USDA: Drought Taking Toll on New Mexico Farms

May 5, 2014

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates New Mexico farmers are trying new approaches to stay afloat in the midst of an ongoing drought.

Officials on Friday released the 2012 Agriculture Census which showed that the average net income per farm has fallen sharply in the last five years.

The agency says net cash income dropped from more than $17,500 in 2007 to $9,501.

But the 397-page report showed more participation from small farms in the Census in 2012.

Officials say farmers have been planting more pecans, melons and specialty vegetables and there is a 56 percent increase in farms using a nursery or greenhouse.

New Mexico is entering its fourth consecutive year of drought following one of the driest winters on record.