Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Report, Week Ending March 12, 2023



Above average moisture and below average temperatures were observed throughout the state, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 36 percent of the state was under drought conditions, down from 92 percent a year ago and down from 42 percent at the beginning of the year. Eight percent of the state was experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, down from 57 percent last year.

Calving and lambing progress was behind the previous year and 5-year averages. Northwestern counties were experiencing colder than average temperatures, with areas of Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties realizing temperatures more than 9 degrees below normal and dipping into the single digits. Snowpack in the region was 136 percent of median snowfall, and reporters note the ground was still buried under snow. Northeastern counties received some moisture, further improving drought conditions in the region. Reporters noted that snow melt had begun, opening pastures for grazing amid feed shortages.

In the San Luis Valley, barley planting had begun with producers navigating windy conditions. Potato growers started seed preparations for the upcoming season, but fieldwork was limited.

Reporters noted that despite an above average snowpack, the valley floor remained dry. In southeastern counties, conditions remained dry with areas of Baca and Prowers Counties under extreme drought conditions.

In southwestern counties, calving was progressing well, and lambing will be in full swing soon. Overall, calving and lambing continued with few issues, with 30 percent of cows calved and 20 percent of ewes lambed.

As of March 12, 2023, snowpack in Colorado was 128 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 150 and 112 percent, respectively.

Stored feed supplies were rated 8 percent very short, 30 percent short, 60 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 22 percent average and 78 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 34 percent average, and 65 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureEconomyEnvironmentMedia Release


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