Some row crop improvement reported, but numerous fields show signs of stress

Monsoonal moisture continued to fall across New Mexico for the week ending Aug. 12, although weekly totals remained below average in most places, doing little to reverse the prolonged drought evident since last year, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, New Mexico. While some improvement was seen in certain row crop condition ratings, comments indicated that numerous fields exhibited signs of stress. Reports indicated that producers had started seeding the 2018 winter wheat crop despite less than adequate soil moisture, though progress was limited. Topsoil moisture levels were reported as 26 percent adequate to surplus, compared with 25 percent last week, 82 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 46 percent. Precipitation was recorded at 41 out of 46 reporting weather stations, with Portales, at 1.73 inches, reporting the largest accumulation during the week. Capulin, Cloudcroft, Clovis, Raton, and Santa Teresa had notable rainfall with totals over an inch during the week. Average temperatures ranged from 5 degrees below to 5 degrees above normal. Pecan nut set was reported as 70 percent light, 28 percent moderate, and 2 percent heavy, compared with 79 percent light, 19 percent moderate, and 2 percent heavy last week.