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LAS CRUCES - New Mexico's prolonged drought will take center stage at the New Mexico Pecan Growers annual field day and meeting April 22 at New Mexico State University's Leyendecker Plant Science Center. The half-day program will focus on ways to improve the crop through insect control, fertilizer and water management.
"Even with our recent rains, we're still looking at a forecast for below-average irrigation allotments," said field day coordinator John White, Dona Ana County horticulture agent with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the program starts at 8:15 a.m. Cost is $25, which includes association membership and lunch.
Featured speaker Karl Wood, director of NMSU's Water Resources Research Institute, will discuss current climate patterns and drought conditions. The program includes an Elephant Butte Irrigation District irrigation update, a review of the state's smoke and burn regulations, and a talk on pesticide regulation.
Other discussions focus on soil salinity management, and pecans' leaf nutrition and water needs. In addition, talks will cover beneficial insects, root knot nematodes and weed identification.
Scientific and technical presentations will be followed by the regular business meeting of the New Mexico Pecan Growers Association, White said.
Last year the state's growers produced about 55 million pounds of pecans, according the New Mexico Agricultural Statistics Service.
NMSU's Leyendecker center, located eight miles southeast of Las Cruces on Highway 28, is home to more than 200 acres of varying soil types for research on plant breeding, disease control, insect and nematode control, herbicide effects and production techniques.
For more information about the field day, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact White in advance at (505) 525-6649 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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