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Published September 20, 2012, 10:55 AM

Drought worsens in Dakotas

Ninety-six percent of South Dakota and 88 percent of North Dakota mired in drought.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Drought conditions continue to worsen in the Dakotas.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows 96 percent of South Dakota is mired in some form of drought, up more than 4 percent from last week. Nearly 88 percent of North Dakota is in drought, up about 7 percent.

Conditions are worse in South Dakota, where about 45 percent of the state is in extreme drought and another 5 percent is in exceptional drought. North Dakota has no areas in either category, though more than one-fourth of the state is in the severe category.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced nearly $12 million in additional aid for 22 states including South Dakota to help farmers and ranchers apply conservation practices that reduce the impacts of drought.