Crop progress report 10/20: Washington weather delayed fieldwork


There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, down from 5.4 days suitable the previous week.

A few breaks in the Pacific storm systems allowed farmers in Western Washington to get out into fields and continue the slog through harvest. Wet conditions delayed field preparation for fall-planted crops. Portions of many fields had standing water. The Puget Sound islands had most of their livestock on harvested feed. Pastures rebounded with cool season grasses. It was rainy on the islands. Vegetable crops on CSA farms wrapped up, but squash was still being harvested. Many operators reseeded pastures. Wet lowlands in Snohomish County stopped trucks from getting into fields, which stalled corn silage harvest.

Similarly, wet conditions in Chelan and Douglas counties caused some producers to replant winter wheat. Previously planted wheat was in good condition. Apple harvest continued. Rain also delayed pickers. Late fall pastures were in good condition, and some producers were weaning calves before winter.

Yakima County had freezing temperatures early in the week, but nighttime temperatures warmed up to the mid-40s by the end of the week. Daytime temperatures peaked in the mid-60s. Squash was being harvested, while other vegetable crops were wrapped up. Black plastic and irrigation tubing were taken off fields. Hop harvest in Yakima Valley was complete. Apple harvest was 65 percent complete. Red Delicious, Fuji and Granny Smith were still being harvested.

Lincoln County had cooler temperatures and rain. Some wheat was still waiting to be harvested. Heavy rain in Adams County halted field work. Douglas County had light snow showers. Asotin and Garfield counties had snow stick to fields above 3,500 feet elevation. Operators seeded fields below 3,500 feet. Windy conditions delayed some spraying and seeding. Columbia and Walla Walla counties wrapped up wheat planting. Harvesting efforts in Whitman County were hampered by rain. 

Washington crop conditions:

Winter wheat:
1% very poor
3% poor
23% fair
65% good
8% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Winter wheat planted:
86% this week
79% last week
91% last year
89% 5-year average

Winter wheat emerged:
66% this week
47% last week
52% last year
65% 5-year average

Barley harvested:
95% this week
93% last week
100% last year
100% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 4th cutting:
78% this week
74% last week
76% last year
87% 5-year average