Based on 2017 cash receipts according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Excludes stats for “miscellaneous crops” and “all other animal products.”
1. Dairy Products
According to the New Mexico State University Dairy Extension, just over 77 percent of the milk in New Mexico is produced on the eastern side of the state in Curry, Roosevelt, Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties. Milk and dairy products generated $1.3 billion in cash receipts.
FARM FACT: Defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, cash receipts refer to the total amount of crops or livestock sold in a calendar year.
2. Cattle and Calves
Beef cattle were introduced into New Mexico in 1598, when Juan de Oñate brought 799 cows, steers and bulls to what was then a Mexican colony. Today, about 10,000 families across the state raise beef cattle, and New Mexico lays claim to approximately 387,000 beef cows. Cattle and Calves generated $823.8 million in cash receipts.
WHAT ARE CASH RECEIPTS? Defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, cash receipts refer to the total amount of crops or livestock sold in a calendar year.
New Mexico is second only to Georgia when it comes to pecan production in the U.S., and in 2017, the state’s farmers produced a record-breaking 92 million pounds of pecans. Pecans generated $220.8 million in cash receipts.
New Mexico is a major alfalfa hay producer, with 190,000 acres of the crop harvested in 2017. A legume hay, alfalfa is an excellent source of good-quality protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Hay generated $109 million in cash receipts.
New Mexico farmers harvested an estimated 7,100 acres of onions in 2017, and the state is one of the largest summer-onion producers in the nation. Onions generated $106.6 million in cash receipts.
6. Chile Peppers
Considered New Mexico’s signature crop, chile peppers have been cultivated in the state’s Rio Grande Valley for four centuries. New Mexico’s warm, dry climate and 350 days of sunshine each year make it an ideal place to grow chile peppers. Chile peppers generated $44.6 million in cash recipes.
New Mexico is one of 17 states that produce cotton, and production (in bales) ranks the state 16th. The Land of Enchantment’s upland cotton production is largest in Lea, Doña Ana and Eddy counties. Upland cotton generated $31.9 million cash receipts.
New Mexico farmers planted about 125,000 acres of corn and harvested 43,000 acres of corn for grain in 2017, resulting in a production value of more than $22 million. Corn generated $22.4 million in cash receipts.
In 2017, farmers across New Mexico harvested 135,000 acres of wheat. Wheat generated $15.7 million in cash receipts.
Sorghum is an energy-efficient, drought-tolerant crop, perfect for New Mexico’s climate. New Mexico producers planted 85,000 acres in 2017, yielding 187,000 tons. Sorghum brought in $7.65 million in cash receipts.