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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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More Than 700 Expected for Pecan Conference in Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES-Pecan growers can participate in contests, educational workshops and trade shows during the 36th annual Western Pecan Growers Association Conference March 3-5 at the Hilton Las Cruces.

"The conference offers one of the country's best and biggest equipment shows for pecan growers," said Esteban Herrera, horticulturist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. "More than 700 people participate in the conference, and about 350 people attend the educational programs at any given time."

The event kicks off on Sunday with a trade and equipment show featuring booths from companies specializing in pecan machinery, equipment, chemicals and fertilizers.

The Pecan Food Fantasy Contest, a competition for pecan-based goodies such as pies, cakes and candies, will also be held on Sunday. Awards include a $250 prize for best traditional pecan pie.

The International Pecan Show, a sample nut competition, will take place during the conference. Samples of 'Western' and 'Wichita' varieties, improved varieties, known hybrids seedlings and natives will be judged, with a $100 prize awarded for best overall entry. International Pecan Show entries must be received by Feb. 15.

Educational workshops are scheduled for March 4 and 5, and include topics such as orchard nutrition issues; potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen fertilization; insects; compost use; water management; salt and sodium accumulation; healthfulness of pecans; and a pecan growers panel.

Registration for the conference is $70 per family or sole proprietor. For more information, contact Herrera at (505) 646-2921.