Feds: New Mexico’s signature crop fares well in 2016

green chile
green chile

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – The numbers have been crunched, and there’s some good news for New Mexico’s chile farmers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday that both the number of acres planted and the tons produced in New Mexico increased in 2016.

The data shows 9,200 acres were planted, or about 11 percent more than the previous year. Some 69,000 tons of the signature crop were produced, with most of that being sold for processing.

The value of New Mexico chile production in 2016 was estimated at more than $50 million, a significant jump from $41 million in 2015.

The figures show Luna County led in acreage and production. Dona Ana County – home of the community of Hatch, which is known as the “Chile Capital of the World” – came in second.