Drought continues, harvest nearing its end

Forty to 70 percent chances of rain over the weekend turned out to be nothing but a tease yet again, as no clouds appeared and the sun shone bright much of the last few days.
The latest USDA precipitation report dated Oct. 7 puts our area at nearly four inches below normal since April 1.
Huron reported 3.91 inches below normal with a total accumulation of 13.56 inches since April 1. Wessington Springs is at 3.43 inches below normal and totals 16.01 inches since April 1.
The hardest hit area is in southeast South Dakota where rainfall has only measured 8.5 to 11.5 inches since April 1. Yankton area is 12.16 inches below normal followed by Centerville at 11.52 below. Vermillion is reporting 10.92 inches below the norm and Pickstown is at 10.69 inches below.
The least affected areas are Mitchell and Madison, which are reporting 1.65 and 1.94 inches below normal, respectively.
This year-to-date the average precip received throughout the State of South Dakota is just 12.47 inches, just lower than 2002, which was at 12.77 inches at this time of year. Last year by this time, South Dakota’s precip was at 20.71 inches and in 2010, 22.84 inches.
In 1980, the state had received 12.13 inches by now. In 1976, 12 inches had fallen and in 1974 just 11.89 inches by this time of year.
As of Oct. 7, corn harvest was 78 percent finished. The five-year average at this time is 12 percent. Ninety-four percent of soybeans are out of the field, up from the average of 43 percent.
On Oct. 7 winter wheat had been seeded at a rate of 67 percent, yet only eight percent had emerged due to low soil moisture. Normally over the past five years, 82 percent of wheat has been seeded with 49 percent having emerged.

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