. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) has extended its original quarantine on pecans originating from residential trees in Artesia due to continued concerns about pecan weevil.

The NMDA initially issued a 60-day quarantine on residential pecans in Artesia, Roswell, Hobbs and Clovis on Jan. 27 after weevils were found in some residential trees. The quarantine was put in place to protect commercial orchards in Southeast New Mexico from becoming infected.

The NMDA said Wednesday that weevils have also been found in trees in Clovis and that an additional 90 days has been added to the quarantine for the five communities.

Pecan weevil is a significant insect pest of pecan and is not recognized as being established in New Mexico commercial orchards as yet.

The quarantine restrictions require a certificate from the NMDA stating specific pecans meet one or more of the following requirements in order to be moved and/or sold:

• Pecans that are sold, traded or gifted in a manner that meet the phytosanitary requirements of the receiving location and are transported in a department-approved manner;

• Pecans treated at 0 degrees for 168 continuous hours, or other department-approved treatment methods;

• The inspection of a pecan sample in which no pecans exhibit signs of the pecan weevil or exhibit the presence of the weevil; and/or,

• Pecans originating in the quarantined area but believed by the department not to have the presence of the pecan weevil.

Evidence if pecan weevil generally includes the presence of a white, grub-like insect inside the shell or a small, BB-sized hole in the nut. Residents should not be concerned about the possibility of having ingested weevils, as the insect is either visibly present or the nut meat is gone from the shell, having been consumed by the weevil.

Specifics regarding the certification of pecan nuts can be found within the quarantine rule at www.nmda.nmsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/21.17.36-NMAC-3.27.2017-AMENDED.pdf. Anyone who suspects their trees may be infected with pecan weevil is asked to contact Eddy County Extension Agent Woods Houghton at 575-887-6595.

The NMDA and New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service will continue to work with city elected officials and residents of affected areas on education and eradication efforts.