Sustainable agriculture field day will be Aug. 10 in Alcalde

Researchers at New Mexico State University’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde continue to investigate the viability of alternative crops for northern New Mexico producers.

The research includes growing a variety of crops in high tunnels, including blackberries, kale, cucumbers and fruit trees.

People interested in the science center may learn about the research during the Alcalde Field Day on Aug. 10. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with welcoming comments at 8 a.m.

Rolando A. Flores, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, will be among the speakers.

Field tours will begin at 9 a.m. Two routes will be available: fruits and insects; or acequia hydrology, high tunnels, crops and composting. A free lunch will be served at noon.

“Attendees will learn about current research, Extension and demonstration projects carried out at and through the science center, as well as view exhibits on other agriculture-related programs and projects serving farmers, ranchers and gardeners in the region,” said Steve Guldan, superintendent of the farm.

The fruit and insect tour will include reports on the research of berries, tree fruit, jujube fruit and organic fruit production by Shengrui Yao, NMSU Extension fruit specialist; beneficial insects by Ashley Bennet, NMSU small urban farm integrated pest management specialist; frost control by Tony Valdez, NMSU Taos County agricultural agent; ornamentals and edibles for backyard gardens by Marisa Thompson, NMSU urban horticulture specialist; and NMSU’s grape research by Gill Giese, NMSU Extension viticulturist.

The second route will include acequia hydrology research update by Guldan; research on traditional corn and tepary beans by Donald Martinez, Rio Arriba County agricultural agent, and Rob Heyduck, NMSU agricultural research specialist at Alcalde; chile maturity and season extension by Chuck Havlik, NMSU research assistant; lavender by Heyduck; high tunnels by Del Jimenez; growing blackberries and kale in high tunnels by Jacquie Cormier, NMSU graduate research assistant; growing cucumbers in high tunnels by Heyduck; alfalfa and grass forages by Mark Marsalis, NMSU Extension forage specialist; bio-control of alfalfa weevil by Jane Pierce, NMSU Extension entomologist; and Johnson-Su Bioreactor composting system by Amy Larsen and David Johnson.

Following lunch, special topic sessions will be held on tractor and implement maintenance by David Archuleta, Alcalde farm supervisor; bindweed mites and bio-control by Jimenez; and heritage grains trials.

The Alcalde staff requests that visitors not bring dogs to the field day unless they are service animals.