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    2016 South Dakota Oral Leases Renew September 1st

    On September 1, 2016, all oral leases for agriculture ground in South Dakota will automatically renew. The automatic renewal includes all the current terms and conditions in the existing lease, including but not limited to: who the land is rented to, when payment is due, the per acre rate, stipulations for grazing, hunting or other land use restrictions, and any weed control or fencing agreements, etc.

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    Maximize Your Best Asset – Your Employees

    There never seems to be a slow time around a farm or ranch. The to do list is always there, and as a result farm owners and managers who oversee employees and or work alongside family members sometimes can overlook how important it is to allocate time to enhance the skills and abilities of those who work for you. There are great opportunities year round, such as tours, field days and seminars employers can take advantage of as continued educational opportunities for your employees.

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    Tips for Reducing Conflict During Agriculture’s Busy Time

    For those involved in the day-to-day workings of agriculture you know things are getting busier and busier as we move into spring. Calving season is in full swing meaning late night checks or even a 3 a.m. wake up call to make sure all is fine. Those involved in crop production are preparing equipment and making the necessary final seed orders to be ready to hit the field as soon as possible. The result is long days ahead for agricultural producers, their employees and families. In times like these, stress builds, tempers can get short and adequate communication can oftentimes fall by the wayside.

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    The South Dakota Wetland Exchange

    According to the South Dakota Farm Bureau, a proposal currently under review by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) may soon create the framework for South Dakota’s first agricultural wetland mitigation bank. Wayne Smith, Wetlands & Land Use Specialist with the SD Farm Bureau, explained that the process began in 2014 when the Bureau received a SD NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to create the framework under which a mitigation bank would operate. That product was turned back over to SD NRCS in September 2015, which has since been elevated to Washington D.C. for review and approval.

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    Ag Employees First Day on the Job vs. Employee Retention

    Many employers complain, including those in agriculture, that they can’t keep people around. Statements such as “we just get them trained and they leave” are common. If this statement is all too familiar, you may need to take a look at your “onboarding” program. Many have heard that statement that “first impressions are lasting impressions”, this is also true when it comes to retention of employees.

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    Northeast South Dakota: 2016 Potential Crop Profitability

    An analysis of the potential profitability of crops for 2016 for Northeast South Dakota was performed. This study examined returns given modified South Dakota State University Extension crop budgets for central & east mid production areas that include estimates for both direct and fixed costs.

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    East Central South Dakota: 2016 Potential Crop Profitability

    An analysis of the potential profitability of crops for 2016 for East Central South Dakota was performed. This study examined returns given modified South Dakota State University Extension crop budgets for central & east mid/high production areas that include estimates for both direct and fixed costs

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    Southeast South Dakota: 2016 Potential Crop Profitability

    An analysis of the potential profitability of crops for 2016 for Southeast South Dakota was performed. This study examined returns given modified South Dakota State University Extension crop budgets for central & east mid/high production areas that include estimates for both direct and fixed costs.

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    North Central South Dakota: 2016 Potential Crop Profitability

    An analysis of the potential profitability of crops for 2016 for North Central South Dakota was performed. This study examined returns given modified South Dakota State University Extension crop budgets for central & west production areas that include estimates for both direct and fixed costs.

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    South Central South Dakota: 2016 Potential Crop Profitability

    An analysis of the potential profitability of crops for 2016 for South Central South Dakota was performed. This study examined returns given modified South Dakota State University Extension crop budgets for central & west production areas that include estimates for both direct and fixed costs.

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    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.

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    Fall Climatology Without La Niña

    The latest news from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is that the likelihood of La Niña developing this fall or winter has reduced, and now ENSO neutral conditions are slightly favored by the computers models and forecasters. Historically, ENSO neutral conditions have brought drier than average climate in October to East Central and Southeastern South Dakota.

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    Split Application of Nitrogen in Winter Wheat

    It has been known for long that split-applying nitrogen (N) can be an effective practice in winter wheat. Adequate N early in the growing season is important to support healthy tillering and to give young plants the best opportunity to survive the sometimes-harsh South Dakota winter. Excessive N can encourage more vegetative growth and increase lodging. Knowledge of soil test N levels from pre-plant soil testing along with the utilization of split N applications can be effective tools for winter wheat growers.

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    Top 10 Management Practices for Weed Control

    Weed control for 2017 should start in 2016; through planning for next year this fall/winter one can get a head start on weed control from pastures to crop ground. As resistance issues increase in different weed populations across the United States including South Dakota, producers should always have multiple ways of controlling weeds on their land.

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    Climate & Drought Summary: August 15, 2016

    As of August 9, 2016, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows over 50% of South Dakota in drought, defined as D1 (Moderate) or worse. About 9% of the state is in Severe (D2) drought, and 5% is in Extreme (D3) drought. Over the last two weeks, drought conditions have improved in many areas. The last seven days have been relatively wet, especially in Eastern South Dakota.

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    Farm Safety: Making it a daily habit

    We know that agriculture ranks as one of the most dangerous occupations causing an estimated 167 lost-work-time injuries on a daily basis, of which 5% result in permanent impairment, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, approximately 20 farm workers per 100,000 die annually, with the leading cause of these deaths being tractor overturns.

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    Leading Based on Situation

    Situational approach leadership is just as it appears to represent — it is centered on leadership and how leaders lead due to the demands of a particular situation. Therefore, when the situation varies, ones’ leadership style may need to vary as well. To be the most effective in situational leadership, a leader accurately deciphers the situation, analyzes the developmental level of followers, and then matches the correct leadership style to the situation.

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    Balancing Leadership Behaviors

    Why do we need leaders? Our instincts might tell us – so things get done. But if that is the answer then we need a lot of leaders because we would be expecting everything to fall on the shoulders of the leaders, expecting leaders to accomplish tasks leaving others to not have to take action.

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    Are People Born Leaders?

    Are individuals who are leaders, as such? What do you think? This is a very common discussion and debate which occurs because some believe they are individuals with charismatic talent and unique abilities which make them a leader, which they possess since birth. Others, believe anyone can be a leader— and they become such from experience, education, their title, etc.

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    The Appeal of Leadership

    Leadership is a highly popular topic. People are intrigued with how to become a leader, wanting to learn how to be like someone society has labeled as a leader or how leadership can make you more effective in your role (job, personal life, volunteer), etc). These thousands of books are sold because people are continually seeking to learn new ways to improve their personal and professional lives.

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    Active Learning Brings Individual Growth

    The remarkable growth in technology and implementation of new agricultural practices means that to stay ahead of the curve, one must become an active learner. Recent events like Dakotafest, held August 16-18th near Mitchell, SD are excellent opportunities to visit with leaders from South Dakota agricultural companies and organizations representing them from state, national and even more global levels.

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    Who Are Agricultural Leaders?

    Researchers have proven anyone can be a leader, leadership is not just for the select few — like CEO’s of major corporations, celebrities, political leaders and those with other major titles. Traditional thought was leadership has always been something for those with added charisma but leadership is for those who have passion and purpose to make a difference.

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    Managing Wheat Curl Mite

    Wheat curl mite is one of the more difficult pests to manage in wheat. This is in part due to the limited options available for preventing populations from infesting a field and rapidly reproducing. Other pests can often be managed through the use of insecticides or miticides. However, due to the wheat curl mite’s small size and tendency to inhabit protected areas of the wheat plant, chemical management is often impractical.

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    Is That a Cutworm Caterpillar?

    We recently received a very interesting sample that originated from field of wheat stubble. At first glance we thought it may have been a cutworm species, however, there were many characteristics that were missing. There were also some traits present that did not match up with the description of any cutworm species. After some sleuthing, the mystery larva was determined to be that of a crane fly.

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    Scouting Winter Wheat for Mite Pests

    Winter wheat planting is underway in South Dakota. After wheat emergence, it is important to scout for brown wheat mite and wheat curl mite populations. These mites are capable of reducing wheat yields through direct feeding, and wheat curl mite is also a vector of Wheat streak mosaic virus. Although scouting can be used to successfully manage brown wheat mite populations, wheat curl mites are best managed through pre-planting preventative measures.

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    Preventative Measures for Stored Grain Pests

    As harvest rapidly approaches, it is time to inspect grain storage facilities and conduct pre-harvest bin maintenance. These preventive measures can prevent insects and other pests from infesting the new crop of stored grain during the fall. Although the majority of scouting for insect pests occurs during the summer, it also must continue until the grain is marketed and delivered.

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    Top 10 Management Practices for Weed Control

    Weed control for 2017 should start in 2016; through planning for next year this fall/winter one can get a head start on weed control from pastures to crop ground. As resistance issues increase in different weed populations across the United States including South Dakota, producers should always have multiple ways of controlling weeds on their land.

    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 »

    Saturated Buffers for Drainage Water Treatment in S.D.

    Saturated buffers can be an effective technique for removing nitrates from tile drainage water before they are released into waterways. A saturated buffer is essentially a perennially-vegetated riparian buffer with a raised water table. To raise the water table, drainage water is diverted through drainage tile that is placed parallel to the stream and below the riparian buffer.

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    Cover Crops in a Dry Year: To plant or not to plant?

    With small grain harvest wrapping up across the state, many growers are considering cover crop options. Mild to severe drought conditions across much of the state are causing many concerns including cover crop planting and establishment. Cover crops are planted for a variety of reasons across South Dakota but two of the most prominent purposes include long term soil health benefits and fall forage grazing opportunities.

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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.

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    SDDA Sensitive Site Registry: Protecting sensitive areas from chemical drift

    The SD Dept. of Ag. recently announced updates to the Sensitive Site Registry. First launched in 2013, the Sensitive Site Registry is designed for producers and applicators (private and commercial) to better understand where chemical and fertilizer drift and misapplications are to be avoided. This registry has the potential to be an excellent tool in fostering positive communications between those who apply chemicals and those who are concerned with drift, and SDDA specifically created the registry to provide information about farms and ranches that would be adversely affected by accidental fertilizer or pesticide application or drift.

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    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.  

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    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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    Soil Stewardship for Healthy Landscapes

    During the middle of the 20th Century, a European visitor asked an Iowa farmer, “how deep does your black soil go?” to which the farmer is reported to have answered “All the way, I guess.” This rich, black topsoil, that has supported agriculture and, indeed, national prosperity since the time of settlement in the nineteenth century, resulted from long-term development beneath the extensive Great Plains prairies.

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    Spring Soil Temperatures

    Soil temperatures across South Dakota can be found online at the SDSU’s Climate and Weather web page. Temperatures are measured at the 4-inch depth in bare and vegetation covered (under perennial plants) soils. A look at the map of automatic weather stations across South Dakota, shows that soil temperatures on March 20, 2016 at the 4-inch depth in bare soils ranged from 34 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The soil temperatures at a 4-inch depth for vegetation covered soils ranged from 33 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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    Livestock Integration Positively Influences Soil Health & Nutrient Test Levels

    Soil health is recently a new term that encompasses 17 soil quality indicators used for describing soil that is resilient against negative climatic events that cause water and wind erosion. The Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) formerly the Soil Conservation Service is the ultimate source for any term, process or analytical procedure involving soil. The NRCS has identified the 17 soil health indicators, which include biological, chemical and physical properties.

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