Colorado Crop Summer, August 7, 2022


Record breaking temperatures and limited moisture were observed across the state last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 62 percent of the State is under drought conditions, down 17 percentage points from the previous week. Thirty-one percent of the State is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, down 6 percentage points from last week. Extreme drought conditions
are affecting 5 percent of the State, unchanged from last week. In northeastern and east central counties, limited to no precipitation was received last week.

The far northeastern part of the State reached temperatures over 100 degrees late in the week, while the Denver Metro area broke a 145-year-old record high temperature after reaching 100 degrees. Areas of Phillips and Sedgwick Counties experienced temperatures more than 8 degrees above average, a sharp change from the previous weeks’ below average temperatures.

A reporter in Kit Carson County stated two to four inches of rain was received last week. Reporters noted the summer crops are showing signs of stress from high temperatures and limited moisture. Boulder County received the most notable moisture in the State, receiving over eight inches in the eastern portion of the county last week. In southwestern counties, temperatures in the high-90’s depleted any topsoil moisture received the last few weeks. In the San Luis Valley, the second cutting of alfalfa is progressing well among dry conditions, yet still behind normal. Reporters note the barley crop is coloring well and the potato crop is developing about a week behind normal, but is in good condition.

County reports note livestock are in good condition among pastures that are holding up better than expected with the lack of moisture. In southeastern counties, monsoonal moisture has been moving through the area. According to county reports, forage and row crops are responding well to recent moisture events, although slightly behind in development. Stored
feed supplies were rated 28 percent very short, 21 percent short, 49 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 90 percent average and 10 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 86 percent average, and 13 percent light.

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