Crop progress report 05/21: Warmer Than Normal Temperatures Helped Crop Emergence and Fieldwork 


There were 6.9 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington, up from 6.4 days recorded the previous week. Widespread warm temperatures allowed farmers to complete planting for spring planted grains and row crops in some areas. Farmers irrigated throughout the week to maintain adequate topsoil conditions. Grass growth and crop emergence benefited from the warmer temperatures.

In Western Washington, near record-high temperatures were recorded in some areas. Some hay was cut on San Juan Island, with grass shorter than normal but already headed.

Central Washington was also warmer, with good crop emergence and pasture growth reported in Klickitat County. Alfalfa weevils were noticeable and sprayed. In Yakima County, daytime high temperatures ranged from the upper 70s to the mid-90s. Nighttime low temperatures remained in the mid-50s to mid-60s. A few scattered thundershowers passed through the county. Air quality was compromised mid-week by smoke from wildfires burning in Canada. Apricots were about the diameter of a quarter with a good crop set. Apple and pear fruitlets were still growing upright. Grape vines started to cascade down from trellises. Mature hop bines were waist-to-head high as they climbed up the trellises. Vegetable growers laid black plastic and planted transplants, including watermelon, squash, cucumber and some tomatoes. Asparagus and rhubarb harvest continued.

Northeast Washington experienced a warm week with little precipitation. Pasture conditions looked good. Spring wheat emerged and was doing well. In east central Washington, hot and dry conditions stressed topsoil moisture conditions. High temperatures near 100 degrees were reported in southeastern Washington. Spring-planted grains were stressed in these conditions. Some passing thunderstorms provided some relief but also brought the possibility of wind and hail damage.

Washington crop condition

Winter wheat:
1% very poor
8% poor
24% fair
62% good
5% excellent

Spring wheat:
0% very poor
8% poor
29% fair
60% good
3% excellent

0% very poor
4% poor
26% fair
60% good
10% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Spring wheat emerged:
89% this week
72% last week
65% last year
77% 5-year average

Winter wheat headed:
18% this week
6% last week
6% last year
20% 5-year average

Barley planted:
95% this week
88% last week
93% last year
91% 5-year average

Barley emerged:
74% this week
62 last week
65% last year
71% 5-year average

Dry edible peas planted:
90% this week
74% last week
90% last year
NA 5-year average

Dry edible peas emerged:
62% this week
25% last week
61% last year
68% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 1st cutting:
16% this week
5% last week
14% last year
27% 5-year average