JV Farms

Victor Calderón/KAWC

Yuma’s winter agriculture season usually ends around April but this year it ended a few weeks early.  

The COVID-19 pandemic led to industry shutdowns that spoiled the market for commercial fresh produce. 

Farmers in Yuma say they had to destroy acres of lettuce, some already packaged for shipping.  The impacts of the pandemic on farmers will continue into the new growing season.

Amanda Solliday - KAWC

More than 150 lettuce growers and researchers are gathering this week in Yuma to discuss a soil-borne fungal disease that damages lettuce crops in the United States and abroad.

The international conference is hosted by the University of Arizona’s Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture.

Mike Matheron is a plant pathologist and professor at the University of Arizona. Matheron is leading a field test to see which varieties of lettuce withstand the disease.