Arizona Farmers 3

Travis Hartman looks out over his family’s 247-acre cotton and alfalfa farm in the Casa Grande area.

CASA GRANDE — This year’s alfalfa crop isn’t struggling but it’s not doing as well on the international market as some farmers had hoped.

Nancy Caywood of Caywood Farms, which grows cotton and alfalfa and runs tours of its farms, said the farm has gotten eight to 10 cuttings of alfalfa so far this year, even with the hot, dry summer. Her son, Travis Hartman, takes care of the crops and Nancy runs the tours.

While the yield is good, the prices are down, she said. Caywood typically sells locally or to feedlots in other states. The farm doesn’t sell much internationally.

Caywood said her son told her that good quality alfalfa is going for about $150 to $160 a ton and medium/low-grade alfalfa is going for about $95 to $120.

According to the website Hay & Forage Grower, last year’s price for alfalfa hay in August and September for Arizona was $190 a ton.

On the international side, sales are low, according to Richie Kennedy, president of the Pinal County Farm Bureau. Kennedy raises crops and cattle in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

He attributed the drop in international prices to the COVID-19 pandemic. The market for alfalfa slowed as countries around the world shut down, and demand dropped.

He expects the prices for Arizona alfalfa to increase in the future as demand increases.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.

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