• What does the new interior emergency pecan weevil quarantine stipulate?
  1. It identifies Curry, Eddy, Chaves, and Lea as pecan weevil quarantined/infested counties;
  2. It states that in-shell pecans that have not been treated (post-harvest) to kill pecan weevil, and that are destined to non-quarantined/non-infested New Mexico counties, are required to be shipped in a sealed trailer or sealed containers directly to a New Mexico Department of Agriculture approved cold storage facility;
  3. It requires buyers of in-shell pecans to collect information from the seller and maintain records;
  4. It provides New Mexico Department of Agriculture authority to inspect relevant records of a buyer or an accumulator;
  5. It provides a provision for “very low-risk orchards” in quarantined counties to petition the New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture for exemption to the transportation requirement;
  6. It outlines cold treatment requirements to kill pecan weevil.
  • When does this quarantine take effect, and how long will it be in place?
  1. It takes effect Nov. 20, 2017, and will be in place for 180 days (until May 20, 2018).
  • Why was this quarantine implemented in New Mexico?
  1. Due to increasing findings of pecan weevil in eastern New Mexico commercial and residential areas, New Mexico’s pecan industry requested additional regulations to reduce the risk of moving pecan weevil from infested residential areas and commercial orchards to non-infested New Mexico counties (i.e. Dona Ana County).
  • What alternatives did New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the pecan industry have to address the pecan weevil issue?
  1. The pecan industry and New Mexico Department of Agriculture could have elected not to initiate a quarantine and allow nuts from eastern New Mexico to transit throughout the state without restrictions. However, pecan growers in non-infested New Mexico counties requested regulations in an attempt to prevent or slow the spread of pecan weevil to their area.
  2. The new interior quarantine could have mirrored language in the state’s exterior pecan weevil quarantine. That language would have required all in-shell nuts grown in New Mexico quarantined counties be treated prior to transport out of the quarantined area. Although this language would provide the maximum protection for non-infested New Mexico counties, it would significantly limit eastern New Mexico pecan growers’ shipping options to buyers/processors in pecan weevil infested areas.
  3. The current language in the interior emergency quarantine attempts to provide a reasonable process for eastern New Mexico pecan growers to ship into non-infested New Mexico counties while providing a level of protection for pecan growers in those non-infested counties.
  • What factors did New Mexico Department of Agriculture consider when developing the quarantine?
  1. New Mexico Department of Agriculture and pecan industry representatives considered two primary elements:
    1. Insufficient cold treatment facilities in eastern New Mexico to treat in-shell pecans prior to movement to non-infested counties;
    2. And the fact that implementation of rigid quarantine restrictions, similar to New Mexico’s current exterior pecan weevil quarantine, would significantly limit the movement of eastern New Mexico in-shell pecans to a limited number of processors.
  2. Pecan weevil is easily moved from one location to another via in-shell pecans. Transporting in-shell pecans in a sealed container/trailer directly to cold storage units in non-infested New Mexico counties (Dona Ana) significantly reduces the risk of introducing pecan weevil from eastern New Mexico to non-infested counties.
  • How is the new interior quarantine different than the current exterior pecan weevil quarantine?
  1. The current exterior pecan weevil quarantine requires in-shell pecans, originating in pecan-weevil infested areas outside of New Mexico, to be treated using a method to kill pecan weevil prior to entry into New Mexico. The new interior quarantine currently allows for untreated in-shell nuts from pecan-weevil infested eastern New Mexico counties to enter non-infested New Mexico counties when shipped in a sealed container and shipped directly to a New Mexico Department of Agriculture-approved cold storage facility.
  • What are the regulations to ship to El Paso, Arizona or California?
  1. Arizona and California both require New Mexico-grown in-shell nuts to be treated before entry into their states using a method to kill both pecan weevil and pecan nut casebearer. New Mexico Department of Agriculture export staff can address questions regarding in-shell pecan export requirements to other states or countries.
  2. Texas has had regulations in place to protect El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties from introductions of pecan weevil since 1996. Stated in the September 1996 adoption of the Texas Pecan Weevil Quarantine, Eddy and Chaves counties were identified as pecan weevil quarantined counties, along with all other states except for Arizona, California and the remainder of New Mexico. The Texas Pecan Weevil Quarantine provides a provision that allows pecan growers to request an exemption to their “treatment prior to entry into protected Texas counties.” New Mexico Department of Agriculture suggests those buyers or growers exporting in-shell pecans from New Mexico quarantined counties contact Texas Department of Agriculture or New Mexico Department of Agriculture for updated current restrictions or for help with other export issues.
  3. NOTE: Every state has authority to enact regulations to protect its agricultural industries from the introduction of new pests. Although states do not have authority to dictate how other states will enforce or enact their own quarantines, states do work together to try and facilitate interstate agricultural commerce without the risk of introducing a new pest to an area.
  • In recent years, in-shell pecans grown in Eddy and Chaves Counties have been turned back by Texas Department of Agriculture inspection staff, cold storage facilities or processors. Does NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE know why?
  1. In 1996, the Texas Department of Agriculture listed Chaves and Eddy counties as pecan weevil quarantined counties in its Pecan Weevil Quarantine. Although Texas Department of Agriculture may not have strictly enforced that portion of their quarantine in previous years, the recent movement of pecan weevil into Texas counties closer to El Paso County, may have provided the impetus to increase enforcement activities to protect El Paso pecan growers and the industry.
  • What is required for a cold storage facility to be approved to accept in-shell nuts from quarantined eastern New Mexico counties for treatment?
  1. The first step is to call New Mexico Department of Agriculture. The department will issue an agreement for signature that outlines the expected cold treatment procedures. To be considered for approval, a cold storage facility is required to hold temperature at or below 0° F.
  • I understand the quarantine this year is temporary. Will there be a permanent quarantine?
  1. Yes, New Mexico Department of Agriculture will continue to solicit information from the pecan industry for possible incorporation in the permanent quarantine. The industry will also have an opportunity to provide input during the hearing process.
  • Is it possible to change the language in the permanent quarantine prior to the rule being enacted and prior to harvest season? 
  1. Yes, if the industry and New Mexico Department of Agriculture determine that pecan shipments from New Mexico quarantined counties are elevating the risk of introducing pecan weevil to non-infested counties by circumventing quarantine requirements, stronger restrictions may be enacted before next harvest season.
  • If my county is listed in the permanent quarantine, is there a way to remove it from the list once pecan weevil is eradicated in my county?
  1. Yes, in the event that pecan weevil is eradicated from an eastern New Mexico county, changes to the permanent quarantine rule can be made through the rule amendment/making process.
  • To receive an exemption to the transportation requirement (sealed container) in the quarantine, what factors does New Mexico Department of Agriculture consider?
  1. Low-risk commercial orchards are considered those that are isolated from known pecan weevil infested areas; those that do not have a history of storing or processing nuts from residential areas or from other farm properties (other than the farm approved for exemption); and those that do not have a history of custom harvesting or having the orchard custom harvested.
  • Why do I have to provide my information to a buyer/accumulator when I sell pecans?
  1. Section 10 of the quarantine states that buyers must collect people’s names, phone numbers and address/location of where pecans are from. The purpose is to help identify locations of pecan weevil-infested trees and to ensure nuts are not being brought into the state from pecan weevil infested states without prior treatment. Although not the intent, compliance by pecan buyers may help reduce stolen pecan incidents.
  • What impact does the quarantine have on a custom harvester or pruner?
  1. The new pecan weevil emergency quarantine includes equipment as regulated articles. Pruning and harvesting equipment, coming out of New Mexico pecan weevil quarantined counties, needs to be pecan-free and inspected prior to movement to other non-infested areas of the state. Not all commercial orchards are known to be infested with pecan weevil in eastern New Mexico counties. To prevent the spread from an infested orchard to non-infested orchard in a quarantined area, equipment should be cleaned and free of nuts before moving it to another farm. Equipment is a primary pathway for the movement of pecan weevil from one location to another.
  • What quarantine restrictions should I be aware of regarding movement of pecans and equipment from Gains County, Texas or other pecan weevil infested counties in Texas?
  1. New Mexico’s exterior quarantine pecan weevil quarantine (enacted in 1997) restricts the movement of in-shell pecans originating in all states except Arizona, California, and the Texas counties of El Paso and Hudspeth, and that part of Culberson County, Texas south of 31 degrees 10’ north latitude and west of 104 degrees 40’ west longitude. In other words, in-shell pecans grown in Gains County, Texas are restricted from entering New Mexico unless treated using a method to kill pecan weevil (Texas Department of Agriculture State Phytosanitary Certificate is required).
  2. New Mexico buyers and accumulators that purchase in-shell pecans from pecan weevil-infested areas, that have not been certified as treated, contribute to the risk of bringing pecan weevil into New Mexico.
  • What information do buyers/accumulators of in-shell pecans have to collect and why?
  1. The quarantine requires pecan buyers/accumulators, both within and outside of the quarantined counties, to collect from the seller the following: contact information, physical location of where nuts were harvested from, and estimated amount of nuts purchased. This requirement was included to help prevent the unregulated movement of pecan weevil infested nuts from out-of-state infested areas, and to help determine new pecan weevil infested areas within the state. The quarantine also provides authority to New Mexico Department of Agriculture staff inspect relevant records, upon request.

Questions? Contact New Mexico Department of Agriculture at 575-646-3007 or email