LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Mesilla Valley pecan farmer Greg Daviet prides himself on his friendliness. But this time of year, he totes a gun around his farm and pays security guards to make the rounds through his orchards, day and night.
And, if you’re a stranger who winds up on his property, he’ll take down your license plate number and ask to see an ID.
The measures, he said, are attempts to deter pecan theft, which farmers say spikes in years of high prices — like this one.
“I’m a friendly guy, but during pecan season, I have to walk around armed all time, so thieves know this is not a place to come,” he said.
Officials said they’re noticing a spike in reports of pecan theft this year, thanks to high prices for the crop.
Tuesday, a price report showed that in-shell pecans with a relatively high nut meat content were selling for between $2.52 and $2.84 per pound in a region that covers New Mexico, Arizona and west Texas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Some 56 million pounds of pecans are expected to be produced this season in New Mexico, according to a federal Login to read more