Every summer we have concerns about cattle, sheep and goats grazing on sudan or johnson grass that is toxic due to prussic acid. Animal toxicity from hydrocyanosis or prussic acid poisoning is a concern when cattle, sheep and goats are grazing sorghums and sudan feed sources.

Young sorghum plants, especially the leaves, contain dhurrin. The digestive process breaks dhurrin into glucose and hydrogen cyanide which goes into solutions immediately creating lethal hydrocyanic acid. Prussic acid poisoning is most often associated with sorghum, sudan and johnson grass.

Danger is greatest at immature stages of growth. Regrowth is usually higher in prussic acid.

Prussic acid accumulates largely in the leaf portion of the plant.

The more rainfall we get the less stressed these forage plants will be and the lower the incidence of prussic acid problems.

The McCulloch County Extension Office plans to offer a Master Gardener Training this fall with classes to begin Sept. 9, where they will meet on Tuesday through Nov. 4. There will be two sessions per day, 9:30 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Most sessions will meet at the Heart of Texas Museum Building. Some field trips are scheduled.

The Master Gardener Program offers a minimum of 50 hours of training and in exchange, participants agree to donate at least 50 hours of volunteer services within one year to their County Extension Program and Community.

The fee for the class is $125 for those who commit to the Master Gardener Program. The training will be offered for a fee of $175 for persons who do not commit to volunteer service.

Registration is limited to the first 25 paid applicants. The class will be cancelled if fewer than 10 sign up.

The deadline to register is Aug. 22, but don’t wait since space is limited.

For more information, contact the McCulloch County Extension Office at (325) 597-1295 or go to the Web site at http://mcculloch-tx.tamu.edu.



The newly organized local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Pecan Bayou Roost, will hold its second annual Banquet on Aug. 9 at the Youth Fair Home Economics Building on Highway 377 South in Brownwood.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7:30 p.m.

Door prizes, games and raffles will be on the evening’s agenda with the grand auction as the finale.

A good portion of the proceeds from the evening will stay in the county and benefit local youth clubs and a local youth scholarship.

The NWTF and partners have raised and spent more than $258 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving more than 13.1 million acres of wildlife habitat. When the NWTF was founded in 1973, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys throughout North America. Since then, the number of wild turkeys has increased to more than 7 million birds thanks to state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF, its members and partners.

Besides regular membership, other programs sponsored by the NWTF are:

• JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship), a program dedicated to informing, educating and involving youth in wildlife conservation and the wise stewardship of our natural resources for members 12 and younger. Xtreme JAKES, the NWTF’s newest program, was developed for teens ages 13-17.

• The Women In The Outdoors program is about learning outdoor skills, meeting new people and spending time with friends and family. At Women in the Outdoors events, women ages 14 and older build skills to help them better enjoy the outdoors and learn the importance of wildlife management and the role hunters play in conservation.

• Wheelin’ Sportsmen is dedicated to providing all disabled people the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors through local chapter events nationwide, such as hunting, fishing and shooting activities.

• Hunting Heritage Club Program This new membership program focuses on bringing all types of hunters into the fight to maintain our right to hunt and manage our lands.

Tickets are available at: Weakley-Watson, Brownwood Chamber of Commerce, Brown County Extension Office, or by calling (325) 643-2700, (325) 643-9792 or (325) 646-0376.

Scott Anderson is the Brown County Extension agent — Agriculture. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached at 646-0386.