Agriculture in Graham and Greenlee Counties

Graham and Greenlee counties, in eastern Arizona, are largely rural counties with agricultural industries that include crop production along the Gila River and livestock grazing throughout the region’s remote and rugged public lands. The significance of agriculture in these counties’ economies is not limited to on-farm production. By purchasing inputs such as seed, fertilizer, feed crops, banking services, and hiring labor, a “ripple” of economic activity is created in other industries providing those goods and services. Additionally, households that derive income from agriculture contribute to the local economy by purchasing household goods and services. Economists call these indirect and induced multiplier effects.

This study provides a summary of current agricultural production in Graham and Greenlee counties in 2017, and conducts economic contribution analyses for each county to characterize and quantify economic activity attributable to agriculture. These economic contributions include the direct contributions of agriculture, such as sales of crops and livestock products and employment in agricultural industries, as well as the contributions supported through indirect and induced multiplier effects.

Finally, considering that availability of irrigation water is critical for crop production in this region, the study estimates reductions in crop acreage, on-farm sales, and economics impacts due to hypothetical reductions in irrigation water supplies for the Graham and Greenlee county economies.


Ashley K. Bickel, Dari Duval, George Frisvold

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