A New Mexico State University researcher is trying to find out whether the pungency, color and yield of northern chile varieties are affected when crops receive less water.
Graduate research assistant Israel Calsoyas has been studying the effects of deficit irrigation on three northern New Mexico chile cultivars for the past two summers.
She says the region's chile is touted for its ability to withstand stressful growing conditions compared to commercial cultivars.
Chile growers in the north usually irrigate fields every seven days. Calsoyas used different watering cycles to see how they would affect the plants.
Preliminary results show the pungency of one of the varieties changed, but color and yield remained the same for the first test season.
Calsoyas says the second season of data is still being analyzed.