LYMAN COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — Despite Wednesday morning’s rain, our summer drought is taking a devastating toll on crops and livestock. Nowhere is the heat being felt more than in central and western South Dakota.
As we’ve been showing you this week, that’s where farmers and ranchers are facing some tough decisions.
“As you can see there’s no grass left to eat,” Quint Garnos said.
You don’t have to read between these lines to see how dry it is in Lyman County. It’s been years, since longtime farmer and rancher Garnos has seen it like this.
“We have 200 cows in this place and we usually run them two months and this year just barely a month and then we had to kick them into another pasture,” Garnos said.
But not everyone has that option.
Finding feed for livestock is getting to be a challenge for a lot of the ranchers in Lyman County.
“On this river bottom, which is 300 acres, we put up 950 bales last year, this year 300, so it’s a third as much hay,” Garnos said.
That’s why some are making the difficult decision and are having to sell some of their livestock.
Dreams of a bountiful harvest are drying up as fast as the fields and pastures.
“The White River is a third as wide this time of year, you can jump across it about,” Garnos said.
Speaking of jumping, grasshoppers are on a free ride adding to the problem. They’re very prevalent.
Garnos checks his rain gauge periodically and for a lot of farmers and ranchers that feeling is beginning to soak in.
“This is our last little rain maybe 10-15 hundredths, just doesn’t do much,” Garnos said.
Garnos says the price of hay is going up. He says last year you could pay $60-$70 dollars a ton, now it’s more like $200.