Agriculture

ASK BRANDON: Why Are Some Hailstones Spiky?

The Science Behind How Hailstones Are Formed

  Facebook Photo: Kristen Dunn – Watertown, SD – July 11, 2017 Facebook Comment: Kristen Dunn: “I’m intrigued by the shape of the top one. Isn’t hail normally round?” ______________________________ Great question! In short, the answer is no. But in order to get to why, we need to break down the science of how hail is formed! Hail can come…

Evapotranspiration – A Fancy Word For Corn Sweat

A Big Word Caused By Something On A Molecular Level

On a hot, sunny day in the middle of the Summer have you ever stopped and noticed how muggy it feels outside? Like instead of living in the Northern Plains, you’re living somewhere tropical but… there’s no ocean around. So what’s causing it to feel like that? Look around, chances are, especially if you’re in the Northern Plains, you’re surrounded…

USGS Helps Create New Drought Monitor, Looks At Faster Moving Conditions

South Dakota and much of the Northern Great Plains are going through a drought; conditions that developed strong and fast. While federal and state agencies rely on the U.S. Drought Monitor to manage those conditions, the US. Geological Survey’s Center is developing a new system to help them see and respond to changes faster. “We see dryer conditions later in…

Hutterite Colony By Stratford Plans To Grow Swine Facility

STRATFORD, S.D. (AP) – A Hutterite colony near Stratford is planning to expand its swine operation. The American News reports that an application has been submitted to grow the animal feeding operation by 2,400 head of swine to a total of nearly 10,000 head. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources says in a public notice that the facility…

Spring Wheat Harvest Gets Underway In Dry South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The spring wheat harvest has gotten underway in South Dakota as the winter wheat and oats harvests progress. The weekly crop report from the federal Agriculture Department says dry conditions in the state continue to stress crops, rangeland and livestock. Topsoil moisture supplies statewide are rated 85 percent short or very short. Subsoil moisture is…

Cattle Costs Suffering Due To Drought

11 Percent Of South Dakota Is Considered Under "Extreme" Conditions

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The drought in South Dakota continues to get worse. Ninety-three percent of the state is currently in “abnormally dry” conditions, with eleven percent falling under the “extreme” category. With the harshest dry conditions in West River, Sioux Falls Regional Livestock owner David Minor said it’s having a residual effect on their auctions. “We’re getting extra numbers…

Extreme Heat Expected Through Next Week

Temperatures Look to Stay Above Average

We have seen our fair share of heat over the last week or so. Aberdeen has already seen the triple digits three times this month, which is already three times more than what we saw last year alone. For the entire summer of 2016 Pierre had seven days in which we hit 100°+, and we have already seen three just…

Several South Dakota Hog Permits Withdrawn

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) – Seven hog facility permit applications in southeast South Dakota have been withdrawn in lieu of recent backlash. The Press & Dakotan reports the applications were submitted by Karl Schenk, Craig Johnson and Jay Cutts for concentrated animal feeding operations in Yankton County. They withdrew the requests Monday. The applications were originally approved during a Yankton Planning…

CRP Haying Allowed In Drought-Stricken South Dakota Counties

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The federal government is allowing emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program acres in South Dakota counties dealing with drought. Certain CRP acres earlier were opened to grazing. Haying is now being added, starting Sunday. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows more than half of South Dakota in some stage of drought. Some areas in the…

Seized Herd Of Cattle In Spink County To Be Sold By State

REDFIELD, S.D. (AP) – A herd of 75 neglected and starving cattle seized from an Ashton man’s property will be sold by the state. Spink County Sheriff Kevin Schurch tells the American News that livestock owner Rex Spear didn’t appear for a court hearing Monday to contest the move. Authorities seized the animals late last month and charged Spear with…

Another Hot, Dry Week For South Dakota Farmers, Ranchers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Crops continue to wither as drought bakes South Dakota. The federal Agriculture Department says hot and dry conditions persisted across South Dakota last week, with temperatures in the western part of the state averaging 4 to 10 degrees above normal. Only scattered rain fell. Topsoil moisture was nearly 80 percent short or very short. Crop…

Eyes On Water As Drought Worsens

A Little More Than Ninety Percent Of South Dakota Under Dry Conditions

KIMBALL, S.D. — More than half of South Dakota is suffering from a moderate drought. A third is in severe conditions while four percent are facing extreme dryness. As conditions continue to worsen, water becomes more essential. Aurora-Brule Rural Water is the source for several communities livelihood: Pukwana, Kimball, White Lake, Stickney, Plankinton, Gann Valley and Aurora Center. Manager Wade…

Drought Conditions Worsen Across the Area

The Latest Drought Report Shows Even Drier Conditions

Last week we took at the latest drought conditions across the state of South Dakota. Sadly, the news isn’t any better this time around. This week’s U.S. DroughtMonitor update, which was released earlier this morning, shows an increase in drought on all levels. Extreme drought, the second highest level of drought, has doubled from last week’s total. The table to…

Ways To Conserve Water During A Drought

With More Than 244 Thousand People Affected, How Can We Save Water?

Across much of the Northern Plains, especially in Montana and North Dakota, drought conditions have reached severe and even extreme levels. Starting in May, the drought conditions started to turn worse with little soaking rain falling across northern parts of the Missouri River Valley; from the 28th of May to the latest data on June 27th, the roughly 30% of…

Spink County Man Facing Felony Animal Abuse Charges

Ashton, S.D. – Authorities in Spink County have seized 75 cows and one horse that they say have been allegedly neglected and abused. 63-year-old Rex Spear is the owner of the cattle. He was arrested on a felony count of animal abuse and misdemeanor animal neglect. The livestock are currently being cared for in Brown County. Spear will appear in…

Cows On the Loose in Southwest Minnesota

Drivers asked to be alert

ROCK COUNTY, MN – Drivers in southwest Minnesota should be on the lookout for a few dozen cows on the loose. According to the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, nearly 40 black 600-pound heifers are missing.  Some of them, it’s unclear how many, were found around 9 p.m. Sunday north of Magnolia.  That’s near where they broke out of their pen…