National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Pastures affected, dams low in Stanley County, South Dakota
7/10/2017 5:47:30 PM

Water Supply & Quality
Stanley County, SD

Start Date: 2/1/2017 - End Date: 7/10/2017
We are located in the southwest corner of Stanley County, South Dakota. We had a good amount of snow this winter, but the weather turned very warm in February and caused the snowpack to melt while the ground was still frozen, resulting in very little of it soaking into the soil. Since then, we have had very little rainfall. What rains we have gotten have been followed by windy and/or hot days. The alfalfa was hurt by a late frost and was not able to recover, as it ran out of moisture and turned brown before flowering. We were able to hay some oats, but did not even get half a ton per acre. Pastures are a pale brown color. Grasses and forbs that did survive to maturity didn’t even reach half of a normal year’s production. Dams are getting low. We will look at weaning and selling calves early, as well as cutting down our cow herd. We normally raise all our own hay, but will need to purchase it this year to feed what livestock we do keep through the winter. From Stanley County, South Dakota, on July 10, 2017