Top 5 -yesterday
- Divisional patent for Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) technology in India
- US (OK): Former tomato greenhouse ready for organic MMJ
- DUPLICATE Expansion of notice-based process for importation and interstate movement of fruits and vegetables
- Australia: Coir waste management for hydroponics in berries
- Russia: High-tech greenhouse complex opened in Rostov region
Top 5 -last month
- Irish growers to take advantage of energy to boost profits
- CID AgTech signs North American distribution agreement with Phenospex
- Nanotech company to develop greenhouse film for space missions
- PlanetProof releases English version of plant product certification scheme
- Rabobank launches Food Loss Challenge Asia for start-ups
Top 5 -last week
- Company-university partnership helps build Mexico’s greenhouse industry
- Texas A&M AgriLife high tunnel study expands
- Limagrain acquires AdvanSeed, strengthening leafy vegetables position
- US: 2018 Virginia Smart Farming Conference postponed
- CAN (BC): Pure Sunfarms to expand cannabis acreage to 550,000 sq.ft.
US (NM): Salty groundwater threatens chiles
Oribe reports that New Mexico’s chile crop has been declining due to rising salt in the state’s aquifers. Since the Rio Grande River has been low on water, writes Oribe, farmers have turned to underground aquifers to irrigate their crops.
“But while groundwater can be a blessing, it’s also a curse,” she notes — New Mexico’s shallow aquifers concentrate and intensify geologic concentrations of salt, making groundwater four times as salty over the last four years. This in turn weakens the roots of chile peppers and other crops, leading to dwindling harvests.
One solution would be to get more water from the Rio Grande, but The New York Times’ Michael Wines reports that the once-mighty river is “now a trickle under siege,” suffering under the drought that has gripped much of the West. The river has something else in common with its Western neighbors: it’s highly dependent on snowmelt to supply its water. Albert Rango writes in the New Mexico Journal of Science that snowmelt supplies between 50 and 70 percent of the river’s flow.
For now, the Rio Grande and New Mexico are caught in a vicious cycle: higher temperatures lead to less snow, which leads to higher salt levels in the fields. And though Oribe notes that farmers are trying alternative methods, like drip irrigation that can protect roots from salty water, it’s not clear that Western droughts — or New Mexico’s falling chile production — will get better any time soon.
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