There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending March 12, and in New Mexico, farmers spent the week laser leveling, preparing fields for pre-irrigation, and making other preparations for this year's crops, according to the New Mexico Agricultural Statistics Service, March 13.
Topsoil moisture was 74 percent very short, 18 percent short, and only 8 percent adequate. The windy conditions made field work difficult last week, and the increasing fire danger is a major concern across the state. Wind damage was 20 percent light, 21 percent moderate, and 3 percent severe. Wind damage was reported to onions and pasture. Freeze damage was minimal last week, with 4 percent light and 8 percent moderate damage reported.
The outlook for alfalfa is not promising with limited irrigation water expected this season. Alfalfa conditions were listed as 6 percent poor, 65 percent fair, and 29 percent good. The dry, warm winter has left our winter Wheat in bad shape. Conditions for all winter Wheat were reported as 34 percent very poor, 35 percent poor, and 31 percent fair. Lettuce was reported as 70 percent good and 30 percent excellent. Chile was 4 percent planted. Onions were 13 percent fair, 62 percent good, and 25 percent excellent, and 92 percent of the crop planted.
With forage from Wheat pastures and rangeland limited, livestock producers have been busy supplementing feed. If these conditions continue, we will see heavy culling come springtime. Only 13 percent of pastures were being grazed. Cattle were reported as 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 51 percent fair, 41 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Sheep were 87 percent fair and 13 percent good. Range and pasture conditions were7 percent very poor, 25 percent poor, 52 percent fair, and 16 percent good.