SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Ongoing drought conditions in South Dakota have prompted Gov. Dennis Daugaard to issue an emergency declaration which eases hay and transportation restrictions.

The drought has reduced grass and hay supplies. The declaration means farmers and ranchers can cut and bale highway ditches adjacent to their property to keep their livestock fed.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation has suspended mowing operations along those ditches until July 5 in order to give farmers access. The governor’s order also authorizes producers to travel statewide without a commercial driver’s license in order to get feed to the drought stricken area.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows about 80 percent of the state being either abnormally dry or in some stage of drought, up just slightly from last week.

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