Regional
4:23 pm
Tue March 29, 2011

Drought Could Affect Chile Crop

Las Cruces – An expected dry growing season could hurt the chile crop in southern New Mexico.

There's a shortage of river water in Dona Ana County and a lack of a good groundwater supply in the Hatch area.

Growers also say they're leaning toward planting cotton instead because of the water outlook. Cotton takes less water.

Hatch vegetable farmer Jerry Franzoy says cotton looks especially favorable because it's experiencing a market boom this year.

He says he's planning 200 acres of cotton because the market is so great. He says he hasn't planted any cotton in 10 years.

Franzoy expects the area's chile supply to decrease and prices to go up this year.

Green chile prices in Las Cruces stores last fall ranged from about $15 to $20 for 30 pounds.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.