Scattered showers occurred over the state during the week ending June 29, with some southeast locations receiving hail, high winds and tornadoes, according to South Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service, June 30.
Major farm activities included cutting hay, cultivating, spraying crops and pastures, fixing fences and caring for livestock. Statewide, there were 3.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.
This report is based on information from county extension educators, farm service agency county directors, and other reporters across the state.
Below-average temperatures were recorded at all reporting stations during the week, ranging from two to 11 degrees below normal. The high of 91 degrees was reached in several areas of the southeast corner of the state, while the low of 39 degrees was received in Custer and Hot Springs. Centerville had the greatest amount of precipitation, with 3.95 inches recorded.
Rain was received by farmers throughout the state, with some receiving much more than needed. Several farmers reported water standing in fields, while others are still requiring more water to fill stock dams. Topsoil moisture levels increased greatly last week, with 85% rated adequate to surplus, compared to the previous week's 66%. Subsoil moisture also improved, with 69% currently rated adequate to surplus, compared to the previous week's 61%.
Small grains benefited from cooler temperatures and rain. Winter wheat turning color reached 52%. Statewide, no winter wheat was ripe, while last year at this time, four percent of the crop was ripe. The majority of barley, oats and spring wheat development in or beyond the boot stage. Small grains continue to advance ahead of last year and the five-year averages in the headed stage, with barley, oats and spring wheat rated at 73%, 83% and 86% headed, respectively. Barley, oats and spring wheat were behind the five-year average in the turning color stage, with barley rated at seven percent, oats at three percent and spring wheat at four percent turning color. Corn height was averaging 19 inches, behind last year's 22 inches and the five-year average of 21 inches.
Corn cultivation and spraying advanced during the week, with 92% of the crop cultivated or sprayed once and 34% of the crop cultivated or sprayed twice. Soybeans were reported at seven percent blooming, ahead of last year's four percent and the five-year average of six percent. Sunflower planting neared completion, with 98% of the crop planted.
Range and pasture improved slightly during the week's questionable weather. As of June 30, 59% of range and pasture was rated in good to excellent condition, compared to the previous week's 50%. Recent precipitation helped to improve stock water supplies, with 67% rated adequate to surplus, compared to the previous week's 57%. Feed supplies also improved during the week, with 80% currently rated adequate to surplus. The majority of alfalfa hay continues to be in good to excellent condition. The first cutting harvest of alfalfa is 88% complete; ahead of last year and the five-year average of 78%. The second cutting is three percent complete. Other hay harvested is rated at 49% complete, also ahead of last year and the five-year average.