Colorado Farm Culture

The Details on Farming in Colorado 

The “Centennial State” is more famous for the rocky landscape and outdoor adventure culture than its farming side.

However, in reality, Colorado is perhaps more of an agricultural powerhouse than it is a picturesque tourist destination as portrayed by tabloids.

Approximately 33 million acres of land therein are taken up by ranches and farms. That figure makes up about half of the total area of the state. Colorado’s agriculture contributes to the existence of 173,000 jobs and turns in state revenue north of $40 billion.

The state is as fairytale-blissful as the travel blogs have painted it out to be. And simultaneously, its agriculture prowess is of equal – or maybe even more – significance. 

That said, here’s a look at a few other things you might not have known about farming in Colorado: 

1) There’s typically no seasonal downtime

The onset of winter usually means it’s time to hang up the trowel and go into hibernation. But not so fast. In Colorado, there’s no wrong time to farm.

Several ranches and farms across the state work all year long, even during harsh winters and blistering summer months. Over the cold season, apples become a popular choice among Colorado farms as do potatoes, which dominate regardless of the time of year.

Other freezing-temperature hardcore favorites include winter squash and tomatoes.

2) Root vegetables and leafy greens grow well there

Endless mountains domineer a considerable chunk of the state. This makes for a mountainous landscape full of towering peaks and fertile soil. The mostly hilly terrain provides good drainage and excellent growing conditions for leafy greens such as lettuce, and root vegetables like beetroot and carrots. 

3) Cattle farming is on the rise

When you think of Colorado, what kind of climate comes to mind?

Sections of the state are affected by brutal winters, but Colorado is a mostly sunny state save for the snow-laden highlands.

With vast plains and lush valleys spanning hundreds of unoccupied miles, Colorado is perfect for cattle farming.

In fact, the general opinion is that the state has some of the country’s best forage.

Factor in 300-odd days of sunshine, and you’re hard-pressed to pinpoint a better location for livestock. 

4) Wheat is the primary crop

In 2010, Colorado came in fifth place on the national wheat production charts.

It ranked seventh and sixth respectively in the two subsequent years after that. This goes to showcase the importance of Colorado as a wheat producer on a national level. Wheat growing is a lucrative business in the state as well.

Colorado soil is predominantly red

Most of the state’s land takes on a ruby hue, and that is a good thing.

The crimson shades are an indication of an abundance of iron in the soil. This iron means farmers rarely need to worry about the implications of iron deficiency. 

What does that mean?

More consistent crops, better nutrition, and healthy vibrant plants.

It is this red soil that earned the state the name by which it goes today. Colorado is strewn from a pair of Spanish worlds, namely “color” and ”rojo,” which basically means red color.

The state was actually named after River Colorado, which itself was named so because of its reddish color.