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Colorado Food Facts

Compiled by Mike Rosso

Veggies, Fruit, Meat and More
• The San Luis Valley is the largest and highest alpine valley in the world
capable of producing crops. Elevation in the valley ranges from 7,400 to
8,000 feet. It is also the main supplier of barley for the Coors Brewing
• Colorado produces more than 100 million pounds of pinto beans each
year. Dove Creek is nicknamed the “Pinto Bean Capital of the World.”
• Colorado’s leading vegetable crops are potatoes, cabbage and onions.
• Peaches, apples and cantaloupe are Colorado’s largest fruit crops.
Rocky Ford has been dubbed the “Melon Capital of the World.”
• Cattle and calves are Colorado’s number one agricultural commodity,
with 2.6 million head of cattle in the state.
• Colorado is is the fourth largest producer of sunflowers in the nation.
• Colorado ranks first nationally in production of proso millet. This annual
grass is grown as a grain crop and is used for bird and livestock feed.
• Colorado’s sheep, lamb and wool production rank fourth in the nation.
• Colorado’s 130,000 dairy cows produce more than 2.5 billion pounds
of milk annually.
• There are over 4 million layer hens in Colorado, producing more than 1 billion eggs each year.
• There are 36,000 bee colonies in Colorado producing 2.7 million pounds of honey every year.
• There are over 40 aquaculture producers (or fish farmers) in the state.
• Total number of farms (2014): 36,500. Average farm size: 853 acres. Total farmland: 31.6 million acres.


• “Prairie Gold” is a term frequently given to the state’s only major food grain crop. Wheat is produced in all
regions of the state and is grown in more than 40 of the 64 counties.
• When records began in 1869, Colorado wheat producers harvested just 11,000 acres of-wheat and produced
only 275,000 bushels of grain. By 1890, the acreage had grown to over 300,000 acres and more than
5.5 million bushels of production. More than 1 million acres were harvested each year from 1918 through
1931, but the acreage was sharply reduced during the “Dust Bowl” years from 1932 through 1936.
• Total production of 139,302,000 bushels in 1985 was the largest all-wheat crop ever produced in the state,
based upon 3,522,000 acres being harvested, with a then-record average yield of 39.6 bushels per acre.

• There are five major regions that grow grapes in Colorado: Grand Valley, which boasts 75 percent of the
state’s wineries; the Rocky Mountains; the Front Range; the Four Corners region; and Delta and Montrose