Colorado Crop Progress and Condition Report, Week Ending May 14, 2023





A string of strong spring storms delivered heavy rainfall to much of Eastern Colorado during the

latter half of the week, with damaging hail reported across isolated locations, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association data, accumulations exceeding 3 inches dominated most counties in the northeastern corner of the State. The U.S. Drought Monitor for May 9 noted some week-to-week deterioration.

Roughly 58 percent of the State was reported in some drought category, up from 56 percent last week, but down from 100 percent a year ago. Of note, this most recent iteration of the U.S. Drought Monitor did not include the heavy rain events noted above. Along with the rainfall, the storms brought a drop in temperatures. Reports from the San Luis Valley noted that the cooler days led to some development delays in the alfalfa and barley crops. Additionally, valley pastures were noted to be greening up, although grass growth was slow. Elsewhere, reporter comments from Yuma County indicated that substantial rainfall in the area would provide a marginal boost to wheat stands. Flooding resulting from snowmelt remained a concern at the forefront for producers in mountainous locations. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, Colorado’s average snowpack as of May 14 totaled 131 percent of median.

With progress limited mostly to east central counties, the first cutting of alfalfa hay was underway by week’s end. Similarly, growers in the area were also busy planting their dry edible bean crop where field conditions allowed. In the San Luis Valley, potato producers were active early in the week, planting about one-quarter of their intended acreage before the rainfall halted most field activities.

Statewide, 26 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition, compared with 22 percent last week, 19 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 41 percent. Of note, condition ratings in East Central Colorado, where the largest portion of the winter wheat crop is produced, were mostly fair to good. Stored feed supplies were rated 15 percent very short, 26 percent short, 58 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 41 percent average, and 58 percent light. Sheep death loss was 1 percent heavy, 49 percent average, and 50 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


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