According to American Farmland Trust, in the west, and specifically in Arizona, only 20% of agricultural lands can be found here. But we produced 60% of the total value of all agricultural products in the United States. This is mostly due to targeted, managed and conservation-conscience irrigation. In other words, we save water while using water to produce food for our nation. 

Technology, drought-tolerant crops & modern farming are our biggest water-saving gains.

Water technology advances include …

  • Drip irrigation 
  • Center Pivot 
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Traditional Siphon tube improvements

Plus, crops are bred for drought tolerance and herbicide resistance, reducing water use. These improved seed varieties are mainly seen in …

  • Cotton
  • Wheat
  • Field corn
  • Alfalfa

Finally, biotech crops and cover crops enable no-till, keeping the soil moist and cool. Biotech crops can also dramatically improve yields allowing more production on fewer acres. Also, crop rotations help avoid irrigation in the heat of summer.

Our current drought challenges out west make fine-tuning our water conservation efforts that much more important. Efforts to improve continue. 

Ultimately, Irrigated farming in the west creates a more reliable and productive agricultural economy.