National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Water unsafe for cattle to drink in Butte County, South Dakota
9/13/2017 4:27:29 PM

Water Supply & Quality
Butte County, SD
Hoover, SD

Start Date: 3/1/2017 - End Date: 9/12/2017
Our ranch is located in northern Butte County, just north of Hoover, SD. This is a follow up on a report we submitted 2 weeks ago. At that time we had tested a dam that our yearling sheep were drinking out of and it tested around 10 TDS, which was as high as it could be and still be tolerated by nonlactating, nonpregnant livestock. Now the same dam has tested at 12.1 TDS, which is no longer safe for our livestock. We will begin to haul water to the 250 yearling sheep that are in that pasture. We can't move them, because this is our summer pasture--we need to use it. The weather reports say we have a chance of rain this weekend, .5 to 1.5". This will by no means begin to pull us out of the drought. This amount will not get us any hay, nor will it help with the grazing, and probably will make the bog conditions worse. The most we can hope for is that it will cut down on the fire danger that is ever present. Our president wants us to be happy that we are not having the flood conditions that are in Texas. He says that we are better off dealing with "a little bit of drought". How can anyone compare one disaster to another? A disaster is relative to the situation that is happening at the time. For us, the fact that we will have to sell our livestock, buy more feed than we can afford, and deal with the devastation that a drought has on our land, is disastrous. The pictures that I've attached are to show a comparison of one of our dams 2 weeks apart. From Butte County, South Dakota, on September 12, 2017