Crop Progress and Condition – Week Ending May 20, 2018

AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: Storm systems at week’s end brought locally heavy rain to mostly northern and eastern counties, while conditions in western and southern counties continued to deteriorate due to drought, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Northeastern county reporters noted moisture last week continued to improve dryland crop and pasture conditions, although isolated damaging hail was also observed. Heavy weekend moisture delayed fieldwork with weed emergence in wheat an issue due to limited field access. East central counties received varying amounts of moisture. Some localities received over an inch, while others reportedly received very little. Where received, moisture improved overall conditions. In southwestern counties, drought conditions remained critical and a reporter noted many producers are facing drastic reductions in irrigation water supplies. Topsoil moisture in the San Luis Valley remained short with some alfalfa stands showing improvement, while others started being replanted with other crops. Fall potato and small grains planting progressed well last week and barley emergence was noted to pick up. In southeastern counties, reporters noted moisture was sporadic and several areas continued to decline due to extended drought. Livestock producers began reducing herd numbers in response to poor pasture conditions, and detrimental grasshopper infestations were noted. A reporter also noted alfalfa was being sprayed for increased insect presence. As of May 21, 2018, snowpack in Colorado was 43 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 4 and 5 percent, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 7 percent very short, 22 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 43 percent average and 57 percent light. Cattle death loss was 82 percent average and 18 percent light.

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