SINTON — The Coastal Bend Grain Storage and Handlers Safety Conference will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 23 at the San Patricio County Fairgrounds Civic Center, according to Bobby McCool, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources in San Patricio County.
The fairgrounds are located at 219 West 5th St. in Sinton. Registration is at 8 a.m., and the program starts at 8:30 a.m. A registration fee of $20 is payable at the door and includes lunch. Attendees must RSVP by April 18 by calling 361-364-6234.
Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units – one integrated pest management and one general – will be available to individuals with private pesticide applicator licenses.
“Safety in and around grain storage facilities is a never-ending endeavor, whether in a commercial operation or on the farm,” McCool said. “This program strives to deliver pertinent safety related information with regards to grain handling to assist producers and agricultural businesses to promote a safer work environment for themselves and their employees.”
McCool said 95 percent of the Coastal Bend’s 2014 grain sorghum crop had been planted by March 15 and should be smaller than the 2013 crop.
“Last year, there were about 135,000 acres of grain sorghum planted,” he said. “I suspect that will be down some this year, to maybe 115,000–120,000 acres.”
Once harvesting begins in late June or early July, grain elevators are used to store the crop.
“The first and foremost reason for elevators is the need for a safe, dry and protected facility to accumulate the harvested crop,” he said. “Once inside the elevator, the producer may elect not to sell the grain for several months. These facilities also make it easy to fill trucks and rail cars once the grain is sold and transportation becomes available.”
Topics and speakers at the conference include:
— Record keeping, Mike Rivera, U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Corpus Christi.
— Fumigation safety equipment, Bill Ordner, Town and Country Pest Control, Robstown.
— Grain engulfment hazards, David Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station.
— Lock-out and tag-out, Luis Garcia, Texas Cotton Ginners Trust, Austin.
— Heat stress prevention and recognizing signs of chemical poisoning, Dr. James Mobley, San Patricio County medical director, Sinton.
— Research of problem injury areas and annual injury review, William Canada, Triangle Insurance loss control specialist, Enid, Okla.
— Fire extinguisher certification, Ruben Villa, A&C Fire and Equipment Company, Corpus Christi.
An RSVP must also be made by April 18 for those wishing to receive the fire
extinguisher certification, which costs an additional $20.
The conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension, the Nueces, San Patricio and Refugio County Farm Bureau, Woodsboro Farmers Co-op, South Texas Country Elevators Association, Intelliair and Agri Dry LLC.
For more information, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Refugio County at 361-526-2825, or in Nueces County at 361-767-5223.