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A map of South Dakota with several colored boxes indicating areas of increased flood risk. For a complete description, visit the National Weather Service website at: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/long_range.php?wfo=fsd

Get to Know Your Local Emergency Management Director

The warmer weather and spring migration this March have us all thinking of better days ahead. Unfortunately, it also has us thinking about flooding again this spring.

A sump pump and emergency backup battery set up in a basement. Courtesy: Jeff Covey (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Flooding and Sump Pumps

For many homes with a basement or crawl space, a sump pump and drainage system can help reduce the risk of a basement flooding from high water table situations. Here are a few tips for making sure your sump pump is working as it should, and you are not causing problems for your neighbors downstream.

3-D rendering of proposed low-head dam project above Lake Mitchell.

Senior Design Project Has Potential to Become Lake Mitchell Water Quality Project

SDSU Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering students, as a senior design project, recommended constructing a retention structure on a property near Lake Mitchell in order to reduce the phosphorus content entering the lake.

A rancher inspecting the water quality of a small stock pond.

How Do Sulfates in Water Affect Livestock Health?

Poor-quality water will cause an animal to drink less. As a result, they also consume less forage and feed, which leads to weight loss, decreased milk production and lower fertility.

A heavily tilled field showing signs of severe topsoil loss due to erosion. Next to it, there is a no-till field with no noticeable signs of erosion.

Multiple Rounds of Severe Weather Bring Heavy Rainfall, High Winds, and Soil Erosion

A combination of tillage, no residue, and lack of crop canopy can lead to severe erosion and topsoil loss in the face of extreme weather patterns in the spring. The most effective strategy for producers to adapt to these extreme events is to improve soil health.

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 stock pond with noticable blue-green algae bloom throughout.

Blue-Green Algae and Livestock

With warmer temperatures, the conditions are right for blue-green algae blooms. Different species of blue-green algae contain various toxins, which can poison livestock, resulting in rapid death.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

Sheep Breeds

Everyone has heard the fairytale “Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?” but what about the double-coated California Red, the multi-colored Katahdin sheep with hair, or the East Friesian dairy ewe that produces over 1,100 pounds of milk a year? Sheep come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and all of them provide different functions and uses for producers. These can range from meat, wool, and milk production or a combination of characteristics.

neighborhood street flooded with melted snow and water runoff. FEMA News Photo

Flood Insurance

The higher amounts of snow this year will increase the chance of flooding and the potential water damage to homes and residential properties. Now is the time to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy.

aerial view of a flooded farm in late winter. FEMA News Photo

Inundaciones: sugerencias útiles

La primavera en el Medio Oeste siempre trae el riesgo de inundaciones, sea por la nieve que se derrite o por lluvia en exceso.