Drought still lingers after recent rain storms

South Dakota drought map released on June 23.
South Dakota drought map released on June 23.(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Recent rains have alleviated the drought in Western South Dakota, but the area is still experiencing drought, except for northwestern South Dakota. The rain has been heavy and leaves behind ruts on gravel roads and streams in fields.

Rain that comes down hard beats the ground exposing roots, especially in loose dirt. However, crops are affected by eroding dirt and moving seeds from fields. Usually, crops are damaged by hail, which can ruin the whole harvest, but intense rain can make fully matured plants lay flat making harvest difficult. Yale Environment 360 says that excessive rainfall has caused $10 billion in agriculture losses from 1989 to 2016. But even with recent rains, the area is still experiencing drought.

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