NewsJune 14 2017

Drought conditions move into Lyman County

Posted by Lucy

Drought conditions move into Lyman County
Governor activates State drought Task Force 
   PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard activated the state Drought Task Force Thurs., June 8 to monitor drought conditions across South Dakota.  
    The United States Drought Monitor has classified portions of north central and northeast South Dakota in Severe (D2) drought, including the counties of: Corson, northern Dewey, Campbell, Walworth, McPherson, Edmunds, Faulk, western Brown, and northwest Spink. Moderate (D1) drought conditions include the counties of: southern Dewey, Stanley, northern Jones, northern Lyman, Potter, Sully, Hughes, Buffalo, Hand, Hyde, eastern Brown, eastern Spink, Marshall, Day, northern Clark, and western Roberts.  
    “The recent hot, dry weather has increased drought conditions quickly in parts of South Dakota,” says Gov. Daugaard. “The Drought Task Force gives us a way to share information so we can all appropriately respond. We want to be ready in case drought conditions persist.” 
    Task Force members will coordinate the exchange of drought information among government agencies as well as agriculture, fire and water-supply organizations. Officials say the exchange of information will allow the task force to better monitor the development and seriousness of the drought. The task force also will evaluate the impact of drought on economic sectors of the state.
Much of central South Dakota, as well as portions of northeast South Dakota have only seen 25 percent to 50 percent of normal precipitation in the past 90 days. Across the D1 and D2 drought areas, precipitation since the start of the year is running roughly 3.50 to 4.50 inches below normal.  
    The eight to 14 day outlook issued on June 7 from the Climate Prediction Center forecasts below normal temperatures across northern and eastern South Dakota, with below normal precipitation forecast west of Interstate 29. The latest three to four week outlook calls for equal chances for above or below normal temperatures and precipitation.  
    Persistent dry conditions and recent hot temperatures with low humidity have increased fire danger across the region. After low to sometimes moderate fire danger during spring green-up, days of high fire danger are likely during dry and windy periods. 
    Lyman County Commission passed a burn ordinance in 2016 that prohibits any burning based when the National Weather Service declares a very high or extreme grassland fire danger or issues a red flag warning for strong winds.  
    A handful of counties have either begun or completed the process of issuing Drought Declarations.  
    There are many reports of winter wheat being cut for hay instead of harvesting for grain - mainly central and northern parts of South Dakota. Cattle may have to graze on spring wheat. Cattle are also being sold, both yearlings and cow/calf pairs. This is happening in mainly central and northern areas as well, where D2 drought conditions exist. Cattle are now feeding on dry lots in many areas, instead of out on pastures, due to short grass. This brings the risk of possible dust pneumonia to calves especially. Alfalfa is not even being cut once in central South Dakota. The latest South Dakota Crop Progress and Condition report indicates Alfalfa hay condition rated 65 percent poor or very poor. Pasture and range condition rated 40 percent poor or very poor. Stock water supplies rated 26 percent short or very short. 

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