Crop progress report 12/21: December colder than average in Washington


Statewide temperatures in Washington for the month of December were mostly below normal.

In western Washington, a bitter cold wave hit the area. Livestock were on stored feed with five to seven inches of snow on the ground. In San Juan County, winds out of Canada from the Frasier River outflow dropped wind chills to single digits. Pruning had begun while temperatures were moderate. In Whatcom County, producers affected by floods were still evaluating damage to grass and berry fields. Hay bales were washed away in the flood waters, and feed bunkers were flooded. A heavy winter freeze throughout the month caused more damage to berry crops.

In central Washington, the weather was relatively mild during the month of December. In Chelan County, winter wheat was in good shape. Fall rains helped crops grow rapidly. Cattle producers were feeding hay earlier than expected. In Yakima County, some orchard pruning and tree training was completed in early December.

In east central Washington, the year ended with below zero temperatures and high winds. In Adams County, large amounts of snow were good for the water supply for the next growing season. Some fields remained unseeded because of insufficient seed zone moisture. In southeast Washington, several days of rainfall throughout the month of December helped the district come out of drought conditions. In Whitman County, all crops were covered in snow. Damage from cold conditions was limited as most fields had adequate snow cover for protection. 

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