Yuma’s reputation as a worldwide leader in agriculture is growing, and Visit Yuma wants visitors to know about what makes the farmers and farmland around Yuma so special. Abundant harvests of vegetables, citrus, and melons feed our nation—not necessarily the picture visitors might have of what it’s like in the desert around Yuma. Fertile land in the Colorado River lowland and water from the mighty river, as well as being around the Sunniest City in the World, Yuma, sets up Yuma-area farmers to raise two, and sometimes three, crop rotations on the same plot of land in a year.
If you’re eating a salad during the winter, chances are that it was grown in Yuma. Agriculture is Yuma’s number one business; it’s a more than $4 billion industry each year. More than 91% of the leafy greens produced in the winter in North America now come from the farms around Yuma. In the winter, crops include 75 varieties of lettuce, baby greens, cauliflower, broccoli, herbs, root vegetables, and kales. Summer crops include hay, hard red wheat, Durum wheat, cotton, Medjool Dates, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew, alfalfa, and Bermuda grass seed. Lemons top the crops for citrus production among other citrus grown in the area.
More than just a booming industry, agriculture is an intrinsic part of the fabric of Yuma, from the early 1900s when the Colorado River was dammed and diverted to canals to water the fertile fields around Yuma. As waters etched and formed the Grand Canyon, what became the Colorado River carried silt and soils downriver. Before the river was dammed, annual floods deposited millions of tons of rich organic matter onto the floodplain area around Yuma. Learning to harness the river took innovation, resolve, and a “can-do” Western mindset that continues to this day in the spirit of Yuma’s people. The farm families that have shaped Yuma’s heritage are leaders in ag technology, conservation, and plant sciences.
We proudly share the history, culture, and industry-leading innovation of Yuma agriculture with curious visitors from around the world.