The cotton modules are a mainstay of the Gila Valley this time of year and are unmistakeable. While they may seem like the perfect playground, the costs of vandalism can run into thousands of dollars of damage and restitution. Seeing modules damaged this year is especially hard on the farmers, who have battled water availability and higher costs to bring in their crops. The tightly tarped modules represent hundreds of hours of work and are the livelihood of a segment of our community who farm nearly 24,000 acres of cotton fields throughout the Gila Valley each year.
To help keep vandalism at a minimum, VIP Farms owner Dennis Palmer has joined other farmers to offer a $5,000 reward to anyone who offers information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who cause damage to cotton modules or farm equipment. The cotton modules are worth between $8,000 to $12,000 a piece.
Palmer was spurred to offer the reward after two of his cotton modules in Pima were damaged by juvenile vandals Saturday.