Friday, July 22, 2005

Rio Grande Valley has Agricultural Economy

The Rio Grande Valley is a rising star as far as population and job growth are concerned. The great outlook of our cities outshines the fact that this region is largely agriculutural in nature. Our region used to be called the Magic Valley because of our area's ability to grow all kinds of crops all year around.

The Magic Valley does have some staple crops that will be seen as you drive around. My hometown of Mission, Texas is the home of the Ruby Red grapefruit. This area also produces other citrus, such as oranges, lemons, limes, and even hybrids of those.

Other agricultural products you will find are onions, watermelon, tomato, cabbage, and a so much more. Some crops are harvested in the summer and others are harvested in our winter, depending on their heat tolerance.

We have had some trouble with agriculture recently due to irrigation. Mainly, our neighbors to the south have been hoarding water reserves that feed into the Rio Grande and provide irrigation to downstream farmers on both sides of the border. This is in direct violation of water treaties and is damaging to farmers of both countries. There is a commission in charge of sorting these things out and they are always working to ensure fairness.

As you drive around between cities, you will see evidence of our area's agricultural heritage. The price you pay for this is through cheaper produce at the grocery store. Many stores will buy vegetables that come straight from the farm. If we don't grow it, Mexico does and their stuff is readily available.

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