South Dakota: Plant Hardiness Zones, Climate & Soil Conditions

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South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States.

The state is bordered by the states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming. South Dakota is not a populous state.

The climate of South Dakota is continental, with hot summers and cold winters.

The economy of South Dakota is based on agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.

The state is a leading producer of corn, wheat, and soybeans. Other important agricultural products include cattle, hogs, sheep, and dairy products.

Tourism is also important to the state’s economy, with attractions such as Mount Rushmore National Monument, the Badlands, and the Black Hills.

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Let us first check out the US Plant Hardiness Zone Map of the state.

Plant Hardiness Zone Map for South Dakota


South Dakota has a temperate continental type of climate with warm and moderately humid summers and dry and cold winters. 

Summers range from warm to hot with an average high temperature of 80-90°F in the peak of July.

Winters are severely cold in January, with temperatures below freezing, while average low temperatures drop to 10°F in the majority of the state.


The state is prone to thunderstorms and tornadoes, mainly in the southeastern part.  

The southeastern regions receive 25 inches while the Black Hills see more than 30 inches of annual rain.

Snowfall in the mountain ranges is more than 100 inches, while the plains regularly experience snow during the winter.

Soil Type

Below is the map showing the ecoregions of the state.

Now, let us understand the soil orders of the state.

Soil Order Of South Dakota

Soil / Sub OrderLocationCharacteristics
Mollisols/Ustolls and UdollsUdolls in the northern glaciated plain and Ustolls in the northwestern glaciated plains and Great plains1. Ustolls are the more or less freely drained Mollisols of sub-humid to semiarid climates.
2. Udolls are the more or less freely drained Mollisols of humid climates.
Entisols/Orthents and FluventsIn the eastern part of the state1. Orthents are found on the recent erosional surfaces
2. Fluvents are the more or less freely drained Entisols that formed in recent water-deposited sediments
Alfisols/UstalfsIn the western part1. Ustalfs have a ustic soil moisture regime
Vertisols/Torrerts and UstertsIn the northwestern glaciated plains and great plains1. Torrerts are the Vertisols of arid climates.
2. Usterts receive low amounts of rainfall during the summer and crack open and close once or twice during normal years.
Inceptisols/UsteptsIn the southern part of the great plains1. Ustepts are freely drained Inceptisols that have a ustic moisture regime.

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