PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order to declare a statewide state of emergency for drought conditions on Tuesday.

The executive order allows ditch mowing in eastern South Dakota that is effective immediately. State rules prevent mowing East River before July 10.

According to a news release sent from the governor’s office, the order will increase access to hay for farmers and ranchers who are negatively affected by the extreme drought conditions.

“Growing up on the family ranch, I know how difficult it can be to feed cattle during dry times,” Gov. Kristi Noem said. “This increased flexibility will allow producers to immediately gain access to hay for their livestock. With a mild winter and early spring, most of the pheasant hatch is well behind us, and we do not expect this move to affect pheasant numbers. Reports from the field look fantastic for the upcoming pheasant hunting season.” 

The executive order will remain effective through August 31, 2021.