Combined South Dakota Ag And Environment Dept began operations this week

PIERRE, S.D.(WNAX)- The newly combined South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources began operations this week. Department Secretary Hunter Roberts says the jury is out with those who are skeptical about the merger of the agencies and what effectiveness they will have. He says operations for both ends of the department are proceeding well.

He says one of their goals is to help farmers and ranchers be profitable with their operations because that’s a key for the entire state economy.

Roberts says both the Agriculture and Environmental divisions are doing what they normally do.

Roberts says DANR is keeping an eye on the drought monitor which has shown the Northwest and North Central parts of the state in D-3 condition. He says May 1st is a critical date as if D-3 continues there, that’ll trigger a drought disaster designation that could make producers eligible for low interest loans and livestock forage assistance.