Regional Updates – June 2023

Western Region

Todd Ballard, Tri-River Area Agronomist

The threat of flooding has subsided on the Gunnison, Uncompahgre, and Colorado Rivers. The availability of irrigation water from ditches will be better than last year. Unseasonably cool.

Retta Bruegger, Western Regional Specialist, Rangeland Management

Rangelands on the western slope have benefitted from a wet May and early June, in addition to a strong snowpack. Some higher elevation sites are delayed due to the cool conditions, and persistent snow cover. Despite that, conditions are set up well for good rangeland production.

Emily Lockard, Montezuma County Director 

Cool weather with occasional moisture have continued to keep growing conditions ideal for crops and rangelands. Lower elevation drylands are beginning to dry out as spring winds have increased. Unfortunately, a few scattered thunderstorms have brought unseasonably early hail but it was isolated and not uniform in the county. Reports of delayed maturity in a variety of crops (including orchards) have been reported. Now is the time to keep an eye out for alfalfa weevil but we haven’t heard reports of damage yet.

Eastern Region

Ron Meyer, Golden Plains Area Agronomist

Adequate soil moisture at all locations.  The wheat crop north of I-70 will be above average this year after a struggling start.  Some fields will yield 80 bushels per acre.  Our long term average is approximately 40.  Leaf rust, tan spot, and stripe rust have been problematic in some fields, especially in wheat varieties that don’t carry tolerance to fungal infections.  Some wheat fields have been treated with fungicides to control these diseases.  There have been areas that received 7 inches of rainfall during the month of May (Idalia area).

Micheala Mattes, Southeast Area Agronomist 

Several fields in Kiowa County are infested with aphids and either Barley Yellow Dwarf virus or tan spot on the same fields. Samples have been submitted to the plant lab at SPUR for analysis. One field in Kiowa County has stripe rust. Some of the wheat has white kernels. And it is wet here. We’re getting rain every few days here.

Kristi Bartolo, Pueblo County Agronomist

First cutting of hay was delayed due to rain, then when hay was cut it got dumped on in a big rainstorm. Things are finally starting to warm up and dry out. Picture is pre-first cutting (June 19, Avondale).