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Drought Returns to South Dakota

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There is no mystery here… its been a dry few weeks in many areas of not only South Dakota but the entire Upper Midwest and Great Plains.  Overall rainfall was well below average in June in many cases and with temperatures averaging several degrees above average, and this many days of 80+ degree weather so far in 2012, spells very dry conditions and bad news for farmers.  Over the last couple of years, precipitation has been anywhere from normal to much above normal, but unfortunately drought has returned to the state this year with much of the area now abnormally dry.  In some cases we are experiencing a moderate to severe drought, especially toward the Black Hills.  Just remember though, things could be a lot worse.  Over half of the country is far worse off in the rain category then we are.  In fact, some parts of the Central Plains and Desert Southwest have seen just a quarter of their average rainfall to start 2012…. That’s rough!!  Below is a look at the drying conditions across South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, as well as the United States as a whole.  You will notice very quickly that we can’t do a lot of complaining when so many areas are dealing with much worse.  However, many crops are beginning a critical stage in their development where moisture is necessary to continue to growing, so widespread rain will be needed in the coming few weeks.  If the rain doesn’t arrive soon, then this time next month, many areas could be dealing with a severe drought or worse.

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