Colorado Crop Progress/Condition Report, Week Ending April 16, 2023


Warm, windy conditions and minimal moisture were observed across most of 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, 40 percent of the state was under drought conditions, up 2 percent from last week but down from 83 percent a year ago. Fifteen percent of the state was experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, up 2 percent from last week. Forty-eight percent of the
State was rated under no drought conditions, comparatively, the entire State was under drought conditions at this time last year.

Northwestern counties received above average moisture last week. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA, snowpack in the area ranged from 128 to 143 percent of median snowfall. In northeastern and east central counties, minimal moisture and windy conditions remained an issue for winter wheat and pasture conditions. Fieldwork and planting preparations continued. Most counties remained dry, but isolated moisture was received around the Denver Metro area, as well as portions of Arapahoe and Elbert Counties.

Pastures remained slow to green up and lack of consistent moisture was a concern. In the San Luis Valley, lack of moisture and cold soil temperatures continued to hinder pasture growth. No measurable moisture has been received since March and high winds remained an issue. Fieldwork continued ahead of potato planting and reporters noted planting will likely start this week. Barley planting progressed quickly last week among warm, dry conditions. Soil temperatures remained cold and was slowing barley emergence. Livestock remained in good condition and calving and lambing continued without major issues.

In southeastern counties, crop and pasture conditions continued to decline due to lack of moisture and high winds. Winter wheat in the area remained heavily stressed, with most of the crop reported as very poor to fair. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 49 percent of Baca County was under extreme drought conditions, and 18 percent was under exceptional drought conditions. Drought conditions in Pueblo County declined rapidly last week, with 71 percent of the County under extreme drought, up from no area the week before. Southwestern counties received isolated moisture that was mostly confined to higher elevations and Mesa County. Warmer than average temperatures were prevalent last week according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center.

Calving and lambing across the State outpaced the average, with 85 percent of cows calved and 84 percent of ewes lambed, ahead of the 5-year averages of 82 percent. As of April 17, 2023, snowpack in Colorado was 135 percent measured as percent of median snowfall according to the NRCS, USDA. Southwest and San Luis Valley snowpack were 183 and 120 percent of the median, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 17 percent very short, 31 percent short, and 52 percent adequate. Sheep death loss was 51 percent average and 49 percent light. Cattle death loss was 2 percent heavy, 50 percent average, and 48 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


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