Drought Relief Amanda Radke

A shot of rain is a nice morale boost

Rain fell in southeastern South Dakota last night, while other parts of the Dakotas and Montana are grateful for released acres of CRP for emergency grazing.

It might be the windrows we have lying in the field. Maybe it’s the bales we just purchased from the neighbor that are now sitting in water in a ditch. Perhaps it’s because I forgot to shut the sprinkler off in the garden. Or maybe I tempted fate when I left all my lawn furniture sitting out to blow away. Maybe God finally answered our prayers.

Whether it was tempting fate or divine intervention, the nearly 3 inches of rain we got last night was a welcome sight for our ranch! It came down in violent bursts with huge gusts of wind. I tried to get a photo, but the rain was blowing into the garage so hard that it was tough to capture the beauty of the storm.

Nevertheless, this much-needed moisture was the first real rain we’ve gotten since the first part of May, and I think it may save our crops and maybe even green up our pastures a little bit. We are thankful and grateful, and it’s sure a nice morale booster to finally receive some relief!

Down the road, our neighbors unfortunately received more hail than rain, and there are many trees down, beaten up rows of corn and houses without power. We definitely lucked out, but our celebrations are dampened by the fact that folks within just a couple of miles from us have a new set of problems, while others just 20 miles away and beyond still haven’t gotten a drop of rain. Fires have started breaking out in a few areas of the Dakotas, as well, so we continue to pray for relief and hope this good luck continues for us, too.

While the moisture is a nice reprieve, many in the Dakotas and Montana are still desperately seeking assistance to get through the drought. Some help is coming in the release of emergency haying and grazing of CRP.

According to a recent USDA release, “As conditions deteriorate and drought expands across much of the Northern Plains, USDA is offering assistance to farmers and ranchers through numerous federal farm program provisions including CRP and continues to monitor the situation to ensure all viable program flexibilities are offered to producers.

“Because of the rapidly worsening drought and increasing degradation of existing forage, the Secretary is authorizing emergency haying beginning July 16, in counties in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota that have been identified as having D2 drought conditions or above, as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor according to 2-CRP , and counties located in the 150 mile buffer.”

For full details of this provision, click here. 

How is the weather in your neck of the woods this summer? Are you experiencing drought conditions or just the opposite? Let us know in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

TAGS: Nutrition
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