Farmers discuss dry conditions, variety of topics at roundtable discussion with Rep. Dusty Johnson

June 7, 2021
In The News

VALLEY SPRINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Infrastructure, carbon, trade, taxes and the dry farming season were among the many topics discussed Monday between members of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and South Dakota Soybean Association when they met with U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson at a farm near Valley Springs.

“Goal number one for us should be, make sure that we have a regime where producers can capture the bulk of the value for their conservation practices,” Rep. Johnson said.

The roundtable discussion held inside a Minnehaha County machine shed covered a variety of topics impacting farmers in KELOLAND, including the recent heat.

“Currently we have enough moisture to make it right here where we’re at, but I was telling my kids that the lawn is probably looking as good as it’s going to, from here on it’s going to burn up. We need some more rain,” American Soybean Association president Kevin Scott said.

“Very concerning for our corn crop. We’re not at a high water usage period right now, but we know over the next 30 days as the corn crop progresses, it’s going to demand more and more moisture and with very little subsoil moisture and very little chances of rain in the forecast, it is concerning for our growing season here in 2021,” South Dakota Corn Growers Association president Scott Stahl said.

“We don’t have any predictability about what the future holds there,” Rep. Johnson said.

Representative Johnson says that’s just one reason lawmakers need to focus more on farming.

“That’s why it is that much more important for the Biden administration and for this Congress to get our act together,” he said. “We’re not giving these producers any predictability when it comes to workforce, infrastructure, carbon, trade, taxes. There are a lot of very aggressive proposals that could be bad for farm and ranch country.”

“Anything we can do to help the Ag industry in South Dakota with programs. It’s very important that we get that food into the grocery store through our farms,” Stahl said.

“In South Dakota, we have great representation with our senators and our congressmen, and we really appreciate that, but it’s critical that they know what we’re doing and why, and we know what they’re doing and why,” Scott said.

Johnson highlighted using Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land as more feed or forage for cattle. He said during a normal year they’d want that land idle and to serve as natural habitat, but with the dry weather, it is another option for cattle if needed.