Chile Season

This 2021 image provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows a truckload of green chiles waiting to be inspected at the port of entry at Columbus, N.M. Border authorities said Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, that they are assigning more agricultural specialists to the port to handle the increase in chile imports. 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s green chile season is in full swing as the aroma of fresh roasted peppers permeates the air, but growers and exporters in Mexico are just as busy and that’s causing a crunch at the international border.

Authorities said Monday that agricultural inspectors with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been processing dozens of chile imports daily at the port of entry in Columbus, New Mexico. They're looking for any pests in the shipments that could affect domestic production in New Mexico, where green chile is a signature crop and a cultural icon.

“Chile is a huge crop for farmers in New Mexico so it is important that CBP agriculture specialists identify and stop any dangerous pests from making it into the state and potentially spreading," acting Columbus Port Director Sam Jimenez said in a statement.

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