Above Average Runoff In Missouri River Basin Slated For Rest Of Year

Oct 8, 2019

Credit SDSU Extension

Ag runoff in the Upper Missouri River Basin in September was “much above average.”

That’s according to a runoff report by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Ag runoff from January through August already surpassed the record year of runoff in 121 years of record-keeping.

South Dakota is getting wetter, faster, than most states in the country.

That’s according to state climatologist Laura Edwards. She says South Dakota is 20 percent wetter than it was six decades ago.

During a conversation on SDPB’s In The Moment, Edwards says increased moisture will present challenges and opportunities.

“We see more rain coming in heavy events,” Edwards says. “This year is kindof—we’ve seen heavy events for sure—but we’ve seen a lot of little events. What we see moving forward is more of our precipitation coming in heavy events. That’s another question for farming is how can we better protect our soils from heavy erosion in those heavy events.”

Wet soil is susceptible to erosion and runoff. This year was no exception. Edwards points to soil health practices like planting cover crops and reducing tillage as strategies to prevent erosion.

The Army Corps says above average runoff is forecast throughout the upper basin for the rest of the year because of wet soil and increased chances for precipitation.