Crop progress report 0407: Western Washington unseasonably dry as Eastern Washington unseasonably wet


There were 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, down from 4.7 the previous week. The Puget Sound region and western Washington had soil moisture deficits. Pasture and crop conditions started to show stress, and some livestock producers were feeding hay even as cattle were turned out to pasture. Blowing soil was observed during spring cultivation, and fields were dry enough for heavy equipment. Field preparation and planting were ahead of schedule compared to last year. Fall planted vegetables varied in condition, and winter wheat was in good condition. Fruit trees were budding up.

Skagit County was in the midst of planting. Most crops were in good condition. Snohomish County had early transplants going in the ground. Apple blossoms were swelling. On the other side of the Cascades, apricot trees were in bloom in Chelan and Douglas counties. Tree fruit growers finished up spring work with sprays and pruning. There were some reports of cutting out fire blight from pear and apple trees. Thunderstorms passed through the area late last week. Snow fell and then melted on the Waterville Plateau. A few snow drifts remained. Pastures were not ready for spring grazing. Calving ended. Producers reported wet topsoil and dry subsoil in Klickitat County. Rain water was being absorbed quickly.

Northeastern Washington had sporadic spring work. Moisture was holding in the soil with no significant erosion or runoff. Calving issues from February storms were reported. Temperatures were warm, and spring breezes were flowing through Franklin and Adams counties. Spring crops were three weeks behind. Producers were busy tilling and planting potato fields. Lincoln County was too wet to start spring work. The Palouse was very wet. Some fertilizing and spraying started, but spring wheat had not been planted yet. Some producers burned fields.

Washington crop conditions:

Winter wheat:
0% very poor
1% poor
34% fair
58% good
7% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Spring wheat planted:
11% this week
2% last week
26% last year
28% 5-year average

Barley planted:
9% this week
2% last week
6% last year
16% 5-year average

Oats planted:
5% this week
0% last week
5% last year
NA 5-year average

Dry peas planted:
2% this week
1% last week
12% last year
14% 5-year average