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Tuesday , October 23 2018
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Home | Tag Archives: nmsu agricultural programs

Tag Archives: nmsu agricultural programs

Coming soon: NMSU’s newly released NuMex Sandia Select chile pepper

Chile lovers rejoice. A new chile pepper variety is now available for growers. For the first time, New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute has released NuMex Sandia Select chile seed. This new Sandia cultivar allows the traditionally red chile pepper to be used as a green chile pepper.

“It’s good. It’s real good,” said Jimmy Lytle, a renowned third-generation Hatch chile farmer who grew the NuMex Sandia Select last summer as part of the university’s research and trial process. “First, it’s got a good flavor. It also has a nice, green color and the production is great. I think it’s going to be a really good variety.”

Sandia chile peppers, grown around the Mesilla Valley and up into Hatch, were originally released in 1956. Like most New Mexico chiles, Sandia starts out as green in the field. Unfortunately, Sandia chile peppers are usually shorter and have thinner fruit walls when compared to their relatives normally used for green chile. That’s why growers in the region traditionally allow Sandia chile peppers to ripen into red pods before they are harvested. Then the pods are processed and used in red chile powder and in chile flakes.

“New Mexico growers asked for a thicker-walled Sandia, so they could use it as a green chile,” said Paul Bosland, an NMSU Regents Professor and director of the Chile Pepper Institute. “This is something we’ve been working on since 2001.”

Researchers at the Chile Pepper Institute began to see if they could select for plant traits that would make Sandia useful as a green chile pepper. The process started with 15 different chile lines, and each was evaluated for taste, yield, disease resistance, pod structure and other plant habits. Each year a few of the most desirable lines were kept. Eventually, a winner emerged – NuMex Sandia Select. The new variety has a long, straight pod and a firm fruit wall, which Bosland said is perfect for use as a green chile.

NuMex Sandia Select seeds are available to growers through Biad Chili and the Chile Pepper Institute. Growers seeking less than 10 pounds of seed should contact the Chile Pepper Institute at 575-646-3028. Growers needing 10 pounds of seed or more should contact Biad Chili at 575-525-0034.

Flame-roasted green NuMex Sandia Select packaged into one-pound resealable bags is also available at the Chile Pepper Institute in Gerald Thomas Hall, Room 265. For more information, visit

Author: Justin Bannister, NMSU

NMSU ranks among 40 best college farms in the country

With nearly 95,000 acres devoted to the study of farming, ranching and forestry, New Mexico State University and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences have been honored as one of the 40 best college farms in America, according to College Ranker.

College Ranker is an online service based in Columbus, Ohio, geared toward prospective university students that develops rankings of various attributes of universities across the country. The rankings were determined using criteria such as hands-on experiences; student involvement; community outreach programs; workshops, classes and lectures; volunteering opportunities; and degree plan options, which includes agricultural economics and business, agronomy and animal science at NMSU.

“Since the first 23 acres of land was purchased for the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1906, the AES system has grown in response to the agricultural needs of New Mexico,” said David Thompson, associate dean of the college and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System. “The AES system now accounts for 94,884 acres of land specifically designated to studying farming, ranching and forestry. Each Agricultural Science Center addresses the unique needs and voices of the diverse regions of New Mexico they are rooted in.”

The 1906 purchase is today the Fabian Garcia Research Center located on University Avenue in Las Cruces, and some of legendary researcher Fabian Garcia’s pecan trees still exist there.

“Farming has always been part of the campus and the mission of the institution,” said Steve Loring, associate director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System. “Most people do not realize how much land NMSU has for agricultural research, since most of the land is scattered around the state.”

NMSU is one of the few remaining universities in the country to have an animal science program with livestock on its main campus. Additionally, NMSU has a pair of certified organic acreages, and student-run organic gardens in Las Cruces and at the Sustainable Agricultural Science Center at Alcalde.

“The state is our campus and our diverse farms provide unique training opportunities for NMSU students,” Thompson said. “Each Agricultural Science Center/campus farm has an advisory board made up of influential community and agricultural leaders who help to ensure that we are answering the questions and concerns of the region served by each ASC.”

To view the entire ranking, visit

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

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