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Farmers and producers looking for better 2022 weather outlook

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:13 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Headed into 2022, the question on famers and producers’ minds is what does the weather hold for South Dakota next year, and will it combat ongoing drought conditions. Some of those farmers and producers got a preview of what to expect at the 17th annual AgOutlook Trade Show & Conference, hosted by the South Dakota Soybean Association and South Dakota Soybean Checkoff.

While drought conditions have improved since earlier this year, much of the state is at least abnormally dry. The newest drought monitor shows at 80 percent of South Dakota experiencing some dry conditions.

South Dakota Drought Monitor from December 9th, 2021.
South Dakota Drought Monitor from December 9th, 2021.(National Drought Mitigation Center)

“You’re in a tough place, because you’re starting off with drought. We had drought over the summer. We came through the fall, we didn’t see much in the way of big, impactful storm systems.” said Nutrien Ag Solutions Senior Meteorologist Andrew Pritchard.

But long-term, things are less certain. And farmers and producers are trying to look forward to the best situation possible, with hopefully more moisture in future forecasts.

“As a farmer, we have to be optimistic, or we wouldn’t be doing this. There’s so many unknowns that we deal with. Both the things that we can try to control, like inputs. And then there’s Mother Nature.” said SDSA Board Member Drew Peterson.

Those dry conditions are also contributing to an already volatile market that’s affecting everything from grain prices, to seed and chemical prices.

“We’re always, it seems like one USDA report away from that changing somewhat. But overall, still a lot of optimism in the country right now.” said DTN/Progressive Market Analyst Tregg Cronin.

Pritchard said while the drought will probably stick around into next year, he said past trends indicate that this won’t become the new normal.

“A lot of the longer term trends suggest that we’re going to deal with periods of drought, but we’re going to follow that with rainy periods. And it’s not likely that we’re going to end up with 5-10 year long droughts, or anything like that. It’s going to change. It’s just what’s going to be the little player that kicks off the change.” said Pritchard.

Pritchard said the snow that much of southeastern South Dakota is expected to see Friday will absolutely help to add moisture back to the ground. He also said more storms like that throughout the winter will help put farmers and producers on better footing headed into the spring.

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