FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kristie Garcia
Director of Public Affairs, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
Nov. 30, 2021
New Mexico Department of Agriculture reminds public of pecan regulations
Pecan weevil quarantines in effect, pecan buyers must be licensed
LAS CRUCES – With the pecan harvest underway, New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) officials remind the public that pecan buyers in the state must be licensed and pecan weevil quarantines are in effect. The New Mexico Pecan Buyers Licensure Act defines a “buyer” as a person engaged in the business of purchasing in-shell pecans from a pecan producer and includes an accumulator, buying station, cleaning plant, sheller, dealer or broker. The act does not apply to a person whose business is a grocery store, retail store, gas station or other similar operation and that conducts in-shell pecan transactions totaling less than 100 pounds during any 12-month period.
In an effort to prevent the spread of nut pests – primarily pecan weevil – pecan buyers, as defined above, must be licensed through the Department of Agriculture. Licensed buyers across the state are required to obtain information from sellers, including location and date of the purchase; seller contact information; identification information; license plate and vehicle information; total weight of in-shell nuts purchased; and information regarding the growing location of pecans being sold.
Collection of lot information and seller identification allows NMDA to verify compliance with pecan weevil quarantines and provides a deterrent to pecan theft by aiding local law enforcement agencies in prosecution for illicit sales of stolen pecans. Quarantine violations may result in seizure of pecan loads without reimbursement.
New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said it’s important for sellers to provide the requested information to help prevent the spread of pests.
“New Mexico is the No. 2 pecan-producing state in the nation, and Doña Ana County is the top pecan-producing county in the nation, so we must all work together to protect this crop that is so important to our state,” said Witte. “By providing the required information, sellers are helping prevent the spread of pecan weevil from other parts of the country and from quarantined areas of New Mexico.”
Both interior and exterior pecan weevil quarantines are in effect in New Mexico. The pecan weevil interior quarantine applies to Chaves, Eddy and Lea Counties and includes several restrictions to moving in-shell pecans and related articles from these counties to other counties.
The pecan weevil exterior quarantine restricts the movement of in-shell pecans and regulated articles into New Mexico from all states except Arizona, California and the Texas counties of El Paso and Hudspeth, as well as parts of Culberson County.
A pecan buyers license application and a list of licensed pecan buyers may be found at https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/list-of-pecan-buyer-licenses/.
The interior and exterior quarantine rules may be viewed in their entirety at https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/agricultural-environmental-services-statutes-rules/.
For more information about pecan buyers’ licenses or the pecan weevil quarantines, please call NMDA at 575-646-3207.
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