Crop Progress Report 08/06: Hot weather begins to impact Washington


There were 6.8 days suitable for field work last week. Pasture and range conditions were reported at 3 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 40 percent fair, 35 percent good and 3 percent excellent. A low temperature of 46 degrees F was reported in both the west and northeast regions, while a high temperature of 105 was reported in the west and southeast regions. Statewide temperature differentials ranged from 1 to 11 degrees above normal.

In the western regions, it was hotter than normal. With little to no rain, the west continued to dry out due to the excessive heat. A number of livestock were on supplemental feed as grasses and pastures began to turn brown due to persistent dry conditions. Corn fields were stressed due to the weather as well. Irrigation use continued for many operations; however a number were concerned of a potential drought if weather conditions did not improve. On the other hand, fruit operations, especially apples and peaches, were doing well with their fruits sizing up well and beginning to turn color. Blueberries, tomatoes and even pumpkins were noted as doing well.

In the central regions, the hot and dry weather was accompanied by smoky conditions, most of which came from British Columbia. Some of the spring crops were suffering as a result. Despite poor growing conditions several crops such as dry peas, canola and white wheat appeared to be doing well. Peach and nectarine harvests were underway. Fourth cutting of alfalfa had just begun in some areas. Overall, crops in the central region had mixed progress results, with some impacted by the poor conditions while others persevered.

In the eastern regions, it was excessively hot with heavy smoke. A number of operations were harvesting crops and beginning to plant second crops such as buckwheat. Despite poor conditions, operations anticipated above average yields. Winter wheat continued to look good while spring wheat did not. Overall, operations continued their harvests and began preparations for the next planting.

Washington crop conditions:

Winter wheat:
1% very poor
2% poor
13% fair
67% good
17% excellent

Spring wheat:
2% very poor
17% poor
38% fair
40% good
3% excellent

2% very poor
12% poor
46% fair
40% good
0% excellent

0% very poor
8% poor
56% fair
36% good
0% excellent

Dry, edible peas:
0% very poor
14 poor
24% fair
56% good
6% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Spring wheat harvested:
17% this week
5% last week
28% last year
30% 5-year average

Winter wheat harvested:
54% this week
31% last week
55% last year
60% 5-year average

Barley harvested:
12% this week
3% last week
25% last year
25% 5-year average

Oats headed:
99% this week
93% last week
100% last year
NA 5-year average

Oats harvested:
11% this week
2% last week
35% last year
NA 5-year average

Dry peas harvested:
51% this week
48% last week
68% last year
56% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 2nd cutting:
88% this week
83% last week
92% last year
87% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 3rd cutting:
25% this week
17% last week
49% last year
NA 5-year average