The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is offering its annual soil testing campaign through Jan. 31, 2017.  This is the 16th year for the program.

“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 lines while at the same time improving water quality,” said Victor Gutierrez, AgriLife Extension assistant in Weslaco. “The annual soil testing campaign has been instrumental in reducing nutrient runoff from entering the Arroyo Colorado, and growers often find they don’t need to spend on applying more fertilizer.”

Agricultural producers can pick up soil sample bags and forms from AgriLife Extension offices in Willacy, Cameron and Hidalgo counties and the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco, according to Brad Cowan, AgriLife Extension agent for Hidalgo County.

“The samples can then be dropped off at the Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy County AgriLife Extension offices for shipping to the laboratory at Texas A&M University in College Station, all at no cost to producers,” Cowan said. “Results will be mailed directly to producers.”

The soil testing campaign first began in the Valley in 2001 and has been funded by various sources, Gutierrez said. Since 2008, the campaign has been funded with a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and administered through the Texas Water Resource Institute.”

Contact information for AgriLife Extension offices includes:

—  Cameron County, 1390 W Expressway 83, San Benito, TX 78586-7633, 956- 361-8236,

—  Hidalgo County, 410 N 13th Ave., Edinburg, TX 78541-3582, 956-383-1026, .

—  Willacy County, 170 N 3rd St., Raymondville, TX 78580-1940, 956- 689-2412, .

—  District 12 Office, 2401 E. Highway 83, Weslaco, TX 78596-8344, 956-968-5581, .