Hot weather this week good
for South Dakota row crops
The hot weather forecast couldn't come at a better time for South Dakota farmers with row crops in the fields.
Crops such as corn aren't as mature as they should be, and they're in need of hot weather to push them along, said Tim Luken, general manager of Oahe Grain Corp. in Onida.
South Dakota farmers are producing a big corn crop this year. The federal Agriculture Department projects the crop at 731 million bushels, up 37 percent from last year.
Temperatures in much of the state are forecast to be in the 90s - approaching 100 in central South Dakota - and a big cool-down doesn't appear likely for a while, according to Taylor Trogdon, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Aberdeen.
State Climatologist Dennis Todey said the warm weather is welcome, but farmers also need the first freeze of fall to hold off.
"The next one to two weeks are projected to be above average in temperature overall," Todey said. "That will help push crop development along at a quicker pace. But that will not be enough. We need at least average temperatures to continue through September, if not above-average temperatures.
"If that happens and we have a near-average or later freeze date, we are in good shape," he said. "If we turn cool and/or have an early freeze, that would be a problem."