Crop progress report 09/13: Smoke impeded fieldwork in Washington


There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, down from 6.8 days the previous week.

In western Washington, there were smoke intrusions from the fires in the east and now Oregon and California. Smoke did not stop harvest, but made it much more difficult and dangerous. The weather was hot and dry. CSA operations continued to have good harvests. Livestock was mostly on stock piled feed.

In central Washington, fire destroyed large portions of pasture ground in both Okanogan and Ferry counties. It was dry. Apple harvest was in full swing. Smoke was very thick. Workers were not in the fields as much as they should be this time of year due to the poor air quality. In Yakima County, air quality was very poor and dangerous throughout most of the week despite the containment of the Evans Creek fire. Visibility was frequently less than one mile throughout the weekend. Daytime highs remained in mid 70s to low 90s. Nighttime lows were in the mid to low 40s and dropped in the upper 30s on Sept. 8. Hop harvest was about one-third complete. Roadside vegetable stands were still at peak selection.

In northeast Washington, it was extremely dry and windy.

In east central Washington, there was a rough windstorm last Monday. It caused some lodging damage on corn, and there was one report of it knocking down a trellised young orchard. In Lincoln County, 140,000 acres burned as of Thursday, with about 75 percent being hay ground and pasture land.

In southeast Washington, a huge fire started on Babb road in Spokane County, swept through, and destroyed both Malden and Pine City. Thousands of acres burned on Monday Sept. 7, 2020. The conditions were very dry. It was extremely smoky with poor air quality. There were no fires reported in Garfield or Asotin counties.

Washington crop progress:

Spring wheat harvested:
87% this week
83% last week
83% last year
94% 5-year average

Winter wheat planted:
44% this week
32% last week
26% last year
34% 5-year average

Barley harvested:
90% this week
89% last week
69 last year
91% 5-year average

Oats harvested:
81% this week
63% last week
78% last year
91% 5-year average

Dry edible peas harvested
86% this week
84% last week
83% last year
94% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 3rd cutting:
85% this week
80% last week
89% last year
94% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 4th cutting:
25% this week
10% last week
38% last year
50% 5-year average