Since our last update, a few things have changed including an additional available wetland consultant, the number of completed determinations and the backlog of requests in the state of South Dakota.
SD Corn is currently aware of three certified consultants available to South Dakota producers:
Brian Top, Hefty Seed Co., 605-359-5108
Karen Cameron-Howell, Wetland Specialists Inc., 605-695-3189
Wayne Bachman, Wetland Specialists Inc., 605-201-1097
The names and information of consultants will continue to be updated and available at:
Besides the private consultants, the South Dakota NRCS has added 10 additional staff (7 new hires through short-term federal funding and 3 reassignments) to work solely on wetland determinations. In our last update, these 10 were still working with mentors but are now working independently in the field. They are divided into 10 different NRCS offices including: Brookings, Clark, Clear Lake, Flandreau, Huron, Madison, Milbank, Mitchell, Salem and Sioux Falls.
Since releasing the news of available consultants and additional hires, the backlog of determinations has actually grown, but so has the number of completions. According to the South Dakota NRCS office, the state completed approximately 4,950 wetland determinations in 2011. That’s more than double the 2010 completion total of approximately 2,000.
The backlog of requests has indeed grown with the increased demand for drainage. As 2012 begins, approximately 5,504 requests remain outstanding (4,000 for new drainage and 1,100 for maintenance). But the good news is that the mild has allowed some field work to continue.