Corteva will be sponsoring an innovation showcase tour beginning at 8 a.m. June 26 at The N at Hardway Ranch.

They will be discussing new game-changing weed control product to be registered in the 2020 season, treated fertilizer and liquid fertilizer applications, and sprayer calibration with brush control methods concerning advantages and disadvantages. 

This will be a free event and all you need to do is RSVP at RangeandPasture.com/InnovationShowcase. 

Please register before the event to secure and accurate count for the free lunch. 

Texas AgriLife Extension Office Erath County will be providing 3 CEU’s for the event.

POND MAINTENANCE 

Pond health and maintenance should be a top priority for landowners who want to get the most out of their favorite fishing hole, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Dr. Todd Sink, AgriLife Extension aquaculture specialist, College Station, said maintaining ponds is critical to increasing fish productivity and avoiding fish kills.

Environmental factors like declining dissolved oxygen during peak summer months or inhospitable pH and alkalinity levels can lead to major problems in stock ponds.

“Summer is coming,” he said. “Right now, is a good time to be planning or taking action to prevent potential issues for stock ponds. July and August can be deadly if dissolved oxygen levels are not where they should be. We want to help pond owners avoid catastrophe and take steps to set their pond on a good path for long-term production and enjoyment.”

Setting up and maintaining a pond’s ecosystem properly can produce a thriving food chain that will produce higher levels of sport and food, he said.

AQUATIC VEGETATION

Aquatic vegetation is the cause of 80 percent of low dissolved oxygen fish kills in Texas, Sink said. So, it’s important to ensure that no more than 10-15 percent of the pond’s overall area is covered in vegetation.

“During the day, vegetation produces oxygen, but it also consumes oxygen all night long when there is no light for photosynthesis,” he said. “So, at some point, especially in summer, the dissolved oxygen deficit can cause fish to die.”

Pond owners need to correctly identify the plants to determine which herbicide will be effective, Sink said. The AgriLife Extension website https://aquaplant.tamu.edu/ can help pond owners identify and choose treatment options for aquatic vegetation.

SUPPLEMENTAL FEED

Feeding fish is not necessary if pond owners harvest effectively. If owners choose to feed fish, they should only do so three to four times a week. They should also feed no more than what the fish clean up in 15 minutes.

 “You don’t need fancy, gimmicky diets for the fish,” he said. “Anything beyond those protein and lipid ranges is literally waste.”

WORTH THE EFFORT

Sink said maintaining a pond may seem overwhelming but is easy once certain problems are addressed. In the long run, ensuring a pond is providing the correct environment and food supply for sporting fish will ensure productivity whether for sport or sustenance.

Lonnie Jeschke is an Erath County extension agent.