A little rain meant a little improvement in drought’s effect on SD crops

A little rain in a few areas last week seemed to improve, barely, crop and soil conditions in the drought hitting most of South Dakota, according to USDA’s weekly crop-progress report on Monday.
But the bigger picture remains that the drought’s effects are spreading, with a larger rural-water system asking its customers to stop watering lawns because of the needs of livestock producers and people.
As of Sunday, July 30, the state’s spring wheat was rated poor or very poor over 75 percent of the fields, which is pretty bad – or poor; but it’s a whisker better than a week ago when it was 76 percent of the crop ranked poor or very poor.
Partly, that might be due to far fewer acres making it to grain harvest.
Nationally, in the six, main, spring-wheat states, only 9 percent of the crop was harvested by Sunday, including only 3 percent in North Dakota, which grows most of the spring wheat.
And 43 percent of the spring wheat in the six states was ranked in poor or very poor shape.
The state’s corn crop lost a little ground: 39 percent of the acres were graded poor or very poor in condition by Sunday, compared with 37 percent a week earlier.
North Dakota corn crop is ranked poor or very poor over 25 percent of the acres.
The soybean crop was ranked poor or very poor on 35 percent of the acres, up from 34 percent a week ago.
Sunflowers were poor or very poor over 39 percent of the fields, 1 percent worse than 38 percent a week ago.

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