Ag stats: Colorado crop progress and condition report – week ending April 25, 2021

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Published Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Producers experienced mixed conditions across the state last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

In northwestern counties, drought conditions persisted and effects were noticeable even this early in the year. A county report noted more snowmelt than normal was being taken up by the soil instead of running off.

2021-04-24_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_april_20_2021_-_national_drought_mitigation_center.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - April 20, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center
Colorado Drought Conditions - April 20, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center

Northeastern counties received isolated moisture that was enough to slow fieldwork in areas. Recent moisture benefitted winter wheat condition, although some frost damage was noted. Non-irrigated crop and pasture conditions remain a concern going forward if more moisture isn't received. A county report noted corn and sugarbeet planting began where soil temperatures increased suitably.

2021-04-24_map_drought_change_between_april_13_and_20_2021_-_ndmc.png

MAP Drought change between April 13 and 20, 2021 - NDMC
Drought change between April 13 and 20, 2021 - NDMC

In east central counties, temperatures remained cool and some areas received snow. Cold temperatures were a concern for winter wheat where snow cover wasn't established. A county report noted recent moisture improved soil moisture supplies, but subsoil moisture remained short. Pastures remained behind with few greening up.

In the San Luis Valley, barley planting continued quickly amidst dry weather. Potato planting also progressed, but some producers were still waiting for warmer temperatures. Irrigation season began and alfalfa was slowly showing growth. A county report noted feed supplies were very short.

In southeastern counties, light moisture and cold temperatures were reported. The cooler weather notably slowed alfalfa progress but was not cold enough to hamper winter wheat. High winds were also reported.

As of April 23, 2021, snowpack in Colorado was 79 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 61 and 80 percent, respectively.

Stored feed supplies were rated 20 percent very short, 26 percent short, and 54 percent adequate.

Sheep death loss was 70 percent average and 30 percent light.

Cattle death loss was 7 percent heavy, 68 percent average, and 25 percent light.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK PROGRESS

Commodity

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Barley 

       

Planted 

66 

37 

74 

68 

Emerged 

26 

25 

19 

Corn 

       

Planted 

11 

15 

Onions 

       

Planted 

20 

15 

24 

52 

Potatoes inside San Luis Valley 

     

Planted 

18 

NA 

Potatoes outside San Luis Valley 

     

Planted 

19 

10 

12 

34 

Sugarbeets 

       

Planted 

12 

17 

38 

Winter wheat 

       

Pastured 

NA 

Jointed 

41 

31 

39 

38 

Cattle and calves 

       

Cows calved 

93 

89 

90 

87 

Sheep and lambs 

       

Ewes lambed 

93 

82 

93 

86 

DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITION

 

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

Days suitable for fieldwork 

5.6 

4.9 

6.0 

5.1 

Topsoil moisture 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Very short 

15 

13 

16 

Short 

42 

36 

31 

17 

Adequate 

43 

51 

52 

69 

Surplus 

-- 

-- 

Subsoil moisture 

       

Very short 

32 

32 

13 

Short 

41 

36 

21 

19 

Adequate 

27 

32 

65 

71 

Surplus 

-- 

-- 

CROP, LIVESTOCK, PASTURE AND RANGE CONDITION

Commodity

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Alfalfa hay 

       

Very poor 

NA 

-- 

NA 

Poor 

NA 

NA 

Fair 

29 

NA 

21 

NA 

Good 

52 

NA 

70 

NA 

Excellent 

13 

NA 

NA 

Pasture and range 

       

Very poor 

23 

25 

Poor 

30 

28 

12 

14 

Fair 

35 

35 

28 

32 

Good 

12 

12 

52 

43 

Excellent 

-- 

-- 

Winter wheat 

       

Very poor 

13 

14 

15 

Poor 

19 

20 

19 

12 

Fair 

38 

40 

29 

28 

Good 

27 

23 

35 

47 

Excellent 

Livestock 

       

Very poor 

-- 

-- 

Poor 

Fair 

29 

32 

21 

17 

Good 

54 

49 

65 

72 

Excellent 

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