Seeing green: Arizona ranks second in nation for lettuce production

Nov 3, 2017, 4:40 AM

(Flickr/Waldo Jaquith)...

(Flickr/Waldo Jaquith)

(Flickr/Waldo Jaquith)

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 contribution,” Bickel said.

Between December 2014 and March 2015, according to Bickel, about 82 percent of the nation’s lettuce shipments came from Arizona.

From late November to mid-March, Arizona shipped about a billion pounds of lettuce per month. In most areas of the country, it’s too cold to grow lettuce in that timeframe, according to Bickel.

The study also found Yuma County ranked second among 429 U.S. counties for harvesting lettuce and spinach acreage, and leafy greens have accounted for an average of 17 percent of the state’s total agricultural receipts each year since 2010.

The only state that produces and sells more leafy greens than Arizona is California.

“It really facilitates year-round availability of lettuce,” Bickel said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Follow @KTAR923...

New Maricopa County animal shelter to open soon in Mesa

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control will open the doors to its new East Valley shelter on May 2, officials said.

59 minutes ago

New technology will help Banner Health detect Valley fever earlier...

Serena O'Sullivan

Banner Health using new technology to detect Valley fever earlier

In order to detect Valley fever earlier, Banner Health Banner Urgent Care facilities now have a disease dashboard and a new test process.

1 hour ago

Maj. Gen. Kerry Muehlenbeck talks to Mike Broomhead about her path to leading the Arizona National ...

Mike Broomhead

Amazing Arizonans: Kerry Muehlenbeck discusses her path to leading Arizona National Guard

On this episode of Amazing Arizonans, Mike Broomhead learns more about Maj. Gen. Kerry Muehlenbeck and her path to leadership.

1 hour ago

Pitbull performs during a stop of The Trilogy Tour at T-Mobile Arena on November 24, 2023 in Las Ve...

Damon Allred

Global stars Pitbull, T-Pain to bring ‘Party After Dark’ tour to Phoenix

Pop star Pitbull is bringing special guest T-Pain to Phoenix as part of the "Party After Dark" tour this fall.

1 hour ago

BASIS Peoria high school ranks best in the nation, US News says...

West Valley high school ranked as best in nation by US News

The newly released 2024 best high schools rankings from U.S. News declared the BASIS Peoria high school as the best in the nation.

10 hours ago

The American and Ukrainian flags wave in the wind outside of the Capitol on Tuesday, April 23, 2024...

Associated Press

Senate overwhelmingly passes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan with big bipartisan vote

The Senate has passed $95 billion in war aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, sending the legislation to Biden after months of delays.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Seeing green: Arizona ranks second in nation for lettuce production