PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The first meeting of the State Drought Task Force was held on Monday in Pierre. Several government agencies are part of the task force. Governor Dennis Daugaard activated the Task Force to monitor drought conditions that have been worsening across South Dakota. South Dakota’s Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jon Farris says Monday’s meeting was a productive one. He says the meetings ensure that drought information is shared among government agencies; and agriculture, fire and water-supply organizations—and is disseminated to producers.
Farris says the Task Force will continue to meet weekly while dry conditions persist.
Farris says the entire state is in varying ranges of drought conditions and yesterday, the USDA approved the use of Conservation Reserve Program acres for emergency haying or grazing. He says producers should talk to their local Farm Service Agency office before they go forth with using the acreage. He says discussions have been underway in recent weeks to try to get the CRP release approved.
Farris advises producers to watch for drought related updates and says those that have questions should ask the Department of Agriculture in Pierre or contact other agencies that serve on the Task Force. Agencies and groups on the Task Force include the Governor’s Office, Departments of Agriculture, Public Safety, Environment and Natural Resources, Game, Fish and Parks and the federal Farm Service Agency, South Dakota National Guard and others.
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