By Griselda Zetino | KTAR
Adam Hatley and his family have been growing cotton for decades.
“My dad starting farming out here in 1976, and I joined him in 1986,” he said.
Hatley now owns Associated Farms. He grows cotton on about 1,200 acres that he leases from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community east of Scottsdale.
Hatley said he believes cotton, which is one of Arizona’s five C’s, is still a big industry in Arizona. But the once booming industry is now showing signs that it’s struggling.
Cotton planting in Arizona peaked in 1953 at 695,000 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That number is now down to about 168,000.