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Drought may impact Doña Ana County’s iconic pecan crop production

DOÑA ANA COUNTY, New Mexico - In the middle of an extreme drought, Doña Ana County pecan farmers must rely on outside water sources to produce southern New Mexico's most iconic crop.

"The irrigation season is really short this year," said Dave DuBois, state climatologist for New Mexico State University. "Producers must rely on pumping our groundwater resources to make up for the difference."

Greg Salopek, partner of New Mexico Pecan Company, said he hopes for maybe "one and-a-half" opportunities for irrigation this season. He said groundwater doesn't provide the nutrients that come from the Rio Grande.

"This year, we'll be covered by pumping," Salopek said. "It's scary, though, to see Elephant Butte so dry."

(Current Drought Pictured on Left. 2020 Drought Conditions Pictured on Right.
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor)

As of early June, Las Cruces had measured half an inch of rain. In May, the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service told ABC-7 that climate models predict the Borderland may have a weak monsoon season.

"We're dealing with climate change," Dubois said. "The most pronounced change is our warming."

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is a former ABC-7 New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and weekend evening newscast anchor.


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