Drought risk lower, but still there

Drought risk lower, but still there.
However, other areas are still at risk and ranchers need to keep a close eye on rangeland conditions and update their drought plans, said Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist.
Kelly references the South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service current grass production estimates and projected peak grass production estimates for May 1, 2017 which indicate improved conditions compared to April 2017.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center also predicts a wetter period for the next three months.
However, Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist cautions producers.
“The North Central Region is still half or less of average rainfall in the last two months,” Edwards said.
April, May and June are critical months for precipitation and grassland production in the Northern Plains.
“By July 1, research shows that 75 percent to 90 percent of vegetation growth has been completed,” Kelly said.
“Ranches in South Dakota that received half or less of average rainfall by the third week in May, should be implementing management actions within their drought plan and adjusting stocking rates.” If no drought plan is in place for the ranch, please see review the iGrow article, “Time to Revisit Drought Plans for the Ranch” information regarding the South Dakota Drought Tool and the importance of trigger dates within a drought plan.
The article can be found at this link: http://igrow.org/livestock/beef/time-to-revisit-drought-plans-for-the-ranch/.

Learn More