Report: Below-average moisture leaves soil dry in New Mexico

January 3, 2020 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal agriculture officials say December’s weather patterns brought mountain snow and rain to parts of New Mexico, but below-average accumulations have left many locations dry.

The U.S. Agriculture Department’s statistic service for the mountain region reported Thursday that snowpack levels in Mora County were excellent. Temperatures statewide, however, were generally warmer than normal for the month, and adequate topsoil moisture levels were less than those reported in November, the service said.

While the latest map showed drought-free conditions across more than half of the state, reports from the northeastern plains indicated that wheat was showing signs of drought stress.

Officials also said corn and cotton harvests were finished in December while the red chile harvest was almost complete. Meanwhile, growers are about midway through the pecan harvest.