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Climate

All Climate Content

A green combine that has caught fire in the field.

Avoiding Field Fires During Fall Harvest

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.

Color-coded map of the Rapid City area showing flood risk scores.

South Dakota’s Changing Flood Risk

South Dakota’s flood risk is increasing in some areas of the state according to a recent report from the First Street Foundation. In 2020, 62,600 total properties are at substantial risk, with a projected increase to 63,000 properties by 2050.

One-month precipitation outlook map for September 2020. South Dakota has a 40-50% chance of below-normal precipitation.

September 2020 Climate & Drought Outlook

Summer has its last hurrah the first week of September before we see potential for our state’s first freeze of the fall season, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Green leaf with two yellow spider mites with dark spots.

Dry Conditions Are Ideal for Spider Mite Activity

Several counties in South Dakota are experiencing dryer than normal conditions, therefore, it is important to monitor crops for spider mites, as they thrive during periods of dry weather.

Country road with a thunderstorm approaching in the distance.

Summer Severe Weather Safety

Hail, high winds, heavy rain, lightning, tornadoes. These weather phenomena are common during South Dakota summers. Stormy weather can be beautiful to see, especially in our evening skies, but it can also be dangerous or life-threatening.

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.

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.

Map showing the risk of Fusarium head blight with green equaling no risk, yellow equaling moderate risk, and red equaling high risk. Much of the eastern half of South Dakota is red.

The Fusarium Head Blight Prediction Tool Indicates High Risk

Winter wheat is starting to flower. It is important to monitor weather conditions from when wheat is heading until flowering to decide the need for fungicide application to manage Fusarium head blight.

A black angus cow walking through pasture being followed by two calves.

Lessons From Alternative Calving Workshops

Recently, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension held workshops across the State focused on sharing information from experienced livestock producers who have switched to a calving date more in sync with nature.

A field divided into two planting areas. The left area has young corn plants emerging from the soil. The right has no visible corn emergence yet.

2020 Corn Growing Degree Days Update

Spring planting progress of corn in 2020 has been much ahead of a typical year in South Dakota. Crop development, however, seems slow.