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Local ag industry keeping watch on freezing temps

Local ag industry keeping watch on freezing temps

YUMA, Ariz – There could be a potential shortage of leafy greens here in the nation.

Director of Yuma Agriculture Center at University of Arizona Kurt Nolte said, “Yuma agriculture is a mainstay of our local economy.”

The $4.2 billion industry is all wrapped up in the agriculture here in Yuma, if anything has an impact on our industry it will have an impact on our local economy.

Colder temperatures can be a concern for the farming community in Yuma.

Nolte said, “A freeze event in the next couple of weeks cold temperatures could create a shortage of lettuce and they may cause the prices to increase.”

If the water gets really cold, Nolte says the growers will typically run water to warm the crops.

Nolte said, “It’s a two edge sword we had warm temperatures in the fall grew really fast and now we have a two week period where it’s going to slow down quite a bit potential shortage of leafy greens here in the nation.”

But for some, it doesn’t affect them all.

International Sales Manager of Medjool Dates Juan Guzman said, “It has not affected the Medjool date crop in Yuma our trees are pretty much dormant.”

The Medjool dates have been in Yuma since the 1940s and and it stands today the weather isn’t affecting their crop.

Guzman said, “If the weather was to get into the low teens the only thing it would affect is our very young trees.”

As for the leafy greens it may be a different story, if the weather holds, lettuce prices may go up.

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