Rod Santa Ana is a veteran journalist, having started his career in radio in 1976, moved to television news in 1980 and in 1988 became a member of the Texas A&M AgriLife Communications team. He and his wife, Norma, live in McAllen, Texas.

Agriculture tells the history of the Rio Grande Valley

WESLACO — As the 1800s rolled into the 1900s, agriculture in the Lower Rio Grande Valley was in the midst of a major makeover, according to local historians and agricultural experts. It was changing from a livestock economy to one of irrigated farming that would eventually fuel unprecedented growth in South Texas, said Dr. Luís […]

Valley, U.S. cotton crops likely to see increased acreage, innovations

EDINBURG  —  New cotton technologies and increased acreage will likely be part of the plot for the Rio Grande Valley’s cotton story in 2017, according to experts. “One can never tell how our row crop season will turn out, but at this point we’re expecting an increase in cotton acreage in the Valley, and we’ll […]

Christmas craft sale and workshop set Dec. 3 in Edinburg

EDINBURG — Holiday shoppers on a budget should include a stop at the second annual Master Clothing Volunteers Arts and Crafts Sale and Workshop from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 3 in Edinburg, organizers said. “This is an excellent opportunity to buy handmade Christmas decorations at very reasonable prices or learn how to make your own and […]

Cotton and Grain Marketing Workshop set for Dec. 6-7 in Weslaco

WESLACO  —  With low row crop commodity prices predicted in the foreseeable future, Rio Grande Valley cotton and grain producers are urged to attend an upcoming workshop to help them improve their marketing and risk management skills, organizers say. The Cotton and Grain Marketing Workshop will be from 9 a.m-4 p.m. Dec. 6-7 at the […]

Valley’s Texas Master Naturalists taking applications for 2017 class

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND  —  The Texas Master Naturalists program is taking applications through December for new members interested in the Rio Grande Valley’s native habitat and how to sustain its natural process between land and wildlife, according to organizers. “We’re inviting people interested in learning more about our highly unique ecosystem we have here in […]

Rio Grande Valley growers could be in a for a rough 2017

MONTE ALTO  —  South Texas row crop producers are invited to the Spring 2017 Crop Seminar to help them prepare for what could be a tough year in 2017, according to organizers. Brad Cowan, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Hidalgo County, said dry weather conditions and low commodity prices mean Rio Grande Valley […]

Organic production, aquaponics workshops slated in Weslaco

WESLACO  —  The second and third workshop in a series designed to help new, small acreage South Texas agricultural producers will be held Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, according to organizers. Both free workshops will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, 2401 E. U.S. Highway 83, near the […]

Lower Rio Grande Valley soil testing campaign runs through January

WESLACO  —  The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is offering its annual soil testing campaign through Jan. 31, according to AgriLife Extension personnel. “We’re encouraging all commercial agricultural producers in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties to take part in this free soil testing campaign to help improve their bottom […]

South Texas Farm and Ranch Show set for Oct. 19-20 in Victoria

VICTORIA —  The 32nd annual South Texas Farm and Ranch Show will be held Oct. 19-20 in Victoria, providing quality and relevant education for farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and the general public, organizers said. “This is the longest running non-profit regional farm and ranch show in South Texas,” said Matt Bochat, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service […]

Valley citrus growers voting on insect, disease suppression

EDINBURG —  Rio Grande Valley citrus growers will vote this month on whether to pool their resources to battle invasive pests and diseases. Brad Cowan, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent in Hidalgo County, said growers will vote on setting up a management zone, approving a maximum assessment rate and electing growers to a board […]