Continued drought conditions impacting South Dakota harvest

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Harvest is in full swing in northeastern South Dakota, with farmers and producers looking back on what’s been a tough year due to drought conditions.

Many farmers and producers were hitting the fields Tuesday, before the expected rain later in the week. Even though the overall yield numbers are down, the areas that did get some rain this summer are not as bad as expected.

“The few farmers I’ve talked to are somewhat surprised with the yields they’re getting.” said Brown County Farm Bureau President Jeff Wolff. “They’re not good by any means. But they’re kind of pleasantly surprised that it’s a little bit better than what they were expecting.”

Jarrett Rix said his family’s farm north of Groton is one of those areas, where the yields aren’t great but better than they could be.

“Compared to what it could’ve been, I was very optimistic in the spring. Considering we had so much sub-surface moisture. But then the rains just stopped. And that’s really the biggest thing.” said Rix.

The recent rain with more to come will slow the harvest in the area. But it’s needed to help fight back the dry conditions, especially into next year.

“Especially the livestock guys that have pastures, that were so dry. We’re getting some moisture into those pastures.” said Wolff.

Rix said any moisture headed into winter is welcomed, just as long as they’re able to get back planting again without too much issue.

“But not too much over the winter. Just so we’re able to get planting at a normal, decent time. And the actually get some timely rains throughout next summer. That’s really all that we can ask for.” said Rix.

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