Colorado Crop & Progress Report, Week Ending April 23, 2023



Cool temperatures, windy conditions, and isolated moisture continued 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, 44 percent of the State was under drought conditions, up 4 percent from last week, but down from 87 percent a year ago. Fifteen percent of the State was experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, unchanged from last week. Forty-four 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 moisture in the high-country last week.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA, snowpack in the area increased from last week, ranging from 131 to 153 percent of median snowfall. In northeastern and east central counties, minimal moisture and windy conditions continued to deteriorate winter wheat and pasture conditions. Wind gusts above 40 miles per hour were prevalent in northeastern counties last week. Most counties remained dry, but an unexpected snow event brought moisture to the foothills and the Denver Metro area.

Reporters note the warm weather has progressed green up, but winter wheat growth is behind normal. In the San Luis Valley, moisture conditions worsened and much of the district is abnormally dry according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Fieldwork continued and seed potato planting started last week. Barley planting progressed quickly last week among dry conditions, but still fell behind the 5-year average.

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. Drought conditions in the district remained steady last week, with 49 percent of Baca County and 71 percent of Pueblo County under extreme drought conditions, unchanged from last week. Southwestern counties received minimal moisture last week.

Reports show that calving and lambing is virtually complete in the district. Cooler than average temperatures were prevalent last week according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center. Calving and lambing across the State is winding down, with 88 percent of cows calved and 90 percent of ewes lambed.

As of April 23, 2023, snowpack in Colorado was 137 percent measured as percent of median snowfall according to the NRCS, USDA. Southwest and San Luis Valley snowpack were 188 and 114 percent of the median, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 14 percent very short, 32 percent short, and 54 percent adequate. Sheep death loss was 51 percent average and 49 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 42 percent average, and 57 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


About the Author: