New Mexico to host conference for western pecan growers


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Pecan growers from across the West will be gathering in southern New Mexico soon to talk about the potential for a pecan market in India, drip irrigation and weevils.

New Mexico State University says the annual Western Pecan Growers Conference will kick off on March 1 in Las Cruces. This will be the 54th year for the gathering, which draws growers from New Mexico, Arizona, West Texas and California.

Experts from New Mexico State University and the University of Georgia will be among the presenters. There also will be vendors and a baking contest.

New Mexico marked a record year of pecan production in 2019 to lead the nation. Federal agriculture statistics showed production in the Southwest state topped out at more than 96 million pounds (43,545 metric tons), up 6% from the previous year.

Georgia followed with 69 million pounds (31,298 metric tons), but many trees there are still recovering from the effects of last year’s Hurricane Michael. A couple months of hot, dry weather also had negative effects on Georgia’s yield.