk, the more frequent vaccination or appropriately timed revaccination is recommended in order to induce protective immunity during periods of likely exposure. For instance, juvenile horses less than five years of age, appear to be more susceptible than adult horses and geriatric horses have been demonstrated to have enhanced susceptibility to WNV disease.

Recovered horses likely develop life-long immunity, but this has not been confirmed. Consider revaccination if the immune status of the animal changes the risk for susceptibility to infection or at the recommendation of the attending veterinarian.

As a horse owner it is important to recognize the signs of the virus and to have a veterinarian ready to call. The sooner the symptoms are identified and the horse receives treatment, the better chance the horse has in surviving. According to Easterwood, one third of all equine West Nile cases generally survive with proper intervention.

“If an owner sees neurologic signs of wobbly stance, unsteady movement, depression, not eating, with or without muscle twitching, they should call their veterinarian right away,” explained Easterwood, even if the horse has been vaccinated.

Although the West Nile vaccine has proven effective, Easterwood reminds horse owners that no vaccine is 100 percent protective.

Additionally, horse owners should take steps to reduce the amount of mosquitos around their facilities by eliminating standing water; keeping stalls and pens clean; using equine mosquito repellents, fly sheets, and fly masks; plus placing fans inside stalls since mosquitos have difficulty flying in wind.


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Nomination forms are available for the position of Director or the Texas Pecan Board at the Tarrant County Extension office.

The three growers receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to the board.  An eligible board member is any pecan producer in Texas with 500 or more pecan trees growing on a minimum of 15 acres.

The deadline for nomination is July 22, 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Wise,, or 979-846-3285.

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