You wouldn’t think so with the recent return of winter – but there is a shortage of moisture in the soil in our state.

A new South Dakota Ag Department report shows moisture at short or very short supply in topsoil and subsoil.

That news, of course, comes on the heels of last year’s drought – a drought many South Dakota farmers and ranchers are still feeling the effects of today.

With spring planting scheduled to start soon, it’s more important than ever that we work as a state to conserve water that’s already in short supply.

A good place to start is with a call to South Dakota 811 before you dig.

Do you own drain tile, irrigation lines, buried power or any other buried services that enter the public right of way? Did you know that it is a legal requirement to register those buried facilities with South Dakota One Call? Are you aware of how low the cost is to protect your investment?

Registration is easy. Simply click on become a member or email to begin the discussion about registering your lines and becoming a member of South Dakota One Call.

Once you are a member you will be notified each time someone calls the South Dakota 811 Center about working near your buried lines. This will give you a chance to mark and protect those facilities to avoid damage by excavators working in the area.

There is a one-time $35 sign-up fee, no matter how many lines you have or how much property you own. You will be charged only about $1 each time you’re notified by email that someone plans to dig near your property.

Having a water line hit by someone who didn’t call 811 – or who did call 811, but the line wasn’t registered – is something that can be avoided.

Conserving South Dakota water that’s needed for crops and livestock may be hard to think of while it’s still cold outside, but spring is on its way.

Be ready for it by joining South Dakota 811.

Until next week, safe digging!

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