Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Report, Week Ending April 2, 2023



Varied temperatures and strong winds were observed across 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, 36 percent of the state was under drought conditions, unchanged from last week but down from 83 percent a year ago. Nine percent of the state was
experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, equal to last week. Fifty-two percent of the State had no drought conditions, comparatively, the entire State was under drought conditions at this time last year. Calving and lambing made good progress, with reporters noting some producers were having difficulty with the colder than average temperatures. Northwestern counties received moisture in the high-country last week. Reporters noted feed supplies in the district were short due to drought conditions last summer.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA, snowpack in the region was 148 percent of median snowfall. In northeastern and east central counties, windy conditions caused a reduction in topsoil moisture last week. A reporter from Yuma County noted that pastures were starting to green, but cold ground temperatures have stunted green up of pastures and winter wheat. In the San Luis Valley, the water season started on April 1st.

Barley planting continued ahead of the normal pace among dry, windy conditions. Reporters noted the varying temperatures slowed soil warm-up and producers were starting field prep for planting. In southeastern counties, conditions remained dry despite several weather systems moving through the district. Winter wheat was primarily rated very poor to poor condition, with reporters noting very little dryland wheat remains amongst drought conditions.

Fifty percent of Baca County was under extreme drought conditions, and 18 percent was under exceptional drought conditions. Eighty-five percent of Prowers County was under severe to exceptional drought conditions. Strong winds were causing soil erosion in the district and dry conditions were producing fire concerns. Southwestern counties experienced cooler than average temperatures last week according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center. Reporters in Dolores and San Miguel Counties noted that heavy snowpack remained prevalent on fields and was preventing fieldwork.

Cold weather and moisture continued to have a negative impact on calving and lambing in the area last week. Overall, calving and lambing continued with few issues, with 62 percent of cows calved, ahead of the 5-year average of 66 percent and 61 percent of ewes lambed, equal to the 5-year average.

As of April 2, 2023, snowpack in Colorado was 139 percent measured as percent of median snowfall according to the NRCS, USDA. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 179 and 137 percent, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 26 percent very short, 29 percent short, 44 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 1 percent heavy, 67 percent average and 32 percent light. Cattle death loss was 3 percent heavy, 57 percent average, and 40 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


About the Author: