Opinion: Pinal farmers are facing water shortages. Shouldn’t they be growing less thirsty crops?
Why do Pinal County farmers keep growing alfalfa and cotton, two relatively water-intensive crops, particularly when their water supply is being so heavily cut? It’s a common question. Most farmers know they need to grow more drought-adapted crops as their Colorado River water evaporates and growing seasons become even hotter and drier. But farmers can’t plant lower water use crops that they can’t sell. Any crop they grow needs a market. And there are well-established markets for cotton and alfalfa – crops that produce higher yields in central Arizona than in most other places in the world.
-Written by Joanna Allhands.
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