SD’s Hot, Dry Weather Good For Haying


I found this fellow near Estelline, S.D., harvesting hay under a harvest moon. lalfa third-cutting is 49 percent complete, up from 43 percent the previous week and slightly behind average, acccording to the National Agricultural Statistics Service report, released Monday. Hot, dry weather is causing problems in much of South Dakota, but haying has been going well. Farmers in some areas of the state are preparing land for winter wheat seeding, and silage harvest.  It’s driest in much of the east-central areas, with Britton parched and behind season averages by 3.5 inches, while Brookings is 8.4 inches ahead of normal, and Mitchell and Sioux Falls are 10 to nearly 11 inches ahead. Centerville, Vermillion and Yankton are 7 to 9 inches ahead.

Stock water supplies are still 92 percent adequate or surplus, compared to 91 percent last year and a five-year average of 71 percent. Topsoil moisture conditions in the “short” and “very short” categories grew to 42 percent in the past week, up from 33 percent the previous week and a 22 percent average for the past five years. Subsoil moisture is now 33 percent short to very short.

Crop conditions in the “good” to “excellent” categories hung in there, despite the dry conditions. Corn was 74 percent in the two best categories, up from 71 percent last week; 9 percent poor or worse, compared to 10 percent the previous week.  Soybeans, are ranked 70 percent good to excellent, 68 percent last week; 11 percent poor or worse, same as the previous week.

Sorghum, 80 percent good to excellent, 90 percent last week; sunflower, 64 percent good to excellent, 66 the previous week;  alfalfa, 63 percent good to excellent, 64 the previous week; range and pasture, 66 percent, 72 percent last week.

Barley and spring wheat are both 95 percent harvested, about the same as the five-year average.

Corn is 53 percent dented, up from 32 percent the previous week. About 90 percent was in the dough stage, which is way ahead of last year’s 64 percent, and above the 82 percent average for this date. About 7 percent of the silage had been taken, compared to a five-year average of 14 percent for this date.

Soybeans went to 17 percent the “dropping leaves” phase, up from 3 percent the previous week and compared to a 12 percent average.

Sunflower is 98 percent blooming, up from 93 percent the previous week on par with a 97 percent average. About 35 percent of the ray flowers are dry, and 9 percent of bracts are yellow – both, slightly below-the five-year averages.

Alalfa third-cutting is 49 percent complete, up from 43 percent the previous week and slightly behind average.