Home Columnist HORACE MCQUEEN: Spring Coming Fast – Or Is It?

HORACE MCQUEEN: Spring Coming Fast – Or Is It?


Ready to plant tomatoes?  Several of our retailers have tomato plants of several different varieties available for purchase. Might be a little too early, but who can predict our weather even a week in advance. Not only tomatoes, but lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and other cool season favorites are ready for the garden.

One thing is for sure, those old cows are not leaving the hay stacks. We are still some time away for Bermuda grass and bahia grazing. Meantime, it is high time to take a hard look at the cow herd and consider a deworming, vaccination and calf working program. For those cattle producers who would prefer to have these chores done, we are blessed to have several top notch cowboys — and cowgirls — that are good at their jobs. And they know their business — and handle livestock the right way. Several of our friends and neighbors use the for-hire cowboys a couple times a year and find it well worth the money!

The old song “don’t take your guns to town” is being replaced by “don’t take your horse to town” in several cities. Auburn, Kentucky passed a law to require diapers on horses that walk their streets. Town leaders complain that horses leave a mess that has to be cleaned up. The city ordinance is directed at Amish farmers who bring their horses — and buggies — to Auburn in order to shop. One horse owner spent ten days in jail after refusing to pay a $193 fine for “littering” the streets. The ordinance requires horse owners to equip their animals with a “properly fitted collection device” to catch the manure.  Stupid is as stupid does!

Livestock prices at local sale barns seem to be in a yo-yo syndrome. Up one day, and down the next. From one day to the next prices can vary from $20 to $50 a head on 500-600 pound calves. There is no rhyme or reason for such drastic market changes — unless there is a lot more involved than just supply and demand.

Coming up Friday, February 24th, it’s the annual Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Conference.  It takes place at the Nacogdoches Expo Center on the west loop. Start time is 9 a.m. and will adjourn about 3 p.m. Folks who are “just thinking” about going into the business are welcome. Cost is $30 for singles, $50 for couples and includes a barbecue lunch at noon. That’s