Other Crops

Growing Teff Grass

“Have you considered teff grass?” This is a growing response to those who are looking for more crop choices in their operations. In Western South Dakota the growing interest is linked to no-till systems and cover crops. Teff (Eragrotis tef), is native to Ethiopia in Africa where it is mainly grown for its grain used in making the staple, injera. Although there is an increasing market for its grain, teff is mainly a forage crop in the US.

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Early Winter Storm & Wet Fall: What it means for insect management next year

While the aftermath of winter storm Atlas is still being felt by ranchers, growers of field and forage crops in storm hit areas of western South Dakota might see an unexpected positive outcome for the coming season. The timing of storm and the amount of precipitation might have a negative impact on field insect populations leading to low insect pressure on crops.

Read More »

Interpreting Soil Test Micronutrient Values

Soil analyses prior to planting can be an invaluable tool in determining nutrient application rates and diagnosing potential in-season deficiencies. Overwhelmingly, the focus of these tests is on the primary or macronutrients – Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Typical soil tests often report essential micronutrient contents, termed for their trace amounts found in plants and soil, and these numbers should not be overlooked.

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Glyphosate Resistant Waterhemp: A Growing Problem

Among the four glyphosate resistant weeds in South Dakota, common waterhemp has the potential to have the highest impact areas where a corn-soybean rotation is the mainstay. Thirty years ago waterhemp was only found in the very southeast corner of the state. It was a tough weed to control then and still is.

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Early Winter Storm & Wet Fall: What it means for insect management next year

While the aftermath of winter storm Atlas is still being felt by ranchers, growers of field and forage crops in storm hit areas of western South Dakota might see an unexpected positive outcome for the coming season. The timing of storm and the amount of precipitation might have a negative impact on field insect populations leading to low insect pressure on crops.

Read More »

Interpreting Soil Test Micronutrient Values

Soil analyses prior to planting can be an invaluable tool in determining nutrient application rates and diagnosing potential in-season deficiencies. Overwhelmingly, the focus of these tests is on the primary or macronutrients – Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Typical soil tests often report essential micronutrient contents, termed for their trace amounts found in plants and soil, and these numbers should not be overlooked.

Read More »

Manage Weed Escapes And Prevent Next Year’s Weed Seed Bank

A very important weed management strategy is to reduce the number of weed seeds present in the field and by limiting the potential weed populations during crop production season. This means watching for and managing weed escapes. If allowed to mature and go to seed these weeds will contribute to the next seasons weed seed bank. This is very important as it relates to herbicide resistant weeds.

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Our Changing Soil pH

Soil pH is one of the most basic of soil measurements and one of the most telling for soil productivity. Soil pH can directly influence plant and soil microbial growth. Soil pH can also influence soil nutrient availability, as well as indicate the presence of free lime and an excess of some ions such as sodium and aluminum.

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Cover Crops

Some questions regarding cover crops have arisen lately. Cover crops have been an interesting area of focus for the past 6-7 years. Growing them has included an ongoing learning curve and with each year we gain some insight and knowledge. Last year there were very few acres planted as it was too dry to consider a post- wheat or mid-summer cover crop.

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Surprising Yields With No-Till Cropping Systems

Producers using no-till practices have observed that crop yields can greatly exceed expectations based on nutrient and water supply. For example, Ralph Holzwarth, who farms near Gettysburg, SD, has averaged 150 bu/ac of corn on his farm for the past 6 years. We were surprised with this yield, as corn yields in eastern South Dakota (Brookings County) averaged 140 bu/ac during this same time interval.

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Fall Cover Crops Boost Soil Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Which Can Lead To Reduced Inputs

Fall cover crops provide multiple benefits to producers. These benefits include pathogen and pest protection, drought protection, weed control, reduced soil erosion, nutrient acquisition and retention, increased soil organic matter, and conservation of soil water by improvement of soil structure that increases infiltration and water holding capacity.

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Growing Teff Grass

“Have you considered teff grass?” This is a growing response to those who are looking for more crop choices in their operations. In Western South Dakota the growing interest is linked to no-till systems and cover crops. Teff (Eragrotis tef), is native to Ethiopia in Africa where it is mainly grown for its grain used in making the staple, injera. Although there is an increasing market for its grain, teff is mainly a forage crop in the US.

Read More »

Early Winter Storm & Wet Fall: What it means for insect management next year

While the aftermath of winter storm Atlas is still being felt by ranchers, growers of field and forage crops in storm hit areas of western South Dakota might see an unexpected positive outcome for the coming season. The timing of storm and the amount of precipitation might have a negative impact on field insect populations leading to low insect pressure on crops.

Read More »

An Invitation To View Grassland Research And Demonstration Plots

Grassland research has been conducted at the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm near Brookings since 2000. For the past 2 years, we have been busy re-establishing some of the grassland demonstration plots as well as developing a new brochure that describes the research and demonstration work on grassland agriculture being done on the farm.

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Early Weed Control In Grain Sorghum

Starting of the planting season with a clean field and early postemergence weed control measures in sorghum are critical. A combination of a burndown, preplant/preemergence, and early postemergence weed control timings as needed should be using herbicides with several modes of action to increase broad-spectrum control and reduce development of or management of herbicide resistance in weeds. What herbicide program options do sorghum growers have? Are there any new herbicides labeled for sorghum?

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Late Planting Dates For Crop Insurance

Late planting period starts this weekend (May 25th) for corn in Northern counties of South Dakota. South Dakota producers routinely purchase crop insurance on corn, soybeans, wheat and sunflowers. The most commonly used insurance products have provisions for prevented planting, late planting, replanting, and planting of a second crop. In addition to agronomic considerations for how well a crop may recover or how late a crop could be planted with a reasonable chance of success, several dates are important from an insurance standpoint.

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Soil Moisture And Water Thrifty Crops

Timely rainfall is more critical than normal this growing season. Only the northeast corner of South Dakota has been removed from the drought designation, though it is still abnormally dry. Only 28% of subsoil moisture in the state is rated adequate to surplus in the latest USDA-NASS crop progress and condition report. Growers abandoning winter wheat and seeding a spring crop may want to consider the answers to these questions: 1) Are some crops thriftier with water and 2) did some crops in 2012 deplete soil moisture more than others?

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Sunflower Production in South Dakota

In 2013 South Dakotans planted 617,000 acres of sunflowers. No other state came close to this number of acres. North Dakota was second, planting just under 500,000 acres of sunflowers in 2013. There are two types of sunflowers planted in South Dakota; oilseed types used for birdseed or crushed to make sunflower oil and confection types or those grown for human food markets. Seeds of the two types are easily differentiated.

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Early Winter Storm & Wet Fall: What it means for insect management next year

While the aftermath of winter storm Atlas is still being felt by ranchers, growers of field and forage crops in storm hit areas of western South Dakota might see an unexpected positive outcome for the coming season. The timing of storm and the amount of precipitation might have a negative impact on field insect populations leading to low insect pressure on crops.

Read More »

Interpreting Soil Test Micronutrient Values

Soil analyses prior to planting can be an invaluable tool in determining nutrient application rates and diagnosing potential in-season deficiencies. Overwhelmingly, the focus of these tests is on the primary or macronutrients – Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Typical soil tests often report essential micronutrient contents, termed for their trace amounts found in plants and soil, and these numbers should not be overlooked.

Read More »

Bumble Flower Beetles And Sap Beetles In Sunflowers

It is past mid-September and sunflowers are nearing maturity with harvesting dates approaching. Beetles of various sizes are most commonly spotted on sunflowers during this time, and while there may be many of them, they are not considered sunflower pests. There are two beetles that are seen actively feeding on sunflower heads and appear to be of concern to producers while causing no damage to the crop.

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Drought Concerns Rise With The Heat

This week's heat has brought increased worries over the crop conditions, particularly in northeastern South Dakota. Traveling through the area this week, I saw many stressed corn and soybean fields. Some permanent damage is now affecting some of the more susceptible areas.

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Manage Weed Escapes And Prevent Next Year’s Weed Seed Bank

A very important weed management strategy is to reduce the number of weed seeds present in the field and by limiting the potential weed populations during crop production season. This means watching for and managing weed escapes. If allowed to mature and go to seed these weeds will contribute to the next seasons weed seed bank. This is very important as it relates to herbicide resistant weeds.

Read More »

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