Crop Progress report shows continued gains on five-year average in planting progress, sustained moisture quality statewide
Crop planting in Colorado is inching closer to — or in the case of potatoes and sugar beets, ahead of — the five-year average for this time of year, according to the Crop Progress and Condition report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Late March storms brought much-needed moisture to the state, but it kept farmers from getting into the fields.
Two weeks ago, farmers made up some of the deficit they had behind the planting average, and last week, they gained even more, the report, which covered through April 17, stated.
Barley is now 36 percent planted across the state, only three percentage points behind the average. Forty-six percent of the state’s onions are planted, only seven percent behind the average. Potatoes jumped ahead of the five-year average by almost 10 percentage points, with 32 percent planted. Thirty-one percent of the state’s sugar beets are planted, 12 percentage points ahead of average, according to the report.
Both topsoil and subsoil moisture remain favorable for the state, especially with last weekend’s storms. In addition, according to the report, some of the state’s locations that were hurting for more moisture benefited greatly from the rain and snow over the weekend.
As of April 18, snowpack in Colorado was at 95 percent of average, a six percent jump from last week’s Crop Progress report.
Livestock conditions and pasture and range conditions also remain ahead of average, consistent with findings for the past several weeks. More than 85 percent of the state’s livestock are considered good or excellent, and about twice as much pasture and rangeland is ranked good or excellent than typically has been in the past five years.
The winter wheat crop also is rated 58 percent good or excellent, more than 25 percent better than the five-year average, according to the report.