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NMSU extension to host pistachio workshop in Alamogordo March 16

Pistachio growers can meet with experts in the field and learn about topics ranging from insect problems to pruning their orchards at a workshop March 16 hosted by New Mexico State University's Otero County Cooperative Extension Service in Alamogordo.

"I hope that folks attending this workshop will leave with a lot of good, practical information that will increase their production and profits, and decrease their losses," said Beth Gordon, Extension agricultural agent for Otero County.

At the conference, Sam Smallidge, an NMSU Extension wildlife specialist, will discuss how to handle gophers, crows, grackles and squirrels in the pistachio orchard.

Richard Heerema, Extension pecan and pistachio specialist, will talk about how to properly prune the orchard.

Carol Sutherland, an Extension entomologist, will give information on insect problems pistachio growers face.

Gordon said she thinks growers will be amazed to hear about the correlation between navel orangeworm and aflatoxins in pistachios and the great economic and public health benefits to controlling them in the crop.

Robert Flynn, an Extension agronomist at NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Artesia, will discuss soil problems in orchards.

Speakers will also talk about what producers can do to bring in more cash from their crop. There will also be information on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Tree Assistance Program and information on crop insurance for pistachios.

The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center. Due to limited space, pre-registration is required. The registration fee is $20 and includes lunch.

The registration form, along with a check or money order can be mailed to the Otero County Cooperative Extension Service, 401 Fairgrounds Rd., Alamogordo, N.M., 88310. Attendees must register by March 7.

For questions about the workshop or if accommodations are needed to attend, contact the Otero County Extension office at 575-437-0231 or email Gordon at egordon@nmsu.edu.