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Growing costs leading to struggles for Casa Grande farm

Colorado River Drought Farmers
Posted at 4:21 AM, Oct 21, 2021

CASA GRANDE, AZ — Farming isn't just a job for Nancy Caywood -- it also happens to be her family's legacy.

"It's in my blood," explains Caywood. "It's just there."

"Our costs continue to rise and then you have fields, like this, you don't know if you'll be able to save and it's costing us money."

This third-generation farmer is keeping her family business alive, growing cotton and alfalfa on the same 255-acre farm in Casa Grande her grandfather bought in 1930.

"You stand under this shop, and I can't tell you all the memories under here. You can't even imagine all the fun things that have happened under here."

But Nancy is worried those good old days on the farm could be long gone.

"It's grim. We look at it and we think, 'what are we going to do?'"

Caywood explains prices on just about everything are soaring right now - from electricity, to fuel, even parts for her tractors and other equipment.

Fertilizer is another major expense for farmers — it's up at least 50% in some places, and experts worry those numbers could climb even higher in 2022.

Diesel prices are also on the rise, up more than $1 a gallon from a year ago.

And offsetting those costs is far from easy. If you look at the alfalfa fields on Caywood Farms, you'll see some green, but you'll also see a lot of dry, cracked land. In one spot we saw, Caywood explains they are normally able to harvest it at least six times by this time of year - but so far, because of how dry it's been, they've only been able to harvest it twice, meaning fewer crops to sell.

If you'd like to learn more about Caywood Farms, head to CaywoodFarms.com.