BROOKINGS, S.D. - The drought's footprint continues to expand across South Dakota, as periodic heat waves impacted conditions over the last month. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 18% of the state is in Extreme Drought (D3), while another 70% follows as Severe Drought (D2).
"On Aug. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated topsoil moisture 84% short to very short in South Dakota. Rangeland and pastures were also rated 84% very poor to poor across the state," says South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension State Climatologist Laura Edwards. "The country's spring wheat crop was rated just 9% good to excellent with 64% very poor to poor. South Dakota, being in the heart of spring wheat country, has been setback severely due to the conditions, with 84% rated poor to very poor."
This August, SDSU Extension will continue its virtual educational program series, Drought Hour. From 11 a.m. to noon CDT, participants are invited to join the online conversation and stay ahead of drought impacts with climate updates, business insights and the latest research-tested management tips for farms, ranches and properties of all sizes.
Drought Hour will be featured on the following Mondays during the month and will cover a variety of production topics:
- "Grasshoppers, Spidermites and Blister Beetles," Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist
- "Making Lemons into Lemonade: Salvaging Drought Corn," Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate and Sara Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist
- "2021 Growing Season Drought and Climate Update," Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist
- "August Look at Crop and Forage Prices," Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist
- "Meeting Nutritional Needs through Various Management Strategies: Fence-line Weaning and Grazing Standing Corn," Julie Walker, Professor and SDSU Extension Beef Specialist
There is no fee to attend, but participants will need to register for the weekly webinars. Confirmation Zoom links and reminders will be emailed to attendees.
In addition to the weekly webinar series, SDSU Extension has devoted an entire page on the Extension website to addressing drought concerns. To receive regular updates and the latest resources on drought conditions, South Dakotans are also encouraged to subscribe to Extension's newsletters.
Stay ahead of drought impacts with climate updates, business insights and the latest research-tested management tips for farms, ranches and properties of all sizes.
The latest monthly and seasonal climate outlooks were released Sept. 16, 2021 by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. Forecasters are pointing towards a warmer than average October, with odds leaning towards drier conditions for the last few months of the year.
In September 2021, the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit announced the publication of a new Northern Great Plains Region section. The new section can help producers recognize climate hazards, assess vulnerabilities and confront risks.