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Yuma Area Ag Council Mission Statement: To promote the value of local agriculture with a united voice by fostering relationships with government and school officials, the media and general public through education and awareness programs.

Crop Information

Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce, or regular head lettuce, is the staple of produce grown in Yuma County. There are 70 commercial varieties of iceberg lettuce seed, some of which grow better in the heat and some grow better in the cooler weather, and the seed choice can sometimes be the deciding factor on the success of the season. Iceberg lettuce costs about $2,200 per acre to grow and should produce 700 to 800 cartons to the acre, which would result in a per carton growing cost of almost $3.00. The harvest and cooling cost is approximately $5.50 per carton. Therefore, when the lettuce market is returning less than $8.00 per carton, the crop is probably not returning a profit.

This is one of the few remaining truly supply and demand products in our economy today. The head lettuce, if kept cool, will last 25 to 30 days after harvest. However, this includes the time it is stored in a cold room warehouse, the time of transportation from the cooler to the market place, and any additional time of "inter-city" storage and/or delivery.
Nutritional Highlights
Iceberg lettuce
(raw, shredded), 1 cup (56g)
Calories: 6.6
Protein: 0.55g
Carbohydrate: 1.15g
Total Fat: 0.104g
Fiber: 0.77g
Typically this leaves 10 to 20 days that the grocer has to display and sell his lettuce to the public. Therefore, if the public doesn't "demand" as much lettuce as the grocery store has purchased, the "supply" has exceeded the economic range for the product. If the grocery store has purchased 24 heads of lettuce for $8.40, they have $0.35 cost invested per head of lettuce. The delivery (transportation) can cost an additional $0.25, or more, giving the grocer a total cost of $0.60 per head of lettuce. Therefore, if you find lettuce on "sale" at the store at 3 heads for $1, you are getting the advantage of his "over supply", or he got a good buy and is passing it along to you. Produce is not a product that can be kept in the back room indefinitely, it must be used or it will spoil.

Ranch Budget - Iceberg Lettuce

Land Cost (Rent)     600.00
Water (@ $15.00/acre Ft) - Acre Ft =   4.00 60.00
Land Preparation (Tractor Work)     401.50
Seed     100.00
Sprinkle to Germinate     175.00
Thinning & Weeding     125.00
Fertilizer & Application     350.00
Chemicals & Application     200.00
Irrigation (Labor)     100.00
Misc.     10.00
Growing Supervision     65.00
Total Growing Cost     2,186.50
Harvest (Per Carton) 4.10   3,280.00
Cooling (Per Carton) 0.40   320.00
Administration     150.00
Total Cost     5,936.50
Yield (Cartons Per Acre)   800  
Value ($ Per Carton)   7.50  
Total Crop Income (Per Acre)     6,000.00
Net Crop Income (Per Acre)     63.50

The sequence of events in the growing of a produce crop are as follows:
(The land has to be prepared, from a previous crop)

        Cost Per Acre
Disc Grower 16.00
Chisel Grower 40.00
Disc Grower 16.00
Laser Grower 55.00
Chisel-Plow Grower 35.00
Pre-Irrigate Grower 20    
Disc Grower 16.00
Spread Fertilizer Contract 10.00    
Spray Herbicide and Disc Grower     20.00
List (make beds in field) Grower     20.00
Preshape the beds Grower     15.00
Plant (42" Beds) Grower     40.00
Sprinkle Crop to Emergence Grower or Contract 175.00    
Water - Flood Irrigate Grower 20  
Thin Contract 75.00    
Cultivate Grower 17.50
Spike Grower 15.00
Weed Contract 50.00    
Sidedress Grower 17.50
Shape Furrows & Bed Side Grower 15.00
Water - Furrow Irrigate Grower 20  
Spike Grower 15.00
Sidedress Grower 17.50
Shape Furrows & Bed Side Grower 15.00
Water - Furrow Irrigate Grower 20
Water - Furrow Irrigate Grower 20
Harvest Contract 3.50 - 5.00    
Disc Grower 16.00
20 100 401.50

Inputs to the crop include:

Seed Vendor 100.00
Fertilizer (Dry & Liquid) Vendor 350.00
Herbicide Vendor 100.00
Insecticide Vendor 100.00

Thank you APS!

click here to read our appreciation letter to APS for graciously allowing us to post our signs along Arizona's highways.

Irrigation Districts Map

click here to visit our general agriculture information page which currently displays and explains our area's irrigation districts.

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Yuma Area Ag Council
2197 S. 4th Avenue - Suite 206
phone: (928) 581-2256
fax: (928) 782-0688