I am starting a new monthly series, sponsored by LaSalle Oil, "Celebrating Northern Colorado Farmers and Ranchers", which means a lot to me since I was raised on a farm in Northeastern Colorado.

Weld County is enormous and according to the county website, 75% of  the 2.5 million acres is devoted to farming and raising livestock.  Weld County is Colorado's leading producer of beef cattle, grain, sugar beets, and is the state’s leading dairy producer and is the top producing agricultural county in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.

So what do farmers raise here in Weld County? I contacted the USDA and the CSU Extension Office in Weld County and they agreed on the "Top 5 Crops Grown in Weld County".

5.  Dry Beans

Dry beans includes navy beans,  red kidney beans, great northern beans, pinto beans, black turtle soup beans, and anasazi beans, although 85% of the beans grown in Weld County are pinto beans. Weld is the #1 county in the state for production of dry beans.

 4. Sugar Beets

Weld County is also the top producer of sugar beets in the state, although it used to a much bigger crop. Most of the sugar factories have closed down. Western Sugar Cooperative still operates a plant in Fort Morgan.

3. Alfalfa/Hay

Alfalfa is grown as feed for livestock and since Weld County is leading producer of beef cattle and is the leading dairy producer in the state, hay is a very important crop.

2. Corn

Corn has many uses. It feeds the livestock. It goes into people food, including corn syrup. It is also used to make fuel. It would probably be #1 on our list if we included corn used for silage.

1. Wheat

Wheat is the #1 crop grown in Weld County. Every year, over 134,000 acres of wheat are planted in the county. What doesn't have wheat in it? Just ask someone who is celiac.  Even hot dogs contain wheat gluten.

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