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Irrigation Concerns

By scheduling the water this year, the Irrigation district was able to bank about 94,000 acre-feet of water at El Vado Reservoir in northern New Mexico. That will help supplement next season's supplies.

The problem is the district is concerned its ability to store water in the future could be compromised by how the federal government manages the Rio Grande. The district is weighing in on a lawsuit New Mexico Attorney General Gary King filed earlier this year against the Bureau of Reclamation. 







Casa Colorada

This year a portion of the Casa Colorada ranch was converted to crop production rather than pasture grazing.  Several years were spent removing invasive plant material and leveling the newly created farm.  The farm was planted in Buckwheat as a test crop.  The water table began to rise as the area was cleared of Salt Cedar and Russian Olive.  Buckwheat was recommended as a salt tolerant crop as well as tolerant to the high water table.  



Tome valley


Tome Valley Double G in view

The eight farms and ranch of Garcia farms are scattered throughout the Tome Valley and as far South as Casa Colorada.  This small community which lies 15 Miles South of Tome has several Garcia farms and the Ranch Headquarters.  Pictured here is the Double G Farm surrounded by many smaller operations.  These farms are among the oldest in New Mexico, some established before the Tome Land Grant of 1846.  One of the Garcia farms in the Tome valley has passed down through six generations of family and known as the Tajo and is the oldest farm in the group.  All eight farms are rotated with Alfalfa and in various stages of production. The photos below in no particular order are of the various farms and ranch.  They all have names and have only historical significance to the family or are just given numbers.



Loading Thousand Pound Bales on the Manashao


Loading thousand bales




The Tajo


Fall on the Tajo

Driveway of the Tejo

The Tajo is a farm that is closest to The Tome Land Grant and the oldest farm in the Garcia inventory.  It is a sixth generation farm owned  by Marie Garcia Shaffner and her husband Jim Shaffner.  The farm was originally owned by Marie's  great grandfather Celso Salazar in the late 1800's.

Loading Thousand bales

Loading thousand bales

This backhoe has an attachment that converts it to a forklift. These bales can weigh up to 1500 pounds each and the tractor trailer can hold up to 20 bales.


Rye Crop on the Tajo

Rye crop on the tajo

This Rye crop is on rotation with Alfalfa.  Sudex will be planted right after harvest and  the next year Rye and Sudex will be planted which will be followed by Alfalfa the following year.

Cutting Alfalfa

Cutting Alfalfa

This new Swather is a new type which can cut at speeds approaching ten mph.  Rather than a sickle blade it has 15, 2000 rpm rotating blades.

Sandhill Cranes in the Fall

The Sandhill Cranes in Winter

About a dozen Sandhill Cranes return every year to the same spot in the field.





Baling Thousand Pound Alfalfa Bales

Baling 1000 bales

One of the newest farms of the group.  When purchased it had an unfinished unrepairable house in the middle of the field.   The house  had to be removed to put the field into production.



The Eight Acre Field


Marie Watching Casey Bale

Baling thousand pound bales.




The Double G


Baling Thousand Pound Bales

Baling 1000 pound balesBaling thousand bales1000 pound bales



The Teco


This Alfalfa Field is about two weeks away from cutting. 


Alfalfa almost ready to cut




The Luz


A new machine arrives at the LuzA long day coming to an end.The first perfect bale from the new machineOne of the supervisioresTesting the new baler.



Casa Colorada Ranch


Clearing the ranchClearing the ranchLeveling a portion of the ranchAl's Casa Colorada Ranch

Marie Garcia Shaffner and Mark Garcia managing a fire that was used to clear brush from the ranch.  Alex Garcia (Ranch Manager) and Kymmy Saunier walking the ranch with their dogs.



Mark Garcia Farms



Please check our fertility page for recommended  fertility levels.

Prussic Acid Control

Common forages such as alfalfa, clovers and cool-season perennial grasses do NOT produce toxic compounds after a frost and can be fed safely. The only concern is a slightly higher potential for bloat when grazing legumes within a day or two after a killing frost.

Sudan Grass

Sudangrass and sorghum-sudan grass hybrids contain a compound called dhurrin. When the plant tissue is frozen, enzymes in the plant convert dhurrin into hydrocyanic acid or hydrogen cyanide, also referred to as prussic acid. Sudan grass and sorghum-sudan grass hybrids require 28 degrees F for a killing frost, but even a light frost requires special management. When a large amount of the substance is consumed in a short period of time by ruminants, the dose can be lethal. The prussic acid potential is higher in the early stages of growth, but decreases until fall.


Alfalfa is a perennial forage legume which normally lives 4–8 years, but can live more than twenty years, depending on variety and climate. The plant grows to a height of up 3 ft, and has a deep root system, sometimes stretching more than 49 ft. This makes it very resilient, especially to droughts.
Alfalfa is a small seeded crop, and has a slowly-growing seedling, but after several months of establishment, forms a tough 'crown' at the top of the root system. This crown contains many shoot buds that enables alfalfa to re-grow many times after being grazed or harvested.

This plant exhibits autotoxicity, which means it is difficult for alfalfa seed to grow in existing stands of alfalfa. Therefore, it is recommended that alfalfa fields be rotated with other species (for example, corn or wheat) before reseeding.


Check here for updates to farming operations