SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Overall drought conditions have improved in South Dakota, though spotty rain over the past week led to improvements in some areas and worsening conditions in others.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows 77 percent of the state in some stage of drought, down from 82 percent last week.

The Drought Monitor says there was improvement in a one-to-two-county-wide band from northeast to central South Dakota. However, counties along the southwestern edge of South Dakota’s drought-afflicted region missed out on the rains and saw an expansion of moderate and severe drought.

There are still no areas of exceptional drought in the state, as there are in neighboring North Dakota.

Farmers and ranchers in several counties are eligible for aid due to disaster declarations in the Dakotas by the federal government.

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