Preliminary Findings

October 25, 2012

Dear Arizona Farmers,

Thank you for generously sharing your time with us to answer the survey on “Perspectives of Central Arizona Farmers on Water, Risk and Change in Agriculture.” We know you receive many questionnaires from different agencies, and your time is valuable. We would like to take this opportunity to share some initial findings.  Fifty-two farmers responded to the survey, largely from within the Pinal and Phoenix AMAs.  

Water scarcity is an emergent concern among respondents.

  • Many respondents reported recently experiencing problems of water scarcity, primarily from high water demand, drought and infrastructural constraints.
  • Many respondents believe that future water availability will differ from their past experience, and most believe that problems in water availability will emerge sooner rather than later.

Many respondents feel their current strategies may not be sufficient to meet future challenges, and are interested in learning more about anticipated regional changes.

  • Many farmers are concerned that their current strategies and information sources will not be adequate to deal with future water challenges and report that high uncertainty about the future limits their capacity to make longer-term plans.
  • A majority of respondents are interested in learning more about anticipated climatic and hydrological changes and agricultural impacts in the region.

While respondents are unsure of the future of agriculture in Arizona, they express strong commitment to their profession and to the region.

  • Respondents consider farming a way of life. A majority expresses a commitment to farming as long as they can in the region.
  • Respondents also express a commitment to helping other growers in the region, and feel their success depends on the success of other growers.
  • While respondents feel agriculture offers many benefits to Arizona beyond the commodities produced, many feel that these values are not sufficiently appreciated by policy makers.

We would like to reiterate our deep appreciation for your participation and support in the survey. In the coming weeks, we will post the full survey results here on this website (https://azfarmersurvey.wordpress.com/) and we welcome your feedback. In addition, we will be holding workshops with policy makers to convey results in 2013. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Hallie Eakin, Assoc. Professor         Summer Waters, Extension Agent, Water Resources

Arizona State University                  UofA Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County

hallie.eakin@asu.edu                      swaters@cals.arizona.edu

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