The New Mexico Pecan Industry Today

Image of pecan trees

As orchard acreage has increased in New Mexico and growers have learned how to obtain high pecan yields and quality under the unique southwestern soil and climate conditions, statewide production has increased dramatically. New Mexico now produces approximately 20% of the U.S. pecan crop each year and, in 2006, New Mexico became the largest pecan producing state in the nation for the first time in history.

Small pecan acreages are now found in Quay, Curry, De Baca and Valencia Counties, but the New Mexico pecan industry is largely centered in the southern counties. Seventy percent of the industry acreage is in the Mesilla Valley (Dona Ana County). Twenty percent of the acreage is in the Pecos River Valley (in Chaves and Eddy Counties) and five percent is in the Tularosa Basin (in Otero County). Luna, Sierra, Lea and Roosevelt Counties also have small pecan acreages.