Climate change means uncertain future for New Mexico chile farmers

This year’s chile season is in full swing, but it is getting mixed reviews from farmers in southern New Mexico. Maria Martinez sells her family’s produce from Anthony and Brazito on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Farmers and Crafts Market in Las Cruces. Her booth stands out with red chile ristras strung up around the sides and sacks of chile piled next to them. Fresh green chile fill baskets at her booth and a continuous stream of customers approach her during the market, searching for their chile fix. She said it’s been a struggle this year because of insufficient water. 

“It’s been kind of hard because they don’t give them much water,” Martinez said of the local irrigation district. 

Dino Cervantes, of Cervantes Enterprises Inc. and a board member of the New Mexico Chile Association, grows cayenne peppers and jalapeños in Vado.