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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.

    Read More »

    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.

    Read More »

    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.

    Read More »

    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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    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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    What’s the difference between herbicide Mode of Action and Site of Action?

    Herbicides are chemicals that prevent or stop normal plant growth and development. These chemicals provide producers cost effective control of many weed species in crop, hay and pasture operations. However, improper application or over use of herbicides may result in crop injury, poor weed control, herbicide resistant weeds, environmental contamination, or health risks.

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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 »

    The Value of Crop Residue

    This year’s wheat crop produced a good amount of straw and many producers have chosen to cut and bale the straw to gain some extra income. It is tough to put a dollar value on crop residue and its contribution to land productivity. However, there are some important considerations that producers may want to examine before baling small grain residue.

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    La Nina 2016 Potential Impacts

    La Niña is back in the news as a player in our climate for the 2016-17 fall and winter season. What does this mean for South Dakota? As of July 14, 2016, it is about 55-60% likely that La Niña will impact our climate in the United States. La Niña is defined by a cooling of the eastern Pacfic Ocean near the equator, and a corresponding change in atmospheric circulation.

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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.  

    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 »

    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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    How Did South Dakota Honey Bees Fare Last Year?

    The Bee Informed Partnership recently reported the preliminary results of their annual honey bee management survey. Overall, the total reported annual honey bee hive loss for 2015-2016 was 44.1 percent, which is higher than the 40.6 percent losses reported in 2014-2015. Summer hive losses were equal to winter hive losses with both at 28.1 percent.

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    Farm Equipment, Safety on the Road, Everyone’s Role

    Spring brings the onset of an increase in farm activity as planting and the moving of livestock to pasture gets underway. As a result we will see an increase of encounters with farm equipment on the road, whether it is a tractor with a planter attached, a swather, a tractor and baler, someone hauling feed between farms, or the local elevator hauling fertilizer or heading out to spray crops for a producer. The point is we all need to be vigilant as a producer, ag industry person or a motorist encountering agricultural farm equipment on the road.

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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.

    Read More »

    Communication Means Listening Too

    Communication is becoming more and more challenging with the influx of social media in our society. Face-to-face discussions with people we work with on our farms and ranches, in our organizations or even our families continue to decline. The use of email surged and now it’s considered old school and communication in the social media world is by texting and many other new aspects keep entering our society every day.

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    Grains of Truth: What is Folic Acid?

    January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Folic acid, a form of folate, has become a household word in recent years. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is used to fortify foods and has been shown to protect against neural tube defects such as spina bifida (a birth defect in which the spinal cord is not completely encased in bone) and anencephaly (a fatal defect in which part of the brain never develops). It may also prevent against oral and facial birth defects such as cleft palate.

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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.

    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 »

    Thistle Control

    South Dakota is home to many thistle species, with the most prevalent being Canada thistle followed by bull and musk thistle. Other species include plumeless, tall and Flodman’s thistle. Understanding thistle biology is necessary to know how to control them. Canada and Flodman’s thistle are perennials, meaning one plant can exist for more than two years.

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    True Armyworm Scouting in Spring and Winter Wheat

    This week we received a report of caterpillars feeding on wheat heads. The insect in question turned out to be the true armyworm, which was also a pest of wheat in parts of South Dakota in 2015. Because winter wheat fields in many parts of South Dakota are nearly ready for harvest an infestation of true armyworm may result in head clipping, but an insecticide application would result in a delayed harvest that may range from 7 to 21 days depending on the active ingredient of the insecticide that is used.

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    Differentiating Between Wheat Head Diseases and Disorders

    Several diseases and disorders can develop in wheat heads and insect pests can also affect the development of the wheat head. It is important to scout and determine which diseases/disorders are affecting your crop. This may help in making management decisions in order to minimize the impacts of these diseases. The following diseases and insect injury are being observed in wheat this season.

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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.

    Read More »

    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.

    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 »

    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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    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.

    Read More »

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