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New Mexico’s chile production | Farm Progress

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Glen Duggins and his son Kyle, produce green chile near Albuquerque, New Mexico, along with corn and alfalfa on their farm Cinco Estrella Farms.

Duggins serves as president of the New Mexico Chile Association (NMCA), a private association of New Mexico Certified Chile (NMCC) producers. The association helps protect the integrity of New Mexico chile.

Look for this NMCC label. (Photo courtesy of the NMCA website)

“We at the NMCC are the real deal,” he says. “The farmers who grow in New Mexico are able to sell chili under the NMCC label, guaranteeing to the consumer that the chile they are buying, is, in fact, New Mexican grown. New Mexico chile must be inspected and certified to carry the label.”

 In a 2020 video on the association’s website, he talked about the importance of consumers looking for the “New Mexico Certified Chile,” label.

“The label means a lot to New Mexico producers because for years they were competing against counterfeit chile, chile coming from Mexico that is labeled as New Mexican chile,” Duggins said.

“A lot of times the boxes and things say New Mexico but they don’t say they’re grown in New Mexico. They are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. And forever we were losing our markets to foreign competition selling cheaper. We would go to a store and sell it for x-amount of dollars and they would sell it for 30% to 40% less than we are.

See, New Mexico’s certified chile program finds roots in Arizona

“The chile business to New Mexico — it’s our heritage. It’s who we are. It defines us as people,” Duggins said. “Around the world, all around this country, people know New Mexico for their chile.”

Drought

Like many Southwest producers, chile farmers are hoping for a break in the drought before they begin seeding and transplanting the 2021 chile crop. 

“Recent precipitation is barely helping,” says Joram Robbs, NMCA executive director, Deming. “We are in a horrible drought. Last year was bad; this year will be worse if we don’t get rain.”

He says the Colorado snowpack, a significant source of New Mexico’s water, has been light. “The state engineer has suggested water allotments will be cut if we don’t get a lot of spring rain.”

Take a look at this gallery to learn more about the Duggins’ operation and chile production in New Mexico. To learn more about New Mexico-grown chiles and nutrition information along with instructions on canning and storing chiles, visit the NMCA website.

To learn more about production on the Duggins’ farm and New Mexico chile production, visit:

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