Drought could mean less produce, including green chile

Created: 05/08/2014 6:56 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's another bad start for farmers in the western US. Little rain and even less snow means fewer crops to plant and harvest.

California's produce is the worst hit, causing prices at the counter to go belly up.

Case in point: the cherry crop. At the Farmers Market in Albuquerque, a pound of cherries is almost $4 a pound. At this time last year, it was nearly half that.

Jhett Browne, the co-owner Farmers Market, is not expecting prices for New Mexico crops to skyrocket as bad as California, but is keeping close tabs with farmers in southern New Mexico.

The quality should be great. It's just a matter of how much of there's going to be," he said.

That includes crops like lettuce, onions, melons, squash, and the cash crop of New Mexico: green chile.

New Mexico farmers are planting less green chile this year because of the water shortage.  Fewer crops could mean more expensive produce.

How much more are we looking to pay for green chile? Browne thinks it could be anywhere from 10-15%, but it can't be for certain until the crops are planted later this summer.

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