Western Region Updates – May 5th

Retta Bruegger – Western Regional Range Management Specialist 

Conditions are setting up well for a good year of forage production on the western slope. Cooler spring temperatures, especially at higher elevations, means that grass growth is delayed but soil moisture from a strong winter means it can likely recover. Lower elevations (below 6,500 ft), grass production is strong. Abundant moisture also means the invasive annuals (cheatgrass and others) benefit and in lower elevation areas, there may be a bounty crop of cheatgrass. The next month’s condition’s will be critical for overall forage production on rangelands. Continued wet and mild conditions would greatly benefit the forage crop.

Todd Ballard – Tri-Rivers Area Agronomist

Wheat in the Grand Valley appears to be in good condition. Land prep for summer crops is well underway. The biggest concern at this time in the Tri-River Area is flooding.

North Fork of the Gunnison River at flood stage

Snow pack above the Gunnison River