Row Crops

Corn Tassels
Corn Tassels (Photo Taken by Adrienne Rosenberg)

The three sisters- corn, beans, and chile- are a not only huge part of New Mexican heritage but are also common staples to the current diet. SASC is collaborating with a NMSU maize breeder on the development of landrace corn “Flor del Rio" as well as a study evaluating a number of lines of common beans and tepary beans. In addition, we are joining with a USDA Agricultural Research Service breeder on studying and evaluating winter hardiness of winter faba beans (habas) lines and the use of the pods as a spring vegetable. SASC has also been working with Los Lunas Science Center in evaluating landrace and commercial chiles for early maturing red pods when transplanted versus direct seeded and comparing the use of row cover versus uncovered. In addition to the three sisters, we grow fava beans, kale, lettuce, and spinach at the station. We also research best management practices along with the performance of different plant varieties.


SASC at Alcalde Publications

How-to Guides and Circulars

  • A609_Relay Intercropping Brassicas into Chile and Sweet Corn
    Intercropping is a type of multiple cropping system in which two or more crops are grown simultaneously on the same field. Relay intercropping is the production of a second crop planted into a field when the first crop has reached its reproductive stage but before physiological maturity. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of intercropping four brassicas on the yields of chile and sweet corn in a high desert region of north-central New Mexico.


Additional NMSU Publications

How-to Guides and Circulars

Image of pepper
Pepper (Photo Taken by Adrienne Rosenberg)
  • H230_Growing Chiles in New Mexico
    Chiles (Capsicum annuum) have been grown in New Mexico for at least four centuries. Chile is an important cash crop for farmers, with approximately 8,000 to 10,000 acres harvested annually in New Mexico. Chiles for local sale are a relatively small part of total commercial chile acreage, but chile is a good cash crop for small-scale growers.
  • H258_Field Production of Organic Chile Guide
    At the markets, organic chile commands a premium price and can improve profitability for growers. Organic chile production poses novel challenges for growers, and must be dealt with in ways other than those used by conventional producers.
  • Circular 679_The Landrace Chiles of Northern New Mexico
    New Mexico is renowned throughout the world for producing chile peppers (Capsicum annuum). The development and release of ‘New Mexico No. 9’ in 1913 from the New Mexico School of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now New Mexico State University) introduced a standardized New Mexico type chile cultivar that provided the foundation for the chile pepper processing industry in New Mexico and the United States. Since that time, many other commercial chile pepper cultivars have been released and continue to be widely grown. While these New Mexico commercial cultivars are the main type grown in the southern part of the state, in northern New Mexico many Native American Pueblo and Hispanic communities have long grown “native chile,” also known as New Mexico landraces. Landrace is the term for a line of plants that have become adapted to a geographical area following more than 100 years of selection and seed saving.
  • Circular 457_Home Vegetable Gardening in New Mexico
    This publication provides general information for growing vegetables in home gardens in New Mexico. Use this publication with its companion, Circular 457-B, Growing Zones, Recommended Crop Varieties, and Planting and Harvesting Information for Home Vegetable Gardens in New Mexico. Circular 457-B includes a map showing New Mexico growing zones, as well as a table providing crop variety recommendations, recommended planting dates, days to harvest, planting instructions, and yield information.

Technical Publications


Journal Articles and External Publications

  • HortScience, Volume 31, No. 2, p.206–208, April 1996: "Dry-matter and Nitrogen Yields of Legumes Interseeded into Sweet Corn"
    Five legumes [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaerth.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), black lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.), and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)] were interseeded into sweet corn (Zea mays L.) at last cultivation when sweet corn was at about the V9 (early) or blister (late) stage. The effect of legume interseeding on sweet corn yield, and late-season dry-matter and N yields of aboveground portions of the legumes was determined. Sweet corn yield was not affected by legume interseeding. Authors: Steve Guldan, Charles Martin, Jose Cueto-Wong, and Robert L. Steiner.
  • HortScience, Vol. 31, No. 7, p. 1126-1128, December 1996: "Interseeding Legumes into Chile: Legume Productivity and Effect on Chile Yield"
    Three legumes [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaerth.), and black lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.)] were interseeded into ‘New Mexico 6-4’ chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) when plants were 20–30 cm tall (3 Aug., “early” interseeding) or when plants were 30–40 cm tall (16–17 Aug., “late” interseeding) in 1993 and 1994. Our objectives were to determine the effect of legume interseeding on cumulative chile yield, and late-season dry-matter and nitrogen yields of aboveground portions of the legumes. Authors: Steve Guldan, Charles Martin, Jose Cueto-Wong, and Robert L. Steiner.
  • HortTechnology, Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 146-149, April- June 1997, "Interseeding Legumes into Chile: Legume Benefits to a Following Crop of Forage Sorghum"
    Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaerth.), and black lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) were interseeded into `New Mexico 6-4' chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) when plants were 8 to 12 inches tall or 12 to 16 inches tall in 1993 and 1994. Hairy vetch overwintered well both years, whereas barrel medic and black lentil did not. Spring aboveground dry mass yields of hairy vetch averaged 2.11 and 2.57 tons per acre in 1994 and 1995, respectively, while N accumulation averaged 138 and 145 pounds per acre in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] dry mass yield and N accumulation were significantly higher following hairy vetch than following the other legumes or no-legume control. There was no significant difference between forage sorghum yields following barrel medic, black lentil, or the no-legume control. Fertilizer replacement values (FRV) for the legumes were calculated from regression equations for forage sorghum dry mass yield as a function of N fertilizer rate. FRV for hairy vetch were at least 7-times higher than for either barrel medic or black lentil. Hairy vetch interseeded into chile pepper and managed as a winter annual can significantly increase the yield of a following crop compared to a nonfertilized control. Authors: Steven J. Guldan, Charles A. Martin, William C. Lindemann, Jose Cueto-Wong, and Robert L. Steiner.


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