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South Dakota

2016 US Corn Belt Crop Tour - South Dakota State Video
2016 US Corn Belt Crop Tour - South Dakota Photo Gallery
About South Dakota
Number of farms
1,383 acres
Average size of a South Dakota farm
43,300,000 acres
Land in South Dakota farms
Share of farms and ranches family owned and operated; more than 2,500 farms and ranches have been in the same family for more than 100 years
South Dakota’s US rank in sunflower seed and oil production
Heads of cattle produced by approximately 17,000 ranchers and cattlemen; South Dakota has more cattle than people!
5,700,000 acres
Corn acres in 2016, +6% vs. 2015

159 bu/acre
Corn yield in 2015, +11 bu/acre vs. 2014
5,000,000 acres
Soybean acres in 2016, -3% vs. 2015

46 bu/acre
Soybean yield in 2015, +1 bu/acre vs. 2014
1,150,000 acres
Wheat acres in 2016, -17% vs. 2015

44 bu/acre 
Wheat yield in 2015, -11.5 bu/acre vs. 2014


South Dakota NOAA Precipitation Rankings, May 2016

Bottom 1/10 Bottom 1/3 Normal Top 1/3 Top 1/10 Record

Period Precip 20th Century Average Departure Rank Wettest/Driest Since Record
Jan - May 2016
Ties: 1999
(207.26 mm)
(176.02 mm)
(31.24 mm)
92nd Driest Driest Since: 2015 1934
31st Wettest Wettest Since: 2013 1995


Year to Date Percent of Normal Precipitation (Percent), Valid on: July 6, 2016

South Dakota Precipitation



2016 South Dakota State Video - Transcript

It's day 8, July 2, 2016. My name is Moe Agostino, Chief Commodity Strategist with Farms.com Risk Management. We are starting our crop tour in the state of South Dakota. Some quick facts about South Dakota. The corn record yield was 159, last year - 2014 wasn't that far behind. We've got 5.7 million acres in 2016, that's up from 2015 at 5.4. Corn is rated 73% good to excellent, 5% very poor to poor. That compares to the nation at 75%. For soys, record yield again was last year at 46, 2014 was 45. 5.15 million soy acres - that is an update from the June acreage from USDA. That is up 5% from 2015 at 4.9. The crops are 75% rated good to excellent that is actually above the national average at 72%. With wheat, we've got about 2.76 million acres total compared to last year 2.154 - that's up 28%. There's a lot more acres here. The soft red winter wheat is rated 65% good to excellent vs the nation at 62%. The spring wheat at 58%. That's lower than the nation at 72%. The yield averaging, all wheat, 44 vs 14 that's down a little bit there. Did you know that in the state of South Dakota there is more cattle than people? There's about 17,000 ranchers!

Now, we've got this corn field here. From who we have talked to thus far it has been a wet spring. We are starting to get a trend here. The common theme is that it was too wet; we got our corn in; it was delayed; this was about 1-2 weeks behind schedule. So again, there is that 50% is going to pollinate in the next 2 weeks. The other 50%, that was planted late May, will pollinate between July 10th and 20th. Weather is going to be very critical in the next month or so. It's either going to make or break this crop. It still has lots of potential but another common theme is that it is dry. For the month of June it was hot and dry. We are starting to see some cracks in the soil. That's not good - not as bad as 2012 - 2012 you could drop a pen and it would go down into the soil. This is getting critical, it's another sunny day here. I think when we came up from Nebraska, it looks like they got some rain here overnight in Nebraska and the border of South Dakota/Nebraska. A lot of the guys are saying that they are missing the storms - the storms seem to be going south.

[Video clips of South Dakota field conditions]

We are traveling north, we are on 250th street just west of Baltic, South Dakota. We were here last here - just trying to do some comparisons. This is a really good soybean field. This area as you go further north got a little bit more rain in the spring. Not as dry as the southern part we were just at, not really seeing any cracks. It looks like this field was just sprayed, it's blooming but looking good so far.

[Video clips of South Dakota field conditions]

We are traveling north on Hwy 29 in South Dakota. We are on 22 just below Summit, South Dakota. This corn is about chest high. Corn last year at this time was higher than my head - we are behind. As we travel further north the corn is a little bit shorter than the very south. This area has been getting a little bit more rain but that rain stopped. The month of June has been dry - we can see cracks in the soil - this is about 30 inches. What a difference a year makes! Last year we just saw a lot of drowned out areas because of too much moisture and now this year it is very dry.

[Video clips of South Dakota field conditions]

We are traveling west on Hwy 12 we are near Groton, South Dakota. These are some beans here that are blooming - almost knee high. But the grass here is brown and that to me means that they have had some really dry weather here. The beans, this is not typical of what we are seeing here in South Dakota. Some of the fields are a little bit shorter, some of them are just popping out. Some of them got delayed because of the wet spring here. This is a later crop and has still got lots of time to produce a good crop. Last year, South Dakota had a record yield. There is still some time to achieve that, but we are going to need some rain here soon.

[Video clips of South Dakota field conditions]

It's day 9, it's July 3rd, and we're traveling north on Hwy 281 just north of Aberdeen. We are going to end our tour in South Dakota. I want to thank my sponsors Penta Tillage and Pride Seeds. We started just below Sioux Falls in South Dakota and those crops were a little bit better, maybe a little bit further ahead than some of the ones up here in northern South Dakota. The entire state has a lot of moisture through the spring. It looks like the northern part of South Dakota got a little bit more than the southern part. We have seen some drowned out conditions, but overall, not bad. Not seeing any stress of any sort. I don't even see any crop stress although the only thing that seems to be a common theme from state to state is that it is getting dry. So they did get the moisture, but the month of June was hot and we are starting to see some cracks in the soil. So, at this point I am going to rank South Dakota as an average crop and I'm going to rank it a 6-6.5 for now.

2016 US Corn Belt Tour
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