COLORADO: This report for Colorado is for the week ending March 29, 2020. Topsoil moisture 12% very short, 22% short, 65% adequate, 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture 8% very short, 24% short, 67% adequate, 1% surplus. Barley planted 8%, 2% 2019, 4% avg. Winter wheat pastured 8%, 21% 2019, 12% avg; jointed 1%, 1% 2019; 1% avg; Winter wheat condition 11% very poor, 16% poor, 22% fair, 45% good, 6% excellent. Cows calved 62%, 55% 2019, 55% avg. Ewes lambed 58%, 53% 2019, 46% avg. Livestock condition 1% very poor, 4% poor, 27% fair, 60% good, 8% excellent. Cattle death loss 72% avg, 28% light. Sheep death loss 49% avg, 51% light. Pasture and range condition 4% very poor, 9% poor, 30% fair, 51% good, 6% excellent. Feed and concentrate supplies 1% very short, 8% short, 76% adequate, 15% surplus. Spring fieldwork picked up in several localities last week amidst mostly dry and windy conditions. Much of the State, except central counties, was experiencing abnormally to severe drought conditions, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report. In northeastern counties, received moisture aided non-irrigated crop and rangeland conditions. Local reports noted winter wheat stands in areas were filling in and showing good growth. Crop producers were busy preparing for spring planting and livestock producers continued to benefit from mild weather. Concerns were noted for rangeland moisture needs going forward. In east central counties, high winds depleted soil moisture supplies and damaged winter wheat stands in areas. Reports noted winter wheat growth was behind normal due to long-term lack of moisture. In the San Luis Valley, no moisture was received last week and windy conditions were noted. Barley planting progressed in some localities while others had not yet started. Other spring field operations continued. Livestock were reportedly in good condition. In southeastern counties, reports noted no moisture was received and high winds prevailed. Although pastures were beginning to green up, growth was slow. Both winter wheat and rangeland need significant moisture moving forward to sustain growth. As of March 27, 2020, snowpack in Colorado was 109 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were both 100 percent.
IDAHO: Much of the State was still reporting cool to very cold weather. Benewah, Kootenai, and Boundary Counties all reported warm spring conditions. Some producers were out fertilizing and planting. Pastures were greening up. The soil conditions were favorable for farmers to get into their fields much earlier than usual. Spring calving was underway. In Jerome and Twin Falls Counties the weather remained cool. Spring cereal planting continued. Winter wheat looked good with no reported winter damage. Higher elevations remained under snow. Major activities included tillage, planting, hauling manure, burning ditches and aerating alfalfa fields. Winter vole damage was observed. In Clark and Fremont Counties it remained very cold. They had recently gotten the snow off the lower end of those counties, however there were still storms hitting the upper ends. Calving was in full swing and was winding down for most ranchers. Teton County reported there was still a lot of snow.
MONTANA: This report for Montana is for the entire month of March 2020. Topsoil moisture 10% short, 72% adequate, 18% surplus. Subsoil moisture 1% very short, 5% short, 71% adequate, 23% surplus. Winter wheat - condition 2% poor, 48% fair, 48% good, 2% excellent. Winter wheat – wind damage 23% none, 53% light, 20% moderate, 4% heavy. Winter wheat – freeze and drought damage 33% none, 42% light, 25% moderate. Winter wheat – protectiveness of snow cover 46% very poor, 31% poor, 12% fair, 9% good, 2% excellent. Livestock grazing accessibility – 47% open, 16% difficult, 37% closed. Livestock receiving supplemental feed – cattle and calves 94% fed. Livestock receiving supplemental feed – sheep and lambs 98% fed. Cows calved 30%. Ewes lambed 25%. The month of March produced warm winter conditions with above average temperatures across the State of Montana, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Reporters in Chouteau and Phillips counties noted it has been an unusual winter, with unseasonably warm temperatures and rapidly melting snow cover that could delay planting due to the increase of soil moisture.
NEVADA: Topsoil moisture 5% very short, 25% short, 65% adequate and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture 5% very short, 20% short, 70% adequate and 5% surplus. Temperatures for the month averaged 41.9 degrees, 0.8 degrees above below normal. Statewide average precipitation was 0.87 inches. NEVADA: Topsoil moisture 5% very short, 25% short, 65% adequate and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture 5% very short, 20% short, 70% adequate and 5% surplus. Temperatures for the month averaged 41.9 degrees, 0.8 degrees above below normal. Statewide average precipitation was 0.87 inches.
OREGON: The Statewide temperatures in Oregon for the month of March were near normal to below average throughout the State. Some storm activity brought added moisture to a good portion of the State in late March. The western half of the State was noticeably drier than average for the month of March. In the northern coastal region of Oregon, Polk County reported fewer disease and pest issues. Pasture grasses were adequate. The grass growth stayed ahead of the grazing. Fresh market farm irrigation was required in high tunnels due to fast growth. Transplanting was observed in cabbage, broccoli, kale, and chard. Field work started early in Clackamas County, but moisture late in the month put a damper on the amount of work accomplished. Organic dairy cows were put out to pasture. Mild conditions allowed some manure applications on pastures. Elsewhere in northern Oregon, cover crops on corn silage fields looked well established. Some spring grain went in before the weather returned to a typical wet cycle in late March. In north central Oregon, conditions were dry and windy for most of March. Producers planted some spring wheat and barley. Calving conditions remained good. In northeastern Oregon, a small amount of stripe rust was observed on winter wheat. Most acres received fungicide with spring herbicide application. Downy brome in winter wheat appeared better controlled than in the 2019 crop year. Winter canola was doing very well. In southwestern Oregon, field crops appeared to be in good shape. Orchard crops were pushing buds and flowering about 2-3 weeks earlier than average. Bartlett and D ‘Anjou varieties were blooming. Apples were in the pink and pre-pink stage with early to mid-season varieties. Plums finished blooming and look to have an average set. Many peaches had mostly finished bloom. Bee activity in the mid to late day looked good after the cold morning warm up. Blueberry fields were about 7-10 days away from flowers opening and looked like a potentially very good bloom. Raspberry and blackberry fields were s