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12/15 - 2009 South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Field Crops Conditions Report

December 15, 2009 by

Hunting conditions continue to improve amid the slow harvest progress.

Bird harvest reports have improved from most areas in the state as wet areas are now frozen allowing both farmers and hunters to get into areas previously inaccessible.

The corn harvest is continuing to progress but the pace is slowed by weather, storage shortages and dryer capacity at the elevators. The corn harvest looks like it will take right up until the end of the year to complete.


The first major winter storm hit the eastern part of the state last week bringing much colder temperatures and snowfalls of over 6 inches in the far southeast corner of the state, according to the State Climate Office of South Dakota. Other locations reported overall lighter amounts. Another snowfall occurred over the central and northeast part of the state just after the end of the recording period. Overall, the whole state has snow cover ranging from an inch to 5+ inches in locations of the far southeast, northeast and Black Hills. The week provided contrasting effects for producers. Colder temperatures froze soils opening up areas that could not have been harvested previously. But the snow limited harvest progress. Average temperatures were in the single digits for the week except for a few stations along the southern edge of the state and in the Black Hills.


The corn harvest slowed down last week as cold temperatures and snow caused some producers to stop harvesting. The corn harvest did advance 9 percentage points, now estimated at 82 percent complete.