In just the past week the percentage of New Mexico under extreme drought shot up from 4 percent to 25 percent. The U.S. Drought Monitor map shows the state blanketed in red.
This is the third consecutive year of historic drought nationwide. In the southwest New Mexico and Texas have been hit the hardest. Average rainfall in New Mexico is down by more than half.
For cattle ranchers that means high feed costs and reducing their herd size. Farmers across the region are switching to crops that require less water like cotton.
Also the danger of wildfire will only intensify as high winds and hot temperatures combine in the coming weeks.