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USDA: Arizona Cotton Production Up, Durum Wheat Down

(Photo by AgirLife Today - Flickr)
Cotton crops.

Arizona farmers are now in the fields harvesting crops, and U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasted data reflects that change in production from last year to now.

The numbers are in and barley, durum wheat and alfalfa hay production is down in Arizona this year, compared to last.

Barley is down 2 percent, while alfalfa hay is down 6 percent.

Farmers produced almost 4 million fewer bushels of Durum wheat this year, a decline of 27 percent.

But cotton production has boomed in 2016, with the total bales of hay forecasted at 400,000. That’s 30 percent more than last year.

The bump in cotton bolls comes after a drop off in production from 2014 to 2015. Farmers are turning back to the crop after higher prices.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.