Crop progress report 0721: Washington drought continued; winter wheat harvest picked up


There were 7.0 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, up from 6.8 days suitable the previous week.

In northwest Washington, minimal showers were reported, but rain was not enough to improve soil moisture or crop condition. In Clallam, Jefferson and King counties, overcast days prevented further hay cuttings, but forage production overall was up this year. Many reports of bugs in fields occurred this year. In Snohomish County, strawberry harvest ended while raspberry and blueberry harvest continued. In San Juan County, warm and dry weather pushed the county further towards Drought Level one conditions. Raspberry and marionberry harvest wrapped up while blueberry harvest ramped up. Irrigated CSA crop conditions looked good, but producers harvested late, low-quality hay.

In Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Clark and Skamania counties, silage was cut. Wheat matured in Chelan County, and high winds dried out crops. Wind damaged soft fruits while soft fruit harvest was underway. In Yakima County, a month without precipitation continued. Small brushfires popped up near crop producing areas. Sweet cherry harvest slowed down, and blueberry and peach harvest picked up. Apple growers sprayed crop protectants and laid shade cloth to reduce chances of sunburn and conserve water, as junior water rights holders had not received full water supply. Pears sized up nicely and showed a beautiful skin blush. Vegetable producers harvested tomatoes, peppers, spaghetti squash, sweet corn, melons, summer squash, baby potatoes and cucumbers.

In Franklin and Douglas counties, high winds dried out crops. Potato harvest and winter wheat harvest began, with spring wheat harvest expected soon. In Douglas County, foot rot and root lesion nematodes were found in several fields. Adams and Lincoln County growers harvested wheat. In Asotin and Garfield counties, growers harvested winter wheat, but also bumped up against remaining green wheat. Pastures were dry, hay cropping was marginal, and grass seed harvest was complete. Walla Walla County harvested wheat, but Columbia County lagged behind. Most Columbia County pea harvest so far had been pea hay.

Washington crop conditions:

Winter wheat:
1% very poor
4% poor
27% fair
56% good
12% excellent

Spring wheat:
1% very poor
3% poor
41% fair
45% good
10% excellent

1% very poor
2% poor
39% fair
52% good
6% excellent

0% very poor
0% poor
41% fair
50% good
9% excellent

Dry edible pea:
0% very poor
1% poor
11% fair
82% good
6% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Winter wheat harvested:
10% this week
1% last week
15% last year
22% 5-year average

Barley headed:
98% this week
90% last week
99% last year
99% 5-year average

Oats headed:
78% this week
70% last week
88% last year
NA 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 2nd cutting:
88% this week
67% last week
90% last year
74% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 3rd cutting:
2% this week
0% last week
18% last year
NA 5-year average