Resilient Economy Is Strength of Eastern Colorado

Despite headwinds facing all regions in Colorado, the Eastern Plains remain resilient with a solid economic base in agriculture, retail sales and manufacturing.

With a steady, engaged workforce and the availability of commercial land for sale Colorado, the opportunities are plentiful for business, hunting sports and dry land farming across this region.

The 10 counties that make up Eastern and Northeastern Colorado account for 2.1% of the state’s population and about 2% of its jobs, according to a special report from CU Boulder Leeds School of Business.

Manufacturing Strength

Of the primary employment sectors, manufacturing jobs in Eastern and Northeastern Colorado are responsible for higher economic output per worker than other sectors. Nearly one quarter of the region’s economic output is produced by just 7% of the region’s workers, the report observes.

Corn and Cows

Although the agriculture segment nationally continues to feel the impact of abundance on commodity prices, the Eastern Colorado region has held its ground. With national projections forecasting a steady increase in both net farm income and net cash income due to increased federal assistance, regional agriculture net income is projected to show incremental increases.

Cattle remains king of the agriculture sector in Eastern Colorado. The CU Leeds report shows that cattle make up more than two-thirds of the the state’s ag sector value of production as ranchers continue to sell higher volumes of livestock although at lower prices. Colorado cattlemen continue to find willing buyers for their livestock on the international markets.

Traditionally known as the land of “corn and cows,” Eastern and Northeastern Colorado has seen a rise in other crops and in ag processing plants. A pioneer in sugar beets and beet processing, the region has witnessed recent growth in grains and other crops intended for human consumption and alternative crops such as soybeans, canola and industrial hemp.

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