Desert Agriculture: The Billion Dollar Industry You Can Start Cashing In

With the state of Arizona being one of the fastest growing states in the USA, one must wonder the appeal of this universally desired state. With land as far as the eye can see, the dry heat desert climate and unique geological features, it’s easy to see why Arizona’s expansion has been so prevalent. One concern I’ve run into in the past from many investors and home builders alike is the belief that due to the desert climate, growing crops would prove to be a daunting task. What I’m about explain may sound difficult and unsustainable but in fact it is possible to irrigate land in dry climates while still being sustainability efficient.

So Arizona is a desert which means of course lots of sand. Most believe that sand is essentially infertile and unusable soil. This is somewhat true. Arizona’s soil is roughly 1% organic matter and topsoil averages only about one half of an inch. However this has not stopped the residents of Arizona to create $9.2 billion dollar annual agriculture industry. According the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, “Most of the state’s farming occurs in the alluvial basins of the Colorado, Salt, Verde and Agua Fria rivers. Massive irrigation projects with dams for water storage in lakes and reservoirs provide a large portion of the water for farming. Arizona has one of the most efficient irrigation networks in the world”.

The most popular agricultural crops in Arizona are lettuce, cotton and hay. Also fueling this billion dollar industry is all sorts of livestock including hogs, sheep, lambs, egg laying hens (which produce an estimated 5.8 billion eggs annually) as well as cattle, calves and dairy products which are the most valuable farm commodities available.

To the uninformed, Arizona may not seem to be agriculturally friendly; but as you’ve just read, that’s far from the truth. With an estimated 260 days of sunshine filled clear sky days in the Grand Canyon State, deep freezes of crops are all but unheard of and livestock can roam freely outdoors without the threat of cold temperature. If you’re looking to set up a ranch farm, or just a home with a prolific vegetable garden, have a look at our Arizona land for sale in Coconino and Navajo county. Always remember to water at night and practice drip irrigation.

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