Agriculture & Horticulture
Our county's agriculture must remain competitive within local, national and even international markets. This requires a continuous flow of appropriate technology addressing local needs within New Mexico. Our Extension program works to maintain and strengthen programs that address these needs. Water is one of the most important limiting resources for our county's agriculture. All aspects of water use affect agricultural efficiency and profitability. Water management will become more critical as water demands for urbanization and industrialization increase.
Alternative marketing information is needed on specialty crops adapted to smaller farms, especially in northern New Mexico and around urban centers of growth. The generation of this production and marketing information should be integrated with concerns of the environment, water conservation/quality, and cultural diversity of clientele including the interaction between rural and urban communities.
Commercial Fruit & Nut Orchard Management
Fruit and nut growers need to be informed of those new techniques, developed by research which could help them improve their yields and manage their orchards optimizely. A good selection of orchard practices will help growers make their orchard inputs more efficient.
Rio Arriba county is not immune to the introduction of invasive weeds. In fact it maybe that it will be one of the counties in where invasive plants are introduced. The county is a by way for many different agricultural products from out of state. One crop that passes through the county is hundreds of tons of hay out of the San Luis Valley in Colorado. The county is also a destination point for thousands of tourist. These tourists may in fact bring seeds with them either unknowingly or knowingly. There are people that bring the idea that where they came from there were lots of beautiful plants that they would like to see here. Hikers and recreationalist also may contribute to the dispersal of invasive plants. Yet there are some invasive plants that have been here since they were introduced during European colonization. And others that have been introduced in the last half-century that people are beginning to feel the effects to these species.
Donald Martinez, Jr.
Rio Arriba County Agricultural Extension Agent