New Mexico to host world's largest meeting on chile peppers

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University is preparing to host the world's largest conference dedicated to chile peppers.

The 2020 New Mexico Chile Conference will run Feb. 3-4 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The university's Chile Pepper Institute has been organizing the annual conference for about three decades.

Chile has long been one of New Mexico's signature crops. It's the state vegetable and the basis for the official state question: “Red or green?"

The conference draws experts in breeding, processing, pest management and sustainable ways to give growers a competitive advantage. There also will be discussions about the state's chile certification program and how to add value to the harvest.

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Organizers also are inviting students to present their pepper-related research during the two-day gathering.

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