Yuma Area Farmers Throw Out Produce During Pandemic

May 1, 2020

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.