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    Field Studies: Blowing the whistle on marketing claims

    With technology surrounding today’s culture, data and marketing information has become a key part of life. Farmers, especially have been targeted with large quantities of new technology created to generate more efficient farming systems promising easy real-time data access.

    Read More »

    Field Studies: What do you mean 5 bushels per acre is not significant?

    Utilizing sound research results to help make decisions on the farm is a wise business practice. It can be confusing, however, when you see two numbers that are clearly not the same labeled as “not significantly different.”

    Read More »

    S.D. Riparian Buffer Classification Program: Signup deadline Oct. 15

    During the 2017 SD Legislative Session, Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 66 (SB 66), also known as the “buffer strip” bill. Essentially, the bill provides an incentive for landowners to plant perennial vegetation on land adjoining qualified lakes, rivers, or streams via a property tax adjustment in order to improve water quality.

    Read More »

    Farmers and Ranchers Needed for Survey

    SDSU Extension is devoted to meeting the needs of South Dakota farmers and ranchers in the state. If you are 18 years-of-age or older and farming or ranching is your occupation, please consider completing a 10-15 minute survey that would help us acquire information to design and implement future programs to serve farm and ranch families.

    Read More »

    ¿Cómo puedes prevenir problemas de salud causados por el calor?

    Se espera que en las próximas semanas haya temperaturas y humedad más altas de lo normal, lo que puede producir un golpe de calor. Esta situación, típica de los meses de verano, es especialmente crítica para todos aquellos que trabajan bajo el sol o están expuestos a condiciones menos favorables en el ambiente de trabajo.

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    Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke: Protecting yourself and your employees

    For those whose livelihood depends upon working outdoors or in less than favorable conditions, the coming weeks look to be quite difficult with higher than normal temperatures and humidity predicted. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness."

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    Breakeven Yields: Corn & Soybeans

    The 2016 U.S. crop-year showed record acreage for soybeans and a large acreage for corn. The combination of more acres, warm temperatures, and adequately-timed rainfall events, resulted in also record yields. According to the NASS stocks for corn and soybeans have been increasing since 2014, a trend that’s likely to continue in 2017.

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    Annual Forages for Feed

    With the early onset of drought, many livestock producers are concerned about feed supplies. Annual forages may be an option for producers on unplanted fields with good moisture reserves or on failed fields when soil moisture levels improve.

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    South Dakota Drought Update: June 6, 2017

    Dryness has been lingering in South Dakota for the last several weeks. The month of May was near average for temperature, and even a little on the cool side for the Eastern region. But now that temperatures have soared into the nineties and above, in combination with some wind, drought conditions have rapidly taken over Northern South Dakota.

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    Cover Crops & Livestock Integration: An opportunity for profit on S.D. farms

    Cover crops have been gaining a reemerging acceptance over the last decade, with very few producers disagreeing about the potential soil health benefits of adding cover crops to their farming operation. However, with low commodity prices producers are trying to reduce expenses on inputs, especially on inputs with a varying or unknown return.

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    Fall Frost/Freeze Dates 2017

    Around this time of year, South Dakotans are expecting a hard frost to bring a conclusion to the growing season. Late September and early October are the average fall frost dates for most areas of the state, particularly in the Eastern Regions.

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    Fall Climate Outlook 2017

    Fall harvest season is upon us, although the corn and soybean crops are slow to mature and dry down this year. Corn in the East Central Region has been slow to progress this year, as it has been behind average on accumulating growing degree days throughout the late summer.

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    South Dakota Climate & Drought Summary

    As of August 3, 2017, just over 82% of South Dakota is in drought. The area of drought has hovered around 80 percent for the last few weeks. The South and Southeast have gradually worsened recently, due to both dryness and heat.

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    Salvaging Drought Stressed Corn in Mid-Summer

    As drought conditions deepen in South Dakota and the surrounding region, many producers are evaluating the status of their corn crop and feed supplies. In some instances the likelihood of corn making a harvestable grain crop is so low that the best option is to take an early forage harvest.

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    Fall Noxious Weed Control

    Fall weed control can give the best weed control but it also can be a poor time. If the noxious weeds were sprayed or clipped earlier this summer and there is good weed growth now, this would be a good time to spray these weeds and get a good kill.

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    Cover Crops & Livestock Integration: An opportunity for profit on S.D. farms

    Cover crops have been gaining a reemerging acceptance over the last decade, with very few producers disagreeing about the potential soil health benefits of adding cover crops to their farming operation. However, with low commodity prices producers are trying to reduce expenses on inputs, especially on inputs with a varying or unknown return.

    Read More »

    S.D. Riparian Buffer Classification Program: Signup deadline Oct. 15

    During the 2017 SD Legislative Session, Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 66 (SB 66), also known as the “buffer strip” bill. Essentially, the bill provides an incentive for landowners to plant perennial vegetation on land adjoining qualified lakes, rivers, or streams via a property tax adjustment in order to improve water quality.

    Read More »

    Playing in the Sandbox at Dakotafest 2017

    During Dakotafest 2017 (August 15 - 17) under the SDSU Extension tent, both young and old alike will have the opportunity to literally play in a sandbox—and possibly learn a little something about how watersheds work at the same time.

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    Understanding Drought & Heat Stress in Crops

    South Dakota has seen higher than average temperatures in the last few weeks and the current U.S. drought monitor shows that almost 80% of the state is facing moisture deficit conditions with Central and North Central region facing the worst.

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    Agricultural Water Testing Project

    Subsurface drainage water can look clean to the eye when coming out the end of a pipe. However, it doesn’t always mean it is. Tile water can carry with it high concentrations of dissolved nutrients such as nitrate-nitrogen which can contribute to the eutrophication of surface water. Eutrophication can be defined as the enrichment of a water body with nutrients; stimulating the growth of aquatic plants and depleting the dissolved oxygen content of the water as the plants decompose.

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    Soil Health Principles

    Soil health is a very important natural resource concern; however, knowledge of how to build soil health is not widespread. The principles of soil health should be addressed as often as possible. At a recent South Dakota Soil Health Challenge meeting in Mitchell, Jay Fuhrer (USDA-NRCS) presented his five principles of soil health: 1. Soil Armor,  2. Minimizing Soil Disturbance, 3. Plant Diversity, 4. Continual live plant root and 5. Livestock Integration.

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    Soil Testing Labs

    Crop Producers, agronomists, gardeners, homeowners and anyone else who is thinking about taking soil samples this fall or next spring need to be aware that South Dakota State University no longer offers commercial testing. (Effective Oct, 2011). Below is a list of nearby state or private laboratories that can be used for crop production fields, gardens and lawns. The private laboratories are not necessarily recommended or endorsed, however many will give university recommendations when asked. Crop producers, agronomists, gardeners, and home owners with questions on sample submissions, analysis charges and recommendations should contact the laboratory of interest.

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    Cover Crop Adoption: Farmers’ perceived benefits & barriers

    Cover crops are generally defined as crops planted between cash crops to cover and protect the soil. Some demonstrated benefits of cover crops include: reduced soil erosion, increased soil organic matter, increased biological diversity, increased nitrogen supply, and weed control. Depending on the farmers’ objectives, different species of cover crops can be planted. For example, if a farmer’s main objective is to increase nitrogen supply, then legume cover crops best suited to the farm area should be selected.

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    Gypsum Misconceptions

    The consideration of gypsum as a soil amendment has become a popular topic in crop production agriculture. However, correctly understanding the chemical function of gypsum and lime in soil is needed to properly place this amendment. Gypsum, which is calcium sulfate after applied to the soil and dissolved in the water it disassociates into calcium and sulfate.

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    New SDSU Extension report provides status of native grasslands & woodlands in Eastern S.D.

    SDSU Extension, in partnership with a variety of non-government, state, and federal agencies, has recently released a public report on the status of native plant communities in Eastern South Dakota. The report is based on a comprehensive look at the Eastern South Dakota landscape that incorporated the use of field and tract-level historic Farm Service Agency (FSA) cropland history, coupled with high resolution aerial photographs provided through the USDA National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP).

    Read More »

    Field Studies: Blowing the whistle on marketing claims

    With technology surrounding today’s culture, data and marketing information has become a key part of life. Farmers, especially have been targeted with large quantities of new technology created to generate more efficient farming systems promising easy real-time data access.

    Read More »

    Field Studies: What do you mean 5 bushels per acre is not significant?

    Utilizing sound research results to help make decisions on the farm is a wise business practice. It can be confusing, however, when you see two numbers that are clearly not the same labeled as “not significantly different.”

    Read More »

    S.D. Riparian Buffer Classification Program: Signup deadline Oct. 15

    During the 2017 SD Legislative Session, Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 66 (SB 66), also known as the “buffer strip” bill. Essentially, the bill provides an incentive for landowners to plant perennial vegetation on land adjoining qualified lakes, rivers, or streams via a property tax adjustment in order to improve water quality.

    Read More »

    Farmers and Ranchers Needed for Survey

    SDSU Extension is devoted to meeting the needs of South Dakota farmers and ranchers in the state. If you are 18 years-of-age or older and farming or ranching is your occupation, please consider completing a 10-15 minute survey that would help us acquire information to design and implement future programs to serve farm and ranch families.

    Read More »

    Field Studies: Replicated Comparisons vs. Side-by-Side Comparisons

    The season is upon us and producers are heading out to the field to get their crops planted and established. Producers are interested in knowing what works best, yields the most, and especially what is most profitable during these tight economic times. Some may want to compare products or practices on their own farm or look at information from other farms or industry studies.

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    The A, B, Cs of Food Production: Almonds, Bees, and Cooperation

    According to 2015 UN estimations by 2050 the U.S. will have a population of 402 million, 25% greater than today. In order to feed this population and sustain the country’s economy through commodities’ exports, agricultural output needs to increase by a similar amount by that year. These figures are projections based on current population and food production dynamics. One critical component of this equation is going to be the presence of enough pollinator activity. Pollinators are crucial to maintain global food production and a healthy ecosystem.

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    Four Feedback Foes

    As a supervisor you should set time aside at least once a year, to conduct formal performance reviews for your employees. The value in doing so will definitely outweigh the time it will take out of your busy schedule to conduct this important management element. Annual reviews should be a productive time to have an open discussion with employees, share your thoughts about their work and performance progress, discuss their future with your farm/ranch or agri-business, and allow for focused discussion without distractions.

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    Five Tips on Time Management

    Have you ever heard anyone say they are not busy? I am guessing not. No matter how much technology we have at our finger tips or improved ways to complete an agricultural related task, you won’t find many people saying they don’t have their plate full or even over-flowing. Heavy workloads, and the feeling of being overwhelmed or stressed does not may our days very enjoyable. Is the reason for always seeming busy a time management issue? and learning some important tips to help your organize your time and help with focus.

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