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Home Grown: Farmers face challenges as production costs continue to skyrocket

YUMA, Ariz. (KECY, KYMA) - In today's Home Grown, Yuma County is the Winter Lettuce Capital of North America and produces about 90 percent of all the leafy vegetables grown in the U.S. from November through March.

But how much of that money comes back to our local economy?

The agriculture industry in our area represents an annual gross economic return of $3.2 billion, which is more than one-third of Arizona's annual total of $9.2 billion.

However Wells Fargo economist, Charles Dougherty says that inflation has hurt farmers across Arizona this year.

Rising costs of fertilizer, fuel and equipment could cause long-lasting problems for the agricultural industry.

Farmers are finding themselves forced to pass some of those costs along to customers, resulting in higher prices in grocery stores and restaurants.

More expensive fertilizers are one element that contributed to those higher costs, with some fertilizers spiking 300% since September 2020, according to the American Farm Bureau.

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Samantha Byrd

Samantha Byrd joined the KYMA team as a reporter in February 2022.

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