MANHATTAN, Kan. — Recent years have seen increased enthusiasm for specialty crop agriculture, and opportunities for growth exist in this sector of agriculture throughout Kansas. To support and expand this growth in the specialty crop industry, the Kansas Department of Agriculture conducted the first-ever Statewide Survey of Specialty Crop Production in 2016.
The voluntary survey was constructed to gather information about specialty crop production, as there is a lack of recent production history around the state. A total of 314 responses were received from Kansas farmers who raise specialty crops. Results indicated that 36 percent of specialty crop sales happen at local farmers’ markets, and 42 percent of responding growers are seeking to expand their operations and sales in the future.
“We are committed to growing agriculture in Kansas, and that includes a wide variety of specialty products,” said Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “We know that means giving specialty crop producers the tools that they need to thrive, which stems from a greater understanding of the sector.”
The survey showed that there is inadequate research done on specific specialty crop growing conditions and that there is a need for greater market access for the industry. With specialty crops being grown in over half the counties in the state, the possibility of an expanding industry is promising.
The findings from the survey will be instrumental as Kansas agriculture works to encourage growth for specialty crops in the state. To learn more about possible growth opportunities for the specialty crop sector, along with other agricultural sectors in Kansas, go to agriculture.ks.gov/GrowAg.
The full survey report is available at agriculture.ks.gov/specialtycropsurvey. For more information, please contact Lexi Wright, KDA From the Land of Kansas coordinator, at 785-564-6755 or Lexi.Wright@ks.gov.