By Sara M. Torres, NM WRRI Graduate Research Assistant
The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute is in the early stages of forming a research collaboration with Stahmanns Pecans in the Mesilla Valley.
On October 10, 2019, Dean Rolando Flores, Dr. Alexander Fernald, and doctoral student Sara M. Torres toured the shelling facilities at Stahmanns Pecans. The purpose of the trip was to connect the institute’s academic research with the practical needs of industry. The visit to Stahmanns Pecans provided an opportunity for the team to learn about the current industry practices and begin the process of including producers in research development.
Torres recently began her doctoral research on the sustainability of pecan production this fall semester at New Mexico State University. She’s planning on approching her study on the sustainability of pecan production through a life-cycle based methodology. Through this collaboration, Torres hopes to develop a platform for producers to make decisions that maintain and enhance production in the region.
In 2019, New Mexico became the nation’s leading producer of pecans. At NMSU, the instiute is seeking to discover methodologies and practices that inform decision making in pecan production. According to NMSU: The New Mexico Pecan Industry Today, the bulk of pecan production occurs in New Mexico down in the Mesilla Valley (Doña Ana County). Stahmanns Pecans is a 3,200 acre operations and has been producing pecans in the Valley since 1932.