More of region deemed drier than normal
Almost all of southeastern South Dakota is now abnormally dry, according to an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday.
Approximately 29 percent of the state is abnormally dry, including almost all of southeastern South Dakota, stretching from Sioux Falls west to parts of Jones, Mellette and Tripp counties. That figure is up from 10 percent last week but similar to the mark in April, when 28 percent of the state was abnormally dry, primarily in the southern part of the state.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Drought Monitor Author Brad Rippey said the cool weather and the wet June has made July's dryness slow to emerge in some locations.
As was the case in last week's report, areas west of Mitchell are dealing with moderate drought, including all of Aurora County and parts of Sanborn, Jerauld, Davison, Brule, Charles Mix and Douglas counties are included moderate classification.
The Daily Republic's 17-county coverage area has half of its land area in the abnormally dry classification, which is defined as short-term dryness that slows growth of crops or pastures and leaves areas with water deficits. Abnormally dry is the lowest intensity of drought recorded by the U.S. Drought Monitor, which is conducted by the USDA.
About 6 percent each of the state's corn and soybean crops are located in areas of moderate drought.