Central Arizona ag’s decline continues, but Pinal County is up

In the wake of Arizona’s difficulties in coming to terms with the future of central Arizona agriculture as it sorted out its approach to reducing Colorado River water use under the Drought Contingency Plan, the latest Census of Agriculture data is fascinating.

Irrigated agriculture in the Central Arizona Project counties

The decline continues, but only just barely. The data within this data, broken out by county, is fascinating:

Central Arizona irrigated acreage, by county

Pinal County agriculture, with receives heavily subsidized irrigation water via the Central Arizona Project, has actually been expanding since the 1980s, according to the Census of Agriculture.


  1. Is there any evidence that the decline is due, in part, to the urbanization of the area. Farmland continues to give way to housing tracks and the like.

  2. Bert – I took a quick look at USDA data and was surprised at the relatively small ag->urban shift in Maricopa County, I need to look more closely.

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