By Jack Caudill
The drought situation in South Dakota just keeps getting worse. For the first time this year, parts of the state are up to exceptional drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor Map. Exceptional drought is as high as the scale goes.
That area includes parts of eight counties in the southeast corner of the state and a part of Shannon County here in western South Dakota.
Seventy percent of the state of Nebraska is in that exceptional category.
South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem says she wants to get legislation through to help.
Noem says, "The best thing we could do in light of the drought situation is to get a farm bill done. A five-year farm bill would bring a lot of certainty to our ag producers right now. And currently, we don't have any federal disaster programs for livestock guys. So that's what we really need to do is to make sure we get that farm bill done, get those livestock programs back into place so we have somewhat of a safety net during these tough times."
Noem says Congress goes back to work on Monday. She says if the farm bill isn't scheduled for a House vote by Sept. 15, they can try for a discharge petition to speed the process.