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Fall is on its way in South Dakota. However, with many flooded and saturated fields, some producers are growing concerned that there will be little opportunity to harvest silage before corn dries down past desired moisture levels or frost occurs.
Farm fields in some areas are unusually wet this year with many low areas under water. These conditions will make planting a challenge for farmers this year.
High waters and saturated soils across many counties in South Dakota have producers worried about getting their crops planted in a timely manner this spring. In many areas, typical cash crops will not be a possibility. Producers may need to develop alternative plans.
With the excessively wet planting conditions much of South Dakota is now experiencing, many producers are looking for “Plan B” to meet forage needs for their livestock, or as a commodity that can be marketed to livestock producers.
Low temperatures during the early morning hours of May 9–11, 2020 may have had detrimental effects on winter wheat in some areas of South Dakota. However, cooler spring temperatures that have slowed the winter wheat development this year may have actually been beneficial to S.D. producers, as later-maturing wheat is not as susceptible to injury from freezing temperatures.
With dry and drought conditions in the late summer and fall, crops dry down rapidly and harvest starts early. The climate outlook may be favorable for an uninterrupted run at harvest. However, the risk of fires during harvest is always a concern for farmers.
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.