For immediate release
Aug. 22, 2019
Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
NASDA Foundation awards NMDA $25,000 to address pecan weevil issue in New Mexico
(Las Cruces, New Mexico) – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation has awarded the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) a $25,000 Invasive Pest Grant to expand efforts to slow the spread of pecan weevil throughout New Mexico and other western states.
Of the pests that feed on pecan, pecan weevil is considered the most damaging. It is established in all pecan-growing states except for several southwestern counties in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Due to findings of recently established pecan weevil populations in Southeastern New Mexico, a Pecan Weevil Interior Quarantine Rule was established in 2018 for Eddy, Lea and Chaves counties. The Pecan Weevil Interior Quarantine Rule helps prevent the movement of pecan weevil to uninfested areas in the state, including Doña Ana County, which is considered the highest pecan production area in the country. The quarantine rule also aids in mitigation efforts managed by NMDA.
Tiffany Johnson, a program specialist in the NMDA Entomology and Nursery Industry Section, applied for the grant in August. Johnson’s project involves surveys for the pest on residential pecan trees and commercial pecan orchards, as well as conducting outreach with farmers prior to the harvest season.
New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said the funding will help leverage NMDA’s existing eradication efforts and enhance outreach efforts among pecan farmers.
“The pecan industry is a vital part of New Mexico’s economy, and it’s important that our staff continues to make pecan weevil eradication a priority,” said Witte. “We are thankful for the funding awarded by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation, as it allows us to focus on early pecan weevil detection, mitigation efforts, outreach programs and support collaborative efforts with other western states.”
– NMDA –