The specialty crops business covers a wide range of farms across Colorado. USDA recently released its Specialty Crop Block Grant funds to the states. In Colorado, more than $600,000 went to a wide range of uses.
Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). The funds received are aimed at enhancing competitiveness for specialty crops.
Glenda Mostek, grants specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, noted in a statement about the grants that Colorado produces a diverse range of specialty crops, from the well-known potatoes to more experimental crops such as aronia berries, mulberries and hops. “This grant allows Colorado specialty crop producers to investigate new opportunities, as well as improve conditions for crops that are Colorado favorites,” she says.
The list of grant recipients follows, but a quick look at some of the grants shows the money will be used in many areas. From facilitating a trade mission to promote seed potatoes to work to find remedies for a peach disease, the grants have diverse impact. Read on to see how the USDA money will be put to work.
Read on to see how the USDA money will be put to work.
Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association, Alamosa, Colo., $29,000 to facilitate a trade mission to Canada promoting Colorado seed potatoes
Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, Colo., $36,180 to improve the food safety capacity of specialty crop producers and handlers through a cost-share program for Good Agricultural Practices or Good Handling Practices inspections
Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, Colo., $98,027 for development of a Colorado Pavilion at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Expo in 2018
Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Monte Vista, Colo., $36,976 to study potato coatings that will extend and improve the storage of potatoes
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $59,699 to support small acreage, socially disadvantaged and beginning specialty crop producers, and to fund a specialty crops coordinator
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $24,913 to test aronia berry varieties for suitability for Colorado growing conditions
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $32,225 to conduct metabolic analysis of the quality of hops grown hydroponically in a greenhouse
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $57,078 to investigate the prevalence of the newly discovered infestation of the phylloxera louse in Colorado vineyards and recommend best management practices to limit the infestation
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $91,966 to investigate remedies for peach cytospora canker
Hobbs Farm, Avondale, Colo., $30,000 to study mulberry varieties for suitability for Colorado growing conditions and drought tolerance, as well as co-planting with perennial pollinator plants
Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project, Cortez, Colo., $86,587 to increase the availability of heritage apples through orchard restoration, variety trials and education.
Guidestone Farm to School, Salida, Colo., $21,500 to increase farm to school produce, create an apprenticeship program and incubator farm, and educate students about specialty crops.
You can learn more about the program by visiting colorado.gov/ag/specialtycropgrant.
Source: Colorado Department of Agriculture