The lack of snow in South Dakota is causing concerns for winter wheat and alfalfa farmers, but the mild temperatures so far this winter have been good for livestock.
The Agriculture Department in its latest crop, livestock and weather report rates snow cover protection for winter wheat as 95 percent poor and for alfalfa 96 percent poor. The report says the only snow cover reported in South Dakota at the end of December was in the northern Black Hills.
Temperatures during most of the latter part of the month were well above average in South Dakota, and the report says livestock are thriving. Ninety-five percent of cattle and 97 percent of sheep are rated in good to excellent condition.