Weather Cutting Window To Get Planting Under Way

Weather challenges have been front and center for South Dakota corn and soybean growers this spring.  The cool, wet weather has tightened the window for producers to get those crops seeded. This week’s crop report from USDA indicates only four-percent of the state’s corn crop is in the ground. South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Kim Vanneman says it’s been quite a challenge…

“Clearly it’s a tough spring. For those of us who have been around for a while, we’ve probably seen some springs like this; it’s been quite a while. Never enjoy it when it’s this way but, you know, our producers…gosh they’re smart, they’re hard working. They’ll put in the long hours. They’re intuitive if they need to, you know which crops and do something different and so…I think all in all we’ll be ok. Is this the kind of spring we want? No, but those of us that are producers and work in this business we know that Mother Nature is…she’s Queen, I guess….And we have to work around and so, as hard as It is, I know our producers…they’ll come through and they’ll figure out and get done what they need to get done.”

South Dakota got dumped on with heavy snow in mid-April during calving season. Vanneman says livestock losses from that storm have not been finalized yet…

“You know, we’re still working on that and getting specific numbers. There…it…it obviously wasn’t near as high as you know, years back when we had the Atlas Blizzard and that type of thing. Actually what I think we’re going to find here is clearly there were some losses in that blizzard no doubt, but what I think is going to be, you know, the larger effect is just the ongoing effect of what that did to the beef industry particularly in that we were right in the heart of calving and the stress that it put on those momma cows and the babies that were born, you know, during that time frame.”

On the topic of hemp, Vanneman says she supports Governor Noem’s decision to veto a hemp bill sent to her by the Legislature…

“Fully support the Governor’s decision to wait. We do not have any of the guidance or rules or anything from the USDA yet and so I think that until we get some of that information, in that we need to just wait and see what that guidance does in that. And I’m guessing that we will, um there is a summer study and ah so there still well be some legislators discussing some things and you know, I perceive there is a high probability there could be some legislation brought next year.”

Vanneman and her husband own and operate a diversified farming operation in Tripp County.