Dry conditions persisted in the western portion of the State, while the eastern half of the State experienced another week of above average moisture, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. The U.S. Drought Monitor published on July 20 showed a decline in conditions, with 20 percent of the State, primarily on the western slope, presented as abnormally dry. According to the High Plains Regional Climate Center, most of the State experienced above average temperatures, with only the eastern plains experiencing cooler than average temperatures last week. Areas within the south-central counties realized temperatures more than eight degrees above normal, and temperatures above 95 degrees were widespread. Dry, hot conditions continued in the northwestern area of the State, and reporters noted grasshopper damage is evident on pastures and hay land. Another round of severe weather across the northeastern plains last week affected the condition of many crops.

Reports from the southwestern portion of the State noted dry, windy conditions have depleted topsoil moisture and has made irrigation difficult. Reporters in Dolores and San Miguel Counties stated winter wheat harvest began with variable yields reported. Pasture conditions in the San Luis Valley have declined due to lack of moisture. The potato and barley crop are progressing well, and second cutting alfalfa has started in the district.

The southeastern portion of the State continued to receive more than 300 percent of normal moisture last week. Areas of Bent, Baca, Las Animas, and Otero Counties benefited from more than three inches of moisture.  Second cutting alfalfa harvest made significant progress last week but still trailed normal pace, with 36 percent harvested, behind the 5-year average of 51 percent. Third cutting of alfalfa started in the northeast corner of the State last week, with 5 percent reported as harvested. Barley progress across the State lagged the normal pace, with 92 percent headed and 49 percent colored, while harvest started in the northeast corner.

Blooming in the dry edible bean crop progressed well last week, with 29 percent of the crop bloomed, behind the 5-year average. Thirty percent of the corn crop has silked, behind the previous year of 35 percent and the 5-year average of 45 percent. Progress of the winter wheat crop continued a slower than average pace, with 98 percent of the acreage colored and 89 percent of the crop in the mature stage, compared with the 5-year average of 97 percent. Winter wheat harvest progressed quickly last week under warm weather, with 48 percent of the crop harvested by week’s end, significantly trailing the previous year and 5-year average of 84 percent. Statewide, 65 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition.

Condition ratings in east central Colorado, where the largest portion of the winter wheat crop is produced, were mostly fair to good, with isolated ratings of poor due to recent storms. Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 21 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus. Cattle death loss was 2 percent heavy, 52 percent average, and 46 percent light. Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 90 percent average, and 8 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureFeaturedMedia Release


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