Crop progress 10/29: Wintery weather in Washington

From the National Agricultural Statistics Service

There were 5 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington, down from 6.4 days reported the previous week. Western Washington reported fall-planted crops looked strong due to the increased rain. Spring-planted crops finished harvest. Shellfish producers moved out of their planting season and into their harvesting season.

Central Washington saw the seasons change, and cold temperatures set in. Cattle remained on pasture. In Yakima County, snow was observed at higher altitudes. Low temperatures ended all lingering vegetable harvest of peppers, tomatoes, and winter squashes. Irrigation tape and black plastic was removed from former vegetable fields, and many fields were plowed under. Apple harvest
continued with field crews focused on late maturing varieties. Most of the apple crop had been harvested, but ground covers were used to increase fruit color for late varieties, and bins were moved into orchards where harvest was anticipated. Nearly all corn had been harvested except for those fields used for Halloween mazes. There were a few fields of alfalfa that received one more cutting to end the season.

Northeast Washington saw snow and cold temperatures, so field work halted. Wheat looked to be doing well, along with fall-planted canola. Parts of east central Washington saw snow, which limited producers who chose to re-seed their winter wheat crop.

Southeast Washington’s crops looked great. The area had its first hard freeze spanning several days, ending most fall work.

Washington crop condition:

Winter wheat:
1% very poor
11% poor
32% fair
53% good
3% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Winter wheat emerged:
74% this week
68% last week
76% last year
72% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 4th cutting:
93% this week
90% last week
89% last year
87% 5-year average