The latest drought monitor released on Friday shows 50% of South Dakota is in the extreme drought category. Counties in far SE South Dakota in the exceptional category, which is the worst.
As we approach the Fall season and the holidays are just three months away, some things we don't often think about are Christmas trees.
They are the sights and smells that take us back to the holidays, fresh Christmas trees that many of us can't do without.
This year, some of those trees are in jeopardy and Mother Nature is to blame.
"For Christmas Tree sales, if people come to cut them, we don't have the lasting ability of those trees in their homes and they shed needles much quicker, it's a quality concern," Kate Parkinson said.
Parkinson owns the Emerald Tree Farm and Stonegate Landscaping near Brandon. For most tree farms, it takes years to prep the trees for those who come and pick them.
"We're in a pretty extreme climate for trees, tall grass prairie. Trees wouldn't choose to grow here unless we plant them here. Our trees look good since we've been watering them since the end of June," Parkinson said.
To keep them looking good, Parkinson waters the entire 5-acre farm at least once every three weeks. What makes it tough, though, is little moisture in the soil dries them out much faster.
"If the people come out into the field and the trees look a little dull in color or have dead needles hanging, that could be the result of a drought, that doesn't mean the tree is bad or it couldn't recover. That's not going to help the current year," Parkinson said.
She says she's not letting the drought get the best of her... or her farm.
"I hope this is the only year we're this hot and dry. If we're this hot next year, well we really need to get some rain," she said.
The drought has also made a big impact on leaves changing colors, this year. Peak season is the beginning of October, but with the drought and water restrictions on some cities, it's hard to maintain trees in yards.
Parkinson suggests taking a hose to your trees at home once a week to help them stay fresh and produce those fall colors.
Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:40:05 GMT
If James McVay is put to death within the next 9 months, it will mark the third time during Governor Dennis Daugaard's first term in office that someone will be put to death in South Dakota. We wantedMore >>
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard tells KSFY News he supports the death penalty, but also says overseeing the process of capital punishment does weigh on him.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:19:18 GMT
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is urging communities to plan events to commemorate 125 years of statehood. The governor's office says participating communities will be eligibleMore >>
Communities interested in hosting a celebration must form a local committee and fill out an application.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:12:33 GMT
Dr. Jeff Krall kept hearing about the same eye-related symptoms, resulting in another headache for his patients. After ten years of research, the Mitchell optometrist came to a conclusion. "We have foundMore >>
The symptoms are quite common - you get sleepy while reading a book or your eyes feel gritty and burn. Suddenly, you've got a headache, which a local optometrist specifically calls an eyeGraine.
Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:00:23 GMT
South Dakota is one of 32 death penalty states and right now, four men sit on death row. They are Charles Russell Rhines, Briley Piper, Rodney Berget, and James McVay - who was sentenced to die Monday.More >>
All four men have been convicted in grisly murders, but deciding whether the death penalty is appropriate is a difficult job.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:30:09 GMT
We tend to learn best from experience and getting a hands on lesson to what we've read and studied. In the medical field it's no different. So how do you treat and simulate a spinal cord emergency? ItMore >>
We tend to learn best from experience and getting a hands on lesson to what we've read and studied. In the medical field it's no different. So how do you treat and simulate a spinal cord emergency? It starts with a simple tackle.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:40:05 GMT
The remains found in a car pulled from Brule Creek in September belong to Pam Jackson and Cheryl Miller. Several clues helped unravel this four-decades-old mystery.More >>
As KSFY News first reported Monday night, the remains found in a car pulled from Brule Creek in September belong to Pam Jackson and Cheryl Miller. And investigators say their death was an accident. Several clues helped unravel this four-decades-old mystery.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 6:42 PM EDT2014-04-15 22:42:39 GMT
It's been on year since a pair of blasts exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line. Now the city has begun to look forward while honoring those who lost their lives and were injured last April. ThisMore >>
An hour after Bruce Allen crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon last year, the unthinkable happened.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-04-15 22:40:44 GMT
A new outdoor pool for Spellerberg Park was shot down by Sioux Falls voters, but now supporters of an indoor pool are making their intentions known. Today, a plan for the enclosed aquatic center was presentedMore >>
A new outdoor pool for Spellerberg Park was shot down by Sioux Falls voters, but now supporters of an indoor pool are making their intentions known.More >>