Crop Progress and Condition – Week Ending May 6, 2018

AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: Significant moisture received in several counties helped improve range and dryland crop conditions last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Fieldwork was delayed in areas due to wet conditions, but picked up as hot and dry weather finished out the week. Northeastern counties received the most moisture, with upwards of an inch of rain reported in areas. A reporter noted some cattle already stressed by the recent blizzard were ill due to cool and wet conditions. Reporters mentioned moisture improved conditions and prospects across the board for rangeland, winter wheat stands, and other crops. East central counties received moisture as well, but amounts varied across the district. Reporters noted winter wheat conditions improved from precipitation and minimal wind. Southwestern counties finally saw significant moisture last week. Some counties received over half an inch of precipitation, which helped reduce fire danger and improve winter wheat and rangeland conditions. Reporters noted relief was short-term since drought conditions remained exceptional in areas. In the San Luis Valley, conditions remained very dry. Reporters noted fall potato planting progress was excellent last week and that most barley was emerged, although some was replanted. A reporter also noted much of the alfalfa crop was in poor condition and not coming up as expected. Several fields were being considered for replacement. Hay supplies remained short. Southeastern county reporters noted moisture was minimal and the weather was dry and windy. Extreme drought conditions continued to persist. As of May 7, 2018, snowpack in Colorado was 56 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 15 and 14 percent, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 4 percent very short, 15 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 54 percent average and 46 percent light. Cattle death loss was 78 percent average and 22 percent light.

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