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Daugaard Hopes Task Force Eases Drought Burn

July 18, 2012, 10:25 PM by Brady Mallory

Daugaard Hopes Task Force Eases Drought Burn
PIERRE, SD -

Not everyone was fortunate enough to receive rain from the latest storm and each day without it hurts KELOLAND fields more and threatens the economy. 

In response, Governor Dennis Daugaard has compiled a drought task force. The group is teaming up with government agencies as well as agriculture, fire and water-supply organizations to find some relief.

A year ago, you would not have even thought about these words.

"I really wish we could get some rain in South Dakota," Daugaard said.

Floods are gone and now scorching heat has the state in a headlock and is not letting go.  

"I know our drought situation has worsened considerably in the last week.  You can see it when you're out and about in South Dakota," Daugaard said.

By working together, the task force can monitor the drought's impact and hopefully ease the burn for farmers.  Daugaard said these agencies will open conservation acres for haying and grazing, and look at low interest loans and promote crop insurance.

"This is probably the best solution for crop farmers to utilize those insurance provisions to protect themselves," Daugaard.

But Daugaard knows insurance does not always mean guarantees.

"Those producers in the cattle industry, the dairy industry.  It's tougher.  Those who rely upon grain to feed hogs and feed cattle.  It's tough.  The drought will mean shortages of those feeds or higher prices for feed," Daugaard said.

The task force meets on July 23 and Daugaard said it will have regular meetings as the drought continues.  The task force is also exploring fire prevention measures for the dry conditions.

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