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Home Grown: Storm affects local agriculture

In today's Home Grown report, one local farmer and water expert share how the weather affected local agriculture

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Produce fields were completely flooded over the weekend after Yuma broke a rain total of 1.67 inches of rain Saturday alone.

“Weather is a huge factor for the Yuma area. We produce 80 percent of the vegetables or so for the U.S. starting in November through the end of March so if we get hit, it’s usually very disruptive for the industry and supplies on the shelf,” said JV Smith Companies Chief Agriculture Officers, Matt McGuire.

Winter produce season, just beginning as Yuma County was hit with a powerful weather system. 

“We had the terrible wind storm and then blasting rain in some areas, primarily the northern part of the Yuma valley,” said Tom Davis, the Yuma County Water User’s General Manager.

The Yuma County Water User’s General Manager said this did affect water deliveries over the weekend. 

“We did cancel deliveries on Saturday afternoon after that terrible rain and Sunday, but we’re back to normal flows now,” said Davis.

However, farmers said this was the perfect time to get a storm like this.

“A day or two in planting can make two weeks difference in harvest, so if we’re going to get rain like we got, now’s the perfect time to do it,” said McGuire.

“It impacted our farmers' ability to put in transplants Saturday night and maybe some Sunday night, but by Monday and for sure by Tuesday, everything’s back to normal,” said Davis.

But, the few crops already planted, are struggling to come out of the ground. 

“Now we do have some direct seeded carrots trying to come out of the ground and they're struggling up through the mud so we’ll watch those. Carrots are normally slow, but they're very strong so over the next week we will see if it actually caused any problems,” said McGuire.

McGuire said all farmers can do now is keep an eye on weather reports and see what it brings us next. 

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Samantha Byrd

Samantha Byrd joined the KYMA team in February 2022 and is the morning anchor/producer for News 11 and Fox 9.

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