LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's chile crop acreage has increased in the past two years since it hit a nearly 40-year low in 2010.
Experts speaking at the state's annual chile conference held Tuesday in Las Cruces reported that 9,600 acres were harvested in 2012. That's a slight increase from 2011.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/UWtIEk ,), New Mexico's acreage dropped from over 12,000 in 2009 to under 9,000 in 2010.
Acreage was over 20,000 as recently as 1998.
New Mexico Chile Association President Dino Cervantes says acreage is now stabilizing.
That's despite continuing challenges from foreign competitors, plant-killing diseases and irrigation water shortages.