Colorado Crop Progress & Condition Report, week ending May 15, 2022: The Prowers Journal


Warm weather helped field work and crop emergence progress last week, according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. According to the US Drought Monitor, 92% of the state is in drought conditions, up 1 percentage point from last week. Fifty-seven percent of the state is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions, up 9 percentage points from last week. Extreme drought conditions are affecting 6% of the state, up 2 percentage points from the previous week. In northeastern and central eastern counties, reporters noted that wheat conditions and growth rate vary widely due to continuous winds and lack of moisture. Counties continued to experience high winds throughout the week, with the northeast corner of the state experiencing gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour. Counties in the eastern districts recorded temperatures more than 10 degrees above average last week. In the southwestern counties, dry weather and winds continue to deteriorate crop conditions.

A county reporter noted that many growers have finished planting spring crops, but some fields have been replanted due to winds blowing seeds away. In the San Luis Valley, potato planting has progressed rapidly and some barley fields are being replanted due to high winds. County reports noted that fields were beginning to green, but the alfalfa harvest was slowed by a late frost. Southeast counties continue to experience strong winds. Above-average temperatures and dry conditions across the region continue to worsen crop and pasture conditions. As of May 8, 2022, snow accumulation in Colorado was 55% measured as a percentage of median snowfall, down 17 percentage points from the previous week. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 6% and 2% respectively, both down sharply from the previous week. Stored food supplies were assessed at 12 percent severely insufficient, 26 percent insufficient, 61 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Sheep mortality was 79% on average and 21% in light. Livestock mortality losses were 1 percent heavy, 83 percent average and 16 percent light.

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