The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows all of South Dakota and more than half of North Dakota is in a drought.
Another third of the state is abnormally dry.
KX has details on how planted winter wheat seeds are fairing during these dry times.
The winter wheat area of the US is extremely dry--putting farmers in a tough situation.
Steve Dvorak is an agronomist for Ducks Unlimited.
Dvorak says a dry fall has our winter wheat crop struggling.
(Steve Dvorak / Ducks Unlimited Agronomist) "The crop is under development, we have some snow in this part of the world and that is good, but we are still concerned that it is a little bit weakened and how things play out for the rest of the winter and especially as spring breaks will determine the fate of the crop."
(Sarah Gustin / email@example.com) "When comparing this winter to last winter, these extra snow inches are the answers to their worries"
(Steve Dvorak / Ducks Unlimited Agronomist) "The snow cover is important from the standpoint of stopping the desiccation process. When it was open and left barren. We still evaporate in the winter months a fair amount of moisture and now we put a blanket, a seal over it and that brings that process to a stop."
Dvorak says with enough snow the crop will even survive when temperatures fall well below zero.
(Steve Dvorak / Ducks Unlimited Agronomist) "In the depth of the winter in January and February when winter can get it's coldest, we can actually take temperatures quite cold. It's usually the spring of the year, March and April when we are breaking dormancy thawing and freezing back where we lose our stands and that is probably going to be the case again this spring. If it unfolds like spring did we can suffer through we are fairly weakened stand and it will regain it's vigor and establish and take off and grow, but if we go thru a lot of warming up and freezing back down, that's where we take a weakened stand out fairly quickly."
Dvorak estimates farmers planted about 350-thousand winter wheat acres in North Dakota this fall.