Almost 70% Of State Dry, Farmers And Climatologists Not Worried

Dry Soil From Fall Causing Dry Conditions

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For the last 3 months, South Dakota has been abnormally dry with some places even suffering a moderate drought. With spring quickly approaching, both climatologists and farmers aren’t worried.

“Right now, it doesn’t concern me a whole lot.”

Jason Kontz, Triple K Farms owner, is optimistic about the upcoming growing season, despite the current dry conditions. Triple K Farms is located in Colman, where conditions have been abnormally dry since November. Despite the abnormally warm temperatures and below normal snow this winter, state climatologist Dennis Todey says that’s not the reason we’re seeing dry conditions right now.

“The dryness conditions we’ve noted over most of the state have been due to dry soil carrying over from last fall. We didn’t get a lot of precipitation over, especially eastern parts of, the state in the fall,” Dennis Todey explained.

Though almost 70% of the state is abnormally dry, both climatologists and farmers aren’t worried going into spring.

“When it comes to planting, a lot of times we plant in the dry ground anyhow. And hope the moisture either comes up, gets the seed so it germinates or we get timely rains that allow the seed to germinate anyhow,” explained Jason Kontz.

Those timely rains are ¬†exactly what Dennis hopes to see this spring, “On an average spring, we get more precipitation than we lose to runoff, per say, or to evaporation. So we, in an average spring, do get some recharge.”

¬†In late spring, if there hasn’t been a lot of rain, that’s when climatologists, and farmers, will start to worry.

“We have them years that are dry and it always seems to work out, ” said Jason Kontz.

While Jason Kontz isn’t worried about the upcoming growing season, he said that the fluctuation in temperatures this winter season has been hard on livestock, causing some to get sick.