July has been a better month for rain and crops

Jeff Thompson, a farmer in eastern South Dakota, says the farm received 3 inches of rain so far this month, a big change from a dry June.

“June was not a friendly month for many of the crops. It was very high temps and dry,” he says. “There are still pockets east of here where things look really tough. We’ll see what the heat does this next week.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor says the dry conditions in South Dakota are slightly better than the previous week with 37% of the state experiencing dryness. Thompson’s farm is in an area of moderate to severe drought.

He raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa and says the rains saved the soybeans. The corn is silking and kernels are forming on the cobs.

“The number of kernels around the cob, I’m counting about 16 on a few of the ears in my fields. It could be better, but that goes back to a dry June.”

Thompson says his irrigated alfalfa crop is also doing ok, but neighbors with dryland alfalfa have struggled this year.

“I’ve seen a few dryland neighbor’s fields and I’m surprised with the first cutting. It was very good, but the second cutting was short and we just got done with the third cutting on Monday.”

Thompson farms near Colton along the I-29 corridor of South Dakota and sells alfalfa and some corn for silage to local dairy farmers.

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