Colorado Crop & Progress Condition Report, Week Ending August 27, 2023


Temperatures remained above average last week, but precipitation was received in several localities across the State, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association data, several counties across the State received isolated amounts of moisture well over 2 inches, while northwestern and some east central counties remained drier. The U.S. Drought Monitor published on August 24 showed a decline in conditions in the San Luis Valley. Almost 15 percent of the State is experiencing abnormally dry conditions and 14 percent of the State rated in moderate drought. Two percent of the State is rated in severe drought, up from last week. According to the High Plains Regional Climate Center, much of the State experienced higher than normal temperatures, with areas of eastern Colorado realizing temperatures more than 8 degrees above average.

Temperatures on the eastern plains and western slope were primarily in 80s and 90s, and highs reached over 100 degrees along the plains. The higher elevations of northern Colorado saw some temperatures in the upper 30s. High temperatures and strong winds continued to decrease soil moisture supplies in the northeastern part of the State last week.

Reports noted crop production losses were still expected from prior hail damage. Reports from the San Luis Valley noted barley harvest made good progress amid hot, dry weather, but was slowed mid-week due to precipitation. Second cutting of alfalfa was also slowed due to storms, but was nearly complete. Potato vines are being killed in preparation for harvest, with reports of seed growers just starting to move into fields for limited harvest. Livestock were in mostly good condition, but losses were noted, specifically for sheep due to coyote predation.

Second cutting alfalfa harvest was wrapping up last week, with 95 percent of the crop harvested. The third cutting of alfalfa
advanced among a primarily dry week, with 39 percent harvested, but progress still lagged last year and the 5-year average. Barley harvest progressed quickly last week, with 62 percent harvested, ahead of last year and equal to the 5-year average. Blooming in the dry edible bean crop made progress last week, with 92 percent of the crop bloomed, just behind last year and the 5-year average of 98 percent.

The corn crop matured quickly among hot, dry conditions last week, with 78 percent of the crop in the dough stage, just ahead of the 5-year average of 73 percent, and 27 percent of the crop in the dented stage, in line with the 5-year average of 25 percent. Corn harvested for silage continued, with 18 percent of the crop harvested, ahead of the 5-year average of 9 percent. Onion harvest continued in the northeastern portion of the State, progressing ahead of average, with 35 percent of the crop harvested. Stored feed supplies were rated 3 percent very short, 7 percent short, 87 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Cattle death loss was 1percent heavy, 67 percent average, and 32 percent light. Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 91 percent average and 7 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureFeaturedMedia Release


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