Alfalfa is the most valuable crop in Arizona

Alfalfa grown in Yuma County. - Contributed Photo/Arizona Farm Bureau

PHOENIX — Change it to four Cs . . . and an A.

Alfalfa has a greater value of any other crop grown in Arizona, including cotton.

That’s according to USDA reporting, which shows Arizona grew 2.1 tons of alfalfa in 2022, with a value of $682 million.

The next most valuable crop, at $442.7 million, was Romaine lettuce.

Upland cotton and cottonseed combined for a value of $163.6 million in 2022. Values for Pima cotton were not made available; however, Arizona produced 25,000 480-pound bales of Pima cotton in 2022, compared to 255,000 480-popund bales of upland cotton.

Arizona in the top producer of alfalfa in the nation, averaging 8.2 tons per acre, compared to the national average of 3.2 tons. And most remains in the state, used to feed cattle at Arizona dairies. Only about 20 percent is exported to other states and nations.

According to the Arizona Farm Bureau, Graham County is the eighth largest producer of alfalfa in the state, as well as the seventh in growing barley — which had a value of $15.6 million in 2022 according to the USDA — and third for growing cotton.

The full agricultural overview for Arizona can be found at USDA/NASS 2022 State Agriculture Overview for Arizona.