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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU’s Los Lunas agricultural science center to host field day Aug. 15

LOS LUNAS – Middle Rio Grande farmers and the local community will have an opportunity to learn about the research being conducted at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas during the farm’s field day Tuesday, Aug. 15.


People in trolley listening to speaker
New Mexico State University fruit specialist Shengrui Yao will share the latest information on her jujube fruit tree research being conducted at NMSU’s Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas, during the research farm’s field day on Aug. 15. Registration for the free event begins at 7:30 a.m. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences helps support economic and community development with research at its Agricultural Science Centers.

The Los Lunas center is among 12 agricultural science centers around the state. Agricultural and horticultural research projects specific to the Middle Rio Grande Valley and its surrounding areas will be on display at the field day.

“We have a wide range of programs here to serve the area’s broad clientele base that ranges from the horticultural needs of individual homeowners to small- and medium-sized farming operations in the Middle Rio Grande Valley,” said Mark Marsalis, NMSU Extension forage specialist and superintendent of the Los Lunas facility.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Following welcoming speeches, wagon tours and demonstrations will start at 9 a.m. The event concludes with a free catered lunch and door prizes provided by area sponsors at noon.

Also located at the farm is the Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Materials Center that serves New Mexico and other Southwestern states by testing diverse ecotypes of plant species for adaptation to various conditions and suitability for conservation efforts and commercial production.

“The field day will have something of interest to everyone, and is a great opportunity to have a glimpse into the research efforts of both NMSU and the NRCS,” Marsalis said. “The station is really quite unique with respect to the diversity of projects being conducted. We have everything from vegetables, fruit trees and berries, pollinator insect projects, and ornamental plantings, to forage crops and range grasses.”

During the tour of the farm, presentations will be given on studies involving mechanical chile harvesting, weed control in chile, pollinator plants, beneficial insects and bees, future grape research, cover crops and soil health, soil carbon and gas flux research, and jujube as an alternative fruit crop.

Visitors will also meet three new Extension and research faculty: Ashley Bennett, NMSU’s new small urban farm integrated pest management specialist, Gill Giese, viticulture specialist, and Marisa Thompson, horticulture specialist.

The NRCS Plant Materials Center work will also be on display and will include presentations on cover crops as well as a rainfall simulation demonstration that shows the benefits of soil vegetation on overall soil health and water conservation.

Demonstrations and educational booths will include a honeybee exhibit and insect and weed identification displays. So bring your weed and bug pests to have them identified, and receive some free pest management information. A variety of other educational booths will be on-hand for the public to view.

The event is free and open to the public. The research farm is located at 1036 Miller St. SW, one mile west from the turnoff at Miller Road and NM 314. For more information, contact the Agricultural Science Center at 505-865-7340.