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    Things to Consider when Planting Winter Wheat

    Winter wheat occupies an important role in the South Dakota (SD) crop production system. The US Department of Ag. Predicted a total state production of about 1.2 million bushels for the 2013-14 growing season and we are now getting prepared to plant for next growing season. Winter wheat is grown when there is less farm activities providing a viable option for another cash crop in the cropping system.

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    Leasing Agricultural Land

    The leasing of both public and privately-owned agricultural land is prevalent in South Dakota. Using Census of Agriculture data, Pflueger (2011) estimated that approximately 40% of South Dakota’s total agricultural land was leased in 2007. Pflueger also found similar percentages of agricultural land rented in 1997 (38%) and 2002 (37%).

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    Update on Section 179 Tax Deduction

    Recognizing a need to provide tax relief to small businesses, Congress authorized the IRS to create the Section 179 tax deduction as part of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. Section 179 allows small businesses, including farms and ranches, the opportunity to deduct from taxable income the cost of eligible expenses in the tax year the property is placed into service.

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    South Dakota Crop Progress & Condition

    For the week ending July 13, 2014, below normal temperatures and scattered rain showers dominated the weather pattern, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide, there were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 11 short, 85 adequate, and 4 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 9 short, 85 adequate, and 6 surplus.

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    Flooded Crops: Replant Decisions in Regards to Crop Insurance

    Earlier in June, several large rain events caused significant flooding and ponding in fields throughout South Dakota. In some areas, flood waters uprooted crops and washed away topsoil. In fields where ponds remained after rains ended, soils were likely water-saturated and largely devoid of oxygen. Although at this point the extent of the damage to crops is still being determined, some fields have been compromised and yield loss will likely occur.

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    Declining Rates-of-Return to South Dakota Agricultural Land

    According to results from a farm real estate survey conducted by agricultural economists at South Dakota State University, cash rates-of-return for all uses of agricultural land in the state declined slightly during the 1990’s and declined substantially from 2001 to present (Figure 1). The gross rate-of-return (cash rent as a percent of land value) is used to estimate current rates-of-return to agricultural land.

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    The National Fusarium Prediction Center is Up and Running

    The National Fusarium Prediction Center is an online tool that estimates the likelihood of Fusarium head blight (FHB), also called scab, to develop in wheat. This tool uses weather information to predict the risk for scab. Wheat is most vulnerable to scab development around flowering time and shortly thereafter (infection takes place through the flower). The most important weather variable in scab development is rainfall.

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    Field Flooding: Impact of saturated, flooded, ponded soils on crop growth

    Some areas in the state have received over 9 inches of rain in the last 7 days. These rains have left many crop fields flooded/ponded or fully saturated. Fully saturated and flooded soils are deficient of oxygen because the soil air spaces are displaced by water. Questions are being asked if the crops submerged or partially submerged in flood water will survive. The probability that such crops will survive depends on the type of the crop, crop growth stage, soil type, temperature, and the duration of the ponding/saturation.

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    South Dakota Hay Land Rental Rates Increase in 2014

    Cash rental rates for South Dakota non-irrigated hay land continued to appreciate in 2014 according to results from a farm real estate survey conducted by agricultural economists at South Dakota State University. The 2014 average cash rental rate for South Dakota non-irrigated hay land was $84.40 per-acre; an increase of $5.10 per-acre or 6.4% from last year.

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    South Dakota Hay Land Values Increase in 2014

    South Dakota non-irrigated hay land values increased modestly in 2014 according to results from a farm real estate survey conducted by agricultural economists at South Dakota State University. The 2014 average value of non-irrigated hay land in the state was $2,458 per-acre; an increase of $173 per-acre or 7.6% from last year.

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    Things to Consider when Planting Winter Wheat

    Winter wheat occupies an important role in the South Dakota (SD) crop production system. The US Department of Ag. Predicted a total state production of about 1.2 million bushels for the 2013-14 growing season and we are now getting prepared to plant for next growing season. Winter wheat is grown when there is less farm activities providing a viable option for another cash crop in the cropping system.

    Read More »

    Record Wet August, Climate Outlook for September

    The recent moisture has been a welcome sight, especially for the soybean crop, which may still be able to use the moisture. But it has put a damper on the wheat harvest this summer, especially in the north central and northeastern counties which are still harvesting as of this writing, where crop conditions have been too moist for harvesting in places.

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    Alternative Grain Storage

    Many upper Midwest states are facing grain storage capacity concerns, and Ken Hellevang, Extension Engineer at North Dakota State University, recently shared valuable information with Extension staff across the region. As Ken states, grain can be stored in many types of facilities, but all storage options should keep the grain dry and provide adequate aeration to control grain temperature.

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    September Climate Outlook

    As August blends into September with cool temperatures across the state this week, we are getting a lot of questions about what the fall season may bring. The latest national outlooks for temperature and precipitation were released last week by the Climate Prediction Center. Cooler temperatures have dominated our growing season, but next month it appears as if the odds might be shifting away from that trend.

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    New Agronomy Field Specialist in Watertown

    David Karki is the new Agronomy Field Specialist at the Watertown Regional Extension Center. Some of you may already know him from his graduate work at SDSU but for some folks he may still be the new guy in town. David is originally from Nepal and came to SDSU in 2004 to pursue a Master’s degree in soybean breeding.

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    Understanding Plant’s Disease Surveillance

    Plants detect pathogens and protect themselves from disease in a slightly different way than animals do. A plant has several lines of defense any intruder must pass through: physical barriers, chemical barriers, and proteins at the molecular level. If the intruder makes it past all of these defenses, the cell still contains the NBS-LRR (Nucleotide Binding Site-Leucine Rich Region) proteins, one of the five types of disease resistance proteins produced by each plant cell.

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    Cool Temperatures Slow Leafy Spurge Flea Beetles for Redistribution

    Normally the Leafy spurge flea beetles would start emerging on leafy spurge in the next two to three weeks. Mid June is the normal time of the year when we start collecting the flea beetles for distribution in South Dakota. The cooler than normal spring temperatures most likely will delay normal emergence of this bio-control agent because their life cycle is based on growing degree days much like plants.

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    How Late to Plant Spring Wheat?

    As of the April 14 USDA-NASS crop progress and condition report, 6% of the spring wheat had been planted in South Dakota. This puts us a little behind average progress according to historical records. Lack of snow cover and generally increasing air and soil temperatures has allowed many producers in the southern part of the state to get their crop planted. In the northern part of the state, where the majority of spring wheat is raised, planting has been delayed due to frost, low soil temperatures and/or snow cover until recently.

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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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    Ragweed: The first resistant weed in South Dakota

    In 2007, common ragweed was identified as the first weed in South Dakota to be resistant to glyphosate. That ragweed was the first weed identified glyphosate-resistant weed was not surprising, because in 1990, ragweed was also the first weed in the United States to be found resistant to atrazine.

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    Condition of the Winter Wheat

    With the cold temperatures experienced this winter, both producers and media journalists continue to ask about the condition of the winter wheat in South Dakota, and the risk of winterkill. As one looks at a dormant winter wheat field like the one pictured, it is impossible to know if the plants are alive and will come out of dormancy when spring arrives and the soils warm.

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    Palmer Amaranth Found in South Dakota

    SDSU weed science team confirms the finding of Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) in South Dakota. The Palmer Amaranth plants were found in a sunflower field in Buffalo County next to the Missouri River in central South Dakota. Palmer Amaranth is a vigorous weed that is a member of the pigweed family that also includes common waterhemp, redroot pigweed, prostrate pigweed and others.

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    Target Noxious Weeds This Fall

    If they have not been treated yet, now is the time to spray those perennial weeds we battle every year. Fall is an excellent time to treat Canada thistle, leafy spurge, and other noxious weeds around the farm and home. Fall control of annual weeds like crabgrass, foxtail, knotweed or purslane is unnecessary and wasteful. These weeds only live for one summer, and naturally die in fall so control is unnecessary.

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    Your Wheat Had Ergot, So What About Next Year?

    The majority of the 2014 wheat crop was very good, but ergot was a widespread problem. Many of the ergot infested fields seemed to be those that matured later than most, such as some of the spring wheat, later planted and later maturing winter wheat varieties, and fields with thin stands. In at least one field of winter wheat, many of the heads containing ergot bodies were late tillers.

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    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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    Planning Fungicide Seed Treatment for Winter Wheat

    Winter wheat planting is around the corner and growers may be contemplating whether to treat or not treat their wheat seed. Seed treatment can help in the management of seed-borne and soil-borne pathogens. Fungicide seed treatment can be effective especially for pathogens surviving on the seed surface or in the soil but also for the systemically infected seeds if the fungicide has systemic properties. 

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    Soil Health Field Days Scheduled for September

    Two soil health field tours will be held in South Dakota in September. These events are follow ups to the soil health workshops held last winter across the state. The events are being produced by the South Dakota No Till Association, the NRCS and SDSU. The events are scheduled for September 10 (central SD) and September 16 (I29 Corridor).

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    Interactive Map for SDSU Research Projects

    South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, local producers, and SDSU Extension and Research, in cooperation with iGrow announce a new way to communicate with you our partners in the field. An interactive map showing a portion of field research sites is now up and running. The interactive map allows anyone to post comments about a particular project and share these projects via facebook, twitter, or email.

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    Foliar Feeding

    Watching corn and soybean development is a fascinating experience especially when it takes place over a relatively short period of time. When plant growth is rapid, changes can be seen practically from day to day. Understanding the growth and development stages are important and closely related to nutrient uptake.

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    Goodbye June, Hello July

    What a wet and woolly June we have had! The epicenter of rainfall and flooding has been in the far southeast. The National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls has posted a brief summary of the month’s rainfall. The top South Dakota total goes to Canton (Lincoln County) with 19.65 inches! This preliminary total is 3.53 inches over the previous (unofficial) South Dakota monthly record, which was held by Clear Lake with 16.12 inches in June of 1992. The table below is a list of stations that reported more than 15 inches, from both National Weather Service (NWS) and CoCoRaHS reports.

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    A Memorable June

    Record-setting rainfall in the southeast part of the state has dominated the headlines this week. Sioux Falls set a new monthly precipitation record, for any month of any year, with 12.97 inches through Monday, June 16. The second wettest month in Sioux Falls’ record books is now May 1898 with 9.42 inches in that month.

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    Field Flooding: Impact of saturated, flooded, ponded soils on crop growth

    Some areas in the state have received over 9 inches of rain in the last 7 days. These rains have left many crop fields flooded/ponded or fully saturated. Fully saturated and flooded soils are deficient of oxygen because the soil air spaces are displaced by water. Questions are being asked if the crops submerged or partially submerged in flood water will survive. The probability that such crops will survive depends on the type of the crop, crop growth stage, soil type, temperature, and the duration of the ponding/saturation.

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    Short-term Flooding: Impacts on soil properties

    Recent heavy rains have created small scale stagnant flooded soil. Nitrate-N leaching and denitrification are primary concerns for crop producers. However, other soil conditions are also affected. The rapid depletion of soil oxygen causes a shift in nitrogen cycle soil micro-organisms that lead to the denitrification processes.

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    Rainfall Impacts

    All of South Dakota received precipitation during the last week ranging from just less than an inch to over 3 inches. The heaviest precipitation amounts largely aligned with regions with the least current precipitation deficits. Heaviest precipitation ranged from central to southwest South Dakota where 2-3 inches of precipitation fell. Most of this area had received decent amounts of recent precipitation and/or precipitation last fall.

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    Cropping Systems Inventory (USDA-NRCS)

    The USDA-NRCS recently released “Cropping Systems in South Dakota – A 2013 Inventory and Review”. This publication summarizes county and state level tillage and cropping systems used in South Dakota. Comparatively, the most recent inventory was taken in 2004, hence the importance of these observations in assessing land use in regards to conservation practices that protect our vitally important soil resource.

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