Harmful Algal Blooms (or HABs) are a frequent and frustrating occurrence in many of our surface waterbodies in South Dakota and elsewhere. As a resident of Mitchell, SD, I see the consequences that these annual, summer-long blooms can have on both the quality of Lake Mitchell and quality of life, as well as the extraordinary financial investment the City of Mitchell is currently considering to combat the issue.
This month, we received reports of high numbers of black grass bugs showing up in parts of Southwestern South Dakota. However, the bugs were mostly isolated to grassy areas dominated by crested wheatgrass.
True white grubs, the larvae of June beetles, have the potential to be significant pests of pasture and rangeland in South Dakota. The grubs feed on grass roots, leaving behind large circular patches of dead grass and bare ground.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) recently announced that they had completed a major overhaul to their UNL water website and contacted SDSU Extension to see if we would help spread the word.
I recently came across an article from the Associated Press addressing road salt and the nation's waterways. Many of you may have seen the article too as a number of local media outlets elected to carry it. While road salt is almost a necessity in our part of the country, it can come at a cost.
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.
We have been monitoring grasshopper populations in the Eastern part of the state throughout the summer. Initially populations appeared to be relatively low, but we are now observing and also receiving reports of grasshopper populations that are at thresholds or have greatly exceeded them.
In recent years, the Western Corn Belt has been highlighted as an area where cropland acres have expanded at the expense of grassland cover loss. To better understand land use change from a producer’s perspective, a survey on land operators’ views was carried out in Eastern South Dakota and North Dakota in spring 2015.
When controlling grassland weeds, the mindset of row crop weed control is put into practice too often. In most cases, broadcast control of weeds in grasslands is rarely necessary. Most often, spot or zone spraying can be used more effectively to manage the noxious and problematic weeds. What is zone spraying? Well, let us take a moment and consider this in a different context. For example, in basketball when a player is on defense, he is not chasing other players all over the court. Instead, he is defending a certain area and not the whole basketball court.
In South Dakota, true white grubs have steadily become a significant issue for rangeland and pasture. During the second and third year of their lifecycle, the white grub larvae feed on a large amount of root tissue and leave behind barren or brown circular patches in rangelands. The adults of the true white grub are commonly referred to as June beetles.