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Ag stats: Colorado crop progress and condition report – week ending March 21, 2021

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Precipitation from the prior week’s storm continued to boost soil moisture supplies in eastern districts, but kept producers out of the field, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, received moisture resulted in one to two category improvements in some eastern counties. Extreme and exceptional drought persisted in areas, especially in western districts. Concerns remained regarding long-term moisture deficits and 96 percent of the state was in moderate to exceptional drought according to the Drought Monitor.

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MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - March 16, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center

Colorado Drought Conditions - March 16, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center

In northeastern and east central counties, more moisture was received late Sunday. Wet fields limited fieldwork for much of the week. Recent precipitation improved short-term outlooks for fall seeded crops and imminent spring planting. County reports noted received moisture saved winter wheat in areas from further loss due to drought. The crop started to green up, but development remained behind normal. Calving and lambing continued. Impact of moisture on pasture condition remains to be seen but is expected to support early cool season grass growth.

Southwestern counties remained dry and isolated precipitation was observed last week. Low irrigation water supplies were a concern going into spring. Calving and lambing were in full swing, supported by relatively mild weather. A county report noted pasture and rangeland condition would benefit from more moisture.

In the San Luis Valley, conditions remained dry and precipitation was limited. Very limited barley planting began in the area. Rangeland remained very dry and more moisture was needed. A county report noted feed supplies were very short.

In southeastern counties, recent moisture benefitted fall seeded crops and cool season pasture grasses. A county report noted high winds were still prevalent in the area. Calving and lambing continued with few issues, but some producers reported predator problems.

As of March 19, 2021, snowpack in Colorado was 92 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 83 and 106 percent, respectively.

Stored feed supplies were rated 16 percent very short, 23 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 94 percent average, and 4 percent light.

Cattle death loss was 6 percent heavy, 75 percent average, and 19 percent light.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK PROGRESS

Commodity

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Barley 

    

Planted 

-- 

NA 

Winter wheat 

    

Pastured 

17 

11 

Jointed 

NA 

NA 

NA 

Cattle and calves 

    

Cows calved 

53 

35 

47 

NA 

Sheep and lambs 

    

Ewes lambed 

48 

30 

39 

NA 

DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITION

 

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

Days suitable for fieldwork 

3.0 

5.3 

4.6 

4.7 

Topsoil moisture 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Very short 

14 

25 

11 

Short 

27 

31 

24 

24 

Adequate 

57 

44 

66 

61 

Surplus 

-- 

Subsoil moisture 

    

Very short 

31 

32 

Short 

46 

42 

26 

25 

Adequate 

23 

26 

66 

65 

Surplus 

-- 

-- 

CROP, LIVESTOCK, PASTURE AND RANGE CONDITION

Commodity

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Pasture and range 

    

Very poor 

25 

27 

Poor 

23 

30 

12 

17 

Fair 

32 

31 

34 

38 

Good 

17 

11 

41 

33 

Excellent 

Winter wheat 

    

Very poor 

16 

19 

Poor 

13 

17 

12 

16 

Fair 

38 

39 

26 

31 

Good 

29 

22 

46 

41 

Excellent 

Livestock 

    

Very poor 

Poor 

11 

Fair 

37 

34 

35 

23 

Good 

40 

48 

53 

66 

Excellent