Planting season begins for South Dakota farmers

SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – After battling a dry and cold start to spring, farmers in South Dakota are finally using the warm temperatures and rain to start planting their crops. Now they will have a limited time to plant the seeds for a successful harvest.

Jeff Thompson has been a farmer near Lyon for 40 years. One thing he has learned is that every planting season brings its own set of challenges.

“We were dry last year, we got a bit exhausted. Two and three years ago we were very wet on the bottom here. Lots of acres of pre-planting, so it’s kind of a roller coaster,” Thompson said.

This year was no exception, but now he is finally putting his boots on the court.

“We are driving now. The humidity is pretty good right now, so we’re a bit eager to get started. It had been very dry earlier, dry and cold, and the conditions are getting pretty good now,” Thompson said.

Farmers have a narrow window of time to plant for a successful harvest. For Thompson, he thinks planting conditions opened up just in time, and he’s relieved.

“The acres that I have, I’m comfortable right now with the weather and everything. We are by no means late, but it is time to put the harvest in the ground,” said Thompson.

Putting that crop in the ground at the right time for a farmer could mean the difference between a profit or a loss.

“That’s a lot of money we’re putting in the ground, and you just hope you get your money back, and more, at the end of the season,” Thompson said.

For now, Thompson can breathe a sigh of relief.

“It always gives you a good feeling. At the end of the day, you finish planting a field, you’ve done it well and things are looking good and I’m doing my part to feed the world. It makes a guy feel good,” Thompson said.

Planting season may be underway, but Thompson says the success of crop production this year will depend on how much moisture there is between now and harvest season.

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