Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Report, Week Ending August 6, 2023






Out of season storms were prevalent across the State last week, bringing more than an inch of moisture to several counties, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. The U.S. Drought Monitor published on August 3 showed a decline in conditions, with 22 percent of the State experiencing abnormally dry conditions and almost 5 percent of the State rated in moderate drought, primarily in the San Luis Valley and western slope. Based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association data, several counties in the northeastern part of the State received over two inches of moisture, with portions of Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln, Washington, and Yuma Counties accumulating more than four inches of rain.

According to the High Plains Regional Climate Center, the southern and eastern portion State experienced above average temperatures, while northern counties experienced cooler than average temperatures last week. Temperatures above 90 degrees were widespread across the State. Reports from the southwestern portion of the State noted conditions remained dry and precipitation was below the annual average to date in many areas.

Second cutting alfalfa yield and quality were reduced due to high temperatures and windy conditions in the area. Large sweet corn losses were reported from earworms and the alfalfa crop has been damaged by aphids and thrips. A fire in Gunnison County reportedly reached over 1,800 acres by week’s end and was just over 50% contained. In the San Luis Valley, barley matured quickly in the warm weather last week and the potato crop is in good condition. Alfalfa second cutting is progressing quickly according to reporters and remained in mostly good condition throughout the area. Lack of moisture caused pasture conditions to decline, but livestock remained in good condition.

The southeastern portion of the State continued to experience strong summer storms that had delayed the completion of winter wheat harvest. A Baca County reporter noted hot, dry winds had impacted pasture conditions. Corn and sorghum progress remained behind average in the area due to cooler than normal weather earlier in the season.  Second cutting alfalfa harvest made significant progress last week and caught up with the 5-year average, with 76 percent of the crop harvested. Third cutting of alfalfa was slowed in eastern counties due to multiple moisture events, with 14 percent reported as harvested. Barley progress across the State made significant progress last week, with 82 percent colored, and harvest progressing on the eastern plains and western slope.

Blooming in the dry edible bean crop progressed well last week, with 60 percent of the crop bloomed, behind the 5-year average of 75 percent. Eighty percent of the corn crop has silked, behind the 5-year average of 85 percent, and 10 percent of the crop was in the dough stage, significantly behind the 5-year average of 23 percent. Winter wheat harvest is wrapping up, with 91 percent of the crop harvested by week’s end, trailing the previous year and 5-year average of 100 percent and 98 percent, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 84 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus.

Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 64 percent average, and 35 percent light. Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 95 percent average, and 3 percent light.

Filed Under: Agriculture


About the Author: