top of page

Yellowhorn Video Shares A New Drought-Hardy Nut Crop for New Mexico

Jeff Anderson, Agronomy and Horticulture Agent for Doña Ana County Extension, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at New Mexico State University, is excited about a new, hardy nut crop that could be the future cash crop in the Land of Enchantment. To promote its value and educate agricultural producers about its potential, Mr. Anderson worked with our video team in the Department of Innovative Media, Research and Extension (IMRE) to release a promo explaining the new crop to New Mexicans.

Jeff Anderson is sitting in a field showing us Yellowhorn.

Art Ruiloba and Tomilee Turner, video producers for the IMRE media unit, collaborated with Mr. Anderson on the 4-minute video, Yellowhorn – A Viable Crop for New Mexico

Jeff Anderson and David Taylor in a field.
Jeff Anderson and David Taylor

During the summer of 2023, our team captured footage of Mr. Anderson at the Newberry Farm, located on the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The farm is situated in the rich soils of the Mesilla Valley, where crops like pecans, chile, onion and cotton thrive.

The small, experimental yellowhorn orchard is owned by third generation agricultural producer David Taylor. The video crew recorded the pair in the orchard and gathered additional video footage of the tree and its fruit. The video was edited by Eileen Sandoval, undergraduate student and video production assistant at IMRE studios.

The benefits of yellowhorn shown in this image include that it is drought tolerant, cold tolerant, easily grown from seed, and inexpensive

The video will complement other resources already utilized by Mr. Anderson to showcase the yellowhorn tree (Xanthoceras sorbifolium) and its nut crop to agricultural producers throughout the state of New Mexico. He hopes they will consider all the benefits associated with yellowhorn, which he feels is a botanical marvel and a testament to nature’s creativity. He hopes agricultural producers will see its potential as a sustainable and viable cash crop.  

Other details about yellowhorn, from Jeff Anderson:

  • The seeds contain about 55-70% oil, with a rate up to 94% unsaturated fatty acids. Yellowhorn nut oil is a healthier alternative compared to other saturated and unsaturated oil fats used for cooking and salads. 

  • Various parts of the tree have been used for medicinal purposes, containing compounds used to fight cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.

  • The high nervonic acid content in the seeds (3.80%) has been shown to improve cognitive function.

  • Tea made from the leaves contains 14-18% protein.

  • The plant is worthwhile for beekeepers as well. The flowers produce copious amounts of nectar that bees can make into a specially flavored honey.

  • The various parts of the tree have wide ranging applications and can be utilized in many ways. 

Jeff Anderson showing the different part of the Yellowhorn.

Based on research, Mr. Anderson says yellowhorn is well suited for New Mexico’s dry climate and soil composition. The tree is drought and cold tolerant (down to -40°F).  It can easily be grown from seed, can survive and produce fruit on low water (˜18”/year), is inexpensive and pollinator friendly, and all of its parts are edible. 

The tree originated in China and has been utilized for its wood, leaves, flowers, fruit, carpophore, husk and seed. It has phytochemistry and pharmacology applications, containing triterpenoids, flavonoids, phenols, coumarin, sterol, lignin, alkaloids, antioxidants, and antibacterial, anti-tumor, anti-neuroinflammatory, anti-adipogenesis, and anti-obesity agents. Yellowhorn is also associated with major invention patents in beverages, teas, bean vermicelli, skincare, emulsion, medicine, and fodder. 

Newberry Farm Sign

Mr. Taylor has been growing several yellowhorn trees at the Newberry Farm for the past 3 years and is presently assessing the yellowhorn and its fruit under the guidance of Mr. Anderson. The farm has been in the family for three generations, established by Mr. Taylor's grandfather in 1912, and is considered a historical site. The farm is known for having grown a variety of specialty crops since its inception, and was the first to grow pecans commercially in the valley. It is registered as a cultural property in the state of New Mexico.

This video is one of several produced by IMRE ( for NMSU Cooperative Extension Service to promote statewide and local programs that are important to the communities and residents they serve. 

IMRE shares research-based program information through educational and promotional multimedia and videos.

For more information about yellowhorn

Doña Ana County Extension

Contact Tomilee Turner, toturner@nmsu for more information on video production for your program.

Written by: Art Ruiloba, Video Production Specialist


bottom of page