Ag stats: Colorado crop progress and condition report – week ending May 2, 2021

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Published Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Spring planting continued around precipitation events last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

Several localities in northeastern counties received good moisture, but planting was delayed due to the wet weather. Severe weather and hail were noted. A county report noted winter wheat was damaged from high winds and hail, but the impacts were isolated. The moisture was especially beneficial for winter wheat and rangeland conditions.

East central counties also received moisture and experienced severe weather last week including a tornado near the town of Haswell. Despite recent moisture, a report from Kiowa County noted damage to winter wheat in the area from drought is not recoverable. Corn planting progressed in the district but remained behind last year. Livestock producers continued to provide supplemental feed in the wake of poor pasture grass growth thus far.

In southwestern counties, light moisture was beneficial for dryland crops. High winds were reported and spring planting continued. A county report noted producers began irrigating in the area.

2021-05-02_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_april_27_2021_-_national_drought_mitigation_center.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - April 27, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center
Colorado Drought Conditions - April 27, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center

In the San Luis Valley, barley planting progressed quickly and several producers were nearly complete. Emergence was notably good although a county report noted a few barley acres were adversely affected by wind and were being cross drilled. Potato planting also made good progress amidst good weather. Conditions remained dry and pastures were notably behind normal. Livestock producers continued to provide supplemental feed.

In southeastern counties, little moisture was received last week. High winds were reported. Corn planting began last week after waiting for warmer temperatures. A county report noted limited irrigation water is expected to impact the acreage put into irrigated corn this year. Recent moisture helped improve pasture conditions, but more moisture and warmer temperatures are needed to facilitate growth.

As of April 28, 2021, snowpack in Colorado was 76 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 61 and 72 percent, respectively.

Stored feed supplies were rated 24 percent very short, 25 percent short, and 51 percent adequate.

Sheep death loss was 67 percent average and 33 percent light.

Cattle death loss was 5 percent heavy, 67 percent average, and 28 percent light.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK PROGRESS

Commodity

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Barley 

       

Planted 

82 

66 

89 

84 

Emerged 

55 

26 

55 

43 

Corn 

       

Planted 

26 

11 

31 

20 

Onions 

       

Planted 

29 

20 

40 

66 

Potatoes inside San Luis Valley 

       

Planted 

30 

46 

25 

Potatoes outside San Luis Valley 

     

Planted 

36 

19 

27 

51 

Sugarbeets 

       

Planted 

36 

12 

36 

60 

Winter wheat 

       

Pastured 

15 

NA 

NA 

Jointed 

61 

41 

55 

54 

Cattle and calves 

       

Cows calved 

95 

93 

93 

91 

Sheep and lambs 

       

Ewes lambed 

97 

93 

97 

92 

DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITION

 

Current week

Previous week

Previous year

5-year average

Days suitable for fieldwork 

5.7 

5.6 

6.5 

5.4 

Topsoil moisture 

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

(percent)

Very short 

19 

15 

18 

Short 

33 

42 

31 

17 

Adequate 

46 

43 

51 

71 

Surplus 

-- 

-- 

Subsoil moisture 

       

Very short 

34 

32 

12 

Short 

38 

41 

26 

19 

Adequate 

28 

27 

62 

73 

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 

23 

29 

22 

NA 

Good 

54 

52 

67 

NA 

Excellent 

15 

13 

NA 

Pasture and range 

       

Very poor 

25 

23 

11 

Poor 

27 

30 

15 

12 

Fair 

37 

35 

31 

30 

Good 

11 

12 

42 

47 

Excellent 

-- 

-- 

Winter wheat 

       

Very poor 

14 

13 

16 

Poor 

17 

19 

18 

11 

Fair 

37 

38 

28 

29 

Good 

28 

27 

35 

47 

Excellent 

Livestock 

       

Very poor 

-- 

-- 

Poor 

Fair 

31 

29 

20 

17 

Good 

52 

54 

67 

72 

Excellent 

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