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South Dakota Crop Talk

July 11, 2012, 8:31 AM by Austin Hoffman

South Dakota Crop Talk

The Sioux Falls area is currently more than four inches behind average in rainfall totals. Much of the corn in southeastern KELOLAND is already showing signs of stress. And some of the traditionally hottest and driest days of summer are still ahead.

"I appreciated the fact that I don't have to work outdoors because I wouldn't last more than 15 minutes I'm sure," Lennox resident Verlyn Hofer said.

Hofer has lived in Lennox for more than 80 years. He says while it's hot, he knows this isn't the first time farmers have had to deal with these kinds of conditions.

"So I'm not going to make any predictions this year and say 'oh it's all gone, the corn crop is gone.' That's pretty hard for me to believe, although it doesn't look too good," Hofer said.

It's bad enough to have many people around town and on the internet talking about it.

"You know on the e-mails and stuff you get comments and these little prayer chains and everything else about the dry weather," Hofer said.

And while this year is bad, Hofer says today's farmers have an extra tool to stay afloat.

"There was no crop insurance way back, 50, 60 years ago. The farmer was a bigger gambler then than he is now. But I'm sure most farmers would rather derive their income from the crop they take off the land than from an insurance check," Hofer said.

He remembers the stories of two years without rain in western South Dakota during the 1930's. Stories like those are proof that no matter how bad it gets, nothing lasts forever.

"It'll rain eventually; just when, I don't know. You’ll have to ask those meteorologists up at KELO, they have more answers than I do," Hofer said.

According to the drought monitor, 47 percent of South Dakota is in some sort of a drought.

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