Colorado Highlights for Crop Production May 2014

U. S. Department of Argriculture


Winter wheat production in Colorado, based on conditions as of May 1, 2014, is forecast at 84.15 million bushels. This forecast is 90 percent above last year’s drought reduced production of 44.28 million bushels and 14 percent above the 73.78 million bushel crop produced two years ago. Acreage for harvest, estimated at 2.55 million acres, is 910,000 acres more than a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 33.0 bushels per acre, up 6.0 bushels per acre from last year’s yield, but 12.0 bushels per acre below the record high yield of 45.0 set in 2010.

This year’s crop was planted under mostly favorable conditions last fall resulting in good but variable stands going into winter dormancy. Following a relatively mild winter, cool temperatures experienced in March and April have delayed crop development to about one to two weeks behind normal, statewide. Damaging wind has produced dust storms and blow-out in the southeastern growing areas. Variable soil moisture supplies ranging from mostly short in the southern areas to adequate in the northern areas currently exist. Final yield will largely be determined by the combination of moisture and temperature conditions during May and June.

Hay stocks on Colorado farms and ranches as of May 1, 2014 totaled 320,000 tons, down 11 percent from stocks of 360,000 tons on hand last year. Hay production for 2013 was 2.94 million tons, 22 percent lower than 2012 production. Disappearance from December 1, 2013 to May 1, 2014 is 1.1 million tons, compared with 1.2 million tons the same period a year earlier.


Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.40 billion bushels, down 9 percent from 2013. As of May 1, the United States yield is forecast at 43.1 bushels per acre, down 4.3 bushels from last year. Expected grain area is forecast at 32.6 million acres, up slightly from last year. Hard Red Winter (HRW) harvested acreage is up about 10 percent from the previous year. Soft Red Winter (SRW) harvested acreage is expected to be down 19 percent from last year. As of May 4, thirty-one percent of the winter wheat crop in the 18 major producing States was rated in good to excellent condition, slightly below the same week in 2013. Nationally, 29 percent of the winter wheat crop was headed by May 4, six percentage points behind the 5-year average pace.

In the southern Great Plains States, drought, winterkill, and freeze damage have impacted the potential yield results in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Most of the wheat growing areas in the southern Great Plains are in severe to exceptional drought stages. As of May 4, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas winter wheat was rated in good to excellent condition at 17 percent, 6 percent, and 13 percent, respectfully. In California, producers are expected to harvest a record low acreage due to exceptional drought in the winter wheat growing area.

Winterkill losses were reported across Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan where cooler than normal spring temperatures coupled with higher than normal precipitation throughout the winter, hampered crop development. However, as of May 4, the winter wheat crop in the SRW growing States was in mostly good condition. A record high yield is expected in Arkansas.

In the Pacific Northwest, there were isolated reports of winterkill across the 3-state region. Rainfall will be necessary to maintain current conditions and to aid in further crop development. As of May 4, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State winter wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition at 87 percent, 51 percent, and 40 percent, respectfully.

Production of Durum wheat in Arizona and California is forecast at a collective 12.4 million bushels, down 16 percent from last year. In Southern California, crop harvest is expected to begin by mid-May.

All hay stored on United States farms May 1, 2014 totaled 19.2 million tons, up 35 percent from a year ago. This is the third lowest May 1 stocks level since 1989. Disappearance from December 1, 2013 – May 1, 2014 totaled 70.1 million tons, compared with 62.4 million tons for the same period a year earlier. May 1 hay stocks levels were record-lows in California, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

May 1 hay stocks were up from 2013 as improved weather conditions lead to larger production totals in many States when compared with drought conditions in 2012. However, several regions saw declines in stocks levels when compared to a year ago due to lower production in the Southeast, drought conditions in the West and Southern Plains, and a cold, wet spring in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest.  For a full copy of the Crop Production report please visit

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