The 2017 growing season has been presenting challenges for Brad Smidt, a farmer in Lincoln County, South Dakota.
“It was getting mid-June by the time we got done—more towards the 20th of June,” he said.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows a majority of South Dakota is experiencing drought. Nearly 75 percent of the state is in a moderate drought and almost half is in severe drought.
However, a pocket in the southeastern part of the state is too wet, seeing excessive rainfall most of the season.
“It’s a weird feeling to watch the news and see the drought monitor and seeing all of the devastation,” said Smidt. “When you look at the drought monitor, we’re too wet. It’s odd, really odd, to have that much of a swing in the same state.
The stress appears not too far west, but scouts on the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour stayed mostly east of the drought stricken areas.
According to Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editor and host of Market Rally Radio, the crop is behind in maturity, but it shouldn’t be a concern. The soybeans have a lot of pods, but some are flat and need August rains.
Smidt hopes the variability will even out in his area.
“Once you get in the combine, that’s the secret: how much has been drowned out, how much has been set back by water and what moisture levels you’re going to run into as you’re running through the field.
He’s thankful he has a crop this year, but hopes an early frost won’t damage it.