Agriculture improvement project leads to significant change on New Mexico farms
The programs provided by the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project are helping ensure economic survival for farmers in northern New Mexico. The project’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers program has trained 59 people and has led to significant improvements in a variety of farm management practices.
Recent successes include:
- After participating in soil testing, participants were able to increase crop yield by 20%, totaling $4,000 in income per farm.
- Integrated pest management training has resulted in crop loss prevention valued at $18,000.
- Education on the construction of hoop houses has led to a 20%, or $5,000 per farmer, increase in farm income.
- Beginning farmers and ranchers who became certified in Beef Quality Assurance experienced an average increase of 12% in calf price sales, resulting in an average of $190 more per calf sold.
- Instruction in herd health and management has led to a 25% increase in ranch income due to a higher percentage of calf crop and lower feed costs.
- Participation in a bull management program, where participants learned to test for disease and fertility, has led to a 10% increase in ranch income.