Adapting in South Dakota’s drought

Drought continues to impact crop and livestock farmers in South Dakota. Newly elected South Dakota Soybean Growers Association President Kevin Dinert tells Brownfield the drought lowered his soybean yields by 50% at the farm, near Mount Vernon.

“There’s some disappointing yields, but when it stops raining at the beginning of July, it’s hard to grow a crop.”

Hay and feed supplies are also short. To have enough feed his cattle next year, Dinert plans to incorporate more small grains like oats and rye into the crop rotation.

“Some of the grasses good for cattle feed that we can put down for hay, bale up and have feed available.”

As South Dakota enters its third consecutive year of drought, Dinert says “an old western guy in South Dakota once told me I always plan to have two years of feed on hand at all times, because you don’t know when a dought will happen in South Dakota and it will.”

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows steady dry conditions in South Dakota, ranging from abnormally dry to extreme drought.

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