‘The rain shut off, and that’s when the heat started’: A look at conditions near Hamill, South Dakota


HAMILL, S.D. (KELO) – As we head into another stretch of hot and dry weather… many in the ag industry are holding out hope.

Trent Kubik is making a trip out to one of his pastures, located southeast of Hamill, to check on a tank to make sure it’s full of water for cattle.

“We had to start hauling water about every four or five days, and then we bring about 2,000 gallons of water out,” farmer/rancher, Trent Kubik said.

He says this pasture has two stock dams, which they typically rely on for watering during the summer.

“Usually we get a lot of snow in the hills and that melts down and fills up our dams and we just didn’t have any of that snow melt, so when we started out the year they were already very low and then the 90s and 100s degree in June didn’t help,” Kubik said. “The water is stagnant and not very good quality, start to worry about cows getting stuck in the dam, so that’s why I brought the water caddy out.”

He says alfalfa is a big crop for them, but a late frost hit that and stunted its growth.

“Once it started to warm up at the end of May, the bugs hit our alfalfa hard, that reduced the first cutting and then as soon as we took the first cutting off, that’s when the rain shut off, and that’s when the heat started,” Kubik said.

When it comes to the wheat, it’s about half of a crop compared to what they are used to seeing.

“A lot of hot wind when the wheat was flowering, so we have a lot of small kernels, shriveled kernels, which then equates to a pretty light test weight, the stuff we just did, anywhere from 55 to 57 pounds for test weight and about half yielded than what we are accustomed to,” Kubik said.

Kubik says small amounts of rain here and there have been helping, but more moisture would be beneficial.

“Last week we had about an inch of rain total here, which we were very thankful for, that really just perked everything back up, but that’s kind of the band aid on this pretty open wound,” Kubik said.

Kubik says while they produce hay for their own cows, they also sell hay to people in other states. Right now, he says they might not sell much because they will need to keep it for their own cows.

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