Crop progress report 08/20: Hot, dry weather in Washington

From the National Agricultural Statistics Service

There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington, down from 6.6 days reported the previous week.

Western Washington saw drought conditions spread. Producers reported “dustbowl-like” conditions, with farmers avoiding working in fields due to the dust. Some wells began drying out in Whatcom County.

Central Washington experienced more hot and dry weather. In Yakima County, temperatures started high in the triple digits but gradually dropped to the 80s by the weekend. A few wildfires were reported, air quality dropped to unhealthy over the weekend, and visibility was compromised. Tree fruit harvest picked up with peaches, nectarines, early maturing apples, and Bartlett pears. Vegetable harvest included summer and winter squashes, melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers.

Northeast Washington saw continued dry conditions. Bluegrass did not fare well this year. Wheat producers reported an average crop. Livestock grazing looked okay, but producers began requesting drought assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

In east central Washington, producers stopped harvesting and switched to seeding. Southeast Washington also saw hot and dry weather.

Washington crop condition

Spring wheat:
4% very poor
33% poor
38% fair
23% good
2% excellent

1% very poor
14% poor
49% fair
36% good
0% excellent

Dry edible peas:
0% very poor
20% poor
48% fair
32% good
0% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Winter wheat harvested:
87% this week
70% last week
69% last year
80% 5-year average

Winter wheat planted:
2% this week
NA last week
5% last year
3% 5-year average

Spring wheat harvested:
53% this week
30% last week
36% last year
48% 5-year average

Barley harvested:
56% this week
35% last week
40% last year
55% 5-year average

Dry edible peas harvested:
51% this week
28% last week
44% last year
65% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 3rd cutting:
55% this week
41%NA last week
19% last year
57% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 4th cutting:
16% this week
0% last week
NA last year
NA 5-year average