For the week ending May 22, wet weather conditions across the state kept many producers out of the fields and increased an already abundant snowpack in mountain areas, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Wyoming Field Office, on May 23. Crook County reported some producers were able to do fieldwork early in the week but were kept out of the fields later as rain developed and caused a few areas of major flooding. Uinta County stated wet conditions have developed some scouring in livestock. They also reported delayed spring grass growth due to steady cooler temperatures and that some ranchers have continued to feed cattle versus moving to grazing until grasses begin to grow. Albany County reports moisture but in lesser amounts and anticipates a large runoff in about two to three weeks. Laramie County reported loss of winter wheat from poor stand due to dry planting conditions. Platte County reported high precipitation for the week and that corn planting is nearly complete. They also stated sugarbeets have emerged and alfalfa, dryland wheat, and pasture conditions are doing very well. The NRCS SNOTEL site, as of May 23, showed a snow water equivalent statewide average of 227 percent, well above the average of 115 percent this time last year. High temperatures ranged from the lower 50s to the lower 70s. Low temperatures ranged from the lower 20s to the lower 40s.
Days suitable for field work were 3.0. Topsoil moisture, rated adequate or better, was up compared to last week and remains above the 5-year average. Despite cold and wet conditions barley, corn, and oats emergence advanced 7 or more points. Spring wheat and sugarbeets emergence increased slightly. Winter wheat conditions remained unchanged. Dry bean planting has begun, but is significantly behind the 5-year average.
Spring calving is almost over while lambing of range flocks is nearing the halfway point. Calf and lamb losses remain positive, with the majority of losses listed as normal. Estimate of heavy losses for lambs increased from last week. Cattle moved to summer pastures were estimated at 43 percent, while sheep were estimated at 37 percent. Range and pasture conditions remain above last year and well above the 5-year average, with good or better estimates accounting for 82 percent. Irrigation water supplies are estimated at 100 percent adequate or surplus.
Weekly air temperatures averaged below normal at all 33 reporting stations. This is the fifth week in a row that 30 or more of the reporting stations averaged below normal. Temperature averages ranged from 10 degrees below normal at Midwest to 2 degrees below normal at Thayne. The high temperature for the state was 73 degrees at Midwest, while a state low of 20 degrees was recorded at Lake Yellowstone. Lander received the most precipitation for the week with 3.78 inches, 3.22 inches above normal for the reference week, putting them 7.87inches for cumulative precipitation since Jan. 1. Lake Yellowstone has received the most cumulative precipitation above normal since Jan. 1, with 13.15 inches. Jackson Hole is now the furthest behind for cumulative precipitation. Six stations recorded below normal precipitation for the week and eight stations are currently below normal for cumulative precipitation since Jan. 1.
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