Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Report, Week Ending March 19, 2023




Warmer temperatures and minimal precipitation allowed for an increase in fieldwork last week, 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, unchanged from last week and down from 92 percent a year ago. Nine percent of the state was experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, up 1 percent from last week.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, snowpack in the region was 139 percent of median snowfall. Northeastern counties received minimal moisture last week. Warmer temperatures improved snow melt, further opening pastures for grazing amid feed shortages. In the San Luis Valley, barley planting continued amongst warmer weather early in the week and potato growers continued seed preparations. Fieldwork in the region was still limited.

Reporters noted that despite an above average snowpack, the valley floor remained dry, and ranges were short on grass. In southeastern counties, conditions remained dry. Reporters noted winter wheat was starting to green up, but without moisture harvest outlook is bleak. Southwestern counties experienced rain for most of the week, with over an inch reported in many areas according to the National Weather Service.

As of March 19, 2023, snowpack in Colorado was 129 percent measured as percent of median snowfall according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA.

The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 156 and 122 percent, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 11 percent very short, 32 percent short, 55 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 1 percent heavy, 35 percent average and 64 percent light.

Calving and lambing progress was behind the previous year and 5-year averages.  Overall, calving and lambing continued with few issues, with 39 percent of cows calved and 34 percent of ewes lambed. Cattle death loss was 3 percent heavy, 44 percent average, and 53 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


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