Yuma leafy greens growers worried about additional water cuts

Yuma is the biggest provider of produce like romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and onion seeds across the United States in the winter months, but that could change. It is said that the water cuts made by the Bureau of Reclamation to the Colorado River that will affect Pinal County farmers will not affect Yuma farmers. Still, the bureau said there needs to be many more cuts to the water, and Yuma farmers may take the brunt of it. Yuma provides 90% of the nation’s leafy greens like lettuce and spinach during the winter months, and now that could be at risk.

This month the Bureau of Reclamation announced Colorado River water cuts to farms in Arizona amid the drought. That didn’t affect Yuma farms, but something else could. Chelsea McGuire, Director of Government Relations with the Arizona Farm Bureau said Yuma farmers have stepped up as senior users of the river water to try and help. She said Yuma farms are considered “senior users” based on legal and political agreements made over the years, as well as river water usage.

McGuire said the Yuma farmers came up with a plan for the Bureau of Reclamation — their farmers are willing to take a one-acre foot of water less per acre. That would total about 925,000-acre-feet in water cuts, a significant chunk but well below that 2-4 million number set by the bureau.

Source: azfamily.com

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