Our Best Practices

Food security, operation longevity, and preservation of our resources are highly-ranked goals when evaluating and putting into effect our farming practices. Today, some of these include:

Soil Moisture Probes

  • Sensing the soil for moisture, maximizes irrigation efficiency. We ensure that fields are irrigated at appropriate times and only when needed.

Hedging & Topping

  • Promoting the growth of new fruit wood aids in yield maximization leading to a lower ratio of inputs/lb of harvested pecan.

GPS Leveled Fields

  • More efficient use of irrigation water.
  • Reduces soil erosion, saves water.
  • Improves harvest yield.

Mowing & Shredding

  • Mowed cover crops and shredded branches add organic matter to the soil.
  • Promotes moisture retention.

Cover Crops

  • Promotes carbon sequestration.
  • When the crops are mowed nitrogen is released into the soil.
  • Reduces soil temperatures which promote better nutrient uptake and root health.
  • Protects the air quality as it keeps down the dust during harvest.
  • Creates a solid grass floor for easier harvest maximizing the yield and input efficiency.

No Tillage

  • Reduces the use of tractor passes through the fields.
  • Minimizes the greenhouse gases emissions, (GHG), contributing to efforts to mitigate against climate change.
  • Supports beneficial insect life and biological activity.
  • The carbon sequestration improves soil structure, the soils ability to store water and the nutrients that support vital soil organisms.

Sprinkler Irrigation

  • Promotes water conservation by minimizing waste. Trees are irrigated within the root zone only.
  • Nutrients can be applied directly into the water reducing the need to run tractors through the fields. This means less CO2 and N2O emissions from exhaust.

Leaf  Analysis

  • To protect the aquifer, leaf samples are taken throughout the year to ensure that we are giving the trees what they need and not over-fertilizing, which will eventually percolate down the ground.

Protecting the Aquifer

In partnership with Freeport McMoran

FICO and Freeport-McMoRan (Freeport) recognize the importance of the long-term sustainability of groundwater to the local aquifer. Consequently, the companies have partnered to build a waterline to deliver Central Arizona Project (CAP) water to FICO’s Sahuarita Farm.

About the partnership

  • Formed in 2015 to build a CAP waterline extension to FICO’s Sahuarita Farm.
  • Joint, private funding of project approximately $17 million.
  • Waterline completed in the fall of 2020

The Benefits

Water Security

Less groundwater pumping leaves more water in the local aquifer.

Economic Sustainability

Conserves water supplies for future economic growth.

Long Term

40-year commitments, including operational and sustained project investment.

The Water Route 

From the Terminus in Pima Mine Rd, water is delivered to the fields north of Sahuarita Rd.