Colorado Crop Progress Report – Week Ending March 17

AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: A significant spring storm brought heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions to Colorado last week, halting early fieldwork and causing loss of livestock, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Overall, soil moisture supplies improved due to received precipitation. In northeastern counties, losses of feeder cattle, newborn calves, and newborn lambs were reported due to the storm. Rain and snow brought needed moisture, but wind was strong enough in areas to blow snow off fields without prior adequate cover. Pasture and range condition was optimistic for the coming year. In east central counties, winter wheat was noted as starting to green up. Livestock losses were noted due to the earlier cold weather. In southwestern counties, received moisture was welcome, but resulting mud created difficult calving conditions. In the San Luis Valley, a reporter mentioned some field work started, but was halted due to rain and snow. Feed supplies were noted as short. Southeastern county reporters noted received moisture improved the condition of winter wheat, alfalfa, and rangeland. A reporter mentioned rain last week kept farmers out of the field and planting of oats was delayed. As of March 14, 2019, snowpack in Colorado was 143 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 159 and 154 percent, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 17 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 15 percent heavy, 76 percent average, and 9 percent light. Cattle death loss was 15 percent heavy, 75 percent average, and 10 percent light.

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