Colorado Crop Progress/Condition Report Week Ending October 16, 2022




Harvest activities progressed quickly across the State last week amongst dry, warm weather, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor for October 11, just over 43 percent of the State was categorized in moderate drought or worse, down slightly from the previous week. Over 13 percent of the State is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, equal to last week. The exceptional drought conditions noted across portions of Phillips and Sedgwick Counties remain unchanged from last week, accounting for less than one percent of the State. Very little measurable moisture was received across the State last week, with southwestern La Plata County garnering the most moisture with 0.15 inches received. Above average temperatures were observed across the State last week, with eastern counties seeing temperatures more than six degrees above average.

Reports on sunflower harvest are mixed, with harvest not yet started in areas of eastern Colorado and quick harvest progress in southwestern Colorado. Potato harvest in the San Luis Valley advanced last week but continues to progress slower than average. Reporters note recent frosts have stopped alfalfa growth in the area.

Fourth cutting of alfalfa is progressing well in the northeastern and southwestern portions of the State, continuing ahead of the 5-year average. Reporters in the southwestern portion of the State noted alfalfa and corn harvest had slowed to give the crops time to dry from recent rains. Statewide, planting of the 2023 winter wheat crop was almost complete, with 95 percent of the crop planted, compared with last year and the 5-year average at 91 percent. Proso millet harvest is almost complete, with 97 percent of the crop harvested. The corn crop is almost fully mature, ahead of average and corn for grain harvest progressed well last week, but still falls short of the previous year at 43 percent and the 5-year average of 34 percent.

Most livestock are still in good condition despite diminishing pasture and rangeland conditions. Stored feed supplies were rated 10 percent very short, 30 percent short, 54 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus.  Sheep death loss was 83 percent average and 17 percent light. Cattle death loss was 2 percent heavy, 84 percent average, and 14 percent light.

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