Agricultural buyers take note, a rare opportunity to own a productive Arizona farm asset. The Briggs & Eggers Apple Orchard in Willcox, Arizona, has been listed for sale. This is a well-established certified organic orchard farming organically since 1990 and in operation since the 1980’s. Originally a family-owned orchard for many years, it is now owned by Manzana Orchards, LLC.
The orchard consists of 472.14+/- acres of deeded land and a well-improved headquarters with three homes, workshop, and 24,075+/- s.f. of processing facilities including apple sorting, washing, cold storage buildings and retail space, and a truck scale. The orchard grows a variety of apples on the majority of the 400 acres, with pears on 10 acres. The orchard is offered in turn-key condition, complete with all tractors, trailers, sprayers, all rolling stock, irrigation pumps and equipment, and computerized processing equipment. This is the type of agricultural investment property that can become an important part of an investor’s portfolio for years to come.
The property is located about 19 miles north of Willcox in Graham County, AZ. The City of Tucson and the Tucson International Airport is 93 miles west on Interstate 10 and a 90-minute drive from the property. Many people are under the impression that Arizona is a very dry and hot southern state. While some regions are indeed dry and hot, Willcox is at 4,300 feet in elevation in a wide basin that is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The average high temperature in June and July is 96 degrees; in August the average high is 93 degrees. Summer evenings average a low between 58 and 65 degrees. This wide range of temperatures is ideal for growing fruit, because the cool nights cause sugar to settle in the fruit, making for sweet, tasty produce. Consequently, many growers raise cash crops such as wine grapes, apples, pistachios, hay, and vegetables. In fact, Willcox is known for many varieties of wine grapes. Water is produced by drilling into aquifers that are fed by the nearby mountains.
The property consists of 412+/- acres of apples with the following spacings:
The majority of the apple trees were planted in the 1980’s. New plantings in 2018 and 2019 cover approximately 25% of the acreage. The younger trees are now coming into production. Most trees are planted in a traditional spacing, with trees planted to a density of about 220 trees per acre. However, 25 acres are trellised in a denser pattern pioneered on Israeli orchards that takes advantage of drip irrigation and provides labor savings at harvest time. Current production is about 2,000 to 4,000 tons annually. Currently 70% of the apples go to juice, with the balance being sold as table quality to a local Arizona produce broker and a portion are sold on site at the retail center.
Tree Varieties: The apple varieties include Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Lady in Red, Red Cameo, Sundowner, Ambrosia, and Sweetie. Pear varieties include Bartlett, Red D'Anjou and Bosc. Fully certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI) as an organic grower.
All the orchards are irrigated by irrigation using water pumped from an underground aquifer. There are a total of seven irrigation wells on the property, including five existing older wells with electric turbine pumps. A sixth older well is out of service. A new well was drilled in 2022 to a depth of 2,100 feet. Static water level in this well is 400 feet with current production at 350 gallons per minute. Water quality is generally good in the area. There are three domestic wells.
The Briggs & Eggers Orchard has a complete set of quality improvements with all the necessary storage and handling facilities to go to work immediately. Improvements include:
20,000 s.f. Processing/Cold Storage Building: Pre-engineered steel framed and metal processing/cold storage. Included in the cold storage/processing building:
Retail/Cold Storage Building: This building is located just southwest of the processing/cold storage building, it is a pre-engineered steel frame and metal structure consisting of 2,950+/- s.f. Includes:
Shed/Carport: Located east of the retail/cold storage building, it is a pre-engineered steel frame structure consisting of 1,125 +/- s.f. of which 500+/- feet are enclosed.
The main residence is a comfortable home that was built to last. Built in 1966, it has recent updates and is situated at the headquarters on the northwest corner of Orchard Parcel 1, across the farmyard from the processing and storage buildings. Details:
Workers’ House: 3 bedroom, 1 bath manufactured double-wide.
Storage Shed: Built in 2014, there is a pre-engineered metal storage shed 240 +/- s.f. in size located