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New Mexican pecans rival those in Texas

Oct. 29, 2007 at 11:49 AM

LAS CRUCES, N.M., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Determining the U.S. state with the No. 1 pecan crop depends on how you rank output and how important you think a statistical asterisk is.

New Mexico was initially recorded as beating perennial champs Texas and Georgia for the first time last year to become the nation's top producer.

But "unexpected pecans" from Texas appeared on the market after the July 1 estimates, bumping that state's total to 47 million pounds of in-shell nuts -- about 1 million pounds more than New Mexico's production.

Even so, New Mexico's shelled weight of pecans was still greater than Texas's, local extension agent John White told The Las Cruces (N.M.) Sun-News.

"We still feel New Mexico is No. 1 in kernel quality and quantity," he said.

The dollar value of New Mexico's crop last year -- some $85 million -- also outranked Texas's $75 million, New Mexico State University pecan extension specialist Richard Heerema said.

New Mexico is expected to produce between 65 million and 75 million pounds of in-shell nuts this season, about the same as in 2005, Heerema said.

Growers begin harvesting their crop in November.

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