Ag stats: Colorado crop progress and condition report – week ending April 28, 2020

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Published Friday, May 1, 2020

Spring planting progress made significant gains last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

Northeastern counties received isolated moisture and warmer temperatures allowed fieldwork to progress. Reports noted corn and sugar beet planting actively began in several localities last week. Livestock producers began to turn stock out to summer pasture, but concerns were present regarding overall lack of soil moisture.

East central counties also received precipitation last week, but reported temperatures were very warm. Warm weather and dry conditions overall were concerning for winter wheat and rangeland conditions.

In western slope counties, fruit growers were still assessing the extent of damage to crops due to a late hard freeze experienced April 13.

The San Luis Valley received scattered moisture last week, but conditions remained dry. Conditions were favorable for fieldwork and planting of potatoes was in full swing. Barley planting continued and emergence was noted as good thus far. Producers also started running their irrigation sprinklers.

In southeastern counties, some localities received isolated but welcome moisture. Corn planting began but ground temperatures were still notably cold. Irrigation water supplies were reduced due to prior early watering of fields to help boost soil moisture. Rangeland conditions continued to deteriorate, and livestock producers were still providing winter feed since grass growth is limited. Feed supplies shortened and producers were considering selling stock. Moisture is desperately needed in the area going forward.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, all southern counties in Colorado were experiencing severe drought (D2). As of April 24, 2020, snowpack in Colorado was 106 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 91 percent and 76 percent, respectively.

Stored feed supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 12 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.

Sheep death loss was 48 percent average and 52 percent light.

Cattle death loss was 74 percent average and 26 percent light.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK PROGRESS

Commodity

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Barley 

       

Planted 

77 

58 

72 

60 

Emerged 

28 

21 

20 

Corn 

       

Planted 

17 

Onions 

       

Planted 

25 

16 

36 

61 

Potatoes inside San Luis Valley 

     

Planted 

21 

-- 

NA 

Potatoes outside San Luis Valley 

     

Planted 

13 

26 

46 

Sugarbeets 

       

Planted 

18 

51 

49 

Winter wheat 

       

Pastured 

24 

NA 

Jointed 

41 

25 

31 

40 

Cattle and calves 

       

Cows calved 

90 

87 

86 

88 

Sheep and lambs 

       

Ewes lambed 

94 

89 

92 

86 

DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITION

 

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

Days suitable for fieldwork 

6.0 

4.3 

5.9 

4.9 

Topsoil moisture 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

Very short 

16 

14 

-- 

Short 

31 

31 

16 

Adequate 

52 

54 

89 

72 

Surplus 

Subsoil moisture 

       

Very short 

13 

12 

-- 

Short 

21 

21 

21 

Adequate 

65 

66 

93 

69 

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 

Poor 

NA 

Fair 

21 

21 

NA 

Good 

70 

68 

82 

NA 

Excellent 

NA 

Pasture and range 

       

Very poor 

Poor 

12 

12 

17 

Fair 

28 

28 

26 

34 

Good 

52 

52 

58 

38 

Excellent 

Winter wheat 

       

Very poor 

15 

15 

-- 

Poor 

19 

16 

10 

Fair 

29 

27 

22 

29 

Good 

35 

40 

60 

49 

Excellent 

16 

Livestock 

       

Very poor 

-- 

-- 

-- 

Poor 

Fair 

21 

20 

20 

18 

Good 

65 

66 

67 

72 

Excellent 

 

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