ABERDEEN, SD -
Rain over the weekend visited parts of northeast South Dakota sitting in drought, but it may have little impact on crop yields.
Both the corn and soybeans growing in Mike Fischbach's Brown County fields took a hit this year. Up until this weekend, they hadn't received much rain in weeks.
"The rain is good but it would have been better if we could have seen it a month ago," Fischbach said.
Most corn and soybeans in the northeast are late enough in their development that rain now won't help them produce much anymore.
When he looks at the corn, Fischbach sees cobs that aren't filled. He figures his bean yields will drop about ten bushels an acre. In both cases, dry conditions are to blame.
The U.S. Drought monitor has northeast South Dakota sitting in moderate drought. Climatologist Laura Edwards with SDSU Extension says it's at least that.
"There was some conversation I know last week as to the severity if it, was even worse than the drought monitor was depicting,” Edwards said. “And I think that's still up for discussion now."
The weekend rain was spotty, so the benefits aren't widespread.
During the recent heat wave, Edwards says corn needed a lot of water and used up reserves in the soil. So the recent rain won't do much to help the area's moisture deficit.
Still, rain earlier this year helped crops get as far as they did.
"By the end, I assume it'll turn out to be about an average year," Fischbach said.
Rain totals in the northeast over the weekend ranged from about three inches in Campbell County near the Missouri River to almost nothing close to the Minnesota border.
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