Colorado specialty crops from peaches and potatoes to grapes and sod have been awarded grants totaling over $768,000 through the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s 2018 Specialty Crops Program. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Funds are received by the Colorado Department of Agriculture from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops.
“The diversity of projects presented each year for this program is amazing,” said Glenda Mostek, grants specialist, “Colorado agriculturalists have vision and imagination and are using these funds to transform their industries and communities.”
Fiscal year 2018 funds were recently approved by the USDA for the following projects:
Rocky Mountain Sod Growers, Mead, CO, $25,000 to educate the public concerning the benefits of sod to the environment and how to conserve water.
LiveWell Colorado, Denver, CO, $59,930 to promote specialty crops to low-income communities throughout Colorado through the Double Up Food Bucks program.
Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, Broomfield, CO, $73,860 to establish a Colorado State University Extension viticulture specialist position to expand the outreach and informational resources available to Colorado’s wine grape growers.
Pickens Technical College – Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, CO, $40,000 to transform a greenhouse with state-of-the-art hydroponic technology to educate Pickens students on specialty crop production as well as produce specialty crops to be sold to the Aurora Public Schools Nutrition Services Department.
Slow Food Denver, Denver, CO, $23,635 to increase the awareness and consumption of Colorado specialty crops by supporting school farm stands, in partnership with Denver Urban Gardens.
Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Monte Vista, CO, $69,340 for best management practices for Colorado potato growers resulting in improved soil health.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $52,640 to evaluate the feasibility of growing cool-season (dry pea and lentil) and warm-season (chickpea, faba bean, and black-eyed) grain legumes across the state.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $36,786 to develop integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for Cytospora canker on peaches in Colorado.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $53,348 to improve propagation and production techniques of numerous difficult-to-produce herbaceous perennials, in partnership with Plant Select®.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $14,163 to increase the success of propagation of herbaceous perennials that are especially adaptable to the Rocky Mountain Region, in partnership with Plant Select®.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $40,000 to address the soil-borne potato pathogen which causes powdery scab disease.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $68,509 to oversee and conduct well-focused research combined with technical support and outreach to provide Colorado specialty crop producers with science-based information to stimulate innovation, competitiveness, and success.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $24,995 to improve the competitiveness of specialty crop producers in Colorado through best management practices for sustainable and sensible weed control.
Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, CO, $99,730 for development of a Colorado Pavilion at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Expo in 2019.
Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, CO, $57,000 for a television advertising campaign in the Denver metro market during the summer of 2019 aimed at encouraging consumers to buy Colorado grown fruits and vegetables.
Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, CO, $30,000 for an inbound trade mission of Caribbean buyers interested in purchasing Colorado fruits and vegetables.