National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Lack of grass and hay forcing producer to use winter pastures in Harding County, South Dakota
8/4/2017 4:12:22 PM

Harding County, SD

Start Date: 5/1/2017 - End Date: 8/4/2017
We live north of Buffalo along Highway 85. We are 3rd generation ranchers. We started noticing drought conditions as early as May 1. We normally put up nearly 2000 alfalfa bales, grass bales, and grain hay. It appears at this time we will get less than 50 bales. We have already turned our livestock into our winter pastures because of lack of grass. At this time (as leader of the Ludlow Fire Department) it appears we will soon be having a terrible fire season due to drought. This being the second year of drought, the impact on this area is devastating. My son came home to help his aging parents and after 2 years of drought faces decisions that none of us want. I hope we could at least get some help in buying hay for the winter. As I speak we have had 3 days of 25mph plus winds and it looks sad. From Harding County, South Dakota, on June 23, 2017