Agriculture & Natural Resources

Ellis County

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers a diverse array of educational programs, activities, and resources. These range from self-study activities to programs that you can attend. No matter the name, Extension programs are based on objective, research-based, practical information that you can use today.  We invite you to explore the Ellis County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service website to find informative articles, resources, volunteer programs, youth development opportunities, healthy lifestyle suggestions, and more.

USDA drought assistance available to Texas ranchers

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds drought-impacted ranchers that they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) to cover above normal expenses for hauling water or feed to livestock or hauling livestock to forage or grazing acres.

Click Here to read the full article.


Farm Service Agency
1822 Fm 66
Waxahachie, TX  75167
Phone: (972) 937-2660

New Guinea Flat Worm Confirmed in Midlothian

We wanted to make you aware that a homeowner in Midlothian reached out for help identifying a strange worm she found in her garden.  We reached out to the Texas Invasive Species Institute, as Texas A&M has nothing on these predatory worms yet.  Dr. Matthew McClure is who I spoke with, and he informed me of the below:

Unfortunately, once they’ve been established there is no reliable way of getting rid of them.  They are known to spread via soil transport (landscaping, potted plants, etc.) and can also be spread from property to property through flash flooding (that’s how they ended up in my yard).  The main threat is to biodiversity because they can decimate populations of native snails and other invertebrates.  The worms are not parasitic, but the threat to people is that they have the potential to carry nematode parasites such as rat lungworms (Angiostrongylus).  For that reason, it is recommended not to handle the worms barehanded and to wash hands after encountering them.  I usually collect them by lifting them with a toothpick or small stick and placing them into a zip lock bag, freezing the bag to kill them, and disposing of the bag.

As far as management, this is from the website, and this also applies to hammerhead flatworms as well:

“Flatworms are thought to be susceptible to citrus oil and white vinegar mixtures to spray onto them directly. The normal strength calls for 2 ounces of citrus oil to 1 gallon of white vinegar. Spray that mixture directly on any flatworms, making sure you’ve sprayed the whole creature. This soft-bodied worm could be susceptible to salt, or slug repellent. When purchasing slug repellent please be sure to buy the kind that is not harmful to domestic animals like dogs and cats; by making sure the repellent is made with “Iron Phosphate” and NOT “Metaldehyde”.”


Hessian Fly are appearing to be a widespread issue in portions of the Texas Blacklands this year. The Hessian Fly is a small fly that during the larval stage can be a significant pest of wheat and some other small grain crops like barley and rye. There are several wild host plant species for the Hessian Fly including quackgrass, western wheatgrass, goatgrass, timothy, and various other wild grasses.

Click Here to read more on the Outbreak of Hessian Fly in Central Texas.

Watch Out For Fall Armyworms

With our current temperatures and anticipated rain, forage producers need to be scouting for Fall Armyworms infestations in their fields.  The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is a common pest of bermudagrass, sorghum, corn, wheat and ryegrass, and many other crops in north and central Texas. Larvae of fall armyworms are green, brown, or black with white to yellowish lines running from head to tail.  A distinct white line between the eyes forms an inverted “Y” pattern on the face. Four black spots aligned in a square on the top of the segment near the back end of the caterpillar are also characteristic of the fall armyworm. Armyworms are very small (1/8 inch) at first, cause little plant damage, and as a result, infestations often go unnoticed. Larvae feed for 2-3 weeks and full-grown larvae are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Given their immense appetite, great numbers, and marching ability, fall armyworms can damage entire fields or pastures in a few days.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

More Resources for Texans

Texas A&M AgriLife Learn offers a robust selection of documents and information sheets, many of which offer a FREE downloadable version, as well as available books and other materials that expand on the topic(s).

Click Here to access AgriLife Learn.

Repository for dated documents.

Click Here to access the Ellis County AgriLife Extension Service Repository

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