MONTE VISTA – Colorado specialty crops have been awarded grants totaling over $768,000 through the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s 2018 Specialty Crops Program. 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.
Fiscal year 2018 funds were recently approved by the USDA for projects including one in the San Luis Valley:
Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Monte Vista, $69,340 for best management practices for Colorado potato growers resulting in improved soil health.
In addition the following grants were awarded to Colorado State University, Fort Collins, that will benefit growers across the state:
• $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.
• $53,348 to improve propagation and production techniques of numerous difficult-to-produce herbaceous perennials, in partnership with Plant Select®.
• $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®.
• $40,000 to address the soil-borne potato pathogen which causes powdery scab disease.
• $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.
• $24,995 to improve the competitiveness of specialty crop producers in Colorado through best management practices for sustainable and sensible weed control.
In addition, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, received grant funds:
• $99,730 for development of a Colorado Pavilion at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Expo in 2019.
• $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.
• $30,000 for an inbound trade mission of Caribbean buyers interested in purchasing Colorado fruits and vegetables.
To learn more about the Colorado Specialty Crops Program visit www.colorado.gov/ag/specialtycropgrant or call 303-869-9173.