#ConversationsOnConservation – New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers strive to conserve resources and improve our environment while producing local, nutritious food for your family. One of the ways pecan farmers implement conservation smart practices is by shredding, rather than burning, branches that are pruned from the tree. “The trees are pruned to encourage growth, leaving lots of limbs on the orchard floor,” says Dickie Salopek, one of the Mesilla Valley’s largest pecan producers. “By shredding them and then turning it into the soil, we increase water retention when we irrigate.” The organic matter not only helps build healthy soils, but this practice also helps to maintain air quality in the valley. Just one of the ways New Mexico’s food producers are using sustainable practices to increase production while minimizing environmental impacts.  For more information on pecan production in New Mexico go to New Mexico Ag in the Classroom’s pecan lesson here https://newmexico.agclassroom.org/matrix/lesson/644/