Specialty crop grants awarded

VALLEY – Twelve grants totaling over $600,000 have been awarded through the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Specialty Crops Program. Two of those grants were awarded in the San Luis Valley.

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.

“Colorado produces diverse specialty crops, from the more well-known potatoes and peaches to more experimental crops such as aronia berries, mulberries and hops,” said Glenda Mostek, grants specialist, “This grant allows Colorado specialty crop producers to investigate new opportunities as well as improve conditions for crops that are Colorado favorites.”

Fiscal year 2017 funds were recently approved by the USDA for the following Valley projects:

Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association, Alamosa, $29,000 to facilitate a trade mission to Canada promoting Colorado seed potatoes.

Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Monte Vista, $36,976 to study potato coatings that will extend and improve storage of potatoes.

To learn more about the Colorado Specialty Crops Program visit www.colorado.gov/ag/specialtycropgrant or call (303) 869-9173.