6.6 From Cattle to Corn: South Dakota Agricultural Production Challenges in 2019

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 9:45 AM
153A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Laura M. Edwards, South Dakota State Univ., Aberdeen, SD

Starting with an extreme cold event in January, agriculture in South Dakota battled more than the usual temperature and precipitation extremes in 2019. Near-record snowfall, blizzards and cold temperatures through April made cattle ranchers weary of moving snow, feeding animals, and struggling to provide protected areas for cows and calves. Spring flooding as the result of the March 13-14 Bomb Cyclone and rapid snowmelt flooded farmyards, homes, communities, and roads and bridges, adding logistical issues to the animal health and crop condition concerns. In April and May, snowmelt runoff from the Plains inundated the state’s farmland and rivers. Continued wetter than average conditions led to the wettest June to May period on record, and also the third wettest July. Examples of agricultural impacts included late planted spring crops, slow harvest in small grains, unplanted fields, and plentiful grass and pasture production. A summary of the climate extremes and these and other impacts over the course of the agricultural year in South Dakota will be presented.
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