Altenative Crops for the Costilla Valley in New Mexico Adoption, Application, Added Value of Product

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2001: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:
Teresa Young
NMSU Coop Ext

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: wheat


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil quality/health


    The Sangre De Cristo Agricultural Producers is a group of growers in
    Taos County, located in Northern New Mexico that has been able to find a lucrative niche market by producing organic wheat that is grinded into
    baking flour for the sale to Santa Fe and Taos area bakers.

    The growers plant their wheat crops on limited acreage of land that
    has been handed down fiom generation to generation within families over the years. In 1995 a group fiom within the community got together and became the founding fathers of the Sangre De Cristo Agricultural Producers. With the help of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture the growers were able to organize and put their abandon land back into production growing hay and grain crops. Most of the water comes fiom Acequias (Irrigation Ditches).

    In 2001 The Sangre De Cristo Agricultural Producers received a grant
    from Western SARE to look at alternative legumes crops that could be
    alternated with the wheat that is being grown annually on these small pieces of land, therefore taking out the same nutrients annually.

    The group with the help of the Cooperative Extension Service, and the
    Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project (RAIPAP)
    looked at several types of legumes that might meet the needs of improving soil nutrients, soil structure, and soil conditions. The crops we looked at were favabeans (1 variety), pinto beans (2 varieties), and field peas (2 varieties).


    See Summary

    Project objectives:

    1. Identify and plant legume crops that we can interchange with wheat to improve soil nutrients, soil structure and soil condition
    2. Identify, demonstrate and apply alternative methods for preparing land to cut the high cost in our area
    3. Promote legume crops that can be processed
    to add value and sell into niches markets that parallel those of Sangre de Cristo Agricultural Producers organic wheat markets

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.