The Texas A&M Argi-Life Research Center, at Overton, turned 50 years old a couple of years ago and continues to be a valuable source of information for farmers and ranchers in Rusk County.
Dr. Charles Long, of the center, gave Rusk County Commissioners a broad overview of what the facility’s status.
“There are three agencies there. The extension programs have specialists in different areas and disciplines,” Long said. “And some of these researchers they also participate and then of course you are very familiar with the county extension programs which you support.”
As an example, it was of no surprise that Rusk County is in the Piney Woods vegetation area of the state.
Soil development is one of the top priorities of the system, including:
• improve below ground interactions for soil carbon;
• reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
• increase beneficial microbes in soil;
• reduce disease pressure in organic vegetable systems; and
• outline cattle micro biomes in response to breed x diet interactions.
Long also explained how the grass and gardening aspects of the facility are beneficial.
“In what we call East Texas, 25 percent of agriculture income is from ornamentals and vegetable crops. And we do some work in both,” he said.
The balance of his presentation touched on the different varieties of clovers and cover grasses that are being used as food plots for cattle grazing.
Of other importance to the county, commissioners approved five utility requests from Midcoast G&P L.P for the right-of-way permission on two county roads.
The company requested three easements in Pct. 3 on county roads 311, 314 and 317 for pipelines to go under the right-of-way.
A similar request was made for two county roads – 401 and 414 – in Pct. 4.
The scope of the projects the placement of a 12.75” pipes under the roads.
The proposal passed unanimously.
In other business, commissioners paid the bills, approved previous meeting minutes and approved monthly reports submitted by various departments.
The next scheduled commissioner’s meeting is set for 10 a.m. Aug. 11 in the commissioners courtroom.