Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Report, Week Ending May 28, 2023





Eastern Colorado received much needed moisture, while the western portion of the state remained primarily dry last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association data, the eastern half of the State received at least half an inch of moisture, with accumulations exceeding 2 inches in many northeastern counties. The U.S. Drought Monitor for May 23 noted vast week-to-week improvement across the State.

Roughly 28 percent of the State was reported in some drought category, down from 45 percent last week, and down from 100 percent a year ago. Cooler than average temperatures were widespread last week. Temperatures in the southeastern corner of the State were reported as much as eight degrees below the average. The northwest corner of the State welcomed above average temperatures, but flooding resulting from snowmelt continued. Reports from the San Luis Valley noted the recent rains improved the range conditions and livestock are in good condition. Warm weather last week helped crops in the district progress well after cold soil temperatures triggered a slow start to the season.

Elsewhere, reporter comments from Kiowa County indicated that substantial rainfall in the area came too late for the wheat crop, but outlook for spring planted crops is good. Several northeastern counties received more than three inches of moisture last week, with isolated areas receiving more than five inches. Drought conditions in Baca County remained primarily severe to exceptional, but improvements were made after heavy rain events the last few weeks. Roughly 3 percent of Baca County is in exceptional drought, compared to 13 percent the previous week. As of May 21, snowpack in Colorado was 163 percent measured as a percent of median snowfall according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA. Southwest and San Luis Valley snowpack were 374 and 181 percent of the median, respectively.

Barley planting was almost complete across the State and emergence continued to trail the previous year and 5-year average. Growers across the State progressed dry edible bean planting quickly last week, with 33 percent of the crop planted, ahead of the 5-year average of 13 percent. Producers in the northeastern portion of the State were almost finished planting the sugarbeet crop, with 95 percent of the crop planted, compared to 80 percent last week.

In the San Luis Valley, potato producers had planted 92 percent of their intended acreage, which lagged behind the 5-year average pace of 95 percent. Reports from the San Luis Valley noted the recent warm weather allowed producers to plant the potato crop quickly. Planting of the corn crop continued to trail the previous year and 5-year average pace, with 78 percent of the intended acreage planted.

Statewide, 32 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition, compared with 29 percent last week, 18 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 47 percent. 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 13 percent very short, 24 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 27 percent average, and 72 percent light. Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 39 percent average, and 59 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


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