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Arizona agriculture brings $23 billion to the state economy

PHOENIX — University of Arizona researchers learned that the agriculture business in the state contributed $23.3 billion to the economy.

The study found that the agriculture industry supported 138,000 full- and part-time jobs, including 58,000 on-farm labor jobs.

“Even despite some of the downturns in some other sectors of business, we’ve been able to grow,” Julie Murphree, outreach director for the Arizona Farm Bureau, said.

Beef and dairy products were by far the most profitable commodities in the state, bringing in $892 million and $765 million.

The research team also found that Arizona was one of the national leaders in the production of many agriculture commodities. This included being ranked second in terms of lettuce, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower production.

Still, Murphree mentioned that there were many agriculture industries in the state that have seen growth.

“We are seeing growth in some areas like tree nuts,” Murphree said. “We’ve seen a lot of growth in the pistachio and pecan areas. Our wine grapes, we’re seeing growth in that. So there’s some sectors of the industry where they’re planting new orchards.”

The study also found that 85 percent of Arizona farms were family or individually-owned while corporations own just 5 percent of Arizona farms. A majority of farms were in Maricopa, Yuma and Pinal counties.

KTAR News’ Griselda Nevarez contributed to this story.

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