Crop performance testing results are released annually through the activities of SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.
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.
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.
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.
Corn stalk rots can cause yield losses through premature plant death, which leads to reduced grain fill, plant lodging which results in harvest problems, and lodged plants may develop ear molds if the ears touch the soil.
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.
We have received several reports of spider mites showing up in corn throughout South Dakota. The two species of spider mites that may be present in corn are the two-spotted spider mite and the banks grass mite.
Two corn samples submitted to the South Dakota State University Plant Diagnostic Clinic from Turner County were confirmed to have bacterial leaf streak. This is the first report of this disease in South Dakota in 2017.
While scouting corn the last few weeks, we have been noticing several fields containing small populations of aphids. At this point in the season, such aphid populations do not pose a threat to yield. However, this presents an opportunity to discuss when to worry about aphids in corn.
Since corn silage harvest has started to occur throughout the state we have been receiving a lot of questions regarding corn smut and whether or not it is a concern if fed to livestock. Common corn smut is considered a minor disease of economic importance in South Dakota.