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Rain finally comes to South Dakota

Lee Lubbers gets that much-needed moisture for planting in South Dakota, while Chad Henderson takes advantage of dry days to get his crop planted in Alabama.


Lee Lubbers of Gregory, South Dakota, grew up in the farming tradition, and remembers well using leftover scholarship money as the down payment for his first tractor and rent for 200 acres. Today, he farms more than 17,000 acres of dryland soybeans, corn, and wheat. Lubbers says one of the most important things to him is to always be learning and challenging himself to build an operation and a legacy that the next generation can be proud of.

Cold and windy has been the theme for April. It seems like the wind blows harder every day. Temperatures have been way too cold to germinate corn or soybeans, so the planters remain on standby at this point.

Lee Lubbers' brown lawn in South Dakota
Photo credit: XtremeAg

It’s been as dry as I can remember ... the grass in my lawn doesn’t even want to green up this spring. It finally started raining this past Friday. It rained most of the day and night. Our area received 4 to 5 inches, and we soaked it up like a sponge. When it dries up, we will have moisture to plant into. Before this rain there wasn’t enough moisture to sprout soybeans and for our corn it had to be no-till only to have a chance for finding any leftover moisture. Soil temperatures were still barely reaching 40°F. prior to the rain.

Map of South Dakota precipitation
Photo credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet

We were able to spray corn pre’s on our tile line fields last week for just one day until the wind picked back up again. Everyone has gotten tired of the 40 to 70 mph winds around here. It is blowing the topsoil off of fields without protection.

Field of South Dakota crops in spring
Photo credit: XtremeAg

The rain will give us enough moisture to plant for a while, and the wheat will take off and grow. It was mostly stalled out due to the dryness and cold temperatures. The rain will give the cattle guys a first cutting of hay and something for getting the grass going in the pastures. All in all, this rain was an absolute blessing and everyone is thankful for it.


Chad Henderson is part of a fifth-generation farming operation in Madison, Alabama. Henderson Farms operates over 8,000 acres of dryland and irrigated corn, dryland soybeans, wheat, and dryland and irrigated double-crop soybeans. When not farming, Chad can be found carrying on another proud family tradition as a drag racer for Henderson Racing.

We are wrapping up our corn planting now as we are finally getting dry enough to get back in the field. We’ve been running all day and late into the night when the weather allows. As soon as we had a few warm days the corn emerged, and everything looks great at this point early in the season. We are now planting soybeans.

John Deere planter in Alabama in April 2022
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Our wheat has been sprayed for the last time. The head scab application was made last week. In about a month it will be ready to harvest. The combines are ready once the wheat is. This winter we took time to go ahead and get the machines ready. Our concaves are in place, the machine is all greased, and all the parts that needed replacing have been replaced. I really recommend going ahead and getting your combines out before you need them. Look over the machine to see what parts you will need to replace and get them ordered immediately so you have them this fall. One of the biggest lessons of 2022 so far is to be proactive when it comes to maintenance to account for parts availability and shipping delays.

Xtreme Ag logo is a team of the nation’s top producers who have come together to share their experience, expertise, knowledge, and farming practices with other farmers. Members get access to exclusive content from the team as well as one-on-one support for their own farming operation. Visit for more information.

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