Crop progress report 02/21: February brings mixed temperatures, snow cover

The statewide temperatures in Washington for the month of February were below normal throughout the state.

In western Washington, crops were doing well. In Jefferson County, most areas received eight or more inches of snow. The snow was gone within a week, which caused no harm to grass, winter wheat and cover crops. In San Juan County, pasture lands and seasonal streams were flowing at the maximum. Snow levels ranged from five to 12 inches based on location in the islands. There was little field work activity, such as pruning, that was done. Livestock producers struggled due to excess mud, snow and ice in a below-freezing storm that occurred. Some CSA farms saved their high-tunnels from collapse and continued to harvest cold weather cole crops that kept local consumers ecstatic.

In central Washington, small amounts of snow covered winter wheat for a relatively short period of time. Calving went well, even with the snow and cold.

Northeast Washington had below-normal amounts of snowfall. High winds and very cold conditions resulted in negative degree wind chills along the Okanogan River Valley. Orchards were running smudge pots and other techniques to combat the cold and wind in cherry blocks.

In east central Washington, snow and cold weather occurred while crop conditions were normal. Sporadic warm spells took place, and with limited snow cover, winter wheat conditions remained normal.

In Southeast Washington, moisture was great, and temperatures were on the rise. Winter was mild, and soil moisture remained stationery with no outstanding situations to report.