When you think of New Mexico you may think of dry climate, deserts, and cacti, but did you know that this geographically diverse state is a top producer of many of your favorite veggies? With an agricultural history that dates backs over 2,500 years, there’s much to learn about the Land of Enchantment……
- Doña Ana County leads the nation in pecan production, 67 million pounds of pecans are harvested from 34,319 acres.
- The state supplies 85% of the nation’s fresh onions during June.
- The agriculture industry provides 23,000 jobs in the state.
- It is the nation’s seventh-largest milk-producing state, according to the National Agricultural Statistical Service, it provides 4% of milk each year.
- It leads the nation in Chile pepper production.
- Farming in New Mexico can be traced back at least 2,500 years, the original inhabitants grew beans, corn, and squash.
- According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 95% of farms are family owned.
- The average farm covers 1,624 acres.
- Livestock and cattle are an important commodity, cattle are the top cash commodity and generates $1.75 billion a year.
- New Mexico is home to six life zones with varying geography and climate – Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, Hudsonian, and Arctic-Alpine. Due to its geographic diversity, the state is a producer of many different crops.
- According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, there are 40,659,836 acres of farmland.
- Penistaja soils are the state soil and cover over one million acres of land. The soils are ideal for livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, and recreation.
- Corn, beans, and Squash are known as “The Three Sisters” of New Mexican Agriculture and serve as the basis for inter-cropping systems.
- Notable produce grown includes pumpkins, watermelons, potatoes, lettuce, Chile peppers, corn, beans, and cabbage.
- Established in 1992, The Chile Pepper Institute at the New Mexico State University is the only international, non-profit organization devoted to the education and research of Chile peppers, according to the NMSU website.
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