South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will allow ditch mowing earlier than usual to increase availability of forage during drought
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order on June 29 allowing ditch mowing to increase hay access for livestock producers.
Drought conditions across the region have decreased the availability of feed for livestock.
“Growing up on the family ranch, I know how difficult it can be to feed cattle during dry times,” Noem said. “This increased flexibility will allow producers to immediately gain access to hay for their livestock. With a mild winter and early spring, most of the pheasant hatch is well behind us, and we do not expect this move to affect pheasant numbers.”
The executive order became effective immediately and will last through August 31.
According to the executive order, more than 98% of South Dakota is experiencing “abnormally dry, or moderate to extreme drought conditions” which threaten livestock, people and property. “Moderate to extreme drought conditions are observed on farm and ranch land throughout the entire state” and “drought-stricken pastures and hay fields have left agricultural producers with inadequate forage for their livestock.”
The executive order allows for mowing of the right-of-way east of the Missouri River, which is usually prohibited until after July 10.