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Arizona agribusiness contributes $23.3 billion to state’s economy

Impressive growth spurt is a 26 percent increase from the $17.1 billion value in 2011

The economic contribution of Arizona agribusiness (agriculture) to the Grand Canyon State’s economy has pole vaulted to a record $23.3 billion, according to a University of Arizona (U of A) report released Nov. 3 to farmers and ranchers gathered at the 2017 Arizona Farm Bureau annual meeting at Mesa.

The impressive growth spurt represents a 26 percent increase from the $17.1 billion value reported by the U of A in 2011; and a 60-percent plus increase from the university’s $8.8 billion value tabulated in 2000.

The $23.3 billion value is based on 2014 data, and includes sales (output) based on four sectors of agriculture:

1.      Primary agriculture – on-farm production from businesses, farms, and ranches;

2.      Agricultural processing – businesses which process and pack farm products;

3.      Input manufacturing – the production of inputs or supplies for farm production; and

4.      Agricultural marketing and distribution – supplying food and fiber products to consumers.

The U of A’s George Frisvold delivered the statistics to the Farm Bureau crowd.

The agricultural economist said Arizona’s agribusiness system supports 138,000 full- and part-time jobs, and adds $4.3 billion to Arizona’s total gross state product. The study showed that the vast majority of Arizona farm operations are family run operations and partnerships, accounting for the bulk of farm sales.

The report was developed by the U of A’s Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics.  

Other report findings included: 20,005 farms and ranches in Arizona on 26 million acres of land; three-quarters of agricultural sales are from Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma counties; 75 percent of all sales were generated by 168 operations; and 85 percent of the state’s farms and ranches have annual sales of less than $25,000.

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