US climate problems spell uncertain future for New Mexico chili farmers

Although this year’s chili season is still in full swing, it is already getting mixed reviews from farmers in southern New Mexico.

Maria Martinez sells her family’s produce from Anthony and Brazito at the Farmers and Crafts Market in Las Cruces. She said it’s been a struggle this year because of insufficient water. “It’s been kind of hard because they don’t give them much water,” Martinez said of the local irrigation district.

Dino Cervantes, of Cervantes Enterprises Inc. and a board member of the New Mexico Chile Association, grows cayenne peppers and jalapeños in Vado. He was only about 10 days into harvesting, he told New Mexico in Depth in early September, which is late for the season.

Climate change is likely to produce more dry years and more unpredictable growing seasons for farmers in southern New Mexico, as temperatures increase and the snowpack in northern mountains continues to decline.

Tucsonsentinel.com explains how New Mexico’s farmers face increased uncertainty in the future due to climate change. A question mark hanging over their heads is how steadily increasing temperatures will disrupt historic patterns, leading to more dry years in the future.


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