Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Week Ending August 20, 2023



Above average temperatures and dry conditions aided crop development across the State last week, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association data, much of the eastern part of the State remained dry, while the southwest corner of the State received up to an inch of moisture in several counties. The U.S. Drought Monitor published on August 17 showed a continued decline in conditions in the southwest corner of the State. Just over 13 percent of the State is experiencing abnormally dry conditions and 15 percent of the State rated in moderate drought. According to the High Plains Regional Climate Center, much of the State experienced higher than normal temperatures, with areas of the high-country realizing temperatures more than 6 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 central Colorado saw some temperatures in lower 40s. High temperatures and strong winds have decreased soil moisture and worsened crop conditions in the northeastern portion of the State. Reports from the San Luis Valley showed the barley crop was coloring well last week and the second cutting of alfalfa was almost complete. Potato vines are being killed in preparation for harvest, and livestock remained in good condition despite drying pastures. Reports from the western slope showed barley harvest had begun and blooming of the dry edible bean crop was wrapping up. Dryland corn and sorghum conditions in the southeastern portion of the State have been impacted by above average temperatures and windy conditions. Reporters note that winter wheat seeding had begun in isolated areas of the district.

Second cutting alfalfa harvest was wrapping up last week, with 91 percent of the crop harvested. The third cutting of alfalfa advanced among a primarily dry week, with 25 percent harvested, but progress still lagged last year and the 5-year average. Barley progressed across the State last week, with 95 percent colored, and harvest falling behind the 5-year average with 25 percent harvested.

Blooming in the dry edible bean crop made significant progress last week, with 87 percent of the crop bloomed, but this was still behind the 5-year average of 95 percent. The corn crop matured quickly among warm, dry conditions last week, with 41 percent of the crop in the dough stage, behind the 5-year average of 56 percent, and 6 percent of the crop in the dented stage, behind the 5-year average of 14 percent. Corn harvested for silage had started quickly, with 10 percent of the crop harvested, ahead of the 5-year average of 4 percent.

Onion harvest continued in the northeastern portion of the State, progressing ahead of average with 12 percent of the crop harvested. Stored feed supplies were rated 3 percent very short, 9 percent short, 87 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Cattle death loss was 71 percent average and 29 percent light. Sheep death loss was 91 percent average and 9 percent light.

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release


About the Author: