Tag Archives: agriculture

NMSU studies market for new pecan products

Plant could produce oil, flour from nuts 

William Gorman, left, professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, and research assistant Skyla Cockerham, display pecan oil and pecan flour samples related to their research on pecan oil extraction and marketing. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

Janet Perez

New Mexico State University

They taste good, they’re good for you, and a market for them already exists. But don’t expect these specially produced products to be on your average grocery store shelves anytime soon.

New Mexico State University researchers recently examined the feasibility of locating and operating a 2-million-pound pecan processing facility in southern New Mexico that would produce high-grade pecan oil and de-fatted gluten-free pecan flour. The oil and flour would be derived from the pecans using a new extraction process developed by Oklahoma State University and Ambient Temperature Extraction Partners of Oklahoma. No large processing facility using the OSU method exists anywhere outside of a university lab.

NMSU gets more than $300,000 in USDA grants

Gabriella D. Ferrar

NMSU

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner announced last month grants totaling more than $300,000 for New Mexico State University.

The three centuries of San Miguel

FNS special feature

Editor’s Note:  An old rural town just south of Las Cruces, San Miguel is a small community that could be overlooked by drivers headed elsewhere. Yet a stop in the town reveals a treasured past that tucks in varied cultural influences, distinct waves of migration and epochs of economic growth and contraction. The following story is part of Frontera NorteSur’s special Centennial of New Mexico Statehood series and is made possible in part by grants from the New Mexico Humanities Council and the McCune Charitable Foundation.

Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur

Driving south of Las Cruces on Highway 28, travelers pass through the shady canopy of  Stahmann Farms’ pecan forest before gliding into the small town of San Miguel. There, along the few blocks of old abode buildings and signs for fresh farm produce, day trippers might very well encounter friendly folk like Mike Otero.

Versatile compound deters crop insects

By Jan Suszkiw

USDA Agricultural Research Service

ARS scientists are looking at saponins—detergent-like compounds produced by some plants—as a potential control of insect pests like the fall armyworm (shown here).

Detergent-like compounds called saponins are best known for their cleansing properties, but U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are studying these compounds’ potential for helping protect plants from insect attack.

In studies at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, operated in Peoria, Ill., by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), scientists Pat Dowd, Mark Berhow and Eric Johnson are “spiking” laboratory diets fed to corn earworms and fall armyworms with saponins from soybeans, switchgrass, yerba mate and other sources to determine exactly what effects the compounds have on the caterpillar pests’ growth and survival. ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency.

Farmscaping workshop, farm tours planned

Jane Moorman

NMSU

Learn how to make better use of nature’s pest management services at one of four free, on-site farmscaping workshop presented by New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and hosted by producers of a variety of crops throughout New Mexico.

Project strives to return gardening into Navajo lifestyle

Jane Moorman

NMSU

NMSU Tribal Extension agent Jesse Jim, left, and Alysse Pablo, lab assistant at NMSU Agricultural Science Center in Farmington, work on the irrigation system at the Garden for Health demonstration garden in Crownpoint. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

CROWNPOINT, N.M. On a mesa in Crownpoint, overlooking the sun-parched, wind-blown land of the Navajo Nation, a garden is sprouting.

New Mexico State University’s Tribal Extension and the Agricultural Science Center of Farmington is helping the Crownpoint Boys and Girls Club to raise a garden as a demonstration of the Garden for Health project.

The Garden for Health project is introducing gardening back into the Navajo lifestyle to improve wellness. Gardening for sustenance and as a hobby has been lost across the United States, not just in the Navajo Nation. However, the loss of traditional lifestyle activities, such as gardening, and the introduction of processed foods have had a greater negative impact on the health of the indigenous people.

Wildfires trigger agricultural emergency response plans statewide

Jane Moorman

NMSU

As wildfires break out across New Mexico, counties and agricultural agencies have opened their emergency response plans and are organizing to help keep livestock, horses and other animals out of harm’s way.

Cattle graze in Valles Caldera National Preserve as the Las Conchas Fire skirts the preserve. Agricultural agencies and counties are working together to help keep livestock, horses and other animals out of harm’s way as wildfires break out across New Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Rourke McDermott with the Valles Caldera Trust.)

Cattle graze in Valles Caldera National Preserve as the Las Conchas Fire skirts the preserve. Agricultural agencies and counties are working together to help keep livestock, horses and other animals out of harm’s way as wildfires break out across New Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Rourke McDermott with the Valles Caldera Trust.)

“We’ve planned and practiced responding to emergencies for the past five years, and it’s being put into practice now,” said Billy Dictson, co-director of the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center office of biosecurity that is housed at New Mexico State University. “It’s awesome to watch the various people and agencies working smoothly together to help protect our citizens’ livelihood.”

NMSU expands pecan research as region expands production

Jay Rodman

New Mexico State University

Pecans, like people, are moving to the Southwest. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, New

Workers at NMSU’s Leyendecker Plant Science Center finish planting one new Western Schley pecan sapling while a co-worker, left, aligns a tree-centering frame for the next tree. NMSU photo by Jay A. Rodman

Mexico and Arizona accounted for a mere 4 percent of U.S. pecan production in the mid 1970s. As a result of steady growth in production, the percentage had blossomed to more than 28 percent a third of a century later.

NMSU has recently planted nearly 2,000 new pecan saplings, donated in 2011 by Linwood Nursery in La Grange, Calif. With extensive new orchards in three New Mexico growing areas, Heerema feels that NMSU is on its way to becoming a national leader in pecan research.

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