November 20, 2013
Yuma: Beginning Anew
What do many people typically think when they hear of Yuma, Arizona? The vast majority of people would think that Arizona itself is just a desert region that greatly resembles an old western movie. On the contrary, however, Arizona -especially Yuma-, is a beautiful place that has invaluable history with the Native American tribes in the area and military history going back to WWII with General Patton and his troops with the Yuma Proving Grounds and Yuma Air Station. Not to mention that because the weather is warm and sunny year-round, many different kinds of produce can be grown here for personal use or for commercial use across the U.S. While Yuma may sound like it is only a desert town to the casual observer, it is actually a place booming with life and potential growth for all areas of business.
An interesting fact that most people may not know about Yuma is that it has the Guinness World record for being the sunniest city on earth. When looking at the annual weather report, one see that Yuma normally has 305 days of sunshine with 3 inches of rain annually. This may lead some to think that "the Southwest is the hottest and driest region in the U.S., where the availability of water has defined its landscapes, history of human settlement and modern economy" (Davis). It is amazing to think of how water has indeed shaped the way Yuma has succeeded in industries like agriculture. To keep expectations up, farmers have been developing creative irrigations systems for the crops to better adapt to the desert heat.
For some people irrigation systems may not sound interesting or useful, however; they play a huge role in keeping produce alive and well-watered. Because Yuma is already so close to the desert "climate changes pose challenges for an already parched region that is expected to get hotter and, in its southern half, significantly drier"(Davis). In short; the heat will only get worse, the land will dry up more, and the irrigation systems will need to be revised. A solution that has worked in various locations is placing the drip-line pipes in crop fields. This is more effective than the average irrigation system because the drip line goes to the root of the crops so that the water actually gets there and stays longer so the plant gets more nourishment. While doing so will not make drastic improvements immediately, it will make a huge difference in the near future with the agriculture industry.
By using such systems and other methods, the agriculture industry is the number one source of income for Arizona. Ironically, the desert heat plays a part in “drought and extreme weather affecting fruit and vegetable market values more than those of other crops because produce contains a lot of water and sales depend on appearance” (Davis). This would mean that the heat makes the produce retain more water and appear too puffy for sale. Despite the contradiction; produce like...