MARCH 2018 • 31
GETTING NUTTY • ELVA K. ÖSTERREICH
No Weevils Here
Industry vigilant in protecting pecan crop
oña Ana County is the largest pecan-producing county in the nation, expecting to harvest about 100 million pounds this year on some 30,000 acres. Thus, said Doña Ana County horticulture extension specialist Jeff Anderson, “A lot of effort is made … through the university to protect the pecans.” Keeping the potentially devastating pecan weevil out of the area is a primary concern of the Western Pecan Growers Association (WPGA). The Department of Agriculture has placed a quarantine on pecans coming from eastern New Mexico counties Chaves, Curry, Eddy and Lea, where the WPGA has money set aside to fight the weevil. It takes three years minimum once the pest has been discovered to be declared free of it. The pecan weevil is also native to the eastern United States from Texas to Georgia. Pecans from non-quarantined parts of New Mexico and the West are welcome in Las Cruces for processing. Pecan weevils are not good fliers, so if they appear, Anderson says, it’s because people have brought pecans from elsewhere. If they are not worth eating, people might throw them in the backyard. “People might think, ‘Oh, these have bugs I’ll put them out to the birds to eat,’” Anderson said. “Then the little larvae, as soon as they pop out, they hit the ground, burrowing down,
LIVE MUSIC MARCH 2018 • NEVER A COVER! Every Thursday & Saturday Night • 8-11pm 3/1: ALAN RAINTREE – JAZZ/CLASSIC ROCK Extension Agent Jeff Anderson holds up genetically different pecans. The left one is from East Texas, harvested for pecan flour. The larger one is a healthy, average-sized, Doña Ana County pecan. (Photo by Elva K. Österreich)
and they can be down in the ground for two or three years before they come up. That’s the big problem.” Anderson asks homeowners to bring pecans to the extension office for inspection if they suspect a worm or other pest is inside. Residents should put samples of the pest and the pecans in a baggie and freeze it before bringing them in. “You have to be vigilant,” Anderson said. “My job is to inspect these and then take them to the entomologist if i don’t know what it is.” Doña Ana County pecans are extremely healthy and nutritious, Anderson notes.
Baking contest features nutty treats
he Karin Davidson Pecan Food Fantasy Contest will again be sponsored by the Western Pecan Growers Association on Sunday, March 4, in conjunction with the 2018 Western Pecan Growers Conference at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. Youth and Adults can choose from 14 different categories to enter their home baked items all of which must contain pecans. The food categories include: quick breads, yeast breads, iced cakes, un-iced cakes, cheesecakes, drop, bar and other cookies, decorated cupcakes, other pies, tarts, unusual desserts and of course the traditional pecan pie. Participants can bake entries for as many categories as they would like to enter with one exception; in the Traditional Pecan Category, persons may only enter one pie. Check Food Fantasy information on the website, https:// www.westernpecan.org, for details and for the minimum required servings for each catego-
ry. Entries should be delivered on Sunday, March 4, between 9 a.m. and Noon to the ballrooms at Hotel Encanto, 705 S. Telshor, Las Cruces. All entries will be judged on Sunday afternoon. Leigh Fox and Marge B. Fletcher sponsor the youth and adult awards of $250 each for the best traditional pecan pie. First Place Blue Ribbons in all categories will receive $40. Outstanding Adult will receive $200. Outstanding Youth will receive $100. Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces will present a Best of Show award of $250. Results and samples of entries will be displayed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 5. In addition to the website, entry forms will also be available at Hotel Encanto on Sunday morning. Any Food Fantasy questions? Call Karim Martinez at 575-525-6649 or Carol Koenig at 575-526-2952. Contact John White at 575-640-7555 for information about the Western Pecan Growers Conference.
“We produce a very fine pecan. We have a great reputation for bug-free, great pecans. But we are encouraging the public: Don’t bring pecans here. Enjoy our pecans, keep our industry safe.” For information call The Doña Ana County Cooperative Extension Service at 575-525-6649. The New Mexico Division of Agriculture can also be contacted about pecan weevil concerns at 575-646-3007 or blewis@nmda. nmsu.edu.
3/3: CHRISTOPHER SMITH-ESCARCEGA SOUL/BLUES/MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST 3/8:
MOMENT’S NOTICE – BLUES/ROCK
3/10: COLE MITCHELL – GUITAR DUO
3/15: DERRICK LEE GROUP – JAZZ ENSEMBLE 3/17: ST. PADDY’S DAY! IRISH BAND
3/22: ROGER WENDOVER – SOLO GUITAR (IOWA) 3/24: ETHAN ECKART – SOLO GUITAR (KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI)
3/29: SAGE GENTLE WING – SOLO GUITAR
3/31: CAJÓN BROTHERS – ECLECTIC ENSEMBLE
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Published on Mar 1, 2018