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    Watch Out for a Light Frost in Alfalfa

    Alfalfa fields are starting to grow showing good potential for this growing season. However, as for last night we were under a Freeze Warning, meaning that some crops could be damaged by a light frost or freeze. In fact, calls came into the office regarding this event already. Below are the key points to consider for both new seedling alfalfa and established stands.

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    Drought in South Dakota: Impact on insect activity

    According to the May climate and drought outlook, the majority of South Dakota is classified as being in a moderate drought. The less optimistic weather forecast indicates that crops are going to suffer intermittent moisture deficits during the growing season. When plants are water stressed, levels of free amino acids and sugars in the plants increase, which can enhance the performance of plant feeding insects.

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    Are Alfalfa Weevils Out Yet?

    This is the most common question I am getting from growers and the short answer is yes. A recent survey of alfalfa fields in the Nisland and Vale areas showed that the weevils are out with minimal activity. The early warm temperatures we experienced this spring are favorable for insect activity and we have already seen army cutworms feeding in winter wheat and alfalfa fields. In western South Dakota, alfalfa fields are green with 5 to 6 inches of growth on average.

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    Nitrate Quick Test Trainings

    Weather patterns could suggest that this might be a dry year like we had back in 2012. As such, this is the time that producers start to think about the risk of nitrates in feed supplies and how it will affect their livestock operations. It is well known that certain plants are nitrate accumulators and can contain toxic levels of nitrate when consumed by cattle and sheep.

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    Drought Concerns: Milo & forage sorghum as potential alternatives

    The region is lacking a lot of needed moisture going into the growing season. Due to these conditions we need to start looking at potential alternatives for forage production. Forage sorghum can be grown either as grain or forage crop. The advantage of its use over corn is that it requires less water, is drought tolerant by going semi-dormant which makes it a good fit for dryland and limited irrigation situations.

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    Soil Health Events Held Across South Dakota Can Now Be Viewed Online

    The South Dakota No Till Association, in cooperation with SDSU Extension and the USDA-NRCS, hosted many soil health workshops and field days across South Dakota throughout 2013-15. If you would like to hear the presentations from the soil health workshops, either because you could not attend the workshops or because you would like to listen to them again, the presentations can now be accessed on line at the NRCS’s Soil Health You Tube channel.

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    SDSU Extension Hiring Towards Food Security

    It is estimated that by 2050 the planet will reach 9.1 billion people, 34 percent more than today. To be able to feed this population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Regardless of where this population growth happens we need to step up as a food-producing state and nation and contribute to reduce social unrests spurred by food shortages.

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    Alfalfa Production and Pest Management in South Dakota

    Long term alfalfa productivity depends on successful stand establishment. Achieving a profitable stand of alfalfa is the result of proper field selection utilizing proven production practices to ensure germination and establishment. Scouting fields for insects such as potato leafhopper and alfalfa weevil is also critical.

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    Soil Health Events Held Across South Dakota Can Now Be Viewed Online

    The South Dakota No Till Association, in cooperation with SDSU Extension and the USDA-NRCS, hosted many soil health workshops and field days across South Dakota throughout 2013-15. If you would like to hear the presentations from the soil health workshops, either because you could not attend the workshops or because you would like to listen to them again, the presentations can now be accessed on line at the NRCS’s Soil Health You Tube channel.

    Read More »

    SDSU Extension Hiring Towards Food Security

    It is estimated that by 2050 the planet will reach 9.1 billion people, 34 percent more than today. To be able to feed this population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Regardless of where this population growth happens we need to step up as a food-producing state and nation and contribute to reduce social unrests spurred by food shortages.

    Read More »

    Managing Saline Soils in South Dakota: Part 1

    A soil has been described as a porous medium consisting of minerals, water, gases, organic matter, and microorganisms. The largest component of soil is the mineral portion, which makes up approximately 45% to 49% of the volume. Some of the mineral portion consists of primary mineral particles. These are the sand and silt particles.

    Read More »

    Crop Variety Selection

    Farmers tend to be busy all year round. For crop growers, spring, summer and fall are times to get physically involved in the field whereas, winter is the time for in-depth planning and preparation for the subsequent three seasons. Taking time to plan on various aspects of crop production including variety selection will pay dividend at the end of the season.

    Read More »

    SDSU WEEDS Group at the Fair

    The SDSU WEED project will be at the fair to answer your questions again. This year the feature will be the amaranth “pigweed” species. There is a lot of confusion on what species we have in the state and how we can control them. This is your one stop location to get your questions answered by the experts.

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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.

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    Soil Health Events Held Across South Dakota Can Now Be Viewed Online

    The South Dakota No Till Association, in cooperation with SDSU Extension and the USDA-NRCS, hosted many soil health workshops and field days across South Dakota throughout 2013-15. If you would like to hear the presentations from the soil health workshops, either because you could not attend the workshops or because you would like to listen to them again, the presentations can now be accessed on line at the NRCS’s Soil Health You Tube channel.

    Read More »

    SDSU Extension Hiring Towards Food Security

    It is estimated that by 2050 the planet will reach 9.1 billion people, 34 percent more than today. To be able to feed this population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Regardless of where this population growth happens we need to step up as a food-producing state and nation and contribute to reduce social unrests spurred by food shortages.

    Read More »

    Managing Saline Soils in South Dakota: Part 1

    A soil has been described as a porous medium consisting of minerals, water, gases, organic matter, and microorganisms. The largest component of soil is the mineral portion, which makes up approximately 45% to 49% of the volume. Some of the mineral portion consists of primary mineral particles. These are the sand and silt particles.

    Read More »

    Crop Variety Selection

    Farmers tend to be busy all year round. For crop growers, spring, summer and fall are times to get physically involved in the field whereas, winter is the time for in-depth planning and preparation for the subsequent three seasons. Taking time to plan on various aspects of crop production including variety selection will pay dividend at the end of the season.

    Read More »

    Protecting Pollinators from Insecticide Exposure

    Summer is in full swing! Soybeans are beginning to bloom, corn is tasseling, and sunflowers will start to show their flashy yellow flowers soon. Include the vast fields of alfalfa with the aforementioned crops and it’s clear that there are many acres of flowering crops in South Dakota that are extremely attractive to pollinators. I have been asked at nearly all Extension events organized by the SDSU Extension Service this summer about the impact of insecticides on pollinators.

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    Cover Crop Considerations in 2014

    Moisture conditions across the state may have people considering growing cover crops this year. Wheat harvest is just around the corner and many wheat producers in central South Dakota have found that cover crops planted after wheat can provide some benefits. This year with the positive moisture situation across many areas of the state, cover crops after wheat harvest will be an excellent fit.

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    Cover Crops for a Dry Year

    An open, dry, winter, followed by a dry, warm spring has left the top soil in many areas of South Dakota much dryer than normal. Livestock producers may find themselves looking for supplemental feed this summer as a result of poor grass growth. In situations of moisture deficits most producers are not going to consider planting a cover crop.

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    Soil Health Events Held Across South Dakota Can Now Be Viewed Online

    The South Dakota No Till Association, in cooperation with SDSU Extension and the USDA-NRCS, hosted many soil health workshops and field days across South Dakota throughout 2013-15. If you would like to hear the presentations from the soil health workshops, either because you could not attend the workshops or because you would like to listen to them again, the presentations can now be accessed on line at the NRCS’s Soil Health You Tube channel.

    Read More »

    SDSU Extension Hiring Towards Food Security

    It is estimated that by 2050 the planet will reach 9.1 billion people, 34 percent more than today. To be able to feed this population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Regardless of where this population growth happens we need to step up as a food-producing state and nation and contribute to reduce social unrests spurred by food shortages.

    Read More »

    Managing Saline Soils in South Dakota: Part 1

    A soil has been described as a porous medium consisting of minerals, water, gases, organic matter, and microorganisms. The largest component of soil is the mineral portion, which makes up approximately 45% to 49% of the volume. Some of the mineral portion consists of primary mineral particles. These are the sand and silt particles.

    Read More »

    Crop Variety Selection

    Farmers tend to be busy all year round. For crop growers, spring, summer and fall are times to get physically involved in the field whereas, winter is the time for in-depth planning and preparation for the subsequent three seasons. Taking time to plan on various aspects of crop production including variety selection will pay dividend at the end of the season.

    Read More »

    Checking Weed Control at Harvest

    With Harvest now in full swing don’t forget to look at your fall weed control. What are the weeds that are left in your crop? Do you know which weeds they are? Is there a weed that you do not know and how large is it? Does it look like the weed was not controlled at spraying time? Did you have an herbicide failure or is it a weed that your product does not control?

    Read More »

    Soil Health Events Held Across South Dakota Can Now Be Viewed Online

    The South Dakota No Till Association, in cooperation with SDSU Extension and the USDA-NRCS, hosted many soil health workshops and field days across South Dakota throughout 2013-15. If you would like to hear the presentations from the soil health workshops, either because you could not attend the workshops or because you would like to listen to them again, the presentations can now be accessed on line at the NRCS’s Soil Health You Tube channel.

    Read More »

    SDSU Extension Hiring Towards Food Security

    It is estimated that by 2050 the planet will reach 9.1 billion people, 34 percent more than today. To be able to feed this population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Regardless of where this population growth happens we need to step up as a food-producing state and nation and contribute to reduce social unrests spurred by food shortages.

    Read More »

    Managing Saline Soils in South Dakota: Part 1

    A soil has been described as a porous medium consisting of minerals, water, gases, organic matter, and microorganisms. The largest component of soil is the mineral portion, which makes up approximately 45% to 49% of the volume. Some of the mineral portion consists of primary mineral particles. These are the sand and silt particles.

    Read More »

    Crop Variety Selection

    Farmers tend to be busy all year round. For crop growers, spring, summer and fall are times to get physically involved in the field whereas, winter is the time for in-depth planning and preparation for the subsequent three seasons. Taking time to plan on various aspects of crop production including variety selection will pay dividend at the end of the season.

    Read More »

    Using Variety Trial Results to Select Crop Varieties

    The success of crop production is affected by choice of variety. Variety trial results from universities or other sources provide useful information that can allow producers to make informed decisions on which varieties to select. Variety characteristics such as seed yield, herbicide or pest resistance, stem strength, maturity, and quality traits such as oil or protein content should be examined carefully when deciding which variety or varieties to plant.

    Read More »

    Checking Weed Control at Harvest

    With Harvest now in full swing don’t forget to look at your fall weed control. What are the weeds that are left in your crop? Do you know which weeds they are? Is there a weed that you do not know and how large is it? Does it look like the weed was not controlled at spraying time? Did you have an herbicide failure or is it a weed that your product does not control?

    Read More »

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