Courtesy: National Drought Mitigation Center
Drought conditions have rapidly worsened in South Dakota over the last two weeks. A dry spring season affected early growth in grasses, pastures and yards across much of the northern and central regions.
Reporting Drought Impacts
Now that the heat has been turned on, it is challenging for SDSU Extension and others who monitor drought conditions to keep up with the impacts of drought around the state. To that end, the Drought Impact Reporter at the National Drought Mitigation Center can help. This online form is an anonymous way to submit drought reports or impacts from your area at any time of year.
Benefits of Reporting
When you submit your drought report to this website, it is able to be viewed by the US Drought Monitor authors, SDSU Extension and others who are involved in drought disasters. Your reports can help inform state wildland fire groups in preparing for firefighting, inform agricultural agencies in drought disaster relief, and assist in coordination among various groups in responding to drought if it becomes very severe. Your reports tell us what you need for drought response and relief from SDSU Extension as well: everything from weather and climate updates, to weed and pest control, to water supply concerns, to livestock management and economics, to mental health and community support.
What to Include
Through the Drought Impact Reporter website, you can submit photos and descriptions of your yard, garden, farm or field. It is helpful if you describe the situation as it compares to other dry times. For example, how often do you see drought this severe? When was the last time you experienced a similar dry period or similar impacts? How do the conditions today compare to what you usually expect this time of year?
One example of a drought report may include a picture of a dry pasture. It may be mentioned that cattle only grazed for a week, or were never able to graze this field and are being fed in the lot, or have had to sell some cattle earlier than expected due to feed shortages. It could be mentioned about the water quality, or level of stock pond in the field, and perhaps this is more typical of late summer conditions.
We thank you for your eyes and ears in continuing to watch this rapid onset drought as it evolves across the state this year.