Drought conditions continue

Continued drought conditions experienced across much of the state for the week ending July 8 had diminished water supplies for both irrigated crops and livestock, according to tUSDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, Colorado. Western and central districts received some isolated rainstorms, however western and southern counties remained in extreme to exceptional drought status. Large fires continued to burn in western and southern Colorado. In northeastern counties, reports of scattered showers kept pasture and livestock conditions in the good to excellent range. Irrigated crops in these counties seemed to have benefited from the heat with corn, millet, sorghum and feed crops rapidly heading toward maturity. Wheat harvest was also well underway in northeastern Colorado. Reporters in east-central counties stated that hot and dry weather may have distressed row crop conditions. Wheat harvest was finishing up in Kiowa County by week’s end. In southwest counties, precipitation provided little relief in the exceptional drought conditions they have been experiencing. The showers seem to have helped with ongoing mountain fires. San Luis Valley reporters noted precipitation ranging from 0” to .25”. Southeastern counties received spotty moisture last week as well. Barley was mostly headed out and first cutting of alfalfa was almost finished. Potatoes were starting to flower and develop tubers. In Costilla and Huerfano counties, the Spring Creek fire had burned over 107,000 acres by week’s end and was 70 percent contained. Statewide, winter wheat harvested was well ahead of the average at 45 percent complete, compared to 28 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat was rated 52 percent good to excellent, compared with 43 percent good to excellent last year. Stored feed supplies were rated 8 percent very short, 25 percent short, and 67 percent adequate.