Colorado Crops Progress Summary – April 22, 2018

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Published Monday, April 23, 2018

Several counties across the state received needed moisture in the form of rain and snow late in the week, helping to replenish diminishing soil moisture supplies, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. However, areas stricken by persistent drought conditions unfortunately remained dry, particularly southern counties.

Reporters in northeastern counties noted corn planting began last week and welcome moisture was received. Concerns remained for non-irrigated crop and pastureland conditions still behind on moisture thus far.

In east central counties, extremely high winds were reported again last week, contributing to grave fire danger and blowing of loose soil. Moisture received late in the week helped drought-stressed winter wheat, but much more is needed going forward. Producers faced difficulty spraying fields due to consistent high winds.

Southwestern counties missed out on much of the moisture and drought conditions worsened. Reporters noted hay supplies remained short and that producers were beginning to actively cull livestock in response to dire conditions. Low reservoir levels and dry stock ponds were also chief concerns going forward.

The San Luis Valley received spotty precipitation, and high winds earlier in the week contributed to blowing soil and damaged structures. A reporter noted lower than normal water supplies reduced irrigation.

In southeastern counties, high winds and fires were reported. Late week moisture was welcome and cool weather helped keep soil moisture from evaporating too quickly.

As of April 23, 2018, snowpack in Colorado was 81 percent measured as percent of median snowfall, and the Southwest was at 31 percent.

Stored feed supplies were rated 4 percent very short, 18 percent short, 77 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

Sheep death loss was 39 percent average and 61 percent light.

Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 72 percent average, and 27 percent light.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK PROGRESS

Commodity 

Current week 

Previous week 

Previous year 

5-year average 

 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

Barley 

       

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

60 

36 

59 

48 

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

14 

NA 

NA 

Corn 

       

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

-- 

Onions 

       

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

60 

31 

56 

56 

Potatoes outside San Luis Valley 

     

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

27 

15 

43 

34 

Spring wheat 

       

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

52 

33 

31 

32 

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

14 

NA 

NA 

Sugarbeets 

       

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

28 

12 

29 

31 

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

NA 

NA 

NA 

Winter wheat 

       

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

19 

12 

NA 

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

20 

10 

39 

29 

Cattle and calves 

       

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

86 

78 

83 

85 

Sheep and lambs 

       

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

90 

84 

70 

78 

         

DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITION

Current week 

Previous week 

Previous year 

5-year average 

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

4.6 

5.2 

4.8 

5.1 

Topsoil moisture 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

(percent) 

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

25 

29 

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

28 

32 

17 

23 

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

46 

38 

76 

64 

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

Subsoil moisture 

       

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

17 

24 

17 

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

34 

32 

26 

30 

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

48 

44 

66 

51 

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

16 

NA 

NA 

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

29 

NA 

15 

NA 

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

43 

NA 

74 

NA 

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

NA 

NA 

Pasture and range 

       

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

24 

21 

15 

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

23 

24 

23 

25 

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

32 

29 

35 

31 

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

21 

25 

34 

26 

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

-- 

Winter wheat 

       

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

11 

11 

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

18 

15 

16 

17 

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

35 

38 

36 

31 

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

34 

36 

35 

35 

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

Livestock 

       

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

-- 

-- 

-- 

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

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

18 

19 

18 

24 

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

74 

74 

71 

64 

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