Canton takes state record for most moisture

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — With a whopping 19.65 inches in the month of June, Canton established a new state record for the wettest month at any location in South Dakota. Canton has been an official National Weather Service Cooperative Observer location since 1896. The previous wettest month on record in the state was May 1946 at Deadwood, with a total of 18.61 inches.

Canton received 13.16 of the month’s total rainfall in three days; with a single day total of 8.43 inches on June 17, 2014. “This would likely be the most over a three-day period in South Dakota, though not an officially kept record,” said Dennis Todey, SDSU State Climatologist.

He added that the monthly total is considered preliminary while being reviewed for final quality checks and final verification.

Several other stations set records for their individual location including; Sioux Falls with 13.70 inches; Centerville with 13.50 inches and Vermillion with 11.46 inches. “Nearly all stations reporting from Minnehaha, Lincoln, Union and Clay Counties had more than 11 inches. Many locations between Sioux Falls and Canton ranged from 13 to 16 inches for the month,” Todey said.

Heavy rain throughout southeastern South Dakota during the month of June led to documented flood damage which impacted urban and agricultural areas. “Extensive damage is due to both excessive rainfall and severe weather. Many roads, highways and bridges have been washed out,” said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist. “Flooding has brought debris into cropland and washed crops into ditches. Rain, hail, wind and tornadoes have affected farmland, buildings and vehicles. This combination has resulted in some management challenges for farmers who have had multiple hazards affect their farms.”

The northwest part of the state had a very heavy precipitation month as well. Two stations in that region set new monthly records: Bison, with 8.07 inches, and Timber Lake with 9.89 inches.

Some roads were also washed out in the northwest. Edwards said that standing water in some row crop areas of the region has made it challenging for farmers to plant sunflowers and other oilseed crops. “For existing crops, some fields have lodged wheat, barley or oats, and diseases like wheat scab may become an issue,” Edwards said.

In western South Dakota the rainfall in June created exceptional grazing and haying conditions for many western South Dakota producers, and stock ponds are full to overflowing.

July is typically one of the wettest months of the year for most of the eastern counties, with 2 to 4 inches on average.

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