Cold Temps Beneficial For Yuma Crops

By Al Macias
Published: Friday, January 2, 2015 - 5:05am

Not everyone is complaining about the cold weather covering Arizona, and you may be surprised to hear it’s not just ski resorts. Lower temperatures may be helping Yuma produce growers.

Agriculture is a $3 billion-a-year industry for the Yuma area and right now it’s prime time. Yuma growers provide up to 90 percent of winter lettuce and other vegetables for the United States and Canada.

Growers told the Yuma Sun newspaper that the year-end cold spell will slow the vegetable harvest which has been ahead of schedule due to a warmer-than-average fall. Growers say the slowdown will help them manage things a little better.

The chilly temperatures are also delaying the daily harvest until noon when workers can get into the fields.

The delay may have a short-term impact on produce prices but growers say they won’t know for sure until next week.

Kurt Nolte with the Yuma Agricultural Center told the Sun that most of the county's date and citrus crops have already been harvested so those crops are out of danger.