California’s drought brings agriculture business to Yuma County

YUMA, Ariz. – California’s drought is severely affecting the agriculture business. As the industry struggles to produce food with less of the precious resource. But it’s not just California that is affected by the severe drought, here in Arizona, produce season is expanding and new products like olives are being introduced.

Yuma County holds one of the oldest water rights to the Colorado River, which means more water to work with. So California’s drought is shifting production for certain foods East. Steve Alameda with Top Flavors Farm is one of many growers in the Yuma area who have lengthened production time since the drought.

“The San Joaquin Valley is so short on water, that they’re coming here actually earlier, I know we start planting a week two weeks early so they can start harvesting earlier. So as they miss that San Joaquin Valley slot we call it. And also on the other end they’re staying later,” said Alameda.
Arizona’s growers are also bumping up the price for certain products that California is failing to produce as a result of the drought. Executive Director of the Yuma Desert for Excellence in Agriculture, Paul Brierley said, “California has a lot of animals, they have a lot of feed lots, they have a lot of different animals and they all eat hay.”
Because California lacks the amount of water needed to produce the feed, Yuma County is profiting.

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