Crop-destroying Weevil a major concern for New Mexico farmers | KOB 4
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Crop-destroying Weevil a major concern for New Mexico farmers

Casey Torres
August 10, 2018 09:11 PM

ROSWELL, N.M. – Chase Farms has not been hit by the Weevil bug, but Bill Kuykendall knows what they’re after.

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“It’s a little itty-bitty hole like the size of a BB or less, and it’s perfectly round," Chase Farms Manager Kuykendall said. "And when you crack that pecan, there’s no meat left in there."

He said they’re a hard pest to stop, and it represents a big concern for pecan growers. Farmers have been trying to stop it from infesting New Mexico.

“The last, I believe, two years, we’ve had temporary quarantines in effect,” he said.

Now, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture plans on having Lea, Eddy and Chaves counties under a five-year quarantine, meaning farmers will have to be extra careful with how they ship in-shell pecans.

“They’ll either have to be treated before moving through the area into a cold storage treatment or hot water dip treatment method,” NMDA Division Director Brad Lewis said in a phone interview.

Lewis said the other option is to transport the pecans in sealed containers and before shipping them directly to a cold storage treatment area.

A few orchards in the three counties have the Weevil, but most of them are found in residential areas that also sell pecans to other companies.

Even though it will make business operations more difficult, Kuykendall said he supports the permanent quarantine.

“If they’re not controlled, they will eventually get 100 percent of the nuts,” he said.

On Friday morning a public hearing was held in Las Cruces. Another will be held in Hobbs on Monday at 2:30 p.m. The last hearing will be in Artesia at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

If passed, the quarantine will be implemented on Nov. 1.

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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