Welcome to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Office of Zavala County
Zavala County is located in the South West Texas region bordered by Uvalde County to the north, Dimmit County to the south, Frio County to the east and Maverick County to the west. The closest metropolitan area is San Antonio located 100 miles north east of the county. The county seat is Crystal City self proclaimed the “Spinach Capital of the World” is located in the south central part of the county. Other communities in the county include La Pryor located in the central part of the county at the intersection of U.S. highway 83 and U.S. highway 57 and Batesville on the eastern part of the county. Both La Pryor and Batesville are unincorporated communities, however, both have independent school districts serving the children at these locations.
Farming, ranching, food processing and hunting are the dominating activities in the county. Spinach, onions, cabbage, carrots dominate winter vegetable crops in Zavala County. Most cabbage is graded and packaged in La Pryor through “Cabbage Texas” a Georgia based food processor/distributor. Other vegetable crops include watermelons, cantaloupes, sunflowers and cucumbers. Some pecan production is still active in the county. Irrigation for all crops is either from the Nueces River or pumping from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer. Grain crops include corn, wheat, oats and sorghum.
Cotton is also a major crop with two cotton gins fully operational and are the only cotton gins available for miles thus cotton ginning in the county continues well into December, ginning cotton from counties as far as 80 miles away.
Pictured: Cotton bales produced at Winter Garden Co-op in Batesville, Texas.
Deer, quail and dove hunters dominate the county in September through January as hunting is of major economic importance to the county and region. Most private lands are leased for hunting and many operations have high fences allowing for intensive white tailed deer and wildlife management and marketing of hunting activities based on day, seasonal and year long leases and hunts.
Pictured: Whitetail buck captured on Chaparrosa Ranch outside La Pryor, Texas.
Livestock operations include cow calf ranches, stockers and two beef feedlots. Some goat production at a smaller scale is also common. Most livestock operations incorporate hunting activities and most operate hunting camps during hunting season.
Pictured: Chaparrosa Ranch cattle and cowboys tending to herd in years past.
Pictured: Chaparrosa Ranch Beefmaster Bull named “The Legend”.
Average rainfall is 22 inches a year. Growing season is 282 days and the average first freeze usually occurring the first of December and the last freeze expected the last week of February. Peak rainfall is April and September.
Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.