Ranchers Worry Over Drought

Mar 5, 2013

Sometimes, in South Dakota it’s OK to hope for a blizzard. 

Parts of the Midwest and Eastern United States are getting pummeled by a series of snow-storms this winter.  But,  the severe drought continues in the western part of the state.

Many ranchers and farmers across South Dakota are hoping for more moisture—however they can get it.     Gary Deering ranches near Sturgis.  He’s a Regional Vice President with the South Dakota Stock Growers Association.   Like many Deering is worried about what this spring and summer could bring.

“We have our dams and dugouts they’re dry right now.  Grasses didn’t hardly grow at all last year, so it’s going to be that much worse this year.  So yea, it could be awful bad if we repeat what we had last year,” says Deering.  

Ranchers worry if the drought continues cows like these will become harder to raise.

Deering adds that the price of cattle has dropped in recent months—at the same time the drought has increased the cost of feed.   Lawmakers on the State Appropriations Committee say they have to take the possibility of a continued drought into their budget outlook.   There is concern that a lack of rain could harm the state’s number one industry.