Friday, August 12, 2011

Some Hatch Farmers Turn From Chile To Cotton

Farming in Hatch, N.M., is nearly synonymous with green chile, but a lot of farmers in the area are falling in love with another cash crop – cotton. It’s been a tough year for farmers and ranchers all over the state, and the small river valley community around Hatch is no exception. First, the record cold caused problems. “The onion crop didn’t go well this year,” Scott Adams, with Adams Produce Inc., said. “The yields were down early. We had a real hard freeze in February, and it killed a lot of the stems on the onions.” Drought conditions held spring irrigation released out of Elephant Butte to only 8 percent of normal. So farmers left land open and only grew on what they could pump well water onto. A lot of the fields in Hatch are growing cotton because it’s cheaper to grow. Cotton costs about $1,000 per acre to grow, while chile costs four to five times that amount. High cotton prices and the ability to cheaply harvest it have led to a smaller chile harvest...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a prevented planting insurance project due to the lack of irrigation water?