Agricultural Experiment Station
Archived Reports from 2014 - 2018
Students from a NMSU-C Environmental Studies class (Rick Wiedenmann, Biology faculty) made a field trip to the ASC Artesia. Students sampled alfalfa for insect pests and predators and saw demonstrations of soil sampling with a hammer probe. They were shown how deeply roots can go and how to estimate soil moisture for irrigation scheduling. Students also participated in discussions about integrated pest management, soil health, and using biological control to reduce insecticide applications. Additionally, twelve alfalfa varieties were seeded this week to assess varieties for yield potential under a lateral move sprinkler. Once established these plots will be irrigated using “bubbler nozzle” technology. Farms in west Texas have reportedly seen nearly a 25 percent improvement in water use efficiency by using these types of nozzles.
In Collaboration with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, the ASC at Clovis hosted the "Leadership Clovis." The group had a chance to tour the winter canola and winter wheat research plots. Dr. Abdel Mesbah gave a brief presentation about the Center and the type of research being conducted that will benefit our growers. Dr. Naveen Puppala talked about Valencia peanut breeding and the future of organic peanut production. Dr. Rajan Ghimire talked about cover crops and residue management research and highlighted the benefits of cover crops for improving soil health, water conservation, and wind/water erosion control, and their linkage to crop production as well as human health and environment. Drs. Sangu Angadi and Sultan Begna talked about the declining Ogallala aquifer and the need to develop well-adapted, water-efficient alternative crops such as canola and guar to sustain irrigated agriculture in the region.
NMSU-Las Cruces students Gaurav Jha and Alyce Matthews traveled to Shiprock, New Mexico, last week where they presented their research at Shiprock Ag days along with ASC at Farmington team members Brandon Francis and Dr. Kevin Lombard. Farmers and ranchers of the Navajo Nation were appreciative of the information presented regarding metal concentrations in soils, leaves and produce grown in the area. Their research showed that local fruits and vegetables are safe to consume even if they were grown on soils with higher metal concentrations, since the plants do not absorb high amounts of metals from soils.
Over 60 people attended a Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop held at the Alcalde Sustainable ASC. The workshop was organized by Shengrui Yao, Associate Professor of Horticulture and Extension Fruit specialist, Donald Martinez, Rio Arriba County Extension, Tony Valdez, Taos County Extension, Tom Dominguez, Santa Fe County Extension, and Tory Hougland, CES-RAIPAP. After a slide presentation by Yao on training systems and pruning methods of various species of fruit trees and brambles, attendees were divided into two groups and taken to the Science Center's orchards for hands-on demonstrations led by Yao, Martinez, and Valdez.
Over 50 people attended a Winter Greens field day at the Alcalde Sustainable ASC. Del Jimenez, Extension agricultural specialist, Ivette Guzmán, assistant professor of Horticulture, Rob Heyduck, senior research assistant, and Jacque Cormier, graduate student in Plant and Environmental Sciences (PES), gave presentations highlighting the research being carried out at the Alcalde Center on the use of high tunnels to produce spinach, kale, and lettuce for harvest during the coldest months of the year. Farmers selling during the winter months can receive premium prices for these crops at year-round farmers markets, schools, restaurants and other direct marketing channels.
Composting can be a great way to manage organic wastes such as compost, food, paper, even pecan trimmings. The ASC-Artesia is assisting ACES Graduate Student Emily Creegan with her USDA Fellows project by providing guidance and support. Monday’s cold and blustery day didn’t hamper our efforts to collect samples from the three compost windrows that have unique recipes. Emily was able to utilize the correct sampling protocol that she learned at a compost operator certification course in Raton last semester. The fact that she sampled the windrows using a modified U.S. Composting Council method will allow her to determine if there are significant differences in microbial, chemical and physical characteristics. The composts will receive an economic analysis to aid in decision making.
“Insects and Weeds!” were subjects for a morning workshop offered to nine of the field staff at Fabian Garcia and Leyendecker Science Centers. Daniel Goodrich, project coordinator for the Extension Viticulture Program, organized the event while Drs. Leslie Beck and Carol Sutherland briefly discussed weed identification and insect biology. A hands-on field trip to find and identify weeds and insects in nearby research plots followed the presentations. Training field staff members about potential crop pests and beneficial arthropods helps the staff to understand the importance of their efforts. They are involved in establishment and day-to-day maintenance of many plots for ACES researchers and students. The staff also may detect and report on various pests before they damage field plots. Submitting specimens of unfamiliar weeds and insects to the Plant Diagnostic Clinic was encouraged.
Fun while learning! The Clovis Agricultural Science Center’s program “Cultivating Young Minds” is an annual event targeting 5th grade students from Clovis Elementary Schools. The students had a chance to visit the Center and learn about who we are and what we do. This year’s event was a great success. Ten schools participated with a total of 610 students. After a brief introduction by Abdel Mesbah, students from each school spent 45 minutes learning about soils, good and bad bugs in soil, and variety of seeds that we plant to grow crops (Rajan Ghimire) and plant growth, development, and food production (Sultan Begna). At the end of the lectures, students had the chance to go to the center’s pumpkin field to pick a pumpkin or two to take home. Due to the interest expressed by teachers and parents, we might consider inviting other schools outside the Clovis area in the future.
The CRLRC and Guadalupe County CES hosted a Let’s Talk! breakfast roundtable discussion in Santa Rosa at the Blue Hole Convention Center. Employees from both CRLRC and Guadalupe CES prepared breakfast for 41 clients to enjoy while visiting with old friends and making new acquaintances. A client driven roundtable discussion on livestock production and management followed with a panel discussion by Dr. Eric Scholljegerdes, Dr. Marcy Ward, Leigh Ann Marez and Shad Cox. Discussion primarily revolved around ruminant nutrition and supplementation, heifer development, reproductive technologies, forage quality and quantification, marketing, and suggestions for future research. Nineteen clients enjoyed a working lunch while Dr. Ward led Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training in the afternoon for those who wanted new certification or continuing education credit for maintaining certification.
The Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC) lead by Dr. Adam Summers is demonstrating the efficacy of transcervical artificial insemination for small goat operations in New Mexico. Thirty head were bred on September 7 and 19 through transcervical technique. The Corona goat program was implemented ten years ago to help address production questions in New Mexico as well as add a funding stream to the Corona program with an added value goat production enterprise. The Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability at the CRLRC hopes to develop producer workshops to train goat producers in transcervical artificial techniques to aid in applying genetic advances to small farm operations.
The AES at Tucumcari hosted 150, 4th and 5th grade students from the Tucumcari Elementary School and two home-schooled youth for its annual Farm Day event. The students rotated among six presentations, which included Toss No Mas and Recycling (Sharayah Sisneros and Alyssa Reveles, City of Tucumcari), Good Bugs/Bad Bugs (Leonard Lauriault, NMSU ASC Tucumcari), Horses (Staci Stanbrough, Mesalands Community College and ACES Alum, shown in the picture with her horse), Soil Organic Matter (Murali Darapuneni, NMSU ASC Tucumcari), Weeds and Crops (Ashley Cunningham, NMSU ASC Tucumcari and ACES Alum), and 4-H Projects (Joyce Runyan, NMSU Quay County Cooperative Extension Service). Healthy snacks for the event were sponsored by local businesses.
The Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC) has partnered with the Otero County Cooperative Extension Service to kick off the first Let’s Talk! Breakfast in Town roundtable discussion in range livestock production. This new series of outreach programs follows four Let’s Talk! Breakfast at the Ranch events hosted at the Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability. Sixteen participants gathered on September 6 for breakfast before joining in a client driven discussion about concerns for livestock producers in the area. Scientists associated with research activities at the CRLRC from the Departments of Animal and Range Science and Extension Animal Science and Natural Resources addressed the issues and questions of the day. This series is currently being scheduled in other towns. More information available at CRLRC.
Dr. Steve Loring, associate director, has been selected by the Irrigation Association Awards and Honors Committee to receive the 2017 National Water and Energy Conservation Award. This award honors significant achievement in the conservation of water and energy relating to irrigation procedures, equipment, methods and techniques. The Irrigation Association (IA) is the leading membership organization for irrigation equipment and system manufacturers, dealers, distributors, designers, consultants, contractors and end users. The IA is dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation technologies, products and services. Together with experts and stakeholders from industry, academia and the public sector, the IA works to define best practices for effective water management, establish benchmarks and guidelines for irrigation products and applications; promote efficient irrigation technology and practices; and advocate sound policies to ensure the availability, quality and conservation of water supplies. Well done Dr. Loring!
Chile farmers and representatives from NM chile processors were on hand to observe the green chile mechanical harvest trial conducted at the Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center August 29-30. The NM green chile crop is completely hand-harvested; however, mechanizing the process is critical to regain NM production acreage lost to competing countries due to disparity in labor cost and availability. Drs. Stephanie Walker, Extension Vegetable specialist, and Dr. Paul Funk, USDA-ARS Agricultural Engineer, are longtime collaborators in mechanization research and have worked together to identify optimum equipment, field management, and varieties. This week's trial evaluated six advanced green chile breeding lines developed for mechanization efficiency with the goal of new variety release in support of green chile production in the state.
Dr. Sam Fernald, director of the Water Resources Research Institute and professor of Range Sciences, and Dr. Steve Loring, associate director—AES, facilitated a faculty forum to discuss significant water issues facing New Mexico and faculty perceptions of opportunities and responses for NMSU. Dean Rolando Flores spoke about the importance of water to the mission of NMSU. The forum was attended by representatives from the colleges of ACES, Engineering, and Arts & Sciences. A white paper summarizing their comments along with those from off-campus faculty and stakeholders will be prepared for use by college deans when evaluating research, teaching, and extension/outreach programs.
Dr. Steven Loring, associate director—AES, spoke at the Digital Measures User Group 2016 Conference on October 10 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More than 100 colleges and universities were represented at this conference. Using examples from the College of ACES, he demonstrated how NMSU is using Digital Measures Activity Insight to record and present community engagement activities and impacts, and how these can be shared with various stakeholders as part of public accountability, supporting NMSU’s good work.
On September 22, the Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari hosted a Kid's, Kows, and More program co-sponsored by the Quay County Cooperative Extension Service and Southwest Dairy Farmers. Two hundred and thirty-six 4th & 5th grade students and teachers from four area school systems learned about Soil Nutrients in Plant Health; Who Lives in the Rumen; Kids, Kows, and Kuds: How Ruminants Utilize Forage; More Than a Cow; and Mobile Dairy Classroom. In addition to those presenting, there were 11 volunteers for a total of 253 participants.
Dean Rolando Flores; Dr. David Thompson, associate dean and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System; and Dr. Steven Loring, associate director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System, joined more than 55 people for a field day at the Agricultural Science Centers at Artesia. The field day is a chance for the public to attend and learn what our researchers and Extension faculty are doing and how that benefits the producers and consumers of New Mexico.
At least 610 people attend field days at the Agricultural Science Centers at Farmington, Tucumcari, and Clovis, and at the Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde. The field days are a chance for the public to attend and learn what our researchers and Extension faculty are doing and how that benefits the producers and consumers of New Mexico.
Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC) The entire administrative team of the college and three members of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences met with the Advisory Committee of the CRLRC at the ranch near Corona on February 5 to discuss the role of the center in the overall strategic plan of ACES research, extension, and outreach efforts. The 28,000-acre CRLRC is a unique asset for NMSU and a resource for other programs such as the U.S. Beef Academy, NM Farm and Livestock Bureau, and NM Game and Fish retreats. Housing for adult and youth programs is a high priority for more fully utilizing the facility’s potential.
Dr. David Thompson, Associate Dean and Director, Dr. Brian Schutte, Assistant Professor, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science (EPPWS), and Dr. Amy Ganguli, Assistant Professor, Animal and Range Sciences (ANRS), are receiving the Partnership Award from the New Mexico State Parks Division. The partnership award recognizes individuals who make a significant contribution to the Division. Their contribution served to highlight the park in both conservation and education circles. The park is a beacon for learning about sustainable restoration due in large part to this partnership and the ongoing work and research they are conducting within the park boundaries. The partnership planted and recorded progress on 720 cottonwood trees and 120 desert willows on a 30+ acre plot. This research has provided the park and NMSU's Agricultural Experiment Station vital information for the long-term sustainable restoration of riverside riparian in our area. The park is now a host site for visiting US and international professors and an ongoing study site for two Master's Degree candidates, as well as a field trip site for various NMSU courses. The NMSU Departments of EPPWS and ANSC under the Agricultural Experiment Station provide valuable resources to the park including: supplying the plants for restoration, labor, site monitoring, expertise, and science-based information to support the parks long-term restoration goals.
Crop Physiologist, Dr. Sangu Angadi, and Curry County Extension Agent, Mr. Dunlap Luther, arranged a Winter Canola and Wheat field day at Clovis on April 28, 2015. Nearly 60 people from the surrounding area learned about a potential alternative crop, canola. Agronomists weed scientists, and entomologists participated in the field day. Representatives of different industries also participated in the program. In spite of the bad weather, a field tour was arranged after lunch for interested clientele. A graduate student, Mr. Chris Landau, presented his research on canola weed management.
Western States Region Research & Extension Center Collaboration Meeting: Steve Loring, Associate Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System, attended the Western States Region Research & Extension Center Collaboration Meeting, held March 24-25 at the University of California's Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier, CA. Center directors and other administrators from California, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico met to improve coordination and collaboration between western leaders of research and extension centers.
As a means of becoming more sustainable at our NMSU off-campus agricultural science centers, a pilot project has been initiated to evaluate solar power. A small solar array was built at the Leyendecker Plant Science Center to provide electrical power to the weed science complex at the center. The solar array will provide enough power to offset electricity for several buildings, greenhouses and building water well, and will save the science center more than $3,500/year. If this project goes well, a long range plan will implement solar power on those centers that can best utilize the sun's energy to provide electricity, reducing energy consumption at the off-campus centers significantly.
Drs. Dave Thompson, Associate Dean and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System, and Steve Loring, Associate Director, met with agricultural science center superintendents at the Tucumcari Agricultural Science Center on December 16, to discuss issues affecting off-campus science centers
Steven Loring, Associate Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System, traveled to the APLU meeting in Orlando, FL, November 2-4, where he accepted the National Award of Excellence for Multistate Research on behalf of the W2128 "Microirrigation for Sustainable Water Use" project; Loring is the Administrative Advisor for the project. Researchers and extension faculty from 19 universities and three federal laboratories participated in the project. NMSU faculty participants included Professors Manoj Shukla, Mick O'Neill, Dan Smeal, and Professor Emeritus Ted Sammis from the Plant and Environmental Sciences department.
Fabian Garcia Gardens hosted the Ag Leadership group which consists of CEO's, company presidents, news media, and various other community leaders, and some ACES employees for lunch and tours of the gardens and research plots. Sodexo served plated food items including NMSU Shrimp tacos. After lunch the group went over the shrimp production facility and learned of all the wonderful products that are being developed from glandless cotton seed. Glandless cotton seed is being researched at the Agricultural Experiment Station and is being used for baked goods, meals, flours, oils and many other products including aquaculture feed. Participants got to see firsthand aquaculture production of pacific white salt water shrimp being grown in a zero water exchange system. The group learned how the Agricultural Experiment Station is addressing various issues that growers and community residents are facing. The Fabian Garcia Botanical gardens is located on University Street. It is open to the public from sun up to sundown. If anyone would like to visit the gardens they can contact the Fabian Garcia Science Center at 575-646-2729 to make arrangements.
Chile pepper enthusiasts from throughout New Mexico attended Chile Field Day at the Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center on Friday, August 22nd. Approximately 70 participants were on hand to listen to some of the latest research on chile production and cultivar selection. Information was also provided on the Chile Pepper Institute and the new NM Chile Certification program. The program concluded with a chile roasting demonstration and tasting; participants were given the opportunity to compare the heat and flavor of several popular chile cultivars, including 'Big Jim', 'Joe E. Parker', 'Sandia', 'Espanola Improved' and the New Mexico landrace 'Chimayo'.
Fabian Garcia Science Center - New Mexico Raised Shrimp from ACES' Agricultural Experiment Station, shrimp are being served at the Raging Shrimp restaurant in Nob Hill, Albuquerque. Nicholas Nellos, owner of Raging Shrimp, buys 10-15 pounds of our shrimp when they are available. He said "when he got the first batch, he was amazed at the taste, texture and flavor. The shrimp just had a scent, not an odor, and it is healthier for you because of the cottonseed meal the shrimp are eating." Nellos is hopeful that the NMSU facility will expand so he can order more shrimp in the future. Plans are being implemented by the Arrowhead Center to license NM Shrimp Co. to an investor who is building a new facility on the West Mesa for shrimp production. State Representative Bill McCamley secured capital outlay funding for aquaculture in New Mexico. These funds will be used to purchase equipment to conduct research in aquaculture at NMSU, primarily for shrimp production.
High above the New Mexico State University campus, the Third Floor Bistro offers elegant dining, stunning views and seasonal menus. The Third Floor Bistro recently began serving a summer menu featuring salads, sandwiches and lunch entrees. One of the new menu items that is a must try is the New Mexico Shrimp company Shrimp Tacos ($10.95). The shrimp used in the tacos are raised on the NMSU campus and are served sauted in a sweet tangy sauce. These are locally grown, fresh farm raised shrimp. The dish comes with two tacos and four corn tortillas. The tacos are topped with a cabbage salad and an avocado créme. The plate's wonderfully colorful presentation adds to the VIP atmosphere.
Dr. David Thompson, Associate Dean and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, traveled to China with Dr. Jinfa Zhang, Plant and Environmental Sciences cotton breeder, to visit five agricultural universities in an effort to encourage graduate and undergraduate student interest in attending NMSU and to explore shared research interests and the possibility of faculty exchange. The five universities included Hebei Agricultural University in Baoding, Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in Xi'an, Southwest University in Chongqing, Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, and China Agricultural University in Beijing.
The Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) awarded $623,000 in research grants using funds that were secured in the state legislature with the help of the New Mexico Chile Association (NMCA). Competitive proposals were submitted to a review team composed of members of the AES and the NMCA. Awards ranging from $15,000 to $95,000 were given to 12 NMSU researchers and 1 non-NMSU researcher for FY15.
The Agricultural Experiment Station held an internal competition for graduate research assistantships, awarding $200,000 of AES funds in the next fiscal year for graduate salary monies to faculty who had submitted a research proposal to the AES. Thirteen proposals were funded to support graduate students, with additional funds available if the research would be conducted at one of our off-campus agricultural science centers. Each proposal described what the graduate student would do and how the research project would support the AES mission of benefiting the people of New Mexico. The awards support Vision 2020 Goal 3: Research and Creative Activity by promoting discovery, encourage innovation, and inspire creative achievement, while helping to attract outstanding graduate students.
Indian Livestock Days took place on May 14th through May 16th. The program is a grassroots program driven by clientele needs and interest. The planning committee is made up of Extension Agents which service the Native American population, tribal members of the various tribes in New Mexico, and NMSU CES State Specialists. Indian Livestock Days began in the 1970's and was initially called All Indian Livestock School. It was discontinued in 1978 and reestablished in 1985, at the request of tribal livestock producers. Originally the event hosted on the main NMSU campus in Las Cruces. In 1996, the location was moved around the four-corner area to make it easier for clientele to attend the event. This event has grown from approximately 65 attendees in 1996, to 230 attendees. New Mexico Indian Livestock Days is now an annual event held in May, conducted by NMSU Cooperative Extension Service. What makes New Mexico Indian Livestock Days unique? The people in general. Tribal members raising livestock face many challenges-- not enough land, not enough feed on the land they have, and not enough water, just to name a few. One of their main challenges is to remain true to their ancestors and their religious beliefs. With that being said, it does not hold them back, it just makes more of a challenging experience, and it means much more to them than the average cattleman.
Dr. Sangu Angadi's (Agricultural Science Center at Clovis) presentation in Annual Tri-Societies Meeting at Tampa, FL on a novel concept of adding perennial grasses to irrigated annual cropping in a center pivot in the form of circular buffer strips to enhance multiple ecosystem services including water use efficiency was picked for a web story on the main pages of American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America. Please see the story titled "A New Twist on Buffer Strips in the Southern Great Plains."
Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center is making an effort to upgrade technology to include state of the art tractors. One of which is a 7200R John Deere tractor. The addition of this tractor has made a great impact on the speed, accuracy and efficiency of work done at Leyendecker but has also expanded the scope of the tasks we can complete. The 7200R tractor comes with GPS capabilities. This GPS utilizes a system of twenty-four satellites across the earth's atmosphere to triangulate its position. Star-Fire 1, the GPS we are currently using, is in constant contact with at least twelve of these satellites at any one point in time. This software is capable of running any implement with pin-point precision and accuracy within any field or acreage.
This upgrade in technology brings Leyendecker up-to-speed with the rest of the industry and also allows us to apply this state-of-the art software to the multitude of research studies being conducted here at the farm. We can also offer this technology as a training program for current employees, which we have already started, and also for any NMSU students for a number of classes which will benefit them in their future employment opportunities. We have only scratched the surface of what this new tractor-GPS combo is capable of but in time, we believe that we can integrate it into our research programs so that research is more accurate and precise, and will expand our efforts to incorporate new innovations and techniques.
ACES Fabian Garcia Research Center is demonstrating the viability of a year round commercial salt water shrimp industry in New Mexico. They have demonstrated that four to five crops of Pacific White shrimp can be grown in one year with a potential market value of $15+ per pound. The student run NM Shrimp Company sold the first harvest of shrimp raised in our AES/Industry sponsored shrimp aquaculture facility over the weekend.
The Agricultural Experiment Station hosted two representatives of an international agricultural startup company (Landlife Company, http:www.landlifecompany.com/) from the Netherlands. We are establishing a collaborative research venture to test a promising product that has a huge potential in riparian restoration efforts. Currently this company is working in South Africa, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Morocco, Argentina, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Australia. This NMSU collaboration will be their foray into the United States.
John Deere Corporation has worked out a deal with ACES Agriculture Experiment Station to provide 5 brand new state of the art tractors to be used by the Agriculture Experiment Station at Leyendecker, Fabian Garcia and campus Agriculture lands at virtually no cost to ACES. One of the tractors has a buddy seat in it so students can learn how to use all the navigation systems that the tractor is equipped with. This precision technology drives the tractor so planting is precise and efficient, all the driver has to do is turn around at the end of the row. As the tractors accumulate 250 hours of use they can be turned in and replaced with another new tractor. We are hopeful this program will continue to always provide ACES with new equipment.
David Thompson, Associate Dean and Director of Agricultural Experiment Station, attended the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center Advisory Committee meeting in Otero County on January 15.
On January 14, 2014, Steve Loring, Associate Director of Agricultural Experiment Station, along with others, gave a presentation to the Associate Deans Academic Council on a potential sustainability minor.
Dr. Tracey Carrillo met with College faculty in an open forum to discuss research priorities at the Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center.