OLYMPIA, Wash. — USDA NASS released its crop progress and condition report for the Northwest Region for the month of March.
Average temperatures in Idaho for the month of March varied from near normal to below normal. Accumulated
precipitation for the 2022 water year also remained below normal in most regions of the State. The last week in March was warmer than average, which allowed farmers to work fields in preparation for spring planting. Northern Idaho reported decent topsoil moisture at the present time. More timely rains were need for the growing season. In southwestern Idaho, pastures started to green up. Conditions overall remained dry. Calving and lambing were both edging closer to completion. Conditions remained very good for calving and lambing with moderate temperatures and mostly dry conditions. Water supply was below normal in southwestern Idaho. In south central Idaho, field work ramped up during the last three weeks. Major activities included tillage, hauling manure, planting some cereal grains, burning ditches, and getting irrigation systems ready to go. Dry conditions continued in south central Idaho. There were a few rainstorms over the last month, however, water accumulation was minimal. Some discussion was reported concerning irrigation companies starting water deliveries later than normal and at a reduced amount. Range and pastures greened up and grass started to grow, but more rain was needed. In eastern Idaho, snow cover was mostly gone in Bonneville County. Soils were still too wet to work. Calving season progressed nicely. Bear Lake County still had several inches of snow on the ground. Warmer days caused snow to melt quickly, and large puddles of water formed in the fields. No farm progress was reported. Calving progress was behind other areas. Snow still covered most fields in Teton County. Bannock and Bingham Counties received much needed moisture in the latter half of the month. Preparations were made for spring planting. Calving and lambing neared completion.
The Statewide temperatures in Oregon for the month of March ranged from below normal to above normal in the southern part of the State. The precipitation ranged from above normal in pockets, to an area in the south that was below normal. In northwest Oregon, crop conditions were generally good with some mixed evidence of cold injury to berries. Nursery stock was in good shape. Precipitation was above the forty-year average for the water year. Soil moisture was good. In Benton and Lincoln Counties, spring lambing and calving passed. Pastures were growing quickly and in good condition with regular rains and warmer weather. In Clatsop and Tillamook Counties, there was steady rain. The grass was growing, and temperatures were warmer. No cuttings or field applications were made. In north central Oregon, crops held up well over the winter. Temperatures warmed up slightly with some freezing nights. Producers were not able to get in the fields to spray and fertilize due to wind. Moisture conditions were better than last year. In Baker and Grant Counties, snow left the ground a few weeks ago and ground was being prepared as fast as possible. There was some warm weather last week to get crops growing. In Umatilla and Wallowa Counties, conditions were dry. In southwest Oregon, precipitation saturated the soil. In Malheur County, dry weather was good for planting and field work. Onion planting was in full swing. Dry weather was a concern due to low reservoir levels and below average snowpack. Rangeland conditions were also a concern with potential reduced grazing.
Statewide temperatures in Washington for the month of March were normal to above normal. In western Washington, there was heavy rainfall over the last couple of weeks. Some fields had significant amounts of standing water. Drier upland soils began to warm as pasture regrowth started. Field plantings for barley were rough due to wet conditions throughout the area. In Skagit County, tulips were behind due to flooded fields and labor strikes. In Chelan County, winter wheat made it through the winter in good shape. In central Washington, little rainfall was received, but all orchard trees were in dormancy. Yakima County reported apricots were in full bloom. Peaches were showing pink buds, while cherries were showing white buds. Apple trees were in full swing between green tip and half inch green. Pear tree buds were swelling due to producers applying kaolin clay and oils to their trees to combat sucking insects like pear psylla and aphids. In late March, vegetable growers prepared and tilled their fields. In east central Washington, spring was quickly approaching, and farmers were in fields across the county. Overall, conditions throughout the county remained dry, and above average precipitation was needed to help the growing season. In southeast Washington, seeding had started, but the area still experienced drought conditions. In Garfield County, spring wheat and dry peas were planted in the dry areas of the county. Winter wheat looked good, but still needed additional moisture.
— USDA NASS