Agriculture & Natural Resources

Vidal H. Saenz
County Extension Agent- Agriculture & Natural Resources

Responsible for educational programs and applied research in cotton, corn, grain sorghum, sugarcane, sunflowers, emerging crops, beef cattle, forages, irrigation technology and water conservation in production agriculture. Provides Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license training. Assists other county faculty with Leadership Advisory Board, commercial vegetables, citrus, urban horticulture, community development and 4-H programs.


Ag Video

The Ag Mag (Check out the latest edition, It’s LOCAL and it’s GREAT!!)

Drought and Other Ag Weather

Drought Monitor (for Texas, National Drought Mitigation Center)
Keetch- Byram Drought Index (Produced by A&M Spatial Sciences Lab)
Climate Prediction Center (forecasts for 6-10 day, 8-14 day, 1 month and 3 month)
Economic Impact Estimate of Irrigation Water Shortages . . . (June, 2013)
National Weather Service (forecast office in Brownsville)

New Technology

Cell Phone Apps  (list of apps for ag producers compiled by Colorado County Ag Agent)

Ag Law

Ag Law (Excellent resources for ag producers by Tiffany Dowell Lashment, Extension Specialist- Agricultural Law)

Irrigation Info

Surge Flow Irrigation Publication (growers guide to surge flow irrigation, by Dr. Fipps, updated 9/13)
International Boundary & Water Commission (United States Section: 1944 Water Treaty, lake levels, etc.)
Amistad & Falcon Lake Levels, Mexico Deliveries Under Treaty (on IBWC website, updated weekly)
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (state environmental regulatory agency)
Region M Water Planning Group (conducts long term water planning)
Rio Grande Regional Water Authority (helps plan & develop sustainable sources)
Texas ET Network (evaoptranspiration data, watering recommendations, weather station data, etc.)
South Texas Weather (weather station data from 4 Valley locations, site run by Dr. Juan Enciso)
Water Testing (for irrigation purposes only, A&M Lab recommended)
Description of Water Analysis Parameters (document useful to sort out the terminology used by labs)
An Index of Salinity and Boron Tolerance of Common Native and Introduced Plant Species in Texas
Evaluation of Groundwater Resources in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (TWDB publication on local groundwater)

Pesticide License

CEU’s in the Valley (educational events offering CEU’s to participants)
Obtaining a Private Applicator License (training conducted locally every 3 months)
Change of Address Form (needed to Notify TDA when your address changes)
Reciprocal Agreements With Other States (TDA has agreements with a few states, commercial, NC only)

WPS (Worker Protection Standards)

Online Training Videos (now available free online)
WPS Roster (always use and keep to document training)
Training Verification Card (may be issued to workers trained)
Quick Reference Guide (information on how to comply with WPS)

Row Crops Research in Hidalgo County

Variety Trials Conducted by County Agents  (local cotton, grain sorghum & sunflowers)
Rio Farms, Inc. (local private agricultural research organization)
Variety Testing by A&M Soil & Crop Sciences Dept. (local cotton, corn, sorghum & sunflowers)
Texas A&M AgriLife Research (Center located in Weslaco)
ARS (Agricultural Research Service, USDA closed Weslaco campus in 2012, Moore Field Unit still open)

Row Crops Resources

Industrial Hemp Presentation  NEW!
Sugarcane Aphid Information (Information resources on a new pest of sorghum in the Valley)
Prevention of Aflatoxin in Corn (publication by Dr. Tom Isakeit)
Texas Row Crops Newsletter (statewide, excellent articles, click on the link to subscribe)
RGV Soil Testing Campaign (runs 10/1/17 to 1/31/18)
Sugarcane Aphid (a new pest of sorghum)

Guar (resources courtesy of Extension Agronomist)
Pesticide Container Recycling (active program since 1991)
Pest Cast Newsletter (weekly during the growing season by Danielle Sekula)  NEW!
Crop & Livestock Budgets (select budgets by Extension District, District 12)
Texas Rural Land Value Trends (sales trends, rental values and more)
Crops Publications (many topics, Soil & Crop Sciences Dept)
Custom Rates  (2016, statewide average prices for disking, shredding, harvesting, etc.)
Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (main website)
Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (weekly report, Valley Zone on page 4)
Managing Volunteer Cotton in Grain Crops (corn, sorghum, soybean & wheat)
Web Soil Survey (too darn slow, but a very good tool)
RMA (Risk Management Agency, crop insurance helps secure food supply)
RGV Sugar Growers (only sugar mill in Texas, located between La Villa & Santa Rosa)
Sugarcane Weed Management (from Louisiana Extension)
Dr. Billy Warrick’s Collection (retired agronomist at San Angelo, excellent collection)
Soil Testing (use science to help determine fertilizer needs)
Sunflower Production Information (compiled by Extension Agronomist in Lubbock)
Sunflower Moth (Head Moth, one pager with on-target info for new growers)
Sunflower Rust (one pager with on-target info for new growers)
Sunflower Insects PowerPoint  (44 pages, by Bynum & Trostle)
Managing Insect Pests of Texas Sunflowers (19 page publication)
Sunflower Moth (3 pager from Kansas)

Marketing Outlook

Cotton Marketing & Risk Management (Dr. John Robinson’s website)
Feedgrain Market Outlook (Dr. Mark Welch’s newsletter)

Structural Pesticide License

What License Do I Need? (answer questions to find out)
Structural License Training (statewide listing of training to get license)
Structural License Manuals (how to order the manuals)
Structural License Information (statewide listing of exam dates & locations)

Beef Cattle

Bull Gain Test, Heifer Development Program  (RGV Beef Development Program)

Beef Cattle Production Webinar – Zoom Recording  NEW!
Seven Things Every Small Beef Producer Should Know (5 pages, good stuff!)

Beef Cattle Traceability Rule (new requirement as of 1/1/13 for cattle to be tagged at change of ownership)

Beef Cattle Publications (everything you need to know about cattle, authored by Extension specialists)

Ranchers Reference Guide (publication with lots of resources in one place)

Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (representing cattlemen’s interests)

Texas Animal Health Commission (state agency works to protect health of Texas livestock)

Crop & Livestock Budgets (select budgets by Extension District, District 12)

Ranch TV (Lots of Excellent videos on beef cattle production)

Citrus & Vegetables

Vegetable & Fruit Improvement Center  (vegetable & fruit research, located in College Station)
Texas Citrus (web site compiled by Dr. Julian Sauls)
Texas A&M Kingsville Citrus Center (located in Weslaco)
TexaSweet (promotes Valley citrus)
Texas Citrus Mutual (supports citrus industry on numerous issues)
Texas Vegetable Association (serves the state vegetable industry on numerous issues)
Texas International Produce Association (represents growers, shippers, others)
Crop & Livestock Budgets (select Budgets by Extension District, District 12)

Range & Pasture, Brush Control

Hay Production in Texas (excellent publication, lots if information)
Quick Reference for Common Rangeland & Pasture Herbicides (which products require a pesticide license, etc)
Weed Control in Pastures and Forages (ESC-024, 2014)
King Ranch Bluestem Control Measures (ERM-036, 10/17)
Brush Busters (series of publications on control of mesquite, pricklypear, huisache & others)
Chemical Weed & Brush Control Suggestions for Rangeland (B-1466, 2010 update)
Saltcedar Biology & Management (L-5440, 2009 update)
Prescribed Burn Information (resources for landowners)
Fall Armyworms (information including control measures)
Forage Testing (test hay and other forages to determine quality)
Crop & Livestock Budgets (select Budgets by Extension District, District 12)
Texas Rural Land Value Trends (sales trends, rental values and more)
Forage Publications (Many topics, Soil & Crop Sciences Dept)
Prussic Acid and Nitrates (publication with excellent information)
Testing for Prussic Acid (time sensitive test must be sent to A&M Vet Diagnostic Lab, test for cyanide)


The Texas Deer Lease (covers legal issues landowners need to consider)
Prevention & Control of Wildlife Damage (excellent resource edited by Extension Service experts)
Cesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (located in South Texas, world renowned)
Texas Wildlife Services (state agency with wildlife damage management expertise)
Feral Hogs (articles, FAQs, webinars, videos)
Coping with Coyotes (Management Alternatives for Minimizing Livestock Losses)


Aquaculture Fisheries and Pond Management (Extension website has information on a variety of aquatic topics)


Leafcutter Ants (one of our most destructive insects)
Insects in the City (Extension website with a wealth of information on insects)


Aggie Turf (comprehensive web site on all things turfgrass)
Turfgrass Producers of Texas (professional association of turfgrass sod farms and related businesses)


District 12 AgriLife Extension Office (located in Weslaco)
Texas Farm Bureau (voice of agriculture both statewide and in each county)
South Texas Property Rights Association (protects the rights of property owners)
Farm Service Agency (national web site, local office in Edinburg)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (national web site, local office in Edinburg)
Texas Department of Agriculture (state web site, local office in San Juan)
National Ag Statistics Service (Texas Section, source of agriculture production data)
Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board (state agency administers soil & water laws)
Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership (devoted to improving water quality in the Arroyo)
Dyed Diesel for Off-Highway Use (click on Motor Fuels Tax, info on how ag producers can purchase state tax-free diesel fuel)
Agricultural & Timber Exemptions and Texas Taxes (link to State Comptroller web site)
Seed Testing (link to information on where seed may be tested)

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