Category Archives: NMDA News and Hot Topics

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference provides opportunity to learn and connect


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Baylee Banks
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
bbanks@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-1864

Jan. 10, 2020

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference provides opportunity to learn and connect

Southwest’s largest organic conference is Feb. 21 and 22

(Haga clic aquí para la versión en español)

Cutline: Attendees enjoy one of the outdoor demonstrations offered at the 2019 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference. This year’s conference will include an informative demonstration led by the New Mexico Chile Pepper Institute, as well as a demonstration on harvesting hops led by the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center.
Cutline: Attendees enjoy one of the outdoor demonstrations offered at the 2019 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference. This year’s conference will include an informative demonstration led by the New Mexico Chile Pepper Institute, as well as a demonstration on harvesting hops led by the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Organic Farming Conference)

ALBUQUERQUE – Are you interested in learning about organic farming and production? As an attendee of this year’s New Mexico Organic Farming Conference, you will have the opportunity to connect with organic farmers, ranchers and researchers and gain insight from their experiences and expertise.

Over 300 participants are expected to attend the Southwest’s largest organic gathering Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, located at 800 Rio Grande Blvd. Northwest in Albuquerque.

The annual conference will focus on organic production and networking opportunities and will include over 30 session tracks on topics including watershed, soil health, cover crops, pests, pollinators, grant resources, next generation farmers and much more.

Attendees can also expect a showcase of organic goods offered by exhibitors, an organic luncheon and demonstrations by the New Mexico Chile Pepper Institute and the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center.

Keynote speakers include Chef Fernando Ruiz and New Mexico farmer John Sedillo, both of whom will share their individual experiences within the agriculture industry focusing on topics including food and regenerative practices.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte will provide the welcome address.

Registration, hotel information and a tentative schedule of events is available at www.nmofc.org. The deadline to reserve a hotel room at the conference venue is Monday, Jan. 20.

For more information, contact Sage Faulkner at sagefaulkner@yahoo.com or 505-490-2822, or visit www.nmofc.org.

Cutline: Nearly 60 exhibitor booths offered locally grown organic snacks at the 2019 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference. This year’s conference is Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, located at 800 Rio Grande Blvd. Northwest in Albuquerque.
Cutline: Nearly 60 exhibitor booths offered locally grown organic snacks at the 2019 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference. This year’s conference is Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, located at 800 Rio Grande Blvd. Northwest in Albuquerque. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Organic Farming Conference)

###

Public should be aware of New Mexico pecan weevil quarantine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Information Officer, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-2804

Dec. 17, 2019

Public should be aware of New Mexico pecan weevil quarantine

Regional effort among Arizona, New Mexico and Texas is encouraged

(Haga clic aquí para la versión en español)

Pecan weevil grubs grow and feed inside the nut and produce a round, BB-sized hole when the grub exits. Infected nuts that are lightweight often end up in the lower grade nuts or trash piles. New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials encourage the public to be aware of the Pecan Weevil Quarantine Rule that affects movement of in-shell pecans.
Pecan weevil grubs grow and feed inside the nut and produce a round, BB-sized hole when the grub exits. Infected nuts that are lightweight often end up in the lower grade nuts or trash piles. New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials encourage the public to be aware of the Pecan Weevil Quarantine Rule that affects movement of in-shell pecans.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico pecan industry is important to the state’s economy, and New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials remind the public of the Pecan Weevil Quarantine Rule that affects movement of in-shell pecans.

Last November, the Pecan Weevil Interior Quarantine Rule went into effect. The rule establishes quarantine areas, restrictions and treatment options. Quarantined areas include Eddy, Lea and Chaves Counties. The interior rule is an addition to New Mexico’s Pecan Weevil Exterior Quarantine Rule enacted in 1997. The exterior rule restricts the movement of in-shell pecans originating in all states except Arizona, California and the Texas counties of El Paso and Hudspeth, as well as parts of Culberson County.

To prevent the spread of pecan weevil in New Mexico, in-shell pecans cannot be transported out of quarantined areas unless one of the following treatments has occurred:

  • Storage in an approved cold storage chamber at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit for a period of seven consecutive days (168 hours) after the entire lot reaches zero degrees Fahrenheit
  • Immersion in hot water for a period of five minutes after reaching a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit

The shipment of in-shell pecans originating from a New Mexico quarantined county directly to an approved New Mexico cold storage facility is allowed. Approval from NMDA must be obtained prior to shipments. In-shell pecan shipments that do not comply with state pecan weevil quarantine requirements risk destruction, confiscation or other consequences as allowed by state law.

Pecan weevil is considered the most significant insect pest of pecan producers. If not contained, the pest could affect the state’s pecan industry’s economic impact. According to the United States Department of Agriculture–National Agricultural Statistics Service, the state’s pecan production in 2018 was over 91 million pounds with a production value of $187 million.  New Mexico’s 2019 pecan production forecast is at a record high of 97 million pounds.

New Mexico leads the nation in pecan production density. The top five pecan-producing counties in the state are Doña Ana (over 34,000 acres), Eddy (over 5,000), Chaves (over 3,000), Luna (over 1,000) and Sierra (about 500). Doña Ana County leads the entire nation in pecan production with just under 67 million pounds from 34,319 acres.

Widespread establishment of pecan weevil in New Mexico’s commercial and residential pecan acres would result in additional two-to-four pesticide applications at an estimated statewide industry cost of $4.0 to $6.5 million per year. Until an effective control method is developed, establishment of pecan weevil in the state’s organic pecan orchards would probably result in the loss of that portion of the industry.

If you suspect the presence of pecan weevil or have any questions, please contact the New Mexico Department of Agriculture at 575-646-3207.

 

Pecan weevil larvae are legless, plump and creamy white, and their bodies have multiple segments. Mature larvae may be about 1/3 to a little over 1/2 inch long. They have reddish-brown head capsules and chewing jaws. New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials encourage the public to be aware of the Pecan Weevil Quarantine Rule that affects movement of in-shell pecans.
Pecan weevil larvae are legless, plump and creamy white, and their bodies have multiple segments. Mature larvae may be about 1/3 to a little over 1/2 inch long. They have reddish-brown head capsules and chewing jaws. New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials encourage the public to be aware of the Pecan Weevil Quarantine Rule that affects movement of in-shell pecans. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

###

New Mexico Livestock Board Executive Director Appointed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-2804

Nov. 22, 2019

New Mexico Livestock Board Executive Director Appointed

ALBUQUERQUE Belinda Garland was appointed executive director of the New Mexico Livestock Board on Nov. 1. Garland was most recently deputy county manager of Torrance County. She is the first woman appointed to head the New Mexico Livestock Board.

Garland has 28 years of experience working in state and county government roles. Prior to serving as deputy county manager, she served as the Torrance County Manager.

Garland holds bachelor’s degrees in agricultural business and animal science from Panhandle State University. Born and raised in Torrance County, Garland is a fourth-generation rancher.

Her first day in the New Mexico Livestock Board office will be Monday, Dec. 9.

###

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NMDeptAg
YouTube: NMDeptAg
LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

Healthy Soil Program education, outreach funding available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Information Officer, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-2804

Nov. 18, 2019

Healthy Soil Program education, outreach funding available

Crop close-up
A crop in New Mexico thrives. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting Healthy Soil Program pilot project grant proposals from eligible entities until Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. The program is a result of the Healthy Soil Act signed into law in April 2019. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Application deadline is Jan. 15

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is receiving applications for Healthy Soil Program Education and Outreach Grants.

The Education and Outreach Grant Program is a result of the Healthy Soil Act signed into law April 2, 2019. The act’s purpose is to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the state’s soil health, yield and profitability.

“We’re excited to roll out the second part of the Healthy Soil Program,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “While the first part’s focus was on-the-ground projects, we’re now offering funding specifically for healthy soil education and outreach to help build capacity across New Mexico.”

This program funds projects whose aim is to advance soil health and soil health stewardship. Grants pay for the creation, development and delivery of education and outreach projects and materials in support of soil health stewardship. Both governmental and non-profit organizations can apply directly to NMDA. Private parties (individuals and for-profit organizations) must apply through an eligible entity as defined in the Healthy Soil Act.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 15.

Following are examples of eligible activities:

  • Workshops and training in soil health stewardship to agricultural producers
  • Workshops and training in soil health stewardship to eligible entities and technical assistance providers
  • Producer-to-producer education and outreach
  • Education of students and youth about the importance of soil health
  • Education and outreach for soil assessment and testing

For more information or to download an application, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Questions? Call 575-646-2642.

###

Firewood consumers are encouraged to know the law

State law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division enforces the state’s Weights and Measures Law, which includes how firewood must be advertised and sold in order to maintain fairness in the marketplace.
State law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division enforces the state’s Weights and Measures Law, which includes how firewood must be advertised and sold in order to maintain fairness in the marketplace.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Information Officer, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-2804
Oct. 30, 2019

Firewood consumers are encouraged to know the law

State law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord

LAS CRUCES – If you plan to buy firewood this year, know what to avoid in order to get your money’s worth.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) Standards and Consumer Services Division enforces the state’s Weights and Measures Law, which includes how firewood must be advertised and sold in order to maintain fairness in the marketplace.

State law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord. A cord is legally defined as 128 cubic feet of wood and is commonly seen in a tight stack 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long, with logs stacked parallel to one another. State law also requires the seller to provide a receipt or invoice noting what fraction of a cord is being sold and the type of wood.

State law allows for firewood to be sold by the pound in lesser amounts, but the seller must declare the price-per-cord equivalent. This does not apply to firewood sold in packaged bundles less than 100 pounds.

Raymond Johnson, NMDA Standards and Consumer Services Division Director, said consumers should be aware of the state law related to firewood.

“This time of year, you might see some roadside firewood sellers or Craigslist sellers using certain terms, such as face cord, loose cord, Albuquerque cord, truckload, load, rack or pile,” said Johnson. “But none of those are actual legal units of measurement. You really don’t know whether you’re getting a fair deal when you buy firewood labeled in these ways.”

Johnson said customers should look for firewood sold by the cord or fraction of a cord.

Keep in mind the following when buying firewood in New Mexico:

  • The buyer should have the firewood stacked and measured while the seller is present.
  • It is illegal to sell firewood in unspecified quantities such as load, truckload, face cord, rack, pile or loose cord.
  • If firewood is sold by weight, the seller must declare the price per unit of weight and the equivalent price per cord. This does not apply to fuel wood sold in packaged bundles less than 100 pounds.
  • Each delivery of firewood must be accompanied by a receipt or invoice containing the name and address of the buyer and seller, date of delivery, quantity delivered, identity of the commodity and the total selling price.
  • If possible, the buyer should get the seller’s phone number and write down the license plate of the delivery vehicle.
  • Bundles of kindling wood or similar packages must be labeled with a statement of net content in terms of weight or measure.
  • The label must include the name and place of business of the packager or distributor and a word or phrase identifying the product.

For more information about firewood sales, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu/scs/ or call NMDA’s Standards and Consumer Services Division at 575-646-1616.

###