Hot, dry weather continued to prevail throughout the state, with above average rainfall relegated to a few extremely isolated locations during the week ending Sept. 8, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, New Mexico. Comments from San Juan County noted that rangelands in the area were in dire need of moisture, while most crop and hay fields under irrigation were doing well. Reports from Union County indicated some producers were busy seeding winter wheat while waiting for the corn crop to mature before harvest started. The dry conditions in the area led to several small wildfires there were a result of lightning. Statewide, the chile harvest slowed somewhat, when compared with the amount of progress seen last week. By week’s end, 60 percent of green chile had been picked, behind both last year and the 5-year average. Topsoil moisture levels were reported as 26 percent adequate to surplus, compared with 32 percent last week, 46 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 50 percent. Pecan nut set was reported as 9 percent light, 75 percent moderate, and 15 percent heavy, compared with 44 percent light, 48 percent moderate, and 8 percent heavy last year.

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