The Laguna NRCD is located along the Colorado River on Arizona’s western border. The District includes desert shrublands and irrigated lands along the River. Rangelands in the District are mainly government land and generally have low productivity and are mainly used for seasonal grazing when winter rains are good. Consequently, the District’s activities are concentrated on irrigated agriculture, especially vegetables.
Precipitation: Average of <3″ annually
Evaporation: Average of 10 ft. annually
Soils: Deep, Well Drained, .1-1.0″ per hour intake
Irrigation: Colorado River Water
Agricultural: 107,455 acres
Federal (BLM): 267,356 acres
Game Refuges: 487,080
Proving Grounds: 482,580 acres
Cocopah Reservation: 2,500 acres
Known as the „Winter Vegetable Capital of the World‟ the farmlands within the Laguna Natural Resources Conservation District live up to that billing! The 90,000 irrigated acres in the Yuma, North Gila and South Gila Valleys contribute to the multi-billion dollar crops of head lettuce, leaf lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, seed crops, herbs, celery, mixed greens and a multitude of other vegetable crops shipped throughout the world. The alluvial silt, clay and loam farmlands were formed by both the Colorado and Gila Rivers.
The Laguna NRCD coordinates the application of numerous conservation practices designed to improve water use efficiency, crop yields, and agricultural viability. Important practices include irrigation system reorganization, irrigation ditch lining, land leveling, various types of sprinkler systems, conservation cropping systems, conservation crop rotations, conservation tillage, integrated pest management and irrigation water management.
The District also works with their cooperators to ensure the quality and safety of the vegetables they produce. This includes water and soil testing, sanitation of equipment used in the fields, monitoring of workers to make sure all safe harvest practices are followed, and inspection of coolers and packing houses. Even the trucks used to move the products across the country are now being sanitized to prevent contamination. A big concern is contamination by humans or animals, wild and domestic. An information and education program is being carried out in cooperation with grower organizations, the University of Arizona and local media.
The Laguna District also places a priority on conservation education and support of the Yuma Conservation Garden, a joint project of the Laguna and Yuma NRCDs.
Sheryl H. Christenson
Office: (928) 783-5735
Cell: (858) 232-5543
Home: (928) 317-1935