Spring fieldwork and planting preparations continued last week where conditions allowed, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 38 percent of the state was under drought conditions, up 2 percent from last week but down from 83 percent a year ago. Thirteen percent
of the state was experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, up 4 percent from last week. Fifty-two 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. Reporters noted deep snow cover remained in areas, but warmer temperatures accelerated runoff. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA, snowpack in the area ranged from 131 to 145 percent of median snowfall. In northeastern and east central counties, blowing topsoil remained an issue for winter wheat and pastures due to windy conditions. Fieldwork and planting preparations continued. Most counties remained dry, but isolated moisture was received around the Palmer Divide. Pastures remained slow to green up and lack of consistent moisture was a concern. In the San Luis Valley, the water season started on April 1st.

No moisture was received last week and high winds remained an issue. Some producers were replanting barley, according to county reports. Fieldwork continued ahead of potato planting, but soil temperatures remained cold.

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 and development was behind average. Reports noted livestock producers were utilizing emergency grazing of CRP acreage where available.

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. Thirty percent of Prowers County was under extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Southwestern counties received isolated moisture that was mostly confined to higher elevations. Cooler than average temperatures continued last week according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center. Overall, calving and lambing in the State continued to be on pace with the average, with 72 percent of cows calved and 70 percent of ewes lambed. As of April 10, 2023, snowpack in Colorado was 139 percent measured as percent of median snowfall according to the NRCS, USDA. Southwest and San Luis Valley snowpack were 183 and 137 percent of the median, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 17 percent very short, 33 percent short, 49 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

Filed Under: AgricultureEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


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