Mature pecan orchard (Photo by Andres Leighton / NMSU) JUL16
For decades, the Upper and Lower Valleys have been producing bumper crops of pecans using water from the Rio Grande.
Via a news release, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office officials stated, “Each year, when harvest time approaches, individuals trespass into privately owned orchards from nearby roadways and steal as many pecans as they can carry. This results in an estimated loss to our local economy of about $1.5 million per year.”
This would include those pecans that fall onto the public right-of-way.
EPCSO officials added, “Pecans are the livelihood of many hardworking farmers in our county and these thefts impact them, their families, and their employees who work year round to produce a successful crop.”
This year, as in other years, deputies will be on the lookout for individuals taking pecans without consent.
People who are caught will be arrested and charged with the appropriate crimes to include theft.
Currently agriculture specialists estimate the annual production is around 30 million pounds, resulting in an estimated yearly economic stimulus to our local economy of approximately $75 million.