New Mexico is primarily a livestock production state. Cotton and alfalfa hay are important economic crops. Horticultural income amounts to about 14% of total agricultural income to this state.
New Mexico contains 315,115 km2. The topography is varied with elevations ranging from 840 in the lower Sonoran Desert to 3900 rn in the mountains. Some valleys are large enough to make agricultural operations possible with irrigation. New Mexico is semi-arid with an annual precipitation of about 250 mm. Dona Ana County has the largest income from horticultural enterprises. The largest pecan orchard (1600 ha) is located here. Chili and onions are the important vegetable crops in the state. Lettuce acreage continues to decline because of competition. Generally, trends in the state are toward dry land agriculture in eastern NM and more intensive agriculture such as horticulture crop production. Recently, approximately 1600 ha of grapes were planted and a wine industry is developing. Apple production continues to decline in northern mountain valleys. However, potential in Southern valleys is very promising.
Organized horticultural research in Mexico began in 1889. New Mexico State University has its origin in 1988, 23 years before New Mexico became the 47th state. In addition to the main station located in Las Cruces. the University operates Agricultural Science Centers throughout the state. Two of these centers, at Alcalde and Farmington, have horticulturists on staff. The Mora Research Station investigates the potential for Christmas tree production and other woody ornamental crops for northern New Mexico. State Department of Agriculture established under the Board of Regents at New Mexico State University has the function of protecting and maintaining the agriculture state of New Mexico.
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Last updated: Fri Dec 19 20:07:27 NFT 2003