The Cooperative structure represents a unique organization type that is governed/owned by the users of the services and products. South Dakota has many types of Cooperatives, some organizations are not readily recognized as Cooperatives however, like mutual insurance, credit unions, etc. More commonly, Cooperatives are associated with Farmer Cooperatives that are prevalent in South Dakota.
For the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 2015 (January, February, March), the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Extension Field Specialists utilized several approaches to obtain feedback from stakeholders during focus groups and extension meetings.
The SDSU Extension 2013 Annual Report highlights the impacts of programming and achievements from the past year.
The following is a compilation of feedback received from the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Advisory Board, specifically regarding SDSU Extension. Verbal feedback was provided at the December 17, 2014 ABS College Advisory meeting that was held concurrently via DDN technology at the Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, and Rapid City Regional Extension Centers and Brookings campus location.
SDSU Extension seeks broad input on its programs from citizens and clients from across the state. Information represents discussions regarding programs and needs.
During 2016 crop season South Dakota experienced moderate to dry condition across much of its landscape which had some thinking of a repeat of previous droughts. During early August the U.S. Drought Monitor showed over 50% of South Dakota in moderate drought or worse. About 9% of the state was in severe drought, and 5% in extreme drought.
Weather conditions made 2015 a challenging year for SDSU Extension field specialists. However, with continuous up-to date information and leadership by Extension staff and experts, SDSU Extension was able to adjust its programming accordingly. As a result, the 2015 crop season was very successful not only from the point of view of attendance to SDSU Extension programs, but also because of the impacts reflected on crops yields.
SDSU Extension met with farmers frequently during the crop season to provide updates and forecasts of alfalfa caterpillars, weevils, blister beetles, lygus bugs and their natural enemies. Producers were able to make spraying decisions and select chemicals through unbiased information. A pilot project has been set up to understand alfalfa pest status and current practices followed by producers in Butte and Haakon Counties.
Agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy and in order to remain a vital component the current aging population of farmers and ranchers will need to transition their operations to the next generation of producers. By creating active plans that enable them to pass the farm business on to their own children or others that want to begin farming, a larger percentage of the traditional taxes and fees associated with estate distribution can be reinvested into the operation instead of being a costly expense for the family. As younger producers are able to continue farming and ranching they return to small towns where their children will attend the local school, local main street businesses maintain a customer base and churches remain viable.
Participants of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs increase their knowledge of pest biology, pesticide label interpretation, pesticide handling, and environmental factors. This leads to increased use of IPM practices and objective, science-based decision-making on reducing risks from pests and preventing unacceptable levels of pest damage in both agricultural and residential settings. Increased use of IPM practices results in better pest management decisions which address the economic aspects of pest management while posing the least possible risk to people, property, resources and the environment.
Through the adoption and use of fundamental business principles and using a systems approach, participants in the Ag CEO program will implement best management practices for production and business and have improved farm and ranch profitability and sustainability. This results in benefits for all South Dakotans, including new leaders and improved vitality of rural communities, the opportunity for local jobs and rural economic growth, and efficient use of natural resources.
Research that has been conducted with cover crops shows many benefits of cover crops integrated into a conventional cropping system. These benefits include soil health, forage for livestock, break up disease pressure, water quality and weed suppression. A major part of integrating cover crops into cropping systems in South Dakota is knowing what can grow after certain herbicides are sprayed before a cash crop. Results from this study should help producers answer this question and others.
Dry field peas and lentils are high in protein and fiber, have a low glycemic index, are easy to prepare, store well, and are low in cost. Even better they can be produced economically and sustainably in South Dakota as part of diverse no-till crop production systems.
Trends indicate that the increasing population of the world will need to be matched by a major increase in food production. However it is and will continue to be very important that as the USA works to find ways to increase food production that it is done without negatively affecting the environment, including depleting the soil resource and reducing water quality.
Inform wheat producers and private agronomists as to recent developments and research information regarding pests and their control, fertility, variety selection, crop fertility and production practices.
The South Dakota IPM (SDIPM) program supports and encourages the region’s residents in making unbiased, science-based decisions regarding pest management. It does this by imparting extensive knowledge of pest biology, explaining the impacts of environmental factors, and providing pest forecasts. It keeps the lines of communication open and the information accessible by using communication technology (e.g., mobile apps) so landowners and managers can prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage in an economical manner, while posing the least possible risk to people, property, resources, and the environment.
At this moment, there is still much to learn about the performance of alfalfa new varieties and how develops with potato leafhopper (PLH) infestations. There is clearly a great potential to benefit alfalfa growers in their production, management, and economical aspects of long term production. This program in SDSU will address producer needs differently than other public or private programs by developing over time research, which will give a greater chance to approach to real problems.
Sustaining the Legacy: Estate Planning and Farm Transitions has been a partnership between SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion council since 2007. This project has traditionally developed conferences in various locations across the state. In the past, 4 locations a year have been targeted. These conferences provided Estate Planning and Transitions information to farm families. Topics covered include (but not limited to) communication, wills, probate, retirement planning, trusts, life insurance, and the SD long-term care partnership.
This proposed program is an online library of information materials for use by South Dakota crop producers covering business planning, record-keeping, enterprise budgeting, and financial records and analysis. Although many of these documents are currently available in generic form, these examples fail to contain the specificity required for use by South Dakota crop producers. The completion of this proposed plan will remedy that situation.
Over the last five years, a high degree of climatic variability has affected South Dakota producers. "Managing Drought Risk on Ranches”, a guidebook developed recently by University of Nebraska’s National Drought Mitigation Center, has provided a toolkit in which producers can better manage and plan for drought impacts and climate variability. This guidebook will serve as a baseline for a workshop series.
The South Dakota Soil Health Challenge will increase awareness of soil health by providing no cost soil health analysis for sample submitters that include land owners, crop producers and agronomists. The project will provide soil health results, interpretation of results and recommendations for best management practices that project participants can use for sustainable soil health improvement. Participant samples will be compared to a growing soil health database and shown how management groups such as no-till and tillage influence soil health.