Iowa Public Television


Storms Stall Arizona Lettuce Harvest

posted on January 29, 2010

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - Wet weather has been a mixed blessing for farmers in Yuma County.

The unusual moisture has helped drive up the price of lettuce, but farmers are having trouble getting their heavy equipment into water-logged fields for harvesting.

The director of Yuma County Cooperative Extension, Kurt Nolte, says some fields are like swamps and it's taking as many as three tractors to pull one harvesting rig through the mud.

With more than two inches of rain falling late this week, fresh vegetable harvesting was only 30 to 40 percent of its capacity. Hardest hit is the harvesting of baby leaf mix, which is usually cut mechanically by a rowing-type machine.

Nolte said the big concern for growers is the long-term damage caused by working in the fields when they're muddy.


Tags: agriculture Arizona crops harvest news rain storms weather