With farmers across the country enjoying high crop prices, many farmers are experiencing a seeming return to the golden age of agriculture. However, the high prices have had unintended consequences, most notably being increased rates of crop theft.
In New Mexico, pecan farmers are particularly worried about increasing thefts. Prices for pecans have shot up this year, riding to nearly $3 per pound. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture officials, the high prices have led to increased production with an estimated 56 million pounds produced this season.
The high prices and high yields have led to spikes in reported theft across the state.
According to one Las Cruces pecan farmer, thieves use tarps and sticks to strip trees. “These thieves are getting pretty brazen about it,” he said. “They’re out there in broad daylight. Then they get into their trucks and drive off.”
The New Mexico Pecan Grower’s Association is pressuring lawmakers to address the issue of pecan theft. In particular, they are hoping that the New Mexico legislature passes new regulations including requiring buyer registration.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer