Tiny bug posing threat to New Mexico's $180M pecan industry

November 6, 2017 07:47 AM
 
Pecan harvest underway in Texas

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A tiny bug is posing a threat to one of New Mexico's biggest cash crops.

An investigation by the Carlsbad Current-Argus and Roswell Daily Record found an invasive bug known as the pecan weevil could derail New Mexico's $180 million pecan industry.

In late 2016, and January 2017, the weevil was found in pecan orchards in multiple counties in southeast New Mexico. It was confirmed in Eddy, Lea, Chaves and Curry counties.

Quarantines were enacted to prevent its spread in the following months, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture is looking to make them permanent.

New Mexico pecan producers worry the quarantine — which restricts pecan shipments to areas without an infestation — could prevent them from trading to the west where the industry is most lucrative.

According to USDA data, New Mexico growers produced 72 million pounds of pecans in 2016, second behind Georgia's 109 million pounds.

Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus, http://www.currentargus.com/

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