Agriculture & Natural Resources: Informational Resources & Links


Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is urging Texans to take extreme precaution when receiving unsolicited seed packets from China. These packets have been mailed to multiple states, including Texas, falsely labeled as jewelry. Residents are advised not to plant the seeds as they could contain harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe.

“I am urging folks to take this matter seriously,” Commissioner Miller said. “An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture. TDA has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents.”

If you receive a foreign package containing seeds do not open it or plant the contents. Keep contents contained in their original sealed package.

An invasive species is an organism that is not native to a particular region. The introduction of this “alien species” can cause economic or environmental harm. In agriculture, an invasive species can destroy native crops, introduce disease to native plants and may be dangerous for livestock.

Please report unsolicited seed packages to

For more information, CLICK HERE

Chiggers – June 2020 Update

As we are spending more time outdoors, here is information on that pesty insect, the Chigger (actually Chiggers are more related to spiders than insects) and ways to prevent becoming a victim.

Click Here to learn more.


Asian Giant Hornet (Murder Hornet)

News stories have sparked the concern about the Asian Giant Hornet (AGH). Here is current information about the AGH and it’s presence – rather its lack of presence in Texas. Learn more about this insect and it’s look-a-likes: CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to learn how the invasive insect could have been introduced in the Pacific Northwest and why its nickname is ‘murder hornet’.


Charcoal Rot

Charcoal Rot in particular has been an issue in Central Texas. Below are a few educational videos of issues we are seeing at the farm this year.

Highly Contagious Rabbit Disease in Texas

RHDV2 was found in Lampasas and Hamilton Counties. This is a highly contagious, deadly virus, affecting domestic and wild rabbits. Per TAHC mandate, all rabbits in the barns were euthanized and the barn must remain empty for 90 days. Because this virus is now in D8 (Hamilton County), here are some of the recommendations that are being put out by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. At this time, the ARBA is asking breeders close to outbreaks to enact strict bio-security measures to reduce the opportunity of their herds contracting this deadly virus. Rabbit breeders are encouraged to not utilize cross country transport service during this time in an effort to contain the outbreak and protect rabbit populations across the continent.

Per ARBA show rules, a sanctioned show “reserved the right to refuse entries from exhibitors placing an entry from all locations within 150 miles which has had a confirmed outbreak of RCV/RHD/VHD within the past 60 days of the entry deadline.” If the virus continues to spread in our area, this can affect exhibitors’ entries to local breeder shows and the State Fair of Texas.


Watch for Fall Armyworms in Pastures!

CLICK HERE to read more.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ServiceSoil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory is housed in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. The laboratory’s primary mission is to provide research based analysis and non-bias recommendations for agronomic and non-agronomic soil analysis, plant tissue analysis, forage nutritive analysis, and non-drinking water analysis. The laboratory also aids the research and extension communities with analysis needs. We also work closely with a number of Texas A&M University service laboratories, other state agency laboratories, and private laboratories with method development, troubleshooting and quality assurance/quality control issues, as well as, forwarding clientele to insure their needs are met.

Click on the links below to print the required form when submitting a soil, water and/or forage sample to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service testing laboratory. The Ellis County AgriLife Extension office supplies complimentary soil sample bags. Feel free to stop by during business hours to obtain the bags.

Soil Submittal Form

Water Submittal Form

Plant/Forage Submittal Form

You can access all the Testing Laboratory forms by Clicking Here.

For more information, please visit the Soil, Water and Forage Testing website:

Texas Row Crops Newsletter – Current News

The Texas Crops Newsletter is developed by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The objective of this newsletter is to provide timely and multi-discipline crop management information to Texas’ producers, consultants, and allied industry. The information provided within each issue is provided by crop scientists, soil scientists, pathologists, and entomologists and will be based on the relevant research from across Texas and the nation. Each issue will contain multiple articles from crops across the state, including the cotton, corn, sorghum, wheat, and other row crops. As appropriate, regional management articles will also be included.

For specific questions or comments, please contact Dr. Gaylon Morgan @ 979-845-2425 or

Aggie Horticulture

Aggie Horticulture began serving gardening and horticultural crop production information in October, 1994. Our factsheets, guides and databases are based on years of testing and practice. More than 50 teachers, scientists, and Extension specialists contribute their work to this website. Our goal is to serve the students, producers, professionals and gardeners of Texas…and the World.

Aggie Horticulture and the other servers of the Aggie Horticulture Network are information providers of the Texas A&M University System Horticulture program, including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M UniversityTexas A&M AgriLife Research, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, referred to collectively as Texas A&M AgriLife.

Protecting the State’s Natural Resources

There are challenges affecting our State’s natural resources and impacting the environment. To learn how Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has responded to these challenges and ways we can help manage natural resources within our communities and private properties, Click Here.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers online courses for professionals seeking to fulfill state-mandated requirements or for citizens interested in learning more about our state’s environment and natural resources. Explore the available courses for both adults and youths (Click Here)!

Volunteer programs such as the Texas Master Naturalist™ program can be an intricate part of a community’s response to improve, maintain, and educate the importance of preserving our natural resources. To plant seeds of environmental awareness in kids and adults within our community becomes the necessary steps in successfully demonstrating good conservation practices. To learn more about Texas Master Naturalist™ in Ellis (and Navarro) County (Indian Trail Master Naturalists), Click Here. Or to send an email with your inquiries to an Indian Trail Master Naturalist, Click Here.





 Insects in the City!

Whether it’s termites or fire ants, white grubs or aphids…if it’s an insect pest, we’ll try to provide you with the best in science-based, pest management solutions. Click Here to learn more about insects in the city.

Online Resources Available to You!

Click Here for Online Resources






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