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a map showing the precipitation outlook for June 2020

Summer 2020 Climate & Drought Outlook

August 26, 2020

With alternating cool and warm weather patterns throughout the last few months and the summer season ahead, temperature continues to be a challenge for climate forecasters in South Dakota.

NOAA climate map with preciptation outlook as of July 12, 2020. Most of South Dakota is predicted to have average to above average precipitation.

Late Summer 2020 Climate Outlook

Drought concerns in South Dakota may be relieved later this summer, according to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seasonal outlook released this week.

Two young swine drinking water in a wean-to-finish facility.

Nursery Pig Performance Impacted by Total Dissolved Solids in Water

Because water quality can vary considerably between production sites, it is important to identify the qualities of water that impact the growth performance of nursery pigs.

herd of cattle in a muddy feedlot with serious flooding. FEMA News Photo

Dealing With Spring Mud and Flooding

As the snow melts, we are going to be left to deal with mud at a minimum and extensive flooding as a possible worst-case scenario. While we can’t control the pace of melting or the possibility of additional precipitation, we may be able to take a few steps to mitigate the negative impacts.

A dog in the cab of a pickup truck as rain falls.

Preparing to Keep Pets Safe and Healthy During Flood Conditions

As is the case with providing for the care of livestock and other large animals during flooding, a little forward planning for the care of pets can really pay off when considering the disruptions that spring flooding can bring.

A slatted floor with an open area. A hose is running into the open area.

New Technology for an Old Problem

One of the last projects I was involved with as coordinator for the Lower James River Watershed Project was the installation of a deep pit monoslope barn for a feedlot operation near Alexandria, SD. A deep pit confinement barn is a manure storage system that employs slatted flooring with pit manure storage underneath.

A herd of cattle grazing near a pond on an open range.

Nitrates and Livestock Water Quality

Nitrate poisoning is something we think about with forages such as millet, oats, corn, sorghum, sudan, kochia and others that have been fertilized or if there is a drought, but water can also be a contributing factor.

Vast winter prairie on the Rosebud Reservation.

Climate Resilience Toolkit for the Northern Plains Region

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.

Stream running through West River South Dakota rangeland.

Water Rights in a Time of Drought

During a drought, it is not surprising that the South Dakota Water Rights Program will see an increase in permit applications. In South Dakota, water is considered the property of the people of the state, and depending on your intended water use, a water right permit may be needed.

A herd of cattle grazing near a pond on an open range.

Ranch Drought Planning

Fact sheet with general drought planning tips from the range and natural resource perspective.