Study: Arizona veggies grow $2 billion for economy

A study commissioned by a produce industry association has found that Arizona's leafy green vegetable industry, dominated by Yuma County growers, generates about $2 billion of economic impact every year, twice the amount most often used to estimate its contribution. The results, based on 2015 data, come as more of a surprise to some local industry figures than others. "It was kind of eye-opening," said Jerry Muldoon, chairman of the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee board, the association which funded the study. "It was more than we'd ever estimated before, just because it was just the direct sales we were looking at. But now, taking all the other factors, the jobs and on and on and

Seeing green: Arizona ranks second in nation for lettuce production

PHOENIX — Some call them humble vegetables, while others think of it as “rabbit food.” And yet, lettuce and other greens bring in about $2 billion to Arizona each year, according to a new report from the University of Arizona. “Arizona ranked second in the nation for the production of lettuce,” said researcher and contributing author Ashley Kerna Bickel. The study — which examined agricultural cash receipts for on-farm production and post-harvest activities in 2015 — was done at the school’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. “We examined the whole value chain, including on-farm and [activities like cutting, washing and packing] to understand the broad scope of the industry’s

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