Stephen Lee / Pierre Capital Journal
BISON, S.D. — Richard Seidel, the longtime owner of Bison Grain, a family business for 60 years in Bison, was sentenced this week to 75 years in prison for kidnapping, raping and assaulting a family member while using a gun two years ago in the small town of 333 in northwest South Dakota. Perkins County State’s Attorney Shane Penfield, who prosecuted the 57-year-old Seidel, said state Circuit Judge Eric Strawn on Tuesday, Nov. 5, imposed a set of consecutive sentences on the grain dealer.
PIERRE, S.D. — Not in a generation, at least, has there been a year like 2019 for South Dakota farmers not being able to get into their fields to plant or harvest crops, or spray them in between. Since May 1, only 95 days have been “suitable for field work,” for the state’s farmers, according to numbers calculated by Erik Gerlach at the National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Sioux Falls. That’s a month less of field work possible this year than in the same five-month span in an average year.
BISON, S.D. — A 57-year-old Bison man was convicted recently of beating, choking, kidnapping and raping a family member and is in jail awaiting a sentence that could mean life in prison. Richard Seidel, the owner and manager of the large Bison Grain Company in Bison, had been free on $1 million cash bond on the charges laid in November 2017 by Perkins County State’s Attorney Shane Penfield based on a grand jury’s indictment. Penfield initially charged Seidel with attempted murder, but amended the charges soon after his arrest.
South Dakota’s corn crop remains well behind normal rates of maturity after another short week of fieldwork because of more rain and wet conditions, according to the weekly crop progress report from USDA’s South Dakota National Agricultural Statistics Service based in Sioux Falls. Only 4.2 days were fit for fieldwork in the week ending Sunday, July 21, NASS reported on Monday. That continues a remarkable trend this season of less than normal time for farmers to get their fieldwork done due to rain, mud and floods. It's led to late crops in most fields.
ONIDA, S.D. — About four years after dirt first was moved on the site just south of Onida, Ringneck Energy’s ethanol plant finally is in full production, turning 80,000 bushels of corn every day into 225,000 gallons of ethanol. The winter blizzards and spring rains helped delay the completion of construction of the plant, just the latest issues that have kept things from going as swiftly as the company had hoped.
PIERRE, S.D.—A rainy October following on the heels of a wet September chased drought just about out of South Dakota, according to the latest map released by the U.S. Drought Monitor operated out of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. As of the report released last week based on conditions Oct. 16, 92 percent of the state is free of any sort of drought condition, and 77 percent of the state was free of not only any level of drought, but even of any "abnormally dry" conditions; that's up from only 64 percent a week earlier, Oct. 9.
PIERRE, S.D.—They're getting the NAFTA band back together and some farm interests are hoping they're going to rock. That was the news from this week: U.S. trade officials inked a deal with Canadian trade officials that would reprise the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since Mexico signed a NAFTA pact with U.S. trade negotiators in August, that re-forms the trio that forged NAFTA in 1994.
PIERRE, S.D.—Even as farmers in central South Dakota are replanting fields wrecked by hail storms 10 days ago, harvest has started, too, as the first bushels of winter wheat have come off. Last week, Tom Young of Onida was out planting sunflowers on ground where just a couple months earlier he had planted field peas. The storm consisting of high winds, heavy rains and lots of hail cut the field peas down. It was part of a 50-miles-long path about two miles wide in the Pierre area. Others, too, were replanting hail-blasted fields in a late-season gamble.
MILLER, S.D.— Lee Conkey watched to the west Saturday night as a tornado came right at his farm home 13 miles northeast of Miller in central South Dakota. The hail and winds and rain already were doing damage to his corn and soybean fields. "I stood and watched it approach until debris was hitting the house," he said on Monday. "I noticed the flagpole was snapped off and my mailbox was down." He quickly joined his wife and two children, ages 15 and 11, in the basement. "They were scared," he said.
PIERRE, S.D. — Pierre experienced record snow and cold Saturday as a late-season blizzard roared over South Dakota, dropping as much as 20 inches of snow on some sites, including Winner. The record 8 inches of snow that fell on Pierre is recorded by the National Weather Service office in Aberdeen as data for Friday, April 13, besting the previous record for April 13 of 4.1 inches set in 1986.