Rain could damage acres of Yuma County crops
YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma County agriculture industry experts say Tuesday’s rainfall is almost unheard of this time of year, a time when crops are being harvested. President Barkley Seed, Michael Edgar says, “There’s no way to protect it, you couldn’t prevent something that happens once every 50 years.”
Plants like wheat, Alfalfa and Sudan grass are soaked and vulnerable to mold and discoloration, lowering their quality and in turn value. With no way to prepare or protect their crops, local industry leaders face a loss of millions of dollars. Agriculture experts in the area say that to cover up this many acres of crops from the rain is just too costly and not quite possible, so they’ll just have to take mother nature and the loss as it comes.
Edgar said, “You couldn’t afford to so no this is just one of those events that takes place, it’s an act of God and here she is and she’s going to give us a little moisture.”
Yuma County is home to almost 50,000 acres of wheat and 40,000 acres of hay. So many growers are bound to suffer. Paul Brierly, Executive Director of the Yuma Center for Excellence in Desert Agriculture, says although water in the midst of a drought is welcome, growers rely on control of that water.
“So we’ll take the water anytime we can get it of course, being in this drought, but in Yuma we generally like the water to come down the river, and let us control when the crops get the water here,” said Brierly. So as crops in the area slump over from rainfall, so will profits.