Rains have made a difference for South Dakota rancher

An eastern South Dakota cow/calf operator says recent rains have given his crops a chance.  Todd Wilkinson says the early-season drought was very concerning.  “I didn’t get a wheat crop and our wheat got zeroed out,” he says.  “I wasn’t sure I was going to have a corn crop or a soybean crop.”

Wilkinson says after the wheat crop failed they had to turn to some alternative crops.  “We got some millet and some sorghum in,” he says.  “That looks like it is at least growing right now.”

He tells Brownfield his area has received some timely rains, and is still dry.  “It’s 100 degrees, plus at home,” he says.  “But it looks like we’re going to have some forage even though our hay production is way down because of the drought.”

Wilkinson says cow/calf producers are seeing better returns and even with the higher input costs he’s optimistic about the next couple of years. 

According to the latest drought monitor —a little more than a third of the state is experiencing at least some drought.  

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