Tag Archives: New Mexico Agriculture News

NMDA is accepting livestock scale inspection requests through March 31

For immediate release

Dec. 4, 2018
Media Contact:
Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

NMDA is accepting 2019 livestock scale inspection requests through March 31

2019 marks first year of routine inspection program

(Las Cruces, New Mexico) – If you own a livestock scale in New Mexico, be sure to request an inspection by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture by March 31. If a request is received by March 31, or if you’re part of the Routine Livestock Scale Inspection Program, the initial inspection will be provided at no charge.

To join the Routine Livestock Scale Inspection Program, you must submit a request form by March 31. To request a form, call the NMDA Standards and Consumer Services Division at 575-646-1616 or email livestockscale@nmda.nmsu.edu. The NMDA SCS Division is responsible for enforcing New Mexico’s weights and measures laws and regulations.

The forms may be found here.

If you have already completed and returned the Routine Livestock Scale Inspection Program form and received a confirmation email, no further action is needed.

Benefits of joining the Routine Livestock Scale Inspection Program include being on NMDA’s permanent routine inspection list, not having to call annually to request an inspection and avoiding late fees.

If scale owners do not want to participate in the new program, they still have the option to call in and request every year by the March 31 deadline.

All ranches and farms must maintain current contact information with the NMDA Standards and Consumer Services Division, including names, phone numbers, mailing addresses and, most importantly, email addresses. Email will serve as the main point of communication for future updates, new information and inspector correspondence.

A fee will be assessed if the following apply:

  • The request is received after March 31
  • You need your scale inspected before the routinely scheduled inspection date
  • You request an additional inspection in 2019
  • You request a re-inspection of a scale that was previously inspected and not in compliance in 2019
  • Your scale is not ready for inspection when the inspector is in the area

The fee will be assessed based on the current “fees for weights and measures services” schedule, which may be found here.

For more information visit http://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/scs/licenseregistration/livestock-inspection. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.

– NMDA –

NMSU Regents approve NMDA’s proposed hemp cultivation rule

For immediate release
Nov. 29, 2018
Media Contact:
Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

NMSU Regents approve NMDA’s proposed hemp cultivation rule

Interested hemp growers must apply for license with NMDA

(Las Cruces, New Mexico) – The New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s proposed hemp cultivation rule at its special meeting Nov. 29.

The rule establishes:

  • Licensure requirements
  • Fee caps
  • Inspection/sampling/testing requirements

Legal authority authorizing the rule is granted to the board of regents of New Mexico State University under Chapter 76, Article 24, Section 1, NMSA 1978 Compilation.

Hemp cultivation rule background:

The 2014 farm bill included the first provision of federal law, which allowed for hemp production and research. The farm bill grants departments of agriculture and institutions of higher education the authority to pursue hemp production if allowed under state law.

During the 2017 New Mexico legislative session, Senate Bill 6 (SB 6) was passed and chaptered into law. SB 6 granted NMDA the authority to develop a hemp program and promulgate rules for the administration of that program, which would complement federal law. State statute also grants persons and institutions of higher education the ability to apply for a hemp production license through the NMDA.

NMDA held five rulemaking hearings and received public comments throughout the state in October.

The full text of the rule is available at www.nmda.nmsu.edu and at NMDA, which is located at 3190 S. Espina in Las Cruces.

Hemp cultivation license applications will not be available until the rule is filed and published in the New Mexico Register. Interested individuals should visit the NMDA website at www.nmda.nmsu.edu after Dec. 11 for an update on the rule status.

Like NMDA on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NMDeptAg.

– NMDA –

New Mexico Pecan Buyers Licensure is in effect

For immediate release
Nov. 21, 2018
Media Contact:
Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

New Mexico Pecan Buyers Licensure is in effect

In-shell pecan buyers must apply for license with NMDA

(Las Cruces, New Mexico) – If you have a business in New Mexico and plan to purchase in-shell pecans that are grown commercially or from residential trees grown in the state, you must apply for a pecan buyers license with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

At the request of the New Mexico Pecan Growers Association, the state legislature passed the Pecan Buyers Licensure Rule earlier this year in an effort to prevent the spread of pecan weevil from infested areas of the state to uninfested pecan growing areas of the state. Pecan growers also point out that the rule will indirectly help deter the increasing problem of pecan theft from residential and commercial properties.

Pecan weevil is considered the most significant insect pest of pecan producers. Pecan weevil was confirmed in approximately 200 residential pecan trees in several eastern New Mexico pecan-growing counties and several commercial pecan orchards. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed the Pecan Weevil Interior Quarantine Rule, which established Eddy, Lea and Chaves Counties as quarantined areas. The quarantined areas have specific restrictions related to the movement of in-shell pecans out of the area.

The rule established licensing fees, licensing requirements and a licensing period. The rule also provides NMDA staff and law enforcement agencies the authority to inspect records to determine the origin of in-shell pecans purchased at each location. The rule may be viewed in its entirety here.

Licenses are required for fixed buying locations for a $300 annual fee and for mobile buying units for a $275 annual fee. A permit is required for each location at which a mobile unit will be parked and engaged in the purchase of in-shell nuts for a $25 annual fee.

All applications require a business name, business owner’s name and valid contact information for the person authorized to request a license for each buying location.

Applications for fixed buying locations require:

  • A physical address or directions for each buying location
  • A physical address or directions where buying records are maintained
  • Days and hours of operation, including seasonal deviations

Applications for mobile buying locations require:

  • Mobile unit description including make, model, year, license plate and color that will be parked and used for the purchase of in-shell pecans
  • A physical address or directions where buying records are maintained
  • Physical address(es) or directions where each mobile unit will be parked for the purpose of purchasing in-shell pecans
  • Registration of additional location permits, prior to engaging in the business of purchasing in-shell pecans, for locations not identified in a current and valid license application
  • Days and hours of operation, including seasonal deviations

All in-shell pecan buyers must maintain records of seller information, including location and date of the purchase, seller contact information and street address or physical location of the tree or the farm from where the in-shell pecans originated. Seller information must include a personal identification number from a valid United States license or passport, as well as a license plate number, make and model of the seller’s motor vehicle. The total weight of the in-shell pecans purchased must also be recorded.

Buyers must ensure record of in-shell pecans purchases available for inspection by NMDA or a peace officer within 48 hours of a transaction.

For an application, click here. Licenses are valid from Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019.

For more information, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-3207.

Like NMDA on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NMDeptAg.

New Mexico Livestock Board has a mission to protect an industry

Feature Story

Nov. 30, 2018
Media Contact:
Baylee Banks
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-1864, bbanks@nmda.nmsu.edu

New Mexico Livestock Board has a mission to protect an industry

For well over a century, the New Mexico Livestock Board has regulated the health and identification of livestock throughout the state of New Mexico. With a mission to maintain the integrity of the state’s livestock industry, the inspectors are always on alert. Aside from performing daily inspections to ensure that livestock are free from disease, the law enforcement agency handles everything from emergency situations involving the transportation of livestock to theft and animal welfare cases.

Formerly identified as the Cattle Sanitary Board, the state agency merged with the Sheep Sanitary Board in 1967 and formed what is now known as the New Mexico Livestock Board. A total of 50 inspectors are employed full-time with the NMLB, 26 of which are certified police officers. Each inspector is trained to ensure the safety of livestock, one of New Mexico’s most precious commodities.

Animal cruelty cases are listed among the many responsibilities of NMLB inspectors. According to NMLB Deputy Director Shawn Davis, the process of handling such situations usually begins with a call of concern.

“Reports of animal cruelty are often received with the caller wanting to remain anonymous,” said Davis. “Callers will give us the details of the situation they’re seeing so that we can start an investigation.”

The investigation process involves contacting either the owner of the animal or the property on which the animal is being kept, as well as obtaining permission to step foot on that property. If access isn’t granted by the owner, a possible search warrant may be issued.

“If the inspectors feel like what they’re seeing isn’t good, they will apply for a seizure warrant with the magistrate or district court,” said Davis. “The warrant is then signed by a judge, and once they have possession of the animal, the court has 30 days to decide if the animal was being treated cruelly.” The seizure is a civil matter, while the criminal case – if charged – is separate.

In the civil matter, the court then has 30 days to give a deposition in order to declare whether the animal was in fact neglected. Charges often range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the severity of the individual case. Meanwhile, the NMLB will sometimes request that the court assigns the animal to a rescue where it can receive proper care and treatment. The New Mexico Equine Rescue Alliance includes six rescues located throughout the state.

“Many recent cases have gone to horse shelters,” said Davis. “Some of the horses may stay there and some may be rehabilitated, but with most cases, the horse will stay at the rescue for a minimum of one year. If the horse becomes healthy enough, they may be able to ride and adopt out.”

Larceny cases are also included in the NMLB inspectors’ long list of duties. In 2018, two men stole 25 head of livestock from a quarantined ranch in Eddy County. The case went to a grand jury, which resulted in both men facing over 26 felony counts, including transporting stolen livestock, larceny, conspiracy and exporting livestock out of the state without inspection.

While theft is always a potential culprit for missing livestock, the NMLB claims that the number of animals found wandering away from their herd is relatively high. In 2018 alone, the NMLB has returned 1,236 head of livestock worth $1.1 million to their rightful owners. On many occasions, inspectors will find the animals ‘where they aren’t supposed to be,’ and upon returning them, realize that the owners of the missing livestock were never aware that they were missing in the first place. Fortunately, with proper brand identification, they are returned without incident.

Because the dairy and cattle ranching industries rake in the highest cash receipts for the state of New Mexico, it’s no surprise that with a large inventory of beef cattle, calves and dairy cows comes the risk of emergency situations involving the livestock transportation. In a recent incident that occurred on Interstate 25 near Albuquerque, a semi-truck carrying 92 head of cattle rolled over due to a weight shift, killing two cows that were pronounced dead on arrival and injuring two others that were later euthanized due to severe injury. Davis said the low number of casualties among the herd was partly due to the quick response time.

“The initial call to us went out within 15 minutes of the incident,” said Davis. “I think because the response time was so fast, an impressive number of cattle survived.”

The remaining cattle were taken to EXPO New Mexico where they were held before being rerouted.

Emergency response within the agency also covers disease outbreak. In 2011, vesicular stomatitis, a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle, broke out across the state. The NMLB was able to keep the disease from spreading to an uncontrolled state by quarantining the effected premises and monitoring the movement of the infected livestock.

“The state vet at the time ordered to shorten the normally accepted range of 30 days for a Certificate of Veterinary Health Inspection to five days during the outbreak,” said Davis. “Spot checks were done at rodeos and other gatherings for compliance. Most diseases of that sort are handled by quarantine and restriction of movement until the disease is under control.”

With a mission to protect the integrity of New Mexico’s livestock industry, the NMLB has a great responsibility to the state and its livestock as a law enforcement agency. Daily inspections to ensure animal health and safety make up a mere fraction of the duties of an NMLB inspector. According to Davis, the hard work of these men and women often goes overlooked.

“The biggest misconception is that the public assumes we’re an agency that solely deals with equine issues,” said Davis. “Even cruelty cases aren’t what keep the agency going day to day. Constant inspections are our first line of defense for New Mexico’s livestock industry, and they are the core activity of our agency’s mission.”

– NMDA –

NMDA invites New Mexico ranchers to meet with Mexican cattle buyers

For immediate release
Nov. 20, 2018
Media Contact:
Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

NMDA invites New Mexico ranchers to meet with Mexican cattle buyers

Meeting will take place during annual Joint Stockmen’s Convention in Albuquerque

(Albuquerque, N.M.) – New Mexico ranchers are invited to meet with Mexican cattle buyers from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 in Albuquerque at the Sandia Resort & Casino, located at 30 Rainbow Road Northeast. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is hosting the meeting in the International Room for attendees of the annual Joint Stockmen’s Convention, which is Wednesday, Dec. 5 through Friday, Dec. 7.

This is the fourth consecutive year the NMDA has facilitated this meeting during the convention hosted by the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said NMDA looks forward to this opportunity.

“The International Room at the Joint Stockmen’s Convention provides an important opportunity for New Mexico cattle growers to meet their neighbors from Mexico, learn their cattle needs and showcase their livestock,” said Witte. “Relationships are created, friendships are developed, and cattle producers from both countries benefit.”

David Lucero, director of NMDA Marketing and Development Division, along with marketing specialist Juan Sanchez, will facilitate the meeting and translate if needed.

Buyers are interested in Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Santa Gertrudis and Brangus breeds. Ranchers are encouraged to bring catalogs, photos, Expected Progeny Differences and DVDs, as laptops will be available.

Ranchers attending the meeting do not have to be members of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, however, they must register for the Joint Stockmen’s Convention. For more information about the convention, contact the NMCGA at 505-247-0584 or nmcga@nmagriculture.org.

For more information regarding the international meeting, or if you are unable to attend, contact Sanchez at 575-646-4929 or jsanchez@nmda.nmsu.edu.

To learn more about the NMDA, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptofAg and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NMDeptAg.

– NMDA –