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Agriculture flourishes in desert

Hay and cotton provide good summer crop opportunities in desert Southwest

Todd Fitchette

June 17, 2020

5 Slides

Cotton is planted early in the year in the Yuma area. Typically planted around February, the fiber crop serves as a good rotational crop to winter vegetables in the region.Todd Fitchette

Even as summer temperatures exceed 110 degrees and the U.S. produce industry has returned its produce production to the Salinas Valley, farming still goes on in the desert Southwest where the Colorado River serves as a border to states and nations.

Hay and cotton are more common than leafy greens and cole crops this time of year in the river valley where Arizona towns like Yuma, Somerton and San Luis exist. The Gila River joins its much larger cousin, the Colorado River, at Yuma where not far from there, the Colorado ends its journey at the Gulf of California.

Planted in about February as a rotational crop in the Yuma area, cotton does a good job of utilizing remaining fertilizer applied to winter vegetable crops.

Agriculture flourishes along the two rivers. What isn't irrigated from aquifers recharged by the two systems is aided by man-made canal systems that nourish crops in two states.


About the Author(s)

Todd Fitchette

Associate Editor, Western Farm Press

Todd Fitchette, associate editor with Western Farm Press, spent much of his journalism career covering agriculture in California and the western United States. Aside from reporting about issues related to farm production, environmental regulations and legislative matters, he has extensive experience covering the dairy industry, western water issues and politics. His journalistic experience includes local daily and weekly newspapers, where he was recognized early in his career as an award-winning news photographer.

Fitchette is US Army veteran and a graduate of California State University, Chico. 

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