Drought intensifies in dry, windy conditions

Dry, windy conditions led to the further intensification of drought across the state for the week ending April 29, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, New Mexico. The United States Drought Monitor released on April 26 showed that exceptional drought (D4) had expanded to cover 9.1 percent of the state. Conditions rated abnormally dry or worse continued to blanket 99.9 percent of New Mexico. Overall, topsoil moisture levels were reported as 10 percent adequate to surplus, compared with 10 percent last week, 49 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 32 percent. Spring fieldwork was ongoing, with row crops being planted as conditions allowed. Precipitation was recorded at 9 out of 44 reporting weather stations. The largest moisture accumulation was reported at Navajo Whiskey Creek, where 0.10 inch fell. Freeze damage in all crops was reported as 5 percent light and 1 percent moderate, compared with 10 percent light and 1 percent moderate last week. There was no hail damage reported. Wind damage in all crops was reported as 30 percent light, 20 percent moderate, and 3 percent severe, compared with 27 percent light, 15 percent moderate, and 2 percent severe last week.