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NMSU pepper grant is nothing to be sneezed at


A research team from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University is working in partnership with colleagues from Texas A&M AgriLife Research to study issues affecting pepper production in the Southwest.

The collaboration received a $914,000 grant from the USDA-Specialty Crop Multi-State Program through the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Soum Sanogo, professor of fungal plant pathology in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science, is leading the NMSU team, which received a $450,000 grant.

The NMSU research team also includes Ram Acharya, associate professor of agricultural economics and agricultural business, and Willis Fedio, research associate professor and director of the NMSU Food Safety Lab.

Kevin Crosby, professor of plant breeding and genetics at Texas A&M University, is serving as the lead principal investigator of the project and directing the Texas A&M AgriLife research team.

“Hot pepper production in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona is constrained by several factors such as labor cost and environmental and biological stresses, including soil-borne diseases,” Sanogo said.

The goals of the project, Sanogo said, are to identify high-yielding pepper varieties that are tolerant to environmental and biological stresses and adapted to specific locations, and to implement strategies to detect, monitor and control plant pathogens on peppers.

“Additionally, our teams are also working to develop cost-of-production budgets to identify the most profitable combinations of cultivar, location and production, and to assess the socio-economic impacts of improved pepper production,” Sanogo said.

Contact Sanogo at 575-640-6484 or ssanogo@nmsu.edu.

Contact Carlos Andres Lopez at carlopez@nmsu.edu.