New Mexico farmer gets creative with chile crop as state suffers from drought

New Mexico News

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As New Mexico suffers from a drought, farmers are being forced to get creative in order to get a successful crop. One farmer was able to get help from the competition.

It’s a first for chile farmer Glen Duggins. This year, a little less than half of his crop was transplanted due to the lack of water in the state.

“It’s a tool that we are using to adapt to our environments. Farmers are constantly adapting,” said Duggins. Seco Spice farmer Ed Ogaz in Anthony, New Mexico made it possible.

“We were just two farmers just talking and we walked me through his plant, it’s amazing what they do,” said Duggins. Once Duggins saw how it worked, together, they sent seeds all the way to Arizona to be sprouted and then planted back in New Mexico.

“Then this farmer drove up himself, he sent his labor crew up here to make sure we were doing it right. We planted 300,000 transplants,” said Duggins. Even though it spent some time out-of-state, it’s still authentic New Mexico chile.

“It’s still New Mexico seed, it’s still New Mexico soil, it’s New Mexico water, and it’s a New Mexican that’s doing it,” said Duggins. Transplanting is more expensive at first but ends up saving thousands of dollars in water and labor.

“We’ll pick the transplants first and by the time we pick the transplanted chile, the seeded chile should be up and going,” said Duggins. The decision he thought was a risk, could turn into a permanent solution at his farm.

Duggins says Ogaz and his crew will likely come back when it comes time to harvest the chile later this summer.

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