The Missouri River bisects the state north and south and this river and its tributaries form the principle drainage system of the state. The greater part of South Dakota consists of plains, but a small mountainous area, the Black Hills, occurs in western South Dakota. The climate is continental. Temperatures of all seasons are variable but extremes in temperature are moderated as one travels from the northwest to the southeast. The average number of frost free days ranges from 100 in the Black Hills to 160 in south eastern South Dakota. The low temperature extremes in winter and dry, often semi arid climate in summer limit the range of horticultural crops which can be grown and determine one of the primary directions of research in horticulture, namely the securing of cultivars of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants adapted to the climate. The commercial value of horticultural products is not high compared with livestock and field crops which are the chief source of income in the state. Flower crops and bedding plants account for most greenhouse production. Vegetable crops and strawberries are produced for local consumption. Potatoes are grown for both local and interstate markets. Nursery crop production and garden centers to serve horticulture in local areas are an important phase of horticulture.
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Last updated: Mon Dec 22 18:32:18 NFT 2003