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    Herbicide History Determines Seed Purchases

    Although 2016 row-crop harvest is still underway, many seed suppliers have started promoting ‘early bird’ incentives on next year’s seed purchases. We all like a good deal when we see one, but it’s important to keep track of field history, and think about your future crop rotation before making decisions.

    Read More »

    What’s Important to Know About Silage Additives & Inoculants?

    Corn is suited to preservation as silage. Silage additives can be used to remedy deficiencies such as lack of sufficient population of bacteria to support adequate fermentation, and low levels of fermentable carbohydrates. Most of the silage additives are applied as forages are chopped or during the loading phase.

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    Finding on Survey: Upper Midwest Puerto Rico Collaboration Project

    South Dakota dairies face a shortage of local workers to produce a safe, and affordable food supply. A common method to overcome this is to hire immigrant labor. These workers find it difficult to feel welcome in the community due to language and cultural barriers, resulting in poor integration and a stereotype of being transient. To sustain our existing communities, there is a need of economic opportunities for growth. This project will build capacity for the SD dairy industry by creating a path to recruit legal Puerto Rican (US Territory) workers.

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    Scouting for Grasshoppers in South Dakota Rangeland

    As summer progresses, the number of adult grasshoppers observed in South Dakota rangeland typically increases. Based on current reports, it would seem that 2016 is following this trend. If grasshopper populations reach high enough densities they can be very destructive to rangeland. For this reason, it is important to monitor grasshopper populations so management actions can be taken before economic damage occurs.

    Read More »

    Chopping Corn for Silage is on its Way

    Dry conditions are still affecting forage production throughout the state of South Dakota. Dealing with drought conditions when feeding dairy and beef cattle can bring serious challenges to production including a short or unavailable hay supply in Western areas of the state.

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    Rotational Grazing and Land Conversion in South Dakota

    Grassland to cropland conversion raises concerns due to its many potential environmental implications. First of all, the conversion is damaging for many grassland-dependent species, which include North American duck species that nest in the area, grassland songbirds and prairie butterflies. In addition, increased use of fertilizers and chemicals on cropland, and elimination of buffers that ­filter farm runoff could cause secondary effects such as downstream water pollution

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    Dairy Tool Box Talks: An educational pilot project reaches dairy farm workers

    The “Dairy Tool Box Talks” program was conducted in a 10-week period which included nine, 30 minute weekly sessions according to each farm’s various employee work shifts. A tenth session of 1 hour duration provided hands-on stockmanship training and proper cow handling with live cattle. Participants also received handouts in Spanish with detailed information on the week’s topic at each session.

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    Drought

    As South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and communities deal with the challenges brought on by drought conditions impacting more than half the state, SDSU Extension is connecting individuals with resources and research-based information.

    Read More »

    Minimizing Hay Storage Loss from Heating or Fires

    Successful hay storage is essential to preserving high quality forage, while ensuring desired performance from livestock and deterring economic losses from unwanted hay storage fires.  The predominant reason that fires occur in hay is because of excessive moisture in the plant residue that results in heating when it is baled or stacked for long term storage.

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    Herbicide History Determines Seed Purchases

    Although 2016 row-crop harvest is still underway, many seed suppliers have started promoting ‘early bird’ incentives on next year’s seed purchases. We all like a good deal when we see one, but it’s important to keep track of field history, and think about your future crop rotation before making decisions.

    Read More »

    Drought

    As South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and communities deal with the challenges brought on by drought conditions impacting more than half the state, SDSU Extension is connecting individuals with resources and research-based information.

    Read More »

    Heat Exhaustion & 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. For example, cows still need to be milked and fed, barns are not air conditioned, even though there is emphasis on cow comfort through ventilation and cooling, we sometimes get lax on also protecting ourselves and employees from the effects of heat.

    Read More »

    Understanding Conservation Easements

    Conservation easements are a common, yet often misunderstood, real estate transaction tool. This article is intended to provide factual information regarding the rules and regulations that govern the use of conservation easements in South Dakota. Source citations include references to both direct sources and compilations that include additional references to law, case law, and easement publications.

    Read More »

    NRCS Cropping Systems Inventory: Landowner & agency cooperation important for soil health

    Late last year South Dakota NRCS State Conservationist Jeff Zimprich announced the release of the latest South Dakota Cropping Systems Inventory (formerly referred to as the “CTIC residue management survey”) at the joint annual meeting of Ag Horizons and the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts.   The data contained in this inventory is valuable to anyone participating in agriculture and natural resource conservation in South Dakota.  

    Read More »

    Agronomic Considerations During Drought

    In spite of technological advances, weather factors still play a major role in crop production, especially precipitation. The July 5, 2016 U.S. drought monitor shows that more than half of South Dakota is under abnormally dry or moderately to severe drought conditions. The current drought stress in SD is more pronounced in the Northeastern and Western regions. Even though the crop producers with established irrigation systems are usually able to manage crop water needs more effectively, some agronomic considerations may prevent the situation from getting worse for producers under dryland management systems.

    Read More »

    Sustainability in the Loess Hills of Minnehaha County

    At the end of May, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon touring the loess hills area of Minnehaha County with Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist; Al Miron, SD Corn and SD Soil Health Coalition Board Member; and Jim Ristau, SD Corn Sustainability Director. Loess is defined as material transported and deposited by wind and consists primarily of silt-sized particles.

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    Keep Carbon in the Picture: Modifying the cut and carry system

    After a recent trip to Ethiopia, I began thinking about how farming on the steep, terraced hillsides of the rural highlands there might relate to agriculture across the rolling plains of South Dakota. As part of the Farmer-to-Farmer Program, jointly sponsored by USAID and Catholic Relief Services, I had the opportunity to speak with nearly 300 smallholder farmers about fertility and soil health.

    Read More »

    Herbicide History Determines Seed Purchases

    Although 2016 row-crop harvest is still underway, many seed suppliers have started promoting ‘early bird’ incentives on next year’s seed purchases. We all like a good deal when we see one, but it’s important to keep track of field history, and think about your future crop rotation before making decisions.

    Read More »

    Weed Control & Soil Health Go Hand-in-Hand

    Most people would not combine soil health and weed control. South Dakota Soil Health Coalition put on a soil health soil in Aberdeen, SD on September 21 through 23. Many farmers, ranchers and area agronomy professionals attended the meeting. This event is growing each year. Make sure to attend next year or visit the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition website for up-to-date information.

    Read More »

    Winter Cereals Provide Nesting Habitat

    Winter cereal grains, such as wheat and rye, can offer an alternative option for producers seeking to improve bird nesting habitat on cropland within their operations. Although they cannot replace the higher quality habitat provided by perennial grass stands, a study by South Dakota State University researchers found that winter wheat can provide favorable surrogate nesting and brood-rearing habitat for pheasants.

    Read More »

    Scouting for Grasshoppers in South Dakota Rangeland

    As summer progresses, the number of adult grasshoppers observed in South Dakota rangeland typically increases. Based on current reports, it would seem that 2016 is following this trend. If grasshopper populations reach high enough densities they can be very destructive to rangeland. For this reason, it is important to monitor grasshopper populations so management actions can be taken before economic damage occurs.

    Read More »

    Drought

    As South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and communities deal with the challenges brought on by drought conditions impacting more than half the state, SDSU Extension is connecting individuals with resources and research-based information.

    Read More »

    Heat Exhaustion & 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. For example, cows still need to be milked and fed, barns are not air conditioned, even though there is emphasis on cow comfort through ventilation and cooling, we sometimes get lax on also protecting ourselves and employees from the effects of heat.

    Read More »

    Herbicide History Determines Seed Purchases

    Although 2016 row-crop harvest is still underway, many seed suppliers have started promoting ‘early bird’ incentives on next year’s seed purchases. We all like a good deal when we see one, but it’s important to keep track of field history, and think about your future crop rotation before making decisions.

    Read More »

    Weed Control & Soil Health Go Hand-in-Hand

    Most people would not combine soil health and weed control. South Dakota Soil Health Coalition put on a soil health soil in Aberdeen, SD on September 21 through 23. Many farmers, ranchers and area agronomy professionals attended the meeting. This event is growing each year. Make sure to attend next year or visit the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition website for up-to-date information.

    Read More »

    Drought

    As South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and communities deal with the challenges brought on by drought conditions impacting more than half the state, SDSU Extension is connecting individuals with resources and research-based information.

    Read More »

    Heat Exhaustion & 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. For example, cows still need to be milked and fed, barns are not air conditioned, even though there is emphasis on cow comfort through ventilation and cooling, we sometimes get lax on also protecting ourselves and employees from the effects of heat.

    Read More »

    Understanding Conservation Easements

    Conservation easements are a common, yet often misunderstood, real estate transaction tool. This article is intended to provide factual information regarding the rules and regulations that govern the use of conservation easements in South Dakota. Source citations include references to both direct sources and compilations that include additional references to law, case law, and easement publications.

    Read More »

    NRCS Cropping Systems Inventory: Landowner & agency cooperation important for soil health

    Late last year South Dakota NRCS State Conservationist Jeff Zimprich announced the release of the latest South Dakota Cropping Systems Inventory (formerly referred to as the “CTIC residue management survey”) at the joint annual meeting of Ag Horizons and the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts.   The data contained in this inventory is valuable to anyone participating in agriculture and natural resource conservation in South Dakota.  

    Read More »

    Agronomic Considerations During Drought

    In spite of technological advances, weather factors still play a major role in crop production, especially precipitation. The July 5, 2016 U.S. drought monitor shows that more than half of South Dakota is under abnormally dry or moderately to severe drought conditions. The current drought stress in SD is more pronounced in the Northeastern and Western regions. Even though the crop producers with established irrigation systems are usually able to manage crop water needs more effectively, some agronomic considerations may prevent the situation from getting worse for producers under dryland management systems.

    Read More »

    Reports of Severe Insect Injury to Sorghum

    Incidences of severe insect injury to sorghum, specifically grain sorghum, have been reported in South Dakota. Sorghum plants are being cut at the base, which is indicative of several species of cutworms. However, due the difficulty of observing cutworms during the day and the timing of these reports we were unable to visit the injured fields. Therefore, an exact identification of the cutworm species responsible for damaging these sorghum fields is not possible.

    Read More »

    Herbicide History Determines Seed Purchases

    Although 2016 row-crop harvest is still underway, many seed suppliers have started promoting ‘early bird’ incentives on next year’s seed purchases. We all like a good deal when we see one, but it’s important to keep track of field history, and think about your future crop rotation before making decisions.

    Read More »

    Weed Control & Soil Health Go Hand-in-Hand

    Most people would not combine soil health and weed control. South Dakota Soil Health Coalition put on a soil health soil in Aberdeen, SD on September 21 through 23. Many farmers, ranchers and area agronomy professionals attended the meeting. This event is growing each year. Make sure to attend next year or visit the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition website for up-to-date information.

    Read More »

    Sunflower Seed Maggot Adults in South Dakota Sunflower

    While scouting sunflower this week, we observed numerous flies with black patterns on their wings on the sunflower heads. The flies turned out to be adults of the sunflower seed maggot. These flies are long lived and undergo two generations each year in South Dakota. Adult flies overwinter in wooded areas like shelter belts. Although the flies are a known pest of sunflower, previous studies have determined that insecticide applications are not effective for managing populations.

    Read More »

    Pollinators Present in South Dakota Sunflower

    During routine sunflower scouting the abundant populations of bees, other pollinators and beneficial insects that are present on the heads during flowering are hard to miss. Flowering also marks a time when insecticides are applied to protect sunflower yields from insect pests such as the red sunflower seed weevil, banded sunflower moth, sunflower moth, and other pests that may be present in the field. Although these insecticides are often necessary to reduce pest populations and prevent yield loss, it is important to consider the impact that they may have on beneficial insects.

    Read More »

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