Cotton bowl opening stood at 38 percent, one percent lower than last year and 15 percentage points lower than the five-year average, according to the week ending Aug. 27 Agri-Weekly Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The cotton harvest is gaining momentum in the Yuma area where cotton condition is mostly fair to good. The statewide condition of cotton was at 47 percent fair, 44 percent good, 8 percent excellent and 1 percent poor.

Alfalfa harvest was active on over three-quarters of the state’s acreage and the crop condition remains mostly good, NASS reported. Fifty-one percent of the crop was reported as good, 33 percent fair, 11 percent excellent and 5 percent poor.

Meanwhile, Arizona range and pasture conditions remained mostly very poor to poor. Forty-one percent was rated very poor, 28 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 9 percent good and 3 percent excellent.

Central Arizona watermelon growers continued to ship seeded and seedless watermelons.

On the weather side, Arizona temperatures were mostly above normal for the week, ranging from 3 degrees below normal at Paloma to 6 degrees above normal at Aguila and the Grand Canyon. The highest temperature of the week was 113 degrees at Parker, and the lowest reading was at the Grand Canyon with 36 degrees. Precipitation was reported at 19 of the 22 reporting stations. Payson received the most precipitation at 1.27 inches while Aguila received the lowest rainfall, .01 inches. There are four of 22 reporting stations above normal precipitation for the year to date.

e-mail: cblake@farmpress.com