Farm, Ranch, & Natural Resources

Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service


Agriculture Programs

Educational programs on farm research and demonstration, as well as personal consultation, are available in the following areas:

  • Crop Production
  • Soil Health
  • Livestock Production
  • Organic Agriculture & Integrated Pest Management
  • Agricultural Entrepreneurship & Business Planning

Bernalillo County has approximately 7,000 acres of irrigated land as well as privately and publicly owned rangeland used for agricultural production. In order for farmers and ranchers to remain on the land they must adopt practices that help them increase their economic viability. Producers look to Extension Service personnel and their educational programs for guidance, information and technical support as they plan and implement their agricultural enterprises.

Crop Production

Includes urban farming, traditional row and field crop production, high value vegetable and fruit production, forage and pasture management, and organic production methods. The following topics are available within each of these subjects.

Soil Health

Soil Testing - NMSU does not have a soil testing laboratory, but the Bernalillo Co Extension Service does make kits available for the public to send samples to the Soil, Water and Plant Testing Laboratory at Colorado State University for analysis.

Call the our office at 505-243-1386 to obtain a (free) container for your use; office hours are 8 AM-12:00 PM and 12:30-4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. This is an outside service, and they do charge fees for their services.

Instructions are included in the container. Suggestion: Include "Bernalillo, NM" in your order form's County field, and a BernCo CES Agriculture Agent should receive a copy of your analysis - all the better to discuss the conditions and a possible remediation plan.

Livestock Production

Includes cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and horses.

Organic Agriculture & Integrated Pest Management

Circular 655: Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardeners
The evaluation and incorporation of all available techniques (old and new, low- and high-tech) into a unified program to identify and manage pest populations to minimize damage and adverse effects on the environment.

  • Insect and weed identification
  • Pesticide applicator training, including continuing education units
  • Traditional and organic pest control recommendations

Agricultural Entrepreneurship & Business Planning


Although during a hay shortage people are forced to seek alternatives, please beware that not all alternatives are safe.

NMSU Horse Specialist Dr. Jason Turner provided these documents and includes some words of caution:

"I know that hay supplies are tight, but I would still caution horse owners against feeding sorghum / sudan hay to horses.

"The primary concern in horses is related to the potential for a neurological condition caused by lathyrogen compounds that can be present in the growing forage and hay.

"As is often the case with the horse, there is little definitive research on this issue to give us a complete picture. I have consulted Dr. Mark Marsalis , our extension specialist in the sorghum area, to get his input from the plant side of things."

  • Johnsongrass Poisoning in Horses
    Addresses the issues surrounding this drought-tolerant weed, which can cause nerve and fetal damage in horses. "Toxin Topic" article by Cynthia Gaskill, DVM PhD, clinical veterinary toxicologist, Univ. of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, June 25, 2016.
  • CR-678: Poisonous Plants of New Mexico Rangelands
    Includes sections on special poisoning problems such as cyanogenic glycosides / hydrogen cyanide (aka prussic acid) poisoning, nitrate poisoning, and Sorghum Cystitis, with suggested treatments.
  • Hay and Forage Testing
    Although the Bernalillo Co. Extension Service does not test hay or forage, we recommend you contact the Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center's Extension Forage Specialist Mark Marsalis. For his contact info, see his webpage: Los Lunas Science Center.

Resources - Farm, Ranch & Natural Resources

Bee & Wasp Resources

Our office receives calls throughout the year about "bees." In reality, some are honey bees while others are actually western yellow jackets. Learn more about the Differences: Bees vs. Wasps.

Bees are essential to fruit and vegetable production as well as seed production for many plants! Beekeeping is gaining in popularity in Albuquerque and a number of beekeepers are willing to collect the bees from your property. Learn more about bees, wasps and beekeepers at Albuquerque Beekeepers.

Area Growers & Farmers Markets

New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association

Find a Market, Meet Some Farmers, Shopping, Recipes, Food Access, and more. Check back often.

New Mexico Farmers' Markets

Each of New Mexico's 50 growers' markets is unique, reflecting the particular character of local cultures, soils and climate. Most of our markets are open seasonally, from early or late summer through late fall. Five markets - Corrales, Los Ranchos, Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Las Cruces - are now open year-round. Learn more about the NM Farmer's Market.

Food for People

I Eat Local
Eat Local
Pledge to support Local Food

The food produced by our Bernalillo County Extension Service office is donated to the Roadrunner Food Bank and widely distributed to a number of groups and individuals in need. Julie Anderson with the RRFB says fresh produce is the first thing to go when people are selecting their food for the week. In 2013, the Gutierrez-Hubbell House will serve as a distribution center for other backyard farmers who want to donate extra fresh produce. If you are interested in donating produce, call farm manager Gabe Bauman-Baker at (574) 238-8957.

NMSU Extension Resources

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Contact Us

NMSU-Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service
1510 Menaul Blvd Ext NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: 505-243-1386 844-409-0562 (Toll Free)
Fax: 505-243-1545

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