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New Mexico office of USDA-NASS

About Us



The New Mexico Field Office is one of 46 field offices of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The field office is located in Las Cruces and operates under a cooperative agreement with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA).

Agriculture and New Mexico are synonymous terms. Early inhabitants of the state planted and harvested corn as early as 4,000 BC. Primitive irrigation systems were created by 2300 BC and some 25,000 acres of land was under irrigated cultivation almost 1,000 years ago. Crops then consisted of corn, squash, pumpkins, onions, mustard, potatoes, and cotton.

During the 1500's, Spanish explorers and colonists introduced new crops and livestock into the area. The Spaniards brought alfalfa, wheat, fruit trees, sugarcane, grapes, chile, legumes, and melons. Cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, and horses made up a livestock industry that started a full generation before Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims became important to U.S. history.

Agriculture continues to be a major contributor to the State's economy with the livestock industry accounting for over 76% of the agricultural cash receipts. Milk receipts and cattle sales dominate the livestock cash receipts. Alfalfa hay, pecans, greenhouse products, corn silage and chile account for the largest portion of the crop cash receipts.

New Mexico led the nation in the production of chile and summer onions in 2005. Milk production, pecans, and valencia peanuts from New Mexico are major components of the nations supply.



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