Crop progress report 10/31: Washington’s Row Crop Harvest Made Progress in More Traditional Autumn Weather 

From NASS

There were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington, down from 6.3 days reported the previous week. A more typical autumn weather pattern continued in Washington. A series of weather fronts hit the western end of the state. The Cascade Mountains acted as a rain shadow, limiting the amount of moisture falling in much of Eastern Washington.

Statewide, most of the potato and corn silage harvest wrapped up. There was still some corn for grain in the field. The shift in weather in Western Washington produced 2-3 inches of rain this past week at Friday Harbor. The dry fall weather had stressed fall planted grain and vegetable seed crops. The shift in weather caused many fields to be overly wet. Farmers who waited to plant fall grains or grass seed were challenged to get into the field.

For the most part, fall planting finished up in central Washington. Moisture was needed. Some farmers in Klickitat County were still waiting on seeding winter wheat. Cattle were moved out of mountains to winter pastures. Yakima County reported daily high temperatures in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Nighttime lows dipped into the lower 30s on most nights. No hard freeze was reported in the crop producing areas of Yakima County. Some light rain contributed less than .02″. Apple harvest continued with a focus on the Red Delicious and Fuji apple varieties. Cool nighttime temperatures over the past week helped with apple color. Roughly 80 percent of the apple crop was harvested. Cool temperatures slowed vegetable production, but crews were still harvesting tomatoes, peppers and winter squashes. Growers removed irrigation piping, black plastic and tilling under some vegetable fields. Most field corn was harvested over the past couple of weeks except for the Halloween maze fields. Irrigation piping in hop yards was rolled up and placed in storage.

Dry conditions were reported in east central Washington. Winter wheat condition was spotty. Moisture was needed.

Northeast Washington reported some rain, cooler temperatures during the day, and near freezing temperatures overnight.

In southeast Washington, fall planting was also wrapping up.

Washington crop condition

Winter wheat:
1% very poor
5% poor
31% fair
54% good
9% excellent

Washington crop progress:

Winter wheat emerged:
77% this week
72% last week
74% last year
73% 5-year average

Alfalfa hay 4th cutting:
90% this week
84% last week
91% last year
88% 5-year average