Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Week Ending May 3, 2020


AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: Warm and dry weather was favorable for spring planting progress last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.


Northeastern counties received measurable precipitation in areas which was very welcome. Isolated small hail was also reported. Late-week moisture benefitted winter wheat, but livestock producers remained very concerned regarding dry pasture conditions. Livestock were being moved to summer pasture, but in some instances stocking rates were reduced.


East central counties also received isolated moisture. Areas near Akron, CO received upwards of one inch of rain and marble-sized hail, according to local reports. Other areas received less moisture or none at all.


Corn planting progressed amidst good weather last week. Livestock producers continued spring processing activities, but native pastures were in great need of moisture and cattle producers were waiting to move their stock to summer pasture.


Winter wheat condition and progress in areas reflected the limited moisture received. Fire danger due to hot windy weather was notably elevated.


In the San Luis Valley, conditions remained very dry. Pasture conditions declined due to lack of received moisture. Potato planting advanced rapidly and barley emergence really picked up due to warm conditions and irrigated center pivot operations. A report noted there was some surplus hay supply in the area.


Southeastern counties remained very dry. Hot temperatures and high winds elevated fire danger; a grass fire in Bent county was reported late in the week. Irrigation water supplies remained slow and producers were notably treating the alfalfa crop for weevils. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, all southern counties and areas in east central Colorado were experiencing severe drought (D2).


As of May 1, 2020, snowpack in Colorado was 91 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 70 percent and 52 percent, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 4 percent very short, 17 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 50 percent average and 50 percent light. Cattle death loss was 78 percent average and 22 percent light.


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