Drought and South Dakota, especially the western half of the state, are old acquaintances. The longstanding relationship is being renewed in a big way this summer.

"Some places are as dry as I've ever seen them" said James Halverson, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

Drought's expanding reach is evident in the latest crop progress report released June 29 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report reflected conditions on June 28.

The report found that just 49% of pasture and range in South Dakota was rated good or excellent on June 29, with 37% fair and 14% poor or very poor. A week earlier, 59% was in good or excellent shape, 32% fair and 8% fair or very poor. Put differently, the condition of about 10% of pasture and range in the state deteriorated between June 21 and June 28.

Pasture and range in North Dakota fared no better in the new report, with conditions declining between June 21 and June 28. Just 46% of range and pasture in the state was rated good or excellent, with 38% in fair shape and 16% poor or very poor on June 28, compared with 52%, 33% and 15%, respectively, a week earlier.

Overall range and pasture conditions in Minnesota, Montana and Iowa are better than those in North Dakota and South Dakota and showed relatively little change between June 21 and June 28.

In South Dakota, "It's just so spotty," with moisture conditions varying greatly within the same county and even from one end of a ranch to another, Halverson said.

Meaningful amounts of rain in the near future would help pastures and some hay fields, though some hay fields in the hardest-hit areas already are ruined, he said.

Here's a closer look at what the June 29 crop progress report says about corn, wheat and soybeans, the region's three major crops. Conditions in North Dakota, which was hammered with uncooperative weather last fall and this spring, continues to fare worse overall than other states in the area:

Spring wheat

Montana — 81% was rated good or excellent, 16% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

Minnesota — 80% was in good or excellent shape, with 15% percent fair and 5% poor or very poor.

North Dakota — 61% was in good or excellent condition, with 32% fair and 7% poor or very poor.

South Dakota — 67% was rated good or excellent, with 27% fair and 6% poor or very poor.

Corn

Iowa — 85% was in good or excellent shape, 13% fair and 2% poor or very poor.

Minnesota — 84% was rated good or excellent, 13% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

North Dakota — 67% was in good or excellent condition, with 27% fair and 6% poor or very poor.

South Dakota — 80% was rated good or excellent, 17% percent fair and 3% poor or very poor.

Soybeans

Minnesota — 81% was in good or excellent shape, 16% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

North Dakota — 70% was rated good or excellent, 26% percent fair and 4% poor or very poor.

South Dakota — 80% was in good or excellent condition, 17% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

Iowa — 83% was rated good or excellent, 15% fair and 2% fair or very poor.