Grassland group: Ranchers need a plan to deal with drought

April 26, 2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D> (AP) — Ranchers say moisture from recent scattered rains are a welcome addition but nowhere near the amount needed to get South Dakota pastures back on track for normal production.

The South Dakota Grassland Coalition is urging ranchers to plan ahead.

Bart Carmichael, a coalition board member, says part of his drought plan included selling half of his cow herd over the last year.

Almost 90 percent of the state remains in severe or moderate drought or abnormally dry.

Ryan Beer, a rangeland management specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bison, says up 150 percent of normal rainfall would be needed in May and June to get back to normal forage production.

North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska are also experiencing widespread drought.