Inside KELOLAND: Digging into the drought, resources to deal with the added stress


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From crop ground to pasture land, the extremely hot and dry conditions through the spring and early summer are making it a tough year for farmers and ranchers.

A mixture of hot temperatures and a lack of rain has landed much of South Dakota in severe to extreme drought. The month of June alone goes on record as one of the top three hottest for Sioux Falls, Aberdeen and Pierre.

On this week’s Inside KELOLAND we dig into the effects of the drought. SDSU Extension Field Specialist in Livestock Business Management, Heather Gessner talks about the impact on crops, pastures and livestock.

Andrea Bjornestad, SDSU Extension Specialist on Mental Health, looks at the emotional toll events like a drought can take on farmers and ranchers. The Extension offers a number of resources, including its Summer Farm Stress Series.

KELOLAND’s chief meteorologist Jay Trobec joins Inside KELOLAND to explain what makes this year different than other dry years.

Slide bar to compare 1988 to 2021

Data from 1988 compared to 2021

Central South Dakota is seeing some of the driest conditions, with areas north of Pierre listed in the extreme drought category. reporter Ariana Schumacher recently traveled to some of the driest areas to report on the impact the drought is having on producers.

Next week our news crews are hitting the road to bring you to the areas hardest hit by the drought. From Eureka and Pierre to Onida and Rosebud we want to share your stories. If there is a place you think we should stop, send us a message on social media, or email us at

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