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COVID-19 Coverage

Yuma Area Farmers Throw Out Produce During Pandemic

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University of Arizona
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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted many industries, including Yuma’s agriculture business. 

While farmworkers have stayed on the job during the current global situation, experts say the food services industry, which is responsible for the bulk packaging that goes to restaurants, suppliers, airlines and schools has been affected.

Paul Brierley is the executive director for the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture.

“The product was still growing and had to be destroyed because there was no market for it," Brierley told KAWC. "Growers went through this phase of big demand and then, all of a sudden, no demand. So here at the end of the season, about half the crops, at least the ones for salad plants for food service, about half the crop was just pitched in because there was no market for it.” 

Brierley said most of the produce that had to be thrown away was lettuce.

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For more from our interview with Paul Brierley, please listen to Arizona Edition today at 9 a.m. on KAWC 88.9 FM and kawc.org. 

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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