Bernalillo County has approximately 7,000 acres of irrigated land as well as privately and publicly owned rangeland used for agricultural production. In order for farmers and ranchers to remain on the land they must adopt practices that help them increase their economic viability. Producers look to Extension Service personnel and their educational programs for guidance, information and technical support as they plan and implement their agricultural enterprises.
Educational programs on farm research and demonstration, as well as personal consultation, are available in the following areas:
Includes urban farming, traditional row and field crop production, high value vegetable and fruit production, forage and pasture management, and organic production methods. The following topics are available within each of these subjects.
Includes cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and horses.
Integrated Pest Management
The evaluation and incorporation of all available techniques (old and new, low tech and high tech) into a unified program to identify and manage pest populations to minimize damage and adverse effects on the environment.
Agricultural Entrepreneurship & Business Planning
Organic Agriculture & Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
WARNING: SORGUM/SUDAN/JOHNSON GRASS HARMFUL TO HORSES. There is a hay shortage and people are being forced to seek out alternatives. But, please beware that not all alternatives are safe. Learn more!
Dr. Jason Turner, NMSU Horse Specialist, has the following words of caution:
I know that hay supplies are tight, but I would still caution horse owners against feeding sorghum/sudan hay to horses. The primary concern in horses is related to the potential for a neurological condition caused by lathyrogen compounds that can be present in the growing forage and hay. As is often the case with the horse, there is little definitive research on this issue to give us a complete picture. I have consulted Dr. Mark Marsalis, our extension specialist in the sorghum area, to get his input from the plant side of things. After our discussion, I found an internet publication in the popular press that is authored by a veterinary toxicologist at the University of Kentucky that concisely addresses the highlights of this issue. I have attached it as a pdf (see below) for your reference, and I have also attached an excellent publication from the Colorado State University Extension Service that discusses alternative feedstuffs and feeding recommendations for horses when hay supplies run short. I am also pasting a link below to the May/June 2011 issue of the BRAND NEWs newsletter that discusses the hay shortage topic.
Upcoming Events & Registrations
New Mexico Hay Conference
Date January 16 - 17, 2014
Location Ruidoso, NM
New Mexico Organic Conference
When February 14-15, 2014
Location Marriott Pyramid, Albuquerque, NM
Bees & Wasps
A bee -- or not a bee? That is the question!
Our office receives calls throughout the year about "bees." In reality, some are honey bees while others are actually western yellow jackets. Learn more about the differences.
Bees are essential to fruit and vegetable production as well as seed production for many plants! Beekeeping is gaining in popularity in Albuquerque and a number of beekeepers are willing to collect the bees from your property. Learn more about bees, wasps and beekeepers in the Albuquerque area.
Bernalillo County Open Space and its partners offer a series of free workshops that provides the public with practical experience and knowledge for transforming their backyards into a thriving urban oasis of food, medicine, and wildlife habitat. The guest speakers are all experts in their field who present firsthand knowledge on topics such as irrigation, livestock, insects, gardening, seed saving, and much more. The workshops are held at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House History and Cultural Center from February to November. A dedicated website/blog provides information on upcoming workshops, past speakers and materials, and additional local gardening resources. The Backyard Farming Series partners include:
New Mexico Farmers' Markets
Each of New Mexico's 50 growers' markets is unique, reflecting the particular character of local cultures, soils and climate. Most of our markets are open seasonally, from early or late summer through late fall. Five markets -- Corrales, Los Ranchos, Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Las Cruces -- are now open year-round. Learn more!
This organization provides basic composting classes for the general public, and trains volunteers to teach these classes. Learn more!
Food for People
The food produced by our Bernalillo County Extension Service office is donated to the Roadrunner Food Bank and widely distributed to a number of groups and individuals in need. Julie Anderson with the RRFB says fresh produce is the first thing to go when people are selecting their food for the week. In 2013, the Gutierrez-Hubbell House will serve as a distribution center for other backyard farmers who want to donate extra fresh produce. If you are interested in donating produce, call farm manager Gabe Bauman-Baker at (574) 238-8957.
Junior Master Gardeners
Grades K-3 (currently). Junior Master Gardener Program (JMG). An 8-10 week afterschool/homeschool program of the university cooperative system. Through horticultural and environmental science education, youth become good gardeners and good citizens. Once youth complete a prescribed set of activities and a service learning project, they can receive certification through the national JMG program. Group and individual activities. For more information, contact John Garlisch, or visit this website's 4-H School Enrichment Page.