SD Soybean Checkoff is supporting the upgrade and expansion of SDSU's Mesonet

October 20, 2022

A mesonet is a network of weather stations that are placed closely together and report every few minutes to capture what meteorologists call mesoscale weather – finer scale, more dynamic weather.

SDSU is being funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service to install and maintain stations across the Upper Missouri River Basin to improve monitoring for flood and drought.

Twenty-two of the Mesonet’s stations have already been upgraded. An additional 129 installations and upgrades will take place over the next five years. The expanded Mesonet will put nearly every acre in the state within 20 miles of a station.

The stations will boast improved wind measurements, monitoring of the moisture and temperature profiles of the soil, precipitation reports year-round and more. The stations are also equipped with weather cameras.

The South Dakota Soybean Checkoff has supported the Mesonet Spray Tool that provides updates on weather every 5 minutes with the ability to send weather records by email. The Council has also funded the augmentation of these stations with the sensors needed to report inversions that may cause issues for sprayers.

On Thursday August 25th, South Dakota State University held a ribbon cutting event for a newly upgraded Mesonet weather station in Sioux Falls. The event highlighted the effort to install 150+ Mesonet stations across the state. South Dakota Soybean Executive Director Jerry Schmitz joined Senator Mike Rounds, Governor Kristi Noem, SDSU President Barry Dunn, and others to speak about the positive impact the upgraded and expanded Mesonet will have.

Live and archived data from the Mesonet are available at

SD Soybean Executive Director Jerry Schmitz

Ribbon cutting and the newly upgraded SDSU Mesonet weather station in Sioux Falls (from left to right) SDSU Extension Director Karla Trautman, Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance board members Elizabeth Wakeman and Reno Red Cloud, Col. Mark Himes of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Governor Kristi Noem, SDSU Agricultural Experiment Station Director Dr. Bill Gibbons, Senator Mike Rounds, Mesonet Operations Manager and Project Lead Nathan Edwards, SDSU President Dr. Barry Dunn, Kevin Low and Marina Skumanich of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Sioux Falls City Engineer Andrew Berg.