By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: One acre of land can produce a variety of crops for Arizona agriculture. Of course a variety of factors influence how successful we are at growing certain crops on one acre. But since in agriculture we measure by the acre, we have some fun facts to share. So, if soil fertility and soil type are at an optimum along with appropriate water availability and climate, Arizona agriculture can have some amazing production on one acre of farmland.
Cotton: 1,511 pounds
The national average for pounds-per-acre for cotton is 821. However, Arizona agriculture’s average in 2012 was 1,511 (The previous year, we produced 1,548 pounds per acre). In fact, Arizona and California produce the most cotton per acre than any of the other cotton states in the U.S. One reason is that California and Arizona irrigate their cotton and are able to more effectively manage the amount of water provided per acre to the cotton fields.
For more interesting facts about cotton, a bale of cotton weights about 480 pounds. One bale can be used to make 215 pairs of denim jeans or 313,600 $100 bills.
Wheat: 95 bushels per acre
Again, while the national average for bushels-per-acre for wheat was 39; Arizona produces 95 bushels-per-acre.
For fun facts, one bushel of wheat produces about 42 pound of flour, which can be used to make 42 loaves of bread or 42 pound of traditional pasta. One bushel of whole wheat yields even more: 64 pounds of flour to make 64 loaves of bread or 64 pounds of pasta. Arizona agriculture grows some of the finest durum wheat for our wonderfully yummy pasta.
Edible Beans: 2,070 pounds
In 2012, Arizona agriculture produced 2,070 pounds of edible (pinto beans, garbanzo and other beans) per acre; the national average was 1,889.
In Arizona, the Cochise County area produces some of our most yummy pinto beans in the country. This areas wonderful climate, rich soil and amazing farm families give us plenty of pinto beans to cook an array of wonderful foods.
Of course, this doesn’t represent the array of other crops, including our specialty crops that we grow in Arizona. You’ll find that we grow the majority of leafy greens and vegetables in the winter in Yuma, Arizona. But it’s fun to get just a quick glimpse of some major crops we grow in Arizona.