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Crops of Colorado: a diverse medley

For some, agriculture may not be the first thought that comes to mind when you think of Colorado. Mountains, lakes, and national parks might come first. But to the proud 69,032 farmers and ranchers operating in Colorado, agriculture is their primary thought.

Of the total land area of 66.3 million acres, 31.8 million acres were used by the 38,893 farms and ranches throughout the state, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

The state’s market value of agriculture products sold was $7.49 billion. While the livestock industry dominates the farming sector, the crop industry should be ignored. You probably hear more about the contributions of corn, hay, winter wheat, or sorghum producers, but some other crop growers have amazing accomplishments of their own. For example, those who enjoy sunflower seeds, or like to cook with sunflower seed oil, will be happy to know that Colorado growers produced more than 77.3 million pounds of sunflower seeds in 2017 – that makes Colorado the third largest producer of sunflower seeds in the country.

On the vegetable side, producers harvested nearly 60,000 acres of potatoes in 2017 and more than 3,845 acres of sweet corn. These two crops were the state’s leading vegetables in 2017. On top of these, farmers also harvested more than 2,700 acres of peaches and 1,500 acres of apples.

Want to know more about agriculture in Colorado? Additional facts and figures are available in the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Source: USDA

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