Future of farming in Marana

NBC Channel 4 (KVOA – Tucson)


MARANA – Farmers all across the nation, particularly in the midwest are seeing the value of their land go up and the same can be said for properties in Marana.

Jon Post’s family has farmed hay, wheat and cotton in Marana for 42 years. “My father did always tell me that there was going to be a lot of money made out here but it wasn’t going to be in farming,” he said.

Marana is unique in that the land is fertile for farmers and a draw for developers, “there is no money in farming compared to development,” Post said.

The land is prime for developing because there is no critical habitat to protect, it’s away from the flood plain and and lies along the I-10 corridor near a growing community, Will White from Land Advisors Organization said.

White has researched the real estate market and its trends. He said at the height of the market developers were paying up to $80,000 for an acre of land, today that number has dropped to between $10,000 and $15,000.

Post sold some of his land but kept most of it, “I would never make the kind of money on the land farming it, that I could selling it for houses.”

White works closely with farmers in Marana,”as that area develops up there, there’s a good chance that properties could be worth more. As the infrastructure comes into place and development gets closer to their properties and they’re needed by specific users for specific projects we could see the prices go even higher up there.”

According to White, land in Marana will likely develop dramatically in the next 10 to 15 years, “I think we’re going to see employment centers, areas of retail and really great things that are amenities for the Tucson metro area in general.”

Farmers like Post know Marana is the perfect place for development, “you just can’t hang on. Farming is too risky. There are too many variables.

It’s often said houses are often a farmer’s most lucrative crop, for Post it will change the future of farming in Marana, “it just disappears, it’s gone.”