Agriculture in San Juan County

Our county's agriculture must remain competitive within local, national and even international markets. This requires a continuous flow of appropriate technology addressing local needs within New Mexico. Our Extension program works to maintain and strengthen programs that address these needs. Water is one of the most important limiting resources for our county's agriculture. All aspects of water use affect agricultural efficiency and profitability. Water management will become more critical as water demands for urbanization and industrialization increase.

Livestock Production in San Juan County is an 18 million dollar industry with over 700 producers owning livestock. The majority of these operations are small family livestock enterprises located on the Navajo reservation. A recent survey of Navajo producers shows the average cattle producer owns only nine head of cows and the average sheep producer owns 25 head of ewes. These producers have herds that are marginally managed and are in need of management techniques to help improve their profitability. A 1997 survey showed that Navajo producers received only 63 percent of the market value for their livestock. Annual lamb and calf crops averaged 62% and 70% respectfully far below the national average and average for off reservation producers in this area. Producers in other areas of the county are searching for ways to enhance their management and marketing techniques to maximize their dollar return.