Drought Monitor largely unchanged

Conditions on the U.S. Drought Monitor were largely unchanged except for a small area over the Black Hills which was reduced from Extreme Drought (D3) to Severe Drought (D2), says Dennis Todey, SDSU state climatologist.

 "Recent rainfalls over the area and somewhat cooler conditions reduced the impact of the drought conditions," Todey said. "Over the last 30 days the central Black Hills have actually received above average precipitation."

Although this has helped ease some concerns, Todey says the Black Hills remain in Severe Drought.

He adds that the rains have also helped green-up some pasture and rangeland in some areas of the west, helping ease the fire danger slightly.

The rest of the drought status statewide was unchanged, as some precipitation and cooler temperatures keep conditions from worsening. Todey says recipitation totals, though, were not sufficient to indicate improved conditions.

"Some small areas did receive some precipitation mid-week. These areas along with some small areas from last week could be in time to help soybeans recover some yield," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension climate field specialist. "They will also help people that still have corn get closer to maturity."

Both Todey and Edwards noted that while the map is released on Thursday morning each week, the cut-off time for data is 7 a.m. Tuesday. Thus, any precipitation after that point must be incorporated on the next week's map.

SDSU Extension will provide weekly drought briefings throughout the 2012 growing season. To keep up to date on how the drought is impacting South Dakota's agriculture industry, visit iGrow.org.

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