Could South American Potatoes Be New Mexico's Next Sustainable Crop?
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
LOS LUNAS, N.M. – More nutritional South American potatoes will be front and center at the New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Wednesday at Los Lunas, when researchers discuss new and profitable crops for the state.
New Mexico State University researcher and extension service vegetable specialist Stephanie Walker says even though most of us know that a pigment found in dark leafy greens such as kale is associated with better nutrition, Americans still prefer potatoes to any other vegetable.
Walker says she has collaborated with a genetic researcher for field trials to determine if a more nutritionally dense line of potatoes from South America could be grown in New Mexico as a specialty crop.
"White potatoes that most people eat in the United States do not have these pigments or these nutrients,” she says. “But these papa criolla potatoes are very high sources of these yellow pigments, nutrient compounds lutein and zeaxanthin."
The conference on enhancing farmer sustainability is free. It starts at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Valencia Campus of the University of New Mexico.
Other potential crops to be discussed by farmers, educators and stakeholders at the conference include guar and canola. Walker says both grow well in the Southwest and are potential feedstocks for developing not only biofuel, but also high-value byproducts such as rubber and resin.
"Very quickly, if growers don't have new, unique items to bring to market, they can get out competed by the large industrial scale farms,” says Walker. “So introducing a new crop to attract more customers certainly is going to help agricultural sustainability in New Mexico."
The conference is funded by Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.
get more stories like this via email
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- New congressional and legislative maps will soon start to take shape in Ohio. The Ohio Redistricting Commission convenes for the …
DENVER -- Today marks the day Black women in the U.S. will finally earn as much as a white, non-Hispanic man was paid in 2020. Ashley Panelli…
CHICAGO -- As Illinois residents get ready for more high temperatures this August, utility watchdogs are urging people to practice energy efficiency …
WARREN, Pa. -- A temporary animal-feeding ban is being proposed for the Allegheny National Forest after a captive deer tested positive for chronic …
LOS ANGELES -- Hunger-fighting advocacy groups are speaking out in California, drawing attention to the continuing problem of food insecurity…
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Parents are gearing up for their children to return to the classroom for the first time in over a year, and public health …
LITCHFIELD, N.H. -- A 63-acre parcel of land along the Merrimack River is becoming part of the New Hampshire Agrarian Commons. The property, known as …
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …