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NMSU's pecan conference to provide industry updates in a nutshell

The 2010 Western Pecan Growers Association Conference and Tradeshow, hosted by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, is set for March 7-9 at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. As part of the conference, the popular Pecan Food Fantasy competition will take place March 7.



The 2010 Western Pecan Growers Association Conference and Tradeshow, hosted by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, is set for March 7-9 at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. In recent years, many acres of new pecans have been planted in New Mexico, Arizona, California and Texas. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

"There is really nothing else like this for our growers," said Richard Heerema, NMSU's Extension pecan specialist. "This year's conference and tradeshow will present pecan growers with wonderful opportunities to learn from expert speakers from several research universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Attendees will also have a chance to visit with equipment manufacturers and share ideas with growers from all over the Southwest."

Pecans are one of the largest agricultural products grown in New Mexico, with the state typically ranking near the top in production for the entire country. In 2009, New Mexico produced an estimated 70 million of pounds pecans, valued at $133 million.

This year's conference will focus on pest control, orchard management and other topics important for growers. The conference's education program will have specific sessions on fertilizer, water management, evaluation and modification of soils and the practical implications of a changing climate.

A $100 prize will be awarded for the best pecan sample during the WPGA Pecan Show. In-state entries will be accepted until noon on Sunday, March 7. The deadline for food entries in the Pecan Food Fantasy competition is 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 7.

For more information, contact Olivia Carver at (575) 640-7798 or Peggy Salopek at (575) 646-2875. Additional information is available at http://pecans.nmsu.edu.