For the week ending May 22, most of Colorado received some precipitation, especially along the I-70 corridor, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Colorado Field Office, on May 23. The southern regions and southeastern corner reported very limited precipitation. The state also experienced below average temperatures. Overall, mountain snowpack jumped to 207 percent of average with the northern regions rated at 227 percent of average, the southern regions rating increased to 120 percent of average, and the Arkansas River valley rated at 159 percent of average. Farmers were allowed 4.4 days in the field for spring operations.
Winter wheat was 85 percent jointed with 24 percent headed at the end of last week. The crop is rated in mostly fair condition. Spring barley was 79 percent emerged and rated in mostly fair condition. Spring wheat was 90 percent seeded with 59 percent emerged and rated in mostly fair condition.
Corn plantings progressed last week to 86 percent planted with 20 percent emerged. Sorghum plantings increased to 10 percent planted by the week's end. Sugarbeets reached 95 percent planted with 45 percent up to stand. The crop was rated in mostly good to fair condition. Onions were rated in mostly good condition. Summer potatoes were 54 percent planted with 6 percent emerged and fall potatoes were 74 percent planted by the end of last week. Sunflower planting reached 4 percent planted last week. Dry beans reached 19 percent planted.
Pasture and range feed conditions were rated at mostly poor to fair condition across the state due to drier conditions in the Southeast. Reports of cooler temperatures are slowing new growth in some areas. Alfalfa cuttings progressed slowly to 4 percent of the 1st cutting complete, with the crop rated in fair to good condition.
Reports of possible herd reductions have surfaced due to the reduced range conditions and dry weather in the southeastern and southern parts of the state. Death losses for cattle and sheep were still rated average for the rest of the state. Stored feed supplies were also rated average for this time of year. Some feed shortages were reported in the southeastern corner of the state.
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