Despite snowfall and cold weather halting harvest progress at the end of the week, corn harvest made significant strides in this state, jumping 23% from the previous week.
USDA reported that “significant snowfall and cold weather” resulted in harvest stopping late last week for Colorado farmers, but not before they were able to make impressive strides in harvesting corn for the week ending Oct. 29.
As a result, surging 23% from the previous week, Colorado saw the greatest percentage of corn harvested compared to the top corn growing states.
Colorado corn progress and condition
For the week ending Oct. 29, USDA reported that 68% of the state’s corn had been harvested. Compared to the other top corn growing states, Colorado saw a significant increase in corn harvested by 23%. This is above harvest progress from this time last year by 15%. This is also well above the five-year average of 59%.
USDA’s Crop Progress report for Colorado reported that the state’s corn crop was predominantly in good/excellent condition. The corn crop rated 12% excellent, 44% good, 28% fair, 11% poor, and just 5% very poor.
Recent Colorado weather
A weather summary based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) data shows that widespread moisture affected Colorado with the exception of southeastern counties and the San Luis Valley, which both remained mostly dry. Moisture totals ranged from trace amounts to 2 inches.
When it comes to snowfall, NOAA data shows that reported snowfall ranged from a few inches in northeastern counties to nearly a foot in some east central counties and across the Palmer divide. In the high country, reported snowfall totals were close to 2 feet.
The High Plains Regional Climate Center reported average temperatures statewide as being above normal for southern counties and below normal for northern counties. Temperatures were 2° to 8° F below average while some southern and western counties were up to 8° F above average.
There were six days suitable for field work, and USDA reported that harvest activities were halted as a result of the first snow of the year across several counties.
Maps generated by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet indicate precipitation departures as high as 4 inches over the month of October.
The most recent Crop Progress report rated Colorado topsoil moisture 20% very short, 32% short, 47% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 15% very short, 26% short, 58% adequate, and 1% surplus.
A look at Colorado history
The National Integrated Drought Information System reports September 2023 was the 52nd-driest September on record for the state. Records go back to 1895.
So far, 2023 is shaping up to be the 20th-wettest year in history for the Centennial state.