Colorado Crop Progress and Condition Summary – April 30, 2018

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Published Monday, April 30, 2018

Fieldwork and spring planting progressed quickly around moisture events this past week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

Midweek moisture was mostly confined to eastern districts, while the west and south remained dry. Hot and dry temperatures finished out the week statewide.

Reporters in northeastern counties noted precipitation helped provide short-term relief and sustained condition of winter wheat. The longer-term outlook for non-irrigated crops and rangeland remained a concern without additional moisture. A reporter noted crop producers were preparing to irrigate soon due to lacking topsoil moisture, and that livestock producers were considering or already culling animals at a higher rate than normal.

In east central counties, recent moisture continued to help winter wheat condition, although reported blowing winds were cause for concern going forward if more moisture isn't received soon.

In southwestern counties, reporters noted conditions worsened last week with rangeland grass showing minimal growth and drought-induced dormancy. It was noted that Archuleta and La Plata counties received some moisture that helped conditions a little.

In the San Luis Valley, reporters noted potato planting started in earnest, with small grains planting, calving, and lambing nearing completion. Measurable precipitation continued to be minimal, and high winds were an issue for emerging barley.

Hay stocks were reported to be very low. In southeastern counties, dry conditions continued, although some counties benefited from midweek moisture. Corn planting was noted to be just starting last week in these counties.

As of April 27, 2018, snowpack in Colorado was 64 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 21 and 20 percent, respectively.

Stored feed supplies were rated 3 percent very short, 15 percent short, 81 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

Sheep death loss was 53 percent average and 47 percent light. Cattle death loss was 79 percent average and 21 percent light.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK PROGRESS

Commodity 

Current week 

Previous week 

Previous year 

5-year average 

 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

Barley 

       

Planted .............................................................. 

87 

60 

75 

67 

Emerged ............................................................ 

35 

14 

26 

26 

Corn 

       

Planted .............................................................. 

15 

15 

Onions 

       

Planted .............................................................. 

81 

60 

65 

70 

Potatoes inside San Luis Valley 

       

Planted .............................................................. 

10 

-- 

NA 

NA 

Potatoes outside San Luis Valley 

       

Planted .............................................................. 

41 

27 

59 

51 

Emerged ............................................................ 

NA 

Spring wheat 

       

Planted .............................................................. 

67 

52 

46 

47 

Emerged ............................................................ 

22 

14 

10 

16 

Sugarbeets 

       

Planted .............................................................. 

52 

28 

43 

48 

Emerged ............................................................ 

Winter wheat 

       

Pastured ............................................................. 

15 

NA 

Jointed ............................................................... 

29 

20 

53 

42 

Cattle and calves 

       

Cows calved ...................................................... 

91 

86 

87 

90 

Sheep and lambs 

       

Ewes lambed ..................................................... 

96 

90 

78 

85 

         

DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITION

Current week 

Previous week 

Previous year 

5-year average 

 

Days suitable for fieldwork .................................... 

5.6 

4.6 

4.3 

4.9 

Topsoil moisture 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

Very short ......................................................... 

23 

25 

10 

Short ................................................................. 

30 

28 

10 

22 

Adequate ........................................................... 

46 

46 

80 

63 

Surplus .............................................................. 

Subsoil moisture 

       

Very short ......................................................... 

15 

17 

17 

Short ................................................................. 

28 

34 

23 

28 

Adequate ........................................................... 

55 

48 

70 

53 

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 ................................................................... 

14 

16 

NA 

Fair .................................................................... 

26 

29 

16 

NA 

Good ................................................................. 

47 

43 

70 

NA 

Excellent ........................................................... 

10 

NA 

Pasture and range 

       

Very poor .......................................................... 

19 

24 

16 

Poor ................................................................... 

25 

23 

13 

21 

Fair .................................................................... 

32 

32 

39 

31 

Good ................................................................. 

24 

21 

40 

29 

Excellent ........................................................... 

-- 

-- 

Winter wheat 

       

Very poor .......................................................... 

11 

11 

Poor ................................................................... 

14 

18 

13 

16 

Fair .................................................................... 

31 

35 

37 

31 

Good ................................................................. 

45 

34 

42 

36 

Excellent ........................................................... 

Livestock 

       

Very poor .......................................................... 

-- 

-- 

-- 

Poor ................................................................... 

Fair .................................................................... 

12 

18 

19 

24 

Good ................................................................. 

82 

74 

70 

64 

Excellent ...........................................................