Colorado’s famous peaches, sweet corn, chilis and melons, as well as an abundance of other specialty crops, will benefit from grants totaling more than $745,000 through the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s 2019 Specialty Crops Program.
Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, nursery and greenhouse production, and sod. Every state receives funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, with the aim of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops.
“We are especially pleased to be funding four iconic crops this year, as well as sod and greenhouse growing, which are a huge share of our specialty crop market,” said Glenda Mostek, grants specialist. “These grants will fund projects all over the state, from the Western Slope to the Arkansas and San Luis valleys, and benefit many of our farmers.”
Here is part of the list of projects that will receive funding:
- Colorado Cider Guild, Denver: $58,000 to conduct research for Colorado’s apple growers to supply cider apples to the fast-growing Colorado hard cider market;
- Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Eaton: $49,642 to increase sales of Colorado produce, help Colorado growers gain knowledge about business management tools and resources through conferences;
- Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Monte Vista: $33,148 to determine the effect of crop rotations on soil-borne pathogens on potato farms;
- Guidestone Farm to School, Salida: $18,000 to increase production of specialty crops at high altitude, increase farm-to-school produce and local produce availability, and educate students and adults about growing food at high altitude;