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NMSU to host chile field day in Las Cruces in September

Chile roasting season is here, and if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the pepper, the 2015 Chile Field Day is the perfect opportunity. This year, New Mexico State University’s Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center will host the field day from 8 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Sept. 9, and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Leyendecker is located eight miles southeast of Las Cruces on Highway 28. The event is free and open to the public.

Woman (center) talks to a woman (left) and man (right) in chile field.
Stephanie Walker, New Mexico State University extension plant sciences assistant professor, talks with chile enthusiasts during a field tour of landrace chile. NMSU is hosting the 2015 Chile Field Day at the Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center in Las Cruces Sept. 9. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

“Most New Mexicans love to eat chile; we hope to showcase some of the research projects that support production of the crop,” said Stephanie Walker, NMSU extension plant sciences assistant professor. “Research projects, including pest and disease management, breeding and mechanization, that are being conducted at NMSU that contribute to the productivity of the state’s chile fields, will be presented.

“There’s also much more to choosing chile varieties than hot versus mild. Attendees will learn about different chile varieties, so that they can better decide on their favorites,” she said.

This year’s event will include field tours, graduate student research posters and green chile and tortilla samples. NMSU has hosted or co-hosted chile field days in New Mexico or Arizona since 2006. Last year’s event was held at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center in Los Lunas.

“We had a fairly large and very enthusiastic group of chile heads in attendance,” Walker recalled.

Groups with more than five attendees need to RSVP to Autumn Martinez at purple@nmsu.edu or 575-646-2281 by Aug. 21.