Colorado Crop Progress/Condition Report, Month of December 2022


AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: Moderately dry weather across the State during the month of December was interspersed with a few productive snowstorms, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, 86 percent of the State is abnormally dry or in a state of drought. Just under 31 percent of the State is in severe to exceptional drought, a much better start than 2022 when over 67 percent of the State was under severe to exceptional drought conditions. Productive snowstorms during the latter half of December improved moisture across the State, and greatly boosted snowpack. During the third week of December, bitter cold and snow moved across the State, causing temperatures to drop as low as -30 degrees.

Northeastern counties remained very dry, but received beneficial moisture at the end of December, accumulating one to three inches above normal precipitation levels. Drought conditions deteriorated in southeastern counties since the end of the growing season, with most counties in a severe drought or worse.

Livestock producers continued to utilize winter grazing arrangements where available. In southwestern counties, reporters noted snow events had provided good topsoil moisture. The San Luis Valley has received limited snowfall this winter, leaving soils dry and rangeland deteriorating. According to county reports, livestock were in fair condition and hay supplies were short. Producers continued to provide feed supplements due to poor range conditions.

Statewide, winter wheat condition improved, with 50 percent of the crop rated good to excellent, compared with 30 percent good to excellent from the previous report and 25 percent good to excellent last year. As of January 3, 2023, snowpack in Colorado was 124 percent measured as percent of median snowfall.

Note: Monthly reports will be released for January on January 30, 2023; and for February on February 27, 2023.

Filed Under: AgricultureEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


About the Author: