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Uncertainty for Summer Climate Outlook

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) climate outlook for July through September, released June 21, 2018, shows a lot of uncertainty for the remainder of the growing season, explained Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

"According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, most of South Dakota is in an area with equal chances of warmer, cooler or near average temperatures for the rest of the summer season," Edwards said. "There is a lot of uncertainty in the longer range forecast this season."

The precipitation outlook for the Northern Plains is equally unclear.

"There has not been much agreement in the computer models that forecasters use for seasonal climate outlooks. Within a single month or a three-month season, there can be small regions of both very wet or very dry conditions that are difficult to forecast," Edwards said.

Edwards explained that in our region, summer is often very challenging for climate outlooks. "This year is no exception. As an example, so far this spring there has been large variability between wet and dry areas in the state," she said.

Emerging drought in the northeast and east central has been relatively local, and has not been widespread. This has been a contrast to excessive wet conditions in the southeast, where flooding is again impacting the area this week.

"This kind of variability, within a single state, is challenging to capture in a forecast on a national scale," Edwards said.

The western region of the state has gradually improved out of drought conditions and is now drought-free according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

"Abnormally dry conditions remain, with some lingering concerns in local areas for forage and pasture conditions, but overall there has been sufficient rains to maintain water supplies for livestock and grass production," she explained.

Moisture will be critical, Edwards explained, as we enter corn pollination in eastern South Dakota which begins early July.

She added that because late June and early July will likely be warmer than average, rainfall will be more important during the next month. "Moisture stress during pollination can have a negative effect on corn yield," she said.

Some soybean areas are dry in the east central and northeastern part of the state.

"This crop has been slow to develop," Edwards said. "And, since rainfall is needed to activate many herbicides, weed management has been a challenge. It is hopeful that some recent moisture in the last two weeks will improve growing and post-emerge weed management conditions."

Courtesy graphic. Precipitation outlook for July through September 2018. South Dakota is in an area of equal chances of wetter, drier or near average precipitation for the three-month period.

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Landowner’s Grassland Planting & Management School

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Recognizing the need to help landowners and managers better understand the art and science of grassland establishment, SDSU Extension partnered with the S.D. Grassland Coalition and others to develop and launch the Landowner's Grassland Planting & Management School.

"South Dakota's ranchers and farmers often find that planting, establishing and managing native grassland plantings can be challenging. Weather, soil conditions, timing, weed issues and agency program rules can dramatically affect the success or failure of a long-term grass establishment project," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

Bauman explained there are many factors that impact grassland establishment. "Environmental issues, seed sources, planting techniques and stand management all play an important role in successes and failures," he said.

All these factors will be covered during the Landowner's Grassland Planting & Management School held July 25-27, 2018 in Watertown at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1910 W. Kemp Ave.)

Students will begin the day with classroom instruction by local practitioners, with bus field trips to a variety of grasslands in the afternoon.

In addition to SDSU Extension, organizations involved in developing this school include the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Audubon Dakota, Pheasants Forever, S.D. Soil Health Coalition, S.D. Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and others.

Registration

Registration for the School is $180, which includes meals, materials and a one-year membership to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Registration is only $150 for current Grassland Coalition members.

For a complete agenda and to register, contact Jan Rounds by email or Pete Bauman by email or call the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Watertown at 605.882.5140.

Agenda & More details

July 25, 2018

  • 7:30 - 8 AM Registration, rolls, juice, coffee
  • 8 - 8:30 AM Welcome and Introductions
  • 8:30 - 8:50 AM Goals and Goal Setting Intro
  • 8:50 - 9:10 AM Grasslands Introduction
  • 9:10 - 9:30 AM Grasslands of Today
  • 9:30 - 10 AM Grassland Soils
  • 10 - 10:15 AM Break w/snack
  • 10:15 - 11:15 AM Seeding into cropland
  • 11:15 - 11:45 AM Seeding into sod
  • 11:45 - 12:45 PM Choosing Seed Mixes
  • 12:45 - 1 PM Load bus, lunch on bus
  • 1:00 - 3:30 PM Redlin, Scott, Blythe GPAs (Henry area)
  • 3:30 - 6 PM Double P Ranch (Willow Lake) - Field trips will also include specific instruction on soil prep, challenges, chemicals, invasive species management, etc.
  • 6 - 7 PM Supper at the lodge
  • 7 - 7:15 PM Agency/NGO grassland support programs - Intro
  • 7:15 - 8:15 PM Planning your project
  • 8:15 - 9 PM Travel back to Watertown / Adjourn

 July 26, 2018

  • 7 - 8 AM Breakfast at Extension Center
  • 8:00 - 8:20 AM Stand Establishment
  • 8:20 - 8:40 AM Stand Maintenance
  • 8:40 - 9 AM Native Range Management
  • 9:00 - 9:20 AM Fertilizing Grasslands
  • 9:20 - 10:45 AM Seeding Equipment viewing
  • 10:45-11 AM Load busses, box lunch on bus
  • 11- 9 PM Field trips will focus on stand establishment, pasture renovation, livestock integration, soil health, and alternative enterprises, supper

July 27, 2018

  • 7 - 8 AM Breakfast at SDSU Extension Regional Center
  • 8 - 9 AM Grass Enterprises
  • 9:00 - 9:30 AM Grassland Fire
  • 9:30 - 10:30 AM Open Forum
  • 10:30 - 10:45 AM Break
  • 10:45 - 11:30 AM Rainfall simulator
  • 11:30 - Noon SD Drought tool /equipment viewing
  • 12:00 - 12:15 PM Course Evaluations / Adjourn

Key features of this school will be an equipment session and field tours with visits to demonstration sites featuring planting, management, forage production, restoration, wildlife and pollinators. 

School topics will cover goal setting, grassland history and ecology, grassland soil health, seeding into cropland, seeding into existing sod, choosing seed mixes, agency program support, planning your project, planting and stand establishment, tame and native stand maintenance, fertilization, grass-based enterprises, prescribed fire use, and drought management among other topics. 

"As landowners, the board members of the S.D. Grassland Coalition recognize that private and publicly owned native, tame, and conservation grasslands are important to our livestock, agriculture, hunting, and tourism industries," said Judge Jessop, Coordinator for the S.D. Grassland Coalition. "This course will be modeled after the successful platform of the S.D. Grassland Coalition's annual Grazing School and the SD Soil Health Coalition's annual Soil Health School. Often, landowners or managers who attend the grazing or soil health schools still have a lot of questions about establishing and maintaining grasslands, and this school is designed to meet those needs."

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BQA Transportation Certification in Mitchell July 20

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) Certification in Mitchell at Mitchell Technical Institute Nordby Trades Center, (1800 E. Spruce St.) July 20, 2018 beginning at 10 a.m. (CST). The certification runs until 2 p.m.

Currently, major packers are requiring haulers to get BQAT certification. All cattle haulers will be required to have BQA Transportation certification prior to January 1, 2020. BQA certification will be required for cattlemen prior to January 1, 2019 as packers move towards sourcing BQA certified beef.

By participating in this certification course, producers and haulers will receive the required BQA Transportation and BQA certification.

Registration information

To help cover costs, this certification training is $35 per person and includes lunch. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration will guarantee training materials are available and for meal planning. The registration fee for this in-person BQA/BQAT training has been reduced thanks to funds from National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Cargill.

Pre-registration is requested by July 16, 2018. To pre-register contact, Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist & Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator by email or 605.688.6623.

If you are unable to attend this in-person training, you can become BQA or BQAT certified online for no cost.

Another BQA Transportation training will be July 19, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in Luverne, Minnesota. To learn more about this event, contact Ashley Kohls, Minnesota BQA Coordinator, by email or 612.618.6619.

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President of SD Cattlemen’s Association Reflects on 4-H Experience

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension/iGrow

Nausea used to overcome Mud Butte rancher, Larry Stomprud when he needed to lead a meeting, speak before a group or to a 4-H livestock reasons taker.

"I hated speaking in front of people, but I was forced into it because of positions I was elected to or my competitive nature," Stomprud says.

Thankfully, the President of South Dakota Cattlemen's Association eventually overcame the feeling; because today, in his current leadership role, Stomprud meets with congressional leaders and others representing nearly 1,000 of the state's cattle producers.

"Also, a lot of not having those kind of nerves today when I talk to my Congressman or woman, is the fact I know and believe in what I am talking about," he says of advocating for issues and policy on behalf of cattle producers. "Life experience also helps."

4-H livestock judging is one of the many life experiences Stomprud, 69, credits with helping him achieve a more comfortable relationship with public speaking.

"It's a little difficult to separate 4-H from all the rest of things - FFA, college, grade school programs, declam competitions, military teaching experiences - but, when I look back, one of the things that sticks out in my mind is the critical thinking skills and the ability to express those through oral reasons, that I got from livestock judging," Stomprud explains.

Growing up on a cattle ranch in rural South Dakota, Stomprud says 4-H was a family tradition. "My Grandfather (Lawrence Ingalls) was a 4-H leader for years and years and years. When I got to be 4-H age, it was a natural thing to become a member. As simple as that."

He explains that his family is a "competitive lot." And, 4-H livestock judging was the competition of choice. "We like to win. We did our best to be first. In order to be first, you had to get as many points as you could - that includes giving oral reasons," he says. "There were five of us and my sister, Elaine, who is 18 months younger than me, is probably even more competitive than me, so we had a friendly competition in livestock judging going."

In 1963, Stomprud was on the winning Meade County 4-H livestock judging team at the Western Junior Livestock Show in Rapid City, earning the opportunity to judge at the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, Colorado.

"I made lifelong friends through 4-H. I still have friends I met on that trip," he says.

Advice from Theodore Roosevelt

Cattle were always a passion for Stomprud, but circumstances weren't right for him to return to the ranch after he graduated from South Dakota State University in 1971 with a degree in Wildlife Biology.

He spent the first nine years after college working for S.D. Game, Fish and Parks. At one point he tried to return home to ranch, but for a number of reasons, the timing wasn't right, so instead, he accepted the opportunity to serve a tour in Germany (he was an officer in the S.D. Army National Guard).

One tour turned into multiple tours. Stomprud served more than a decade in Germany.

When Stomprud retired from the Army in 1995, the timing was right for him to come home.

"I always liked cattle and ranching. My dad, Calvin, was ready to cut back," Stomprud explained.

When he returned to the ranch, Stomprud says he knew it was important that he become involved in an organization that supported ranchers and South Dakota's cattle industry. So, he attended a S.D. Cattlemen's meeting. Impressed by what he experienced, he joined.

In 2014, he was asked to serve as vice-president.

Service to others is another skill he credits to 4-H. "Officer positions were handed out and rotated around, so we learned parliamentary procedure and how to be a leader," he explained.

Throughout his life, Stomprud says his philosophy on service is best described in his favorite Theodore Roosevelt quote.

"Every man owes a part of his time, and money, to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions in his sphere."

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy photo. 4-H alumnus and Mud Butte rancher, Larry Stomprud, 69, serves South Dakota livestock producers as President of South Dakota Cattlemen's Association. He credits 4-H livestock judging as one of the many life experiences that helped him achieve a more comfortable relationship with public speaking.

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Seeing Stunted Yellowing Corn in Patches?

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If growers are seeing stunted yelling corn in patches, it could be due to corn nematodes, said Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

"Several plant parasitic nematodes infect corn leading to reduced plant vigor, stunted growth and yield loss," he said.

Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic worm-like organisms that live in the soil. They have a "feeding straw-like" structure called a stylet that they use to injure the plant roots and suck nutrients from the plant cells.

"Some of the nematodes feed from the outer surface of the root without entering the root (ectoparasites), whereas other types enter the root and feed from within the root (endoparasites)," Byamukama explained. "Infected roots have reduced water and nutrient uptake and wounds created by nematode feeding can be entryways for fungal pathogens."

Byamukama added that nematodes, in general, are slow movers.

"They are spread through tillage and water movement within the soil," he said. "This is the reason corn plants with severe nematode infection appear in patches (Figure 1)," he said.

Nematode infection in corn usually goes unnoticed or can be mistaken for other diseases such as root rots or nutrient deficiency. Yield loss due to nematode infection can still occur without necessarily observing above ground symptoms.

Sampling for Corn Nematodes

The first step to effective nematode management, Byamukama said is diagnosing the type and density of corn nematodes in the soil.

"Since corn nematodes can be inside the root and also on the surface of the root, diagnosis of these nematodes requires sampling both soil and corn roots," he explained.

For fields suspected to have corn nematodes, four to six plants should be carefully dug out without injuring the roots when corn is still young (before V6).

The stalk can be cut off and only the root mass sent to the Plant Diagnostic Lab: SDSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic, SPSB 153, Box 2108, Jackrabbit Dr., Brookings SD 57007.

To increase chances of determining if nematode infection is causing the symptoms being observed, Byamukama encourages growers to collect another set of four to six plants from parts of the field with no symptoms.

To sample the soil, use a probe or a shovel to obtain 20 cores of soil between 6 to 8-inches within the root zone.

Soil from non-symptomatic areas should be collected separately to determine population densities in symptomatic and non-symptomatic areas.

Up to 2 cups of soil for each location within a field can be mailed or dropped at the SDSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic.

Corn Nematode Management

Every corn field may, to some extent, harbor corn nematodes.

"What determines the need to apply corn nematode management practices is the type and density of nematodes infecting corn in a given field," Byamukama said.

For instance, he explained, the threshold for needle nematode is 10 nematodes/ 100 cubic centimeters of soil whereas for spiral nematode, the threshold is 1000 nematodes.

"That is why it is important to have the soil and corn plants tested in the lab to determine the type and density of different nematodes infecting corn," Byamukama said.

The most common management practice is crop rotation. However, some the nematodes that infect corn can also infect other crops such as soybean.

"Therefore, this practice alone may not be effective against certain nematodes that have a wide host range," Byamukama said.

Nematicide seed treatments are another corn nematode management practice.

The commercially available nematicide seed treatments include Aveo, Avicta Complete, Nemastrike, and Poncho Votivo.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1. Stunted and yellowing corn plants in a patch. Picture taken June 4, 2018, South-Central South Dakota.

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Agronomy Field Specialist Relocated to Mitchell Regional Center

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Sara "Berg" Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, recently relocated from the SDSU Extension Regional center in Sioux Falls to the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell.

"Sara's role in serving South Dakota's growers remains the same, the only change is the location of her office," explained Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

As an SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, Bauder works with a team of researchers, entomologists, plant pathologists and other agronomists within the Land Grant system in South Dakota and other states to best serve South Dakota growers' agronomic needs.

"The ability to collaborate with experts in all areas of agronomy is incredible. If a grower has a particular issue and I don't know the best solution, I simply pick up my phone or send an e-mail and, most often, I'm able to provide a solution," Bauder explained.

She added that the unbiased nature of SDSU Extension also makes her role as an agronomy resource unique.

"Our focus is not making money or selling products. Our team collaborates to help provide research-based, best practices and solutions to our growers so they can continue to improve their management systems," Bauder said.

To contact Bauder, e-mail her or call the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell at 605.995.7378. To view a complete list of SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialists who serve South Dakota's growers, visit iGrow and click on the Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. Sara "Berg" Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, recently relocated from the SDSU Extension Regional center in Sioux Falls to the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell.

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4-H Volunteer Launches Kids in the Kitchen

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

Breakfast for 11-year-old Abby Christensen isn't coming from a cold cereal box this morning. Instead, she cracks a few eggs into dish, beats them and pours the mixture into a skillet. Once the eggs are the right consistency, she adds ham, folds the edges over the filling and sprinkles the omelet with cheese.

"It feels good being able to cook on my own because I can make whatever I want, like this omelet or French toast - sometimes I even make a meal for my family," explains the Bennett County sixth grader.

Although she has played the role of sous chef to her mom, Amy, since she was a toddler, Christensen's confidence in cooking for herself is due in large part to Kids in the Kitchen.

Kids in the Kitchen is a weekly, school-year program held in the Home Economics kitchen of Bennett County High School. When school lets out at 4 p.m., Abby and about 15 to 20 of her peers gather to prepare a meal together under the guidance of 4-H volunteers, like her mom, Amy and Tauna Ireland.

The purpose of the weekly 4-H event is to empower youth, like Abby, with the skills necessary to prepare meals, from scratch, for themselves at home, explains Ireland.

"If you have food in your home, but don't know what to do with it, it doesn't do you any good," says Ireland, who came up with the idea for Kids in the Kitchen after witnessing hungry youth attending an afterschool program at her church just for the meal. "If kids need food, I feel like that is a basic need. If people aren't fed, you can't feed their spirit; so, I thought, why not teach them how to cook so they can feed themselves."

Kids are welcome to make messes in this kitchen

It was fall 2015 when Ireland came up with the idea. She was grieving the recent loss of her mom, Ria Hatch, who she says inspired her to make the idea a reality. "She was always looking out for the 'least of these.' If she knew someone was hungry, she would have fed them.'"

Ireland adds that her mom was instrumental in teaching her to cook. "She encouraged us to cook. She let us make messes and experiment," says Ireland, who has 11 siblings. "I remember, she let me make divinity as a 10-year-old."

By September 2016, Ireland was leading the first Kids in the Kitchen program. She began by promoting the program to fourth and fifth graders, selecting some kid-friendly recipes and, with funds she and her husband, Brent, set aside from their monthly budget, purchasing equipment and ingredients.

At first, the group met in her church's kitchen, but soon outgrew the space. She reached out to the Bennett County Principal, Nick Redden, who quickly volunteered the school's Home Economics kitchen.

Entirely hands-on, during Kids in the Kitchen, youth work together and do all the food preparation - following the recipe, measuring, cutting, stirring, sautéing, clean up - everything.

Once the meal is prepared, they sit down and enjoy it together. The youth are sent home with the recipe.

"At first, people were nervous that we let the kids use knives, but we teach them the safe way to cut using the claw and the saw method," Ireland says. "At 10 or 11, they are eager to learn and they are capable of learning pretty complicated things."

To date, the group, which averages 15 youth each week, have prepared more than 115 recipes. Although some recipes are elaborate, like chocolate crepes and homemade pasta noodles, Ireland and Amy, who is a weekly volunteer, look for recipes that include ingredients youth have at home.

"We try to keep it simple, but delicious. We want to show them that you don't have to go to a restaurant to eat fettuccini Alfredo or fish tacos," Amy explains. "Many of our kids' families receive commodities, so we look for creative ways to prepare what they receive."

According to feedback, the program is working.

"I run into parents or grandparents who tell me, their kids are cooking. One grandma told me that her granddaughter made our meatball recipe for the entire family for a holiday meal. Another mom, I ran into at the grocery store with her daughter, told me, 'she is the one taking cooking classes so she is the one who cooks.' The kids are receiving positive feedback from their families,'" Ireland says.

Today, most of the ingredient funds come from small grants Ireland has applied for or are donated by community members. She worked with Mary Kay Sell, SDSU Extension 4-H Program Assistant - Bennett County, to run Kids in the Kitchen as a 4-H event hosted by Tip Top 4-H Club. All funds go through the club account.

"Kids learn by doing," Sell says. "This program addresses a very real issue of kids going hungry, not because there isn't anything in the home to eat, but because they do not know how to prepare the food that is available."

Along with Amy, each week about three to five adults volunteers show up to help out.

"People are willing to donate their time if their time isn't wasted," Ireland says.

Amy would agree. "We have an awesome group of kids who are eager to learn. They are totally hands-on in the kitchen. They don't just stand there and wait for us to tell them what to do, they come in and begin going to the cupboards for supplies and measuring out ingredients," she says.

To learn more about Kids in the Kitchen, contact Ireland by email.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff icon.

Courtesy photo. Fourth and fifth grade Bennett County youth prepare to make tacos during Kids in the Kitchen a weekly, school-year program held in the Home Economics kitchen of Bennett County High School and organized by 4-H volunteer, Tauna Ireland.

The purpose of the weekly 4-H event is to empower youth with the skills necessary to prepare meals, from scratch, for themselves at home.

Youth pictured include (left to right):Mikaela Gist, Abby Christensen, Tae Shawn Little Thunder and Teagan Kolb.

Courtesy photo. Entirely hands-on, during Kids in the Kitchen, youth work together and do all the food preparation - following the recipe, measuring, cutting, stirring, sautéing, clean up - everything. Youth pictured here cutting tomatoes include: Abby Christensen, Mikeala Gist and Topaz Rivera.

Courtesy photo. 4-H volunteer, Tauna Ireland (center) developed Kids in the Kitchen to empower youth with the skills necessary to prepare meals, from scratch, for themselves at home. She is pictured here with two participants, siblings, Alison (left) and Louis Novotny. 

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Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - More than 100 rural community leaders from across South Dakota came together to participate in Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet. This event was hosted by the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team and the Community of De Smet in May.

The event was held in downtown De Smet businesses. Shop owners and managers shared their entrepreneurial journeys, while speakers and presenters shared their experiences & knowledge on a variety of topics: Funding for Community Projects, Entrepreneurial Experiences, Agritourism and Value Added Agriculture, and Engaging Community Members.

The idea for creating and hosting the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference came when members of the SDSU Community Vitality Team spent two days in April of 2017 attending a "Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities" Conference in McCook, Nebraska. That conference, hosted by University of Nebraska Extension, offered an interesting venue twist: conference sessions were held in main street businesses. First tried by Michigan State University with success, the University of Nebraska Extension duplicated the innovative idea in McCook. Now SDSU Extension has reproduced the idea in De Smet.

There were also resource providers who were available to discuss tools to assist communities and entrepreneurs alike. The following were represented: South Dakota Community Foundation, Lake Area Tech, SD Department of tourism, Dakota Resources, SD Small Business Development, SD Rural Life and Census Data Center, SD Planning Districts, East River Electric and SDSU Extension Community Vitality.

"The combination was powerful, with all groups learning from each other," said Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist and one of the event coordinators.

To learn more about how the SDSU Extension Community Vitality works to strengthen South Dakotans and their communities, contact Kenny SherinSDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director by email. The team plans to host a similar event in 2019.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 100 rural community leaders from across South Dakota came together to participate in Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet. This event was hosted by the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team and the Community of De Smet in May.

Courtesy of iGrow. Keynote Speaker was Sarah Calhoun, owner of Red Ants Pants shares her story during the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet.

Calhoun is the Executive Director of the Red Ants Pants Foundation and Producer of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival. Along with the keynote, Calhoun also presented two sessions the first: coming under the topic Funding Community Projects; How to Throw a Party in a Cow Pasture on a Zero Dollar Budget: the second: was under the topic Entrepreneurial Experiences; Start a Brand with No Experience? For more information on Sarah Calhoun Red Ants Pants, the Foundation or Music Festival click here: https://redantspants.com/.

Courtesy of iGrow. Dave Anderson (standing), President, Mt Vernon Economic Development Group, presenting to conference participants on "Affordable Housing for Rural Communities - Our Story." Host location in De Smet was Ward's Store.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet a panel of young entrepreneurs shared their experiences of choosing to live in or near a rural communities where they have started and continued their businesses.

Panelists include (left to right): Justin Fruechte, Ward, owner of Sturdy Post Ranch; David Anderson, Wilmot, owner of Route 15 Body Works; Michelle Weber, Lake Benton, owner of Michelle Weber Studio and Darcie Lee, De Smet, owner Darci Lee Yoga.

Courtesy of iGrow. An Agritourism Round Table discussion focused on Agritourism Opportunities in South Dakota, during the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet.This discussion took place at the Wilder Welcome Center in downtown De Smet.

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South Dakota Change Network Cohort Meeting

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota change agents will gather in Mitchell June 19-21, 2018 to celebrate the positive change they are making in communities across the state as a result of a projects inspired and developed during a year-long fellowship, through the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, a project funded by the Bush Foundation and advised by SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist, Kari O'Neill.

"South Dakota Change Network Cohort is designed for South Dakotans working to lead change in their organizations and communities," explained O'Neill.

Over this last year, members of the first South Dakota Change Network Cohort have met several times in person and online to learn about and apply principles of inclusion, diversity and equity to a project of their choice.

They followed curriculum developed by National Art Strategies out of Washington, D.C. who received funding for organizing and providing content from the Bush Foundation.

During the Mitchell meeting, Cohort members will learn about Leadership as a Verb, Competing Values, and Creating High Quality Programs from nationally-known speaker, Dr. Valerie Myers, University of Michigan. They will also glean more knowledge about Intercultural Conflict from Minneapolis trainer Janice Downing.

Meet the cohort members:

To participate in the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, members underwent an application and selection process. They were selected based on their desire to become change agents in their regions.

All participants have outlined projects they will be completing to improve either an organization or community that they represent. Through the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, these change agents received small grants to help them complete their projects.

Individuals selected champions they work with to mentor and encourage them as they work on their projects and apply what they have learned in the cohort to their lives.

Current cohort members from around the state, and their project issues include:

  • Jill Baker, Sioux Falls - developing a community of care for veterans and military families
  • Stacey Berry, Madison - inclusive higher education student organizations
  • Jared Hybertson, Centerville - welcoming new ethnic groups to small towns
  • Kelsey Kenzy Sutton, Burke - building stronger rural community engagement
  • Billy Mawhiney, Sioux Falls - bringing Boys & Girls Clubs to Public Housing
  • Patti Martinson, Rapid City - highlighting art in equality around GLBT programming in Rapid City
  • Carla Miller, Sioux Falls - providing training for parents and educators on preschool social and emotional development
  • Alli Moran, Eagle Butte - increasing higher education enrollment of high school youth on Cheyenne River Reservation
  • Andrea Powers, Hot Springs - attracting young people to the region
  • Traci Smith, Sioux Falls - developing a revolving bail fund for offenders dealing with behavioral health disorders
  • Adam Strenge, Sioux Falls - working on inclusive student organizations at SE Tech
  • Peter Strong, Rapid City - building capacity in Native American artists in the region to expand their work
  • Viola Wahn, Parmelee - introducing students to native plants and their uses in health and wellness
  • Ernest Weston, Porcupine - developing a higher education Native student board

More about the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation's mission is to "invest in great ideas and the people who power them." They fund programs in the 3-state region (SD, ND, MN) around create solutions to problems, and building opportunities for all people. Funding for the Change Network was geared toward finding local individuals ready to make positive change in their organizations and communities as leaders.

For more information

Media is invited to interview participants on June 21 at 3 p.m. Media should RSVP to O'Neill by email.

For more information about the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, contact O'Neill by email. The application deadline is closed and the selection is currently underway for the 2018-2019 South Dakota Change Network Cohort.

Courtesy of iGrow. The 2017-2018 South Dakota Change Network Cohort includes the following South Dakotans: (left to right) Carla Miller, Sioux Falls; Jill Baker, Sioux Falls; Viola Wahn, Parmelee; Jared Hybertson, Centerville; Stacey Berry, Madison; Kelsea Sutton, Burke; Alli Moran, Eagle Butte; Ernest Weston, Porcupine; Billy Mawhiney, Sioux Falls; Adam Strenge, Sioux Falls; Patti Martinson, Rapid City; Traci Smith, Sioux Falls; Andrea Powers, Hot Springs and Peter Strong, Rapid City.

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SDSU Students Named Finalists in MN Princess Kay Program

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three South Dakota State University students are among a total of 12 finalists from almost 84 contestants state-wide competing for the title of Minnesota’s 65th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. 

Calissa Lubben, dairy production major from Edgerton, Ashley Maus, dairy manufacturing and dairy production major from Freeport, and Rebekka Paskewitz, dairy club member and agricultural education and leadership major from Browerville, were named finalists on May 20.

The 12 finalists will compete throughout the summer for the top position which will be announced on the eve of the opening of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair in late August. They will have their likeness carved in blocks of butter during the fair.

Princess Kay and county dairy princesses make appearances to help explain dairy farm families’ commitment to taking care of their animals and resources, while providing nutrient-rich dairy products. The participant chosen as Princess Kay will make appearances not only during the fair’s 12-day run, but throughout the entire year.

Selection to be a Princess Kay finalist requires knowledge of the dairy industry, as well as strong communication abilities among other professional attributes. Each princess submitted an application, participated in a personal interview, prepared and delivered a speech, and participated in a mock media interview.

“Selection of these students as Princess Kay finalists is an indication of their knowledge of and commitment to the dairy industry, as well as their professionalism and leadership qualities. SDSU, and especially the Dairy Science program, is proud to have them as students,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry.

Several other SDSU students have also received this honor in the past, including Abby Hopp, Margaret Socha, Kyla Mauk (who was named Princess Kay of the Milky Way in 2016) Makaila Klejeski, Chelsea Schossow and Sarah Post.

About the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department

With expertise in dairy production, dairy manufacturing and food science, the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry from farm to product. The department is housed in the renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to the state-of-the-art Davis Dairy Plant. About a mile north of campus, the South Dakota State University dairy farm provides the source of milk for well-known SDSU ice cream and cheese products and is home to some 150 milking Holsteins and Brown Swiss cattle. The department boasts 100 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

From left, SDSU students Ashley Maus, dairy manufacturing and dairy production major from Freeport, Rebekka Paskewitz, dairy club member and agricultural education and leadership major from Browerville, and Calissa Lubben, dairy production major from Edgerton, were recently named finalists for Minnesota’s Princess Kay of the Milky Way. They will compete for the title during the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.

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2018 Regional Academic Advising Award

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Howard Bonnemann, lecturer and advisor in the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department, is a recipient of the Region 6 Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Region 6 covers Iowa, Manitoba, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwest Territories, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and South Dakota.

Bonnemann advises undergraduate students from their sophomore through senior years in the dairy production, dairy manufacturing and food science majors. He also teaches a range of dairy and food science courses. He has been with the Dairy and Food Science Department since 1997, first as the Dairy Plant Manager and since 2011 in an instructor and advisor role. 

“This a most well-deserved award for Howard in recognition of his advising excellence,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry. “He spends a lot of time with students to personalize their advising and to be sure they are on track, and he understands the curriculum exceptionally well. Howard is an outstanding instructor as well and is an asset not just for the department, but also for our college.”

NACADA promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students.

About the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department

With expertise in dairy production, dairy manufacturing and food science, the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry from farm to product. The department is housed in the renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to the state-of-the-art Davis Dairy Plant. About a mile north of campus, the South Dakota State University dairy farm provides the source of milk for well-known SDSU ice cream and cheese products and is home to some 150 milking Holsteins and Brown Swiss cattle. The department boasts 100 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

Dr. Howard Bonnemann, South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science lecturer and advisor, recently received the Region 6 Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association.

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National Dairy Month: Learn More About Dairy From Farm to Table

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

Written by Whitney Blindert Midwest Dairy Council

June is National Dairy Month, so what better time to learn more about where your milk comes from?

You're probably curious - and we can help! Start by learning more about the dairy farm families in South Dakota dairy farm families in South Dakota and throughout the Midwest by visiting the Midwest Dairy website and clicking on the Farm Life link.

Want to visit a dairy farm? We've got you covered! Midwest Dairy provides an online farm experience. You can take a 10-stop video tour to experience how milk from real cows, on a real Midwest farm, becomes the fresh, naturally nutrient-rich dairy foods you love.

Do you have specific questions about dairy from farm-to-table? Take 48 seconds to watch the journey your milk makes in about 48 hours.

If you're fond of eating local foods, then choose dairy as a part of your diet. Milk is locally produced in every state, so it doesn't have to travel far from home.

What about dairy cow care? Dairy farmers know that if you take good care of your cows, your cows will take good care of you. Visit our site to learn how they do this through a nutritious diet, regular medical care and comfortable living conditions.

Feel like celebrating? World Milk Day kicks off June 1, 2018 with events going on around the globe. Or, join us in celebrating National Dairy Month and beyond with our simple, tasty, and nutritious recipes. Everything from savory pizzas and creamy parfaits, to chocolate milk and tempting cheese plates is deliciously, extraordinarily, undeniably dairy! To view recipes and more visit the World Milk Day website.

Local dairy experts

South Dakota's dairy farmers have a support team within SDSU Extension. To learn more about how the SDSU Extension dairy team supports your local dairy farmers, visit iGrow and search for this article: SDSU Extension Collaborates to Serve Dairy Producers Along I-29.

Courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association. June is National Dairy Month, so what better time to learn more about where your milk comes from? You're probably curious - and we can help! Start by learning more about the dairy farm families in South Dakota dairy farm families in South Dakota and throughout the Midwest by visiting the Midwest Dairy website and clicking on the Farm Life link.

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Dakota Lakes Research Farm Field School June 19

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host a field school June 19, 2018 at the Dakota Lakes Research Station outside of Pierre (21310 308th Ave., Pierre). This event is also hosted by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

The event will run from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (CST) and lunch is provided. The event is open to the public. Registration is requested.

Information covered during the event is focused on the needs of agricultural businesses, consultants and government personnel who work with farmers and ranchers in central and western South Dakota.

Attendees will gain knowledge about weeds, insects, soils and farm management, and have the option to tour the research station. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with the SDSU Extension team and other agricultural professionals.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits available

Those who attend can earn two soil and water CCA credits, one nutrient management CCA credit, two pest management CCA credits and one crop management CCA credit.

Registration information

Registration is requested. To register, visit the iGrow Events page. Registration after June 8, 2018 is $65 to cover costs and materials. Registration on or before June 8 is $50. The registration fee is non-refundable unless event is cancelled.

For more information, contact Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist by email or contact Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist by email.

Additional directions

The Dakota Lakes Research Station is located at 21310 308th Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. It is approximately 17 miles east of Pierre on S.D. Hwy 34. 

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Wheat Stem Maggot Adults Observed in South Dakota Wheat

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The adult wheat stem maggots have been observed in winter wheat fields across South Dakota. However, experts from SDSU Extension, North Dakota and Nebraska say chemical management is not recommended.

"Wheat stem maggot feeding, it is still considered a minor injury and chemical management is not recommended," explained Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist. "The adults don't cause significant injury, the larvae of the wheat stem maggot cause white or bleached wheat heads later in the season."

Wheat that is damaged by the wheat stem maggot results in a white/dry head and stem to the first node where the flag leaf is attached. Researchers at SDSU Extension are working collaboratively with researchers from North Dakota and Nebraska to determine peak wheat stem maggot adult flights.

Are wheat stem maggots in your fields?

The wheat stem maggot adults are small yellow flies about one-fifth of an inch long with bright green eyes.
 
Adults have three black stripes present on their thorax, with the middle stripe longer than the other two (Figure 1). Adults also have a segment on their head that extends forward beyond the eyes. Adults of the wheat stem maggot are nectar feeders and lay eggs on the leaves and stems of wheat plants.

"Magnification may be required for identification," Varenhorst said.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the stem and begin feeding near the flag leaf. This feeding prevents nutrient flow to the head.

A larger concern is that in 2017, wheat stem maggot feeding caused significant stand loss to corn fields in Nebraska. Researchers are working to determine the factors that contributed these unusual infestations.

Top view of a yellow fly with red eyes and three black stripes down its back.
Figure 1. Top view of a wheat stem maggot adult. Photo courtesy of Patrick Beauzay, North Dakota State University.

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SDSU Extension Emerald Ash Borer Workshop June 11 in Sioux Falls

Categorized: Gardens, Home & Garden Pests, Trees & Forests

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Emerald ash borer was confirmed in Sioux Falls spring 2018. What can homeowners do about this invasive insect responsible for the loss of more than 100 million ash trees in 33 states? SDSU Extension staff will answer this question during a workshop held June 11, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CST) at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls (2001 East 8th Street).

"The emerald ash borer will kill any ash tree that is not being protected by insecticide treatments. The insect is flying and the time to treat is now," said John Ball, Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist & South Dakota Department of Agriculture Forest Health Specialist.

During the workshop, attendees will meet inside for some short presentations on emerald ash borer biology, identification, quarantines and other management concerns and then move outside for a treatment demonstration and ash identification session.

The workshop is being held rain or shine.

This event is sponsored by SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the South Dakota Arborist Association.

There is no fee or registration for the workshop. All are welcome.

If you have questions, contact John Ball, Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist & South Dakota Department of Agriculture Forest Health Specialist by phone and text at 605.695.2503. You can also send him a letter or note at this address: room 230 Agricultural Hall, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007.
 

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2018 SD Rangeland & Soils Days: Learn About South Dakota’s Most Precious Natural Resources

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Youth Development, Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota youth and adults are invited to participate in the 35th annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 15th annual Soils Days which will be held June 26-27, 2018 in Redfield, South Dakota.

"Rangeland management learning activities are designed for a variety of age groups and expertise," said Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist and one of the event's organizers. "We begin with plant morphology and identification and include everything up to judging habitat suitability for cattle or grouse. Everyone attending Rangeland Days is sure to gain new knowledge from participating."

The two-day program is developed with training for those 8 years of age to adult.

Soils Days

Soils Days learning activities are designed for participants 14 to 18 years of age.

"Student will learn how to evaluate the physical properties of soil which include: soil texture, depth, erosion, slope, and stoniness," Ollila explained.

This information will help participants interpret permeability of water and air through the soil, surface run off and other factors which limit the soil's production potential.

Using this new found knowledge, students will determine the land's capability class which, in turn, allows them to make recommended conservation treatments using vegetative and mechanical erosion controls.

Students will also learn how to assess a building location for potential issues that would occur when developing a homesite.

After a day of active learning, the participants in both Rangeland and Soils Days will have the opportunity to measure how much they have learned by participating in contests, again designed specifically for their age level and expertise.

Competition will be offered for individuals and teams for all age groups.

Leadership Growth Opportunities for Youth 

Youth also have the opportunity to expand their leadership skills and rangeland management understanding by participating in student talks and development of educational displays.

Student displays: Youth are encouraged to enter a tabletop display on any range-related topic. Examples include: wildlife, food and habitat displays, a grazing plan for your ranch, etc.

Plant collections will be judged as a separate category and will be eligible for a special award. Plant collections will NOT count toward the Top Hand Award.

Student Talks: Talks may be presented on any aspect of range management or about any range resource. Visual aids are required; Power Point preferred.

Scout and Go Getter presentations should be more scientific than a revised 4-H demonstration. Time limits are: New Rangers 2 to 8 minutes, Wranglers 3 to 8 minutes, Scouts and Go Getters 5 to 8 minutes.
 
Competition & Awards

Plaques will presented to the first place individual in each event in each age division, and medallions to the first through third placing contestants in each event in each division.
Soils Top Hand: A silver belt buckle will go to the overall top scoring youth.

Rangeland Top Hand: A silver belt buckle will go to the overall top scoring youth in each division. Scores in the judging competition (40 percent), Student talks (35 percent), and displays (25 percent) will all count toward the award.

Participation in all three events is required to be eligible.

Scout/Go-Getter Student Talk: The Top Scout or Go Getter from South Dakota may be given the opportunity to present his/her talk at the 2019 Society for Range Management annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minneapolis.

Range & Soils Team Competition: Teams may consist of three or four members from the county 4-H program or FFA Chapter.

New Ranger and Wrangler teams will receive certificates. The top Go-Getter Range team and the top Soils team in 4-H will represent South Dakota at the National Land & Range Judging Contest held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2019.

NOTE: All team members must be current 4-H members and will not graduate before May 2019.

Registration Details

To pre-register for this event, and for more information, visit the iGrow events calendar or contact Dave Ollila at 605.394.1722.

Group of attendees
Courtesy of iGrow.org. South Dakota youth and adults are invited to participate in the 35th annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 15th annual Soils Days which will be held June 26-27, 2018 in Redfield, South Dakota.

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Register Today for Grassfed Exchange National Conference Coming in Rapid City June 20-22, 2018

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension are co-hosting the 10th Annual Grassfed Exchange National Conference in Rapid City June 20-22, 2018 at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Rapid City.

The Grassfed Exchange is a non-profit group dedicated to advancing the opportunities for grassfed livestock and regenerative agriculture.

"The South Dakota Grassland Coalition sees this conference as another opportunity to bring quality education to South Dakota's livestock producers, agency personnel, political leaders, lenders and the general public," said Jim Faulstich, chairman of the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.
 
To Register

To register for this three-day conference or to learn more about scholarships, sponsorships and vendor opportunities and more visit The Grassfed Exchange website. Space is limited for tours, so register soon.

Conference Details

Wednesday June 20, 2018
Ranch Tours: Ranch tours will feature grassfed beef, bison, and sheep enterprises. At the end of the day, tour busses will meet at the Central States Fairgrounds for supper, grassfed livestock viewing, and grassfed beef and sheep carcass quality ultrasound assessment demonstrations.

Thursday & Friday June 21-22
Two days packed with speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions/workshops, and a vendor/sponsor tradeshow. The day ends with a banquet and awards ceremony.

Keynote: SDSU President Barry Dunn
 
Featured speakers:

  • Nina Teicholz, Author, The Big Fat Surprise
  • Dr. Jonathon Lundgren, award winning agroEcologist
  • Dr. Christine Jones, famed soil carbon scientist
  • Dan O'Brien, Author, Great Plains Bison and founder of Wild Idea Buffalo
  • Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Iowa State University
  • Producer panel on grass-fed beef, bison, sheep, stacked enterprises and much more.

June 22 session and workshop topics: bison, multispecies marketing, grassfed genetics, diversity on the ranch, grazing management, ecosystems, young farmer/rancher forum and finance and profitability. 

Scholarships: The Grassfed Exchange also focuses on providing opportunities to young or beginning grassfed producers and will again sponsor scholarships to the conference.
 
More about the Grassfed Exchange

Founded by a diverse group of producers, extension personnel, marketing experts, academics and investors, the Grassfed Exchange's mission is simple and centered on regenerative grassland agriculture, healthy families, healthy soils, clean water, and thriving communities among other things.

"The Grassfed Exchange is the national leader in promoting the opportunities associated with the grassfed industry," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

The Grassfed Exchange draws heavily on volunteer experts from across the nation for its Conference Committee and Advisory Council.

"Here in South Dakota, we have a great diversity of grassland enterprises," Faulstich said. "We know beef production is our primary grass-based industry, but the Coalition is interested in supporting all types of grass-based businesses. So, whether its grassfed or conventional livestock; beef, sheep, bison, or pheasants... what we are concerned with is viable, healthy, and productive grasslands that will carry on to future generations."

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The Experts Share Tips to Selecting the Perfect Steak

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Food Safety


BROOKINGS, S.D. - With grilling season in full swing, many grillers are in search of the perfect steak. SDSU Extension staff teamed up with the South Dakota Beef Industry Council to share their best tips to selecting the perfect steak.

"With so many different options out there it's good to have plan before you head out to shop," explained Amanda Blair, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Meat Science Specialist. "The type of steak you select is a personal choice."

Blair explained that if a consumer knows their preferences for flavor, tenderness or marbling, selection shouldn't be too tough. However, if you're unsure, she, along with Holly Swee, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information and Adam Rhody, SDSU Meat Lab Manager, developed this guide for you.

Traditional Steak Options

"A general rule of thumb is, the more expensive the steak, the more tender it should be. But, finding a great steak really depends on what you like," explained Rhody.

If your top priority is tenderness, a tenderloin - also known as a filet or filet Mignon - is a great option.

If you're after an extremely flavorful cut, a sirloin should be on your list.

Looking for both tenderness and flavor? Ribeyes and strip steaks are what you're looking for.

"One reason ribeyes and New York strips are so flavorful is the amount of marbling," Blair said.

Marbling is the small flecks of fat within the meat. The amount of marbling determines the grade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) beef grades typically found in grocery stores or at restaurants are Select, Choice, and Prime.

These are also related to price.

Select cuts will have the least amount of marbling and Prime will have the most. Cuts with a quality grade of Prime are most often the most expensive.

Other popular beef items for summer grilling are fajitas and kabobs.

"Grocery stores will sell these items, but you can save a little money by cutting them yourself," Rhody said.

A sirloin works great for kabobs since it is a tender, lean cut. For fajitas, try a beef skirt steak or flank steak, which can be grilled whole and sliced thinly across the grain.

New Value Cuts

Speaking of price, the beef industry has developed several new value cuts over the past few years including the flat iron, Denver cut, and chuck eye steak.

"These cuts have great flavor and tenderness and generally sold at retail for less than more traditional steaks such as the ribeye," Blair said.

However, since they're new to the market they may not always be available at retail so if a consumer has a difficult time accessing them, ask the butcher or grocer.

"The flat iron steak, in particular, is gaining popularity because it is very tender and flavorful, but they're sold in the meat case cut a couple different ways," Blair said.

She explained that one cutting method results in an oval shape with a long section of connective tissue down the middle, which can lead to tenderness issues. The more preferred cutting method results in a rectangular shaped flat iron.

Lean Beef Options

Beef is a great option to add to your diet because it contributes important nutrients such as protein, iron and zinc.

"There are plenty of lean beef options that can be incorporated into a balanced diet," Swee explained. "In fact, there are over 37 cuts that meet the government guidelines for lean."

Many popular cuts in the meat case qualify as lean such as flank steak, tenderloin, T-bone steak and 95 percent lean ground beef.

"A good rule of thumb is to look for the word loin or round in the name - which usually indicates a lean cut," Swee said.

The American Heart Association has also named nine fresh lean cuts of beef that meet the Heart Check-mark certification.

Additional Resources:

For more information, check out these videos and documents:

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Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm Holds Field Day June 19 in Brookings

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The benefits of small grains in crop rotations is the focus of the 24th Annual Field Day to be held June 19, 2018 at the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm in Brookings (3714 Western Avenue).

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Tours begin at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at noon. Lunch is sponsored by Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc.

Throughout the field day discussions will focus on bringing small grains back to South Dakota cropping systems.

"The number of acres planted to small grains in eastern South Dakota has been rapidly declining due to multiple factors that influence cropping decisions. However, there are also a number of reasons why small grains should be retained in South Dakota's crop rotations, especially when viewed as a component of the production system," said Mike Lehman, Research Microbiologist with U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS), North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory.
 
Field Day Presentations:

Dakota Small Grains - General Mills, Inc. Perspectives: Led by Tom Rabaey, General Mills, Inc.
Rabaey will discuss quality breeding programs, quality grains, proximity to markets and successful agronomy research programs which are all factors that will contribute to making the Dakotas a key supplier to General Mills and other millers.

Rabaey will speak about General Mills' investments in oat breeding, genetics, agronomy and soil science in South Dakota to enable a reliable oat and wheat supply chain going forward.

The "Why" and "What" of Soil Health Research at General Mills: Led by Steve Rosenzweig, General Mills, Inc.
Food companies are beginning to realize the importance of soil health to consumers, investors and farmers who supply the key ingredients for their products.

Rosenzweig will speak about General Mills' partnerships with farmers, suppliers, scientists, and tech companies to understand and improve soil health in their supply chains.

Field Plot Research - Small Grain Benefits: Led by Shannon Osborne, USDA-ARS
Inclusion of a small grain into crop rotations can have multiple benefits, including improved crop yield, yield stability, and soil health properties.

Osborne will present the results of long-term research that found an increase in soil aggregate stability, soil carbon and soil biology when using a small grain in rotation.

Incentives for Incorporating Small Grains into South Dakota Crop Rotations: Led by Jim Ristau, South Dakota Corn
Multiple programs exist to help growers address soil resource concerns, including increasing soil salinity. Ristau will discuss opportunities to improve soil health through diverse cropping systems.
 
Making Small Grains Work: Led by Brian Smith, Producer
Smith will discuss the role of small grains in his operation including why and how he has retained small grains in his crop rotations when many neighboring farms migrated to a corn/soybean rotation.

Small grains contribute to improved soil health and its associated benefits, but also ensure the viability and profitability of his integrated livestock production system.

Continuing education credits:
Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education credits are available in Crop Production and Soil and Water Management.

For more information about the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc., contact Joan Kreitlow at 605.692.8003 ext. 3.
 
For more information about the USDA-ARS North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, contact Sharon Papiernik, Research Leader, at 605-693-5201.

The Agricultural Research Service is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The NCARL in Brookings, the only ARS facility in South Dakota, is one of the nation's premier agricultural research laboratories. They develop integrated crop and pest management practices that enhance soil fertility and conservation, improve water availability and quality, increase biodiversity, and reduce insect and weed populations.

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Food Preservation Workshops Offered by SDSU Extension

Categorized: Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Food Safety, Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension field specialists are offering Food Preservation workshops to the communities of Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

During workshops, participants can expect to learn about safe food preservation practices and will receive hands-on training in canning techniques.

Workshops are open to all. Youth under the age of 13 need to have an adult present to assist them during the workshop.

To help cover costs, registration is $30 for adult/youth pair. Registration includes cost of materials and lunch.

To register, go to visit the iGrow Events page.

If you have questions, contact Megan Erickson, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, or Hope Kleine, SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Preservation workshop schedule:

Rapid City
Topic: Canning spaghetti sauce and pickles.
Date: August 1, 2018
Time: 4 - 8 pm.
Registration deadline: July 27 (Registration is limited to 15 people.)
Location: Walter Taylor 4-H Building (601 E. Centre)
Contact information: Call 605.394.1722 with questions

Sioux Falls
Topic: Canning peaches, strawberry jam and green beans
Date: June 23, 2018
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Registration deadline: June 20. (Registration is limited to 18 people.)
Location: SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls (2001 E Eighth Street)
Contact information: Call 605.782.3290 with questions Saturday.

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Mesonet at SD State to Aid Weather Decisions

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Mesonet at SD State has installed dozens of inversion sensors and released a web-based Mesonet Spray Tool to help agricultural pesticide applicators.

The Mesonet Spray Tool reports directly measured inversion and wind conditions in real-time. Mesonet at SD State is South Dakota's weather network component of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

Available at the Mesonet website, this project is supported in part by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Real-time spray conditions maximizes field time

When it comes to spray application, weather conditions determine timing, explains Nathan Edwards, Mesonet Engineer/Director at South Dakota State University.

"Applicators are always thinking in the term of how many minutes they can apply while the weather cooperates - this is why real-time information is invaluable," Edwards said. "Hourly weather leaves sprayable weather conditions unused, something you can't afford - especially with some newer products."

Agriculture and pesticide applicators have always utilized the weather data provided by Mesonet weather stations positioned throughout the state - outnumbering federal airport stations and providing updated information every 5 minutes.

"These are important factors when your livelihood depends on responding to rapidly changing weather conditions," Edwards said.

Direct measurement of temperature inversions

A major contributor to pesticide drift, inversions occur when cooler air layers under warmer air. This concentrates clouds of droplets that pose a drift risk.

Edwards stresses that the Mesonet Spray Tool is not based on an algorithm or estimated data. All Mesonet stations have been equipped with additional temperature sensors to directly measure temperature inversions.

It is the only network in the state with this capability.

Tailored to the Needs of Sprayers

The Mesonet Spray Tool is color-coded to match commonly used thresholds for wind speed and inversion.

Delta T, which is a measurement that relates temperature and humidity, is used to evaluate pesticide droplet lifetimes and evaporation rates. Delta T is not part of U.S. pesticide labeling, but is included for those who find it useful for nozzle selection and drift avoidance.

Growing the Mesonet

The Mesonet relies on local station sponsors to cover the costs of bringing stations to communities.

Because the Mesonet Spray Tool will enable sprayers to make the most of sprayable weather, Edwards is preparing for increased demand for new weather stations to bring these capabilities to even more areas of the state.

"We're only able to operate these stations with the support of coops, conservation districts, county governments and others," Edwards said.

To learn more about how you can get a Mesonet Weather Station in your area, contact Edwards by email.

Spray Tool and Mesonet at SD State

The Mesonet consists of 27 locally-supported stations across the state that are maintained by South Dakota State University.

The Mesonet serves the public, agriculture, natural resources, emergency management and research from its website.

Example of the Mesonet Spray Tool, an online tool developed by the Mesonet at SD State which reports directly measured inversion and wind conditions in real-time. Mesonet at SD State is South Dakota's weather network component of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

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There’s Something for Everyone at Dairy Fest 2018

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension, area dairy producers and dairy industry personnel invite the public to enjoy free family events during Dairy Fest 2018 held in Brookings June 2, 2018 at the Swiftel Center (824 32nd Ave).

The event is free and open to the public. It is designed for all ages to learn about dairy.

"This event is truly unique as it brings together multiple facets of the industry to celebrate the nutrient-rich benefits of dairy products and the many people - from farmers to processors to chefs - who play a role in delivering dairy to consumers," said Darrel Rennich Dairy Fest Chairmen and Diamond V Sales Representative.

Below are additional details about Dairy Fest 2018 and some of the pre-events and activities:

Picowsa's of the Central Plains Contest

View artwork created by area 4-H, FFA members and elementary and high school students as part of Picowsa's of the Central Plains contest. The artwork will be displayed and some will be offered as part of the silent auction during the Got Milk Gala held May 31, 2018. Funds raised will go to support the Dairy Fest Scholarships offered to SDSU Dairy Students. They will also be displayed throughout the Dairy Fest Carnival on Saturday, June 2, 2018.

Got Milk Gala

The "Got Milk Gala" is the premier event; where dairy will be part of the five course meal, featuring locally produced cheese. The event will be held May 31, 2018 at the Swiftel Center beginning at 6:30 PM with social hour, followed by dinner at 7:30 PM tickets are secured by invitation from a supporting table sponsor.

Perfectly paired wine will complement the dairy flavor. While enjoying the meal, community and state leaders, area business owners, industry leaders and dairy producers will be sharing the importance of dairy to the surrounding area.

This year's keynote speaker is Sue McCloskey. Sue was an art and art history student before being swept up in the world of dairy cows upon meeting her husband, Mike. They ran a successful dairy veterinary consulting practice in Southern California along with a 300 cow dairy and then 1000 cow dairy. In 1990 they sold the vet practice and became full time dairy farmers by moving to New Mexico and building a 5000 cow dairy farm. While in New Mexico, they created Select Milk Producers, now the nation's sixth largest dairy cooperative, and began thinking about how to make milk more relevant to consumers and how to tell the story of modern agriculture. In 1999, Mike and Sue moved to Northwest Indiana to build one of the largest dairy farms in the country, Prairie's Edge Dairy Farm, which currently milks 15,000 cows along with a 1,000 cow organic dairy. The most current addition to the farm will be an 800 cow robotic dairy which should become operational by early 2018. At the same time they were building farms in Indiana they opened Fair Oaks Farms, the country's largest and most recognized agritourist attraction.

Sue and Mike also served as the founders of Fairlife, which is a dairy-based health and wellness company owned by both Select Milk Producers and The Coca Cola Company. Fairlife milk, which is a high protein, low sugar, lactose free milk aimed at families, has been instrumental in refocusing the public's perception of milk from being a generic product to one that brings value and nutrition to American families. Sue has been the Creative Director for Fair Oaks Farms as well as serving as a spokesperson for Fairlife.

Fork to Farm: Dairy Educational Event

Youth at the Brookings Boys N Girls Club and Teen Center will be participating in the the Fork to Farm Dairy Educational Event June 1, 2018. Participants will learn how dairy cows produce milk and how milk is turned into dairy products. Youth will also have the opportunity to make butter along with learning about different careers in the dairy industry.

Leadership training with Sue McCloskey

June 1, 2018 the Dairy Fest committee invites all interested to participate in a free two-hour leadership training session at the Swiftel Center in Brookings on June 9 AM.

The training will be led by Sue McCloskey, along with her husband, Mike. Read more about the McCloskeys under the "Got Milk Gala" subtitle above.

Dairy Fest Carnival, SDSU Davis Dairy Plant Tour and Dairy Farm Tour

The farm comes to you at the Dairy Fest Carnival on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Stop by the Swiftel Center in Brookings for several hands-on family friendly activities. Some of the activities will include a live animal petting zoo of cows/calves, combine & skid steer bouncy house, Spin the Wheel of Dairy Fortune, corn and soybean box, straw bale maze, 5 gallon pail stack, cow patty golf, dairy product tasting, and a cheese plant relay race are just some of the activities that will be at this year's event.

Meet the 2018 South Dakota Dairy Princess and get your picture taken with our new royalty.

Free SDSU Ice cream will be served until it's gone for carnival participants. The carnival will be held on Saturday from 10 AM to 1:30 PM Families are encouraged to attend.

Cooking with Dairy Demonstrations

Hy-Vee dietician, Kayla Aman, will demonstrate how to create a healthy, dairy-filled snacks at the Dairy Fest Carnival.

Recipe cards will be available for you to recreate the meal at home. The cooking demonstration will take place on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at between 10 AM and 1:30 PM at the Swiftel Center.

SDSU Davis Dairy Plant Tours

Wondering how the SDSU ice cream and cheese are made? Join us for a tour of the SDSU Davis Dairy Plant for a behind-the-scenes tour of how dairy products are made.

Tours will run from 10 AM till 11AM

Buses will run every 20 minutes from the Swiftel Center to bring participants to the dairy plant.

Tour and Lunch Old Tree Dairy Farm

Join us for a free lunch and free tour of Old Tree Farms in Volga. These tours will take place from 11 AM until 1:30 PM.

This is a great opportunity to see the workings of a modern family dairy farm.

Free grilled cheese sandwiches and SDSU ice cream will be served. Free transportation to the farm will be provided with buses leaving every half hour beginning at 11 AM from the Swiftel Center to the farm. Handicap accessible bussing is also available.

For more information about Dairy Fest, please contact Larissa Neugebauer, Dairy Fest Coordinator at 605.770.8233 or by email.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, May 30, 2018

Picowsa Painting Contest Judging

"Got Milk Gala"- Swiftel Center - invitation only event

6:30 PM - Social Hour followed by dinner at 7:30 PM

Friday, June 1, 2018

9:00 - 11:00 AM Leadership Training with Sue McCloskey - Swiftel Center - open to the public.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Session 1: Fork to Farm: Dairy Educational Sessions at Brookings Boys N Girls Teen Center

1 - 2 PM Session 2: Fork to Farm: Dairy Educational Sessions at Brookings Boys N Girls Teen Center

Saturday, June 2, 2018

10 AM - 11 AM SDSU Davis Dairy Plant Tours Buses will run every 20 minutes from Swiftel Center

10 AM - 1:30 PM Cooking with Dairy Demonstrations

10 AM - 1:30 PM Dairy Fest Carnival, at Swiftel Center, SDSU ice cream, Cow Party Golf, bouncy house, corn and soybean boxes, petting zoo, Spin the Wheel of Dairy Fortune, straw bale maze and more.

11 AM - 1:30 PM Dairy Farm Tour and Lunch - Old Tree Dairy Farm, Volga, SD

Buses will run every half hour from the Swiftel Center to the farm.

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2018 Nitrate Quick Test Training

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will be hosting Nitrate Quick Test Recertification and New Certification Training throughout June.

"To ensure the safety of forages, nitrate testing is a good safety precaution," said Karla Hernandez, SDSU Extension Forages Field Specialist.

Forage producers who were not trained to perform the Nitrate Quick Test in 2017, need to attend a Nitrate Quick Test New Certification Trainings. The trainings will last one hour. Those trained in 2017, can attend one of the recertification sessions.

Both new certification and recertification will be offered twice.

Training details

The trainings will be held June 4 and 5, 2018 across the state at SDSU Extension Regional Centers via DDN system.

June 4, 2018:

  • One-hour Recertification class will begin at 1 PM (MDT) and 2 PM (CDT).
  • One-hour Certification class will begin at 2 PM (MDT) and 3 PM (CDT).

June 5, 2018:

  • One-hour Recertification class will begin at 1 PM (MDT) and 2 PM (CDT).
  • One-hour Certification class will begin at 2 PM (MDT) and 3 PM (CDT).

Pre-register for the trainings by May 31, 2018 to ensure each location has adequate supplies. Registration costs cover the supplies needed to do the testing, as well as the test solution. Please, notice that recertification is required on an annual basis.

The New Certification Training is $35 and the recertification is $20. To register, call 605.882.5140 or email.

Training Locations

SDSU Extension Aberdeen Regional Center
13 Second Ave., SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401
Office: 605.626.2870

SDSU Extension Lemmon Regional Center
408 Eighth St. West, Lemmon, SD 57638
Office: 605.374.4177
 
SDSU Extension Mitchell Regional Center
1800 E. Spruce St., Mitchell, SD 57301
Office: 605.995.7378
 
SDSU Extension Pierre Regional Center
412 W. Missouri Ave., Pierre, SD 57501
Office: 605.773.8120
 
SDSU West River Ag Center (WRAC)
1905 Plaza Blvd., Rapid. City SD 57702
Office: 605.394.2236
 
SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center (Location is available only for June 4th)
2001 E. Eight St., Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Office: 605/.782.3290
 
SDSU Extension Watertown Regional Center
1910 W. Kemp Ave., Watertown, SD 57201
Office: 605.882.5140
 
SDSU Extension Winner Regional Extension Center
325 S. Monroe St., PO Box 270, Winner, SD 57580
Office: 605.842.1267

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Urban Ag Day Event Provides Hands-On Opportunity

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County with a grant from South Dakota Farm Bureau.

"Urban Ag Day was designed to help educate students about agriculture, and expand their knowledge about food, fuel and fiber," said Sara Koepke, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor-Grant County.

Seventy percent of the students who participated in the Urban Ag Day event do not live on farms.

"Grant County is a large agriculture community and we have a passion for educating youth about farm-to-table concepts," said Koepke. "This event allowed the students to have a hands-on opportunity with agriculture and still meet their life science education standards."

During the day, each student had the opportunity to interact with presenters at 12 stations.

4-H alumni and members led stations featuring live animals where youth learned about beef, dairy, goat, poultry, sheep and swine.

"These livestock experts explained to students how they care for their animals, proper terminology, and how we utilize agriculture in various consumer byproducts," Koepke said.

The remaining sessions were activity-based sessions, including:

  • Let's Make Butter - where youth learned about the dairy industry while making butter in a film canister.
  • The Amazing Soybean - this lesson highlighted the process of growing crops for human consumption, feed for animals and consumer byproducts.
  • Feed the Cow - students learned about healthy diet choices, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate guidelines, while at the same time learning about a cow's diet.
  • What's in Your Cheeseburger? - farmers grow every part of a cheeseburger and the students learned about the process.
  • Ready, Set, Grow - students learned the process of how a seed germinates and made a plant pal necklace to showcase the germination process.

These activity-based sessions were led by Kelly Brandlee, Riverview LLP Community Relations; Jonathan Kleinjan, SDSU Extension Crop Production Associate; Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist; Chanda Engel, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist and Hannah Barthel, Wilbur-Eillis Sales Agronomist.

Students also had the opportunity to tour farm equipment, including a grain chopper, combine, tractor and grain cart provided by Kibble Equipment.

Each youth received a bag filled with educational items from many of our state's commodity groups, including: South Dakota Soybean Council, South Dakota Corn, South Dakota Beef Council, South Dakota Pork Council, South Dakota Sheep Growers Associations, Midwest Dairy Association, Valley Queen Cheese, Wilbur-Ellis and POET Biorefining.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at under Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. 4-H member, Cassidy Schwagel, visits with students about poultry during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools attended the event where they spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County.

Courtesy of iGrow. Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist shows and visits with students about healthy diet choices, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate guidelines, while at the same time learning about a cow's diet during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools attended the event where they spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County.

"Urban Ag Day was designed to help educate students about agriculture, and expand their knowledge about food, fuel, and fiber," said Sara Koepke, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor-Grant County.

Seventy percent of the students who participated in the Urban Ag Day event do not live on farms.

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SDSU Extension Teams up with SD Wheat Inc.

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is collaborating with South Dakota Wheat, Inc. to organize the 2018 annual Wheat Walks in Milesville, Sturgis, Mt. Vernon and Miller beginning May 31, 2018.

During the Wheat Walk, SDSU Extension staff will be available to discuss current production issues including: weed control, insect and disease identification, management and fertilizer options for winter and spring wheat.

Each Wheat Walk will also include the in-field program where SDSU Extension staff can help identify pests that are currently in the field, and also cover any other production issues or concerns attendees might have. Following the in-field portion of the program. SD Wheat Inc. will provide growers with information on crop rotation, protein and moisture sampling.

The event will include a meal sponsored by SD Wheat Inc., Agripro (Syngenta), First National Bank and The South Dakota Wheat Commission.

Wheat Walk Details

Milesville: The Milesville Wheat Walk will be held May 31 at 4:30 PM (MST).

Location directions: Attendees should gather along the south side of SD Hwy 34, 3 miles east of the junction of SD Hwy 34 and 73.

Sturgis: The Sturgis Wheat Walk will be held June 5 at 4:30 PM (MST).

Location directions: To attend turn west off SD Hwy 79 onto Bighorn Road and travel 1.5 miles. The plots will be on the north side of the road.

Mt. Vernon: The Mt. Vernon Wheat Walk will be held June 7 at 4:30 PM (CST) just north of Mt. Vernon, SD.

Location directions: The location is 25287 397th Ave., Mt. Vernon, SD. From Mt. Vernon travel 0.5 miles north on 397th Ave. The field is on the east side of the road.

Miller: The Miller Wheat Walk will be held near Miller, SD June 14 beginning at 4:30 PM (CST).

Location directions: Interested attendees should travel 8 miles north of Miller on SD Hwy 45, turn east on 188th St. The field is located 6.5 miles east at 36630 188th Ave.

Each event will include a meal. Anyone planning to attend is asked to RSVP to 605.224.4418 three days prior to the event so organizers can plan appropriately for the meal.

More details can also be found at the South Dakota Wheat website or the iGrow Events page.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension is collaborating with South Dakota Wheat, Inc. to organize the 2018 annual Wheat Walks in Milesville, Sturgis, Mt. Vernon and Miller beginning May 31, 2018.

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2018 Eastern South Dakota Grasshopper Forecast

Categorized: Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 2018 cool wet spring may lead to reduced grasshopper populations, compared to 2017 says SDSU Extension entomology team.

"During 2017, many of the grasshoppers that we observed were several weeks behind schedule in growth," said Adam J. Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

However, Varenhorst explained that trying to predict insect populations is difficult as many additional factors can contribute to their winter survival and overall spring populations.

"Our recommendation is to scout for spring grasshopper populations, as they will be the first indicator of potential problem areas," he said. "Depending on the 2018 growing season, areas with limited rainfall or drought conditions may experience increased grasshopper populations."

A look back on 2017

In 2017, researchers at South Dakota State University completed a grasshopper survey of Eastern South Dakota (Figure 1).

The last grasshopper survey conducted in Eastern South Dakota was published in 1925. Those involved in this survey included: Erica Anderson, SDSU Graduate Student; Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist; Philip Rozeboom, Research Associate; Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist and Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension Pesticide Education & Urban Entomology Field Specialist.

2017 was an interesting growing season with areas of South Dakota experiencing severe drought conditions.

"In some of these areas, we found that grasshopper populations were causing defoliation injury to already drought-stressed crops," Varenhorst said.

He explained that factors that can lead to increased grasshopper populations include long, warm falls, decreased ground cover, and limited spring rainfall.

Leading up to 2017, we experienced several warm falls where the first frost date occurred much later than normal.

"These conditions allowed grasshoppers to successfully lay eggs for a much longer period of time and were likely part of the reason why we saw increased grasshopper populations in the eastern half of the state," he said.

Areas of South Dakota with grasshopper populations that reached or exceeded the threshold of eight or more grasshoppers per square yard included: Hyde, Hand, Beadle, Kingsbury, Spink, Buffalo, Jerauld, Brule, Aurora, Douglas and Hutchinson counties. In addition, there were several other counties that had multiple samples near threshold levels (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Map of 2017 grasshopper abundance for Eastern South Dakota. Green triangles indicate grasshopper populations that were below threshold, orange squares represent grasshopper populations that were approaching threshold, and red circles indicate grasshopper populations that exceeded the threshold. Map courtesy of Erica Anderson.

Graphic key: Image of South Dakota with green areas indicating forested area and dark red colors indicating reservation land. There are green triangles representing areas with low grasshopper populations, orange squares representing medium grasshopper populations, and red circles representing grasshopper populations that exceeded thresholds.

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Summer Season Kicks Off with Warmer Weather

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - After a near-record cold April, May 2018 is off to a warmer than average start across much of South Dakota.

"It appears as if this trend will continue into June, as the dive into summer continues," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

In fact, temperatures across the state were above average for the first 16 days of the month.

"Most locations were two to five degrees warmer than usual for this time of year. A handful of locations in the Black Hills, south central and northeast have been more than five degrees above average so far," she said.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Outlook for June 2018, released May 17, leans towards warmer than average as well. "Current forecast projections show very good chances that the end of May and early June will be warmer than typical for this time of year in the Northern Plains," Edwards said.

Precipitation

Rainfall across South Dakota, as of May 17 has been variable, with the southeast portion of the state experiencing especially wet conditions, which brought many rivers to flood stage in early May.

"The eastern rivers have receded now that all the snowmelt has runoff, but water is still high after some recent rain events," Edwards said.

There have also been some local rain events in west central and northwestern counties, but the total for the last two weeks is only about an inch to 1.5 inches.

The southwest and northeast continue to be the driest areas of the state in the last one to two months.

"A look ahead into June's climate outlook does not provide much information for precipitation. The latest map shows equal chances of drier, wetter and near average moisture for the month ahead," she said, and explained that this is not unusual for the Northern Plains. "It is often difficult to predict spring and summer season storms. This is good news, and bad news, for those who are dry in the north, but also those that are too wet in the south and want to make some more progress in planting, fertilizer and early pesticide application."

The U.S. Drought Monitor map, released May 17, shows that a new area of moderate drought was introduced in northeastern South Dakota, along the North Dakota border.

"This area has been much drier than average for the last 30 to 60 days. Soil moisture is also dry for this time of year," Edwards said. "This has allowed spring wheat, corn and soybean planting to move ahead rapidly, but continued rainfall will be crucial for the rest of the spring season."

In the west, despite some recent precipitation, Edwards explained that it has not yet been sufficient to bring the area completely out of drought. "Moderate drought remains over a large area of western South Dakota," she said. "Stock ponds filled with early spring runoff, but grasses and pastures will need more time to recover from the last one to two years of drought. This area has overall been slightly drier than average since April 1, which is a critical moisture period for cool season grasses."

Temperature outlook for June 2018. South Dakota has an increased chance of being warmer than average in June.

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Know Your Numbers Know Your Options: Annie’s Level 2

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, who has questions about farm finance and leases, then Know Your Numbers Know Your Options may be the program for you.

SDSU Extension will host the four-part Know Your Numbers Know Your Options class which is focused on financial risk management in Hot Springs on Tuesdays beginning May 22, 2018 and running May 22, June 12, 19, and 26 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (MDT) at the SDSU Extension Fall River County Office (709 Jensen Highway, Ste. B Hot Springs, SD 57747).

SDSU Extension will also host the class in Philip, at the Bad River Sr. Citizen Center (115 S. Center Ave., Philip, SD 57567) from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Wednesdays, beginning May 23, 2018 and running May 23, June 13, 20, and 27.

More about Know Your Numbers Know Your Options

Have you ever asked a farm/ranch management question and not understood the answer? Have you ever signed papers at the bank or FSA and not really understood what they were for? Have you been thinking about if you have enough insurance? Have you wished you knew more about flexible and/or cash leasing agreements?

If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for know your numbers know your options.

"Annie's Project was designed to empower women by providing detailed farm/ranch management information and build networks between women. Know Your Numbers Know Your Options is an Annie's Level 2 course designed for women wanting to learn more about how to develop financial records," said Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

Participation in Annie's Project is not necessary for participation in Your Numbers Know Your Options. Designed to teach key communication skills and expand leasing knowledge, Your Numbers Know Your Options provides a fun and supportive learning environment.

Registration details

Class space is limited. Pre-registration is due by May 20, 2018. To register, visit the iGrow Events page. The cost is $40 per person and covers the cost of meals. This material is based upon work supported by USDA-NIFA Under award number 2015-49200-24226.

For more information, contact Shannon Sand by email at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Aberdeen, at 605.626.2870.

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Cattle AI Schools in Philip and Mitchell

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host two AI Schools in South Dakota. The three-day artificial insemination (AI) schools will be held June 13, 14 and 15, 2018 at the SDSU Cottonwood Range and Livestock Field Station near Philip (23738 Fairview Road) and September 26, 27 and 28, 2018 in Mitchell at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell (1800 East Spruce Street).

This first day consists of classroom training pertaining to AI techniques, reproductive-tract anatomy, heat detection, AI equipment and semen handling.

Morning sessions on the following two days will focus on hands-on AI practice techniques. Afternoon classroom topics will include bull selection, EPD, heat synchronization, herd management and nutrition. The clinic ends at approximately 3:00 PM the third day.

Registration details

This event is limited to 20 participants. Individuals must reserve their spots. To cover costs, the registration fee is $400. The fee covers the cost of educational materials, supplies, facility, cow use and meals.

Philip: For more information or to register for the school at Cottonwood Range and Livestock Field Station, contact Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605.374.4177 or by email.

Mitchell: UPDATE: this event has been filled but a waiting is is available. For more information or to be placed on a waiting list for the school in Mitchell, contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow Calf Field Specialist at 605.995.7378 or by email.

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The Year of the Hay

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Profit Tips

Column by Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor

Three countries lead the world in fluid milk production: India, the U.S. and China - in this order. Demand for dairy products in China continues to increase through a combination of technology, changes in retail-supply chains, consumer trends, income growth and government policies.

With limited access to land, the choice for large Chinese dairies is to import feed. All types of hay are coveted by the Chinese market, however those with high nutrient density (more than 20 percent protein and more than 150 Relative Feed Value) are definitively attractive.

From this perspective, the U.S. alfalfa market is prime for exporting to China. In 2016, the U.S. exported 23 percent more hay to China than in 2015, and was the top supplier, with 78.6 percent of the total (1.29 million metric tons), followed by Australia (13.8 percent), Spain (3.48 percent), and Canada (3.16 percent).

South Dakota is a leader in hay production

Five states produce 35 percent of all alfalfa in the U.S., they include: California, South Dakota, Idaho, Iowa and Minnesota.

During 2013-2014 California and Idaho hay stocks dropped by 56 and 44 percent, respectively. Between 2016 and 2017, and with the exception of Idaho, which increased hay production by 29 percent, all other leading states dropped production. California dropped by 58 percent, South Dakota dropped by 31 percent, Iowa dropped by 43 percent, and Minnesota dropped by 35 percent for an overall average hay reduction of negative 36 percent.

It is unlikely that hay production will rebound during 2018. Large amounts will need to be shipped from other states to supply California's livestock and exports. The U.S.

Department of Agriculture projects hay acreage for 2018 will drop nearly 36 percent from last year.

Lower corn prices have at least helped somewhat with the tough financial times U.S. dairies and other livestock enterprises are facing.

It seems that during 2018 higher hay prices resulting from reduced stocks could hamper some of these feed cost savings that lower-priced corn brought to livestock producers in the recent past.

Farms that rely heavily on hay for either growing heifers or lactating cows, may want to lock prices. Similarly, the use of agricultural by-products (and particularly corn co-products because of their current competitive price) seem to be an economical alternative.

If the commitment of the U.S. government to allow year-round sales (including the summer) of 15 percent ethanol blends (E15) is confirmed, then feed co-product prices may become increasingly attractive.

Advantages of this approach will be to strategically stretch hay supplies for the 2018-2019 winter season.

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Registration for Livestock Environmental Training Workshop

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The online registration for the June 27, 2018 Livestock Environmental Training Workshop hosted by SDSU Extension in Huron is now active.

To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

The environmental training session will be in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 Fourth St. S.W.). The program begins promptly at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4:45 p.m.

"The event brings together experts from SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide training necessary for General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and other certifications," explained Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Registration details

Pre-registration is required by June 22, 2018.

To cover the cost of the event, registration is $50 for the first person from a farm or operation and includes lunch, breaks and training materials. Additional participants from the same farm/operation can register for $50 to receive a binder or $25 for attendance only without additional binders.

At the completion of the workshop, all participants will receive a certificate to document their completion of the program.

Why training is necessary?

Spring of 2017, the S.D. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources reissued the General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

The new permit requires existing permitted operations to obtain coverage under the proposed permit between one to four years after the General Permit is issued. One of the proposed permit conditions for existing permitted operations is that an onsite representative attends an approved environmental training program within the last three years prior to obtaining a new permit.

Also, if the person who attended training no longer works at the operation, another representative must attend training within one year.

This current training program meets the training requirement of the proposed permit as long as it is attended within three years of obtaining coverage under the new permit.

Manure applicators, producers and any other interested individuals who are not currently applying for a permit can also benefit from the information and are encouraged to attend.

Certified Crop Advisor credits are available as well.

"Past attendees of this program have come away with at least one new practice they consider adopting related to land application, livestock feeding, air quality or soil conservation," Thaler said.

For more information, contact Thaler by email or 605.688.5435. John McMaine, SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer can also be contacted by email or 605.688.5610.

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Garden & Canning Hotlines Available

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Answers to South Dakotans' questions are just a phone call away.

SDSU Extension Regional Centers, together with Master Gardeners across the state have opened the 2018 Garden Hotline now through September 28.

Call the numbers below with any horticulture questions. Walk-ins are also welcome, as Master Gardeners will be on site to answer questions.

  • SDSU Extension Aberdeen Regional Center: 605.626.2876 (13 2nd Avenue S.E., Aberdeen, SD 57401)
  • SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center: 605.782.3298 (2001 E. 8th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103)
  • SDSU Extension Rapid City Regional Center: 605.394.6814 (711 N. Creek Drive, Rapid City, SD 57703)

AnswerLine for you food, family and canning needs

Year-round, consumers who have questions related to canning, food safety, cleaning tips or balanced nutrition can call AnswerLine at 1.888.393.6336.

AnswerLine is a toll-free connection to family and consumer science specialists dedicated to answering questions and directing consumers to research-based resources.

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Master Gardener Sign Up Deadline Extended

Categorized: Gardens, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Before she became an SDSU Extension Master Gardener, Arlene Brandt-Jenson's modest flower garden served to beautify her home's landscaping. Today, her garden has increased in size, beauty and it provides habitat for many butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects.

"I learned so much about how to attract certain types of butterflies based on what type of flowers I plant," Brandt-Jenson says of the eight-week SDSU Extension Master Gardener class she took in 2011. "It's pretty amazing to see a monarch caterpillar chewing on the leaf of a swamp milkweed growing in my garden and know that I'm helping these butterflies and other pollinators."

Along with learning about flowers and pollinator gardening, during the eight, once-a-week sessions, the SDSU Extension Master Gardener class teaches gardeners about every aspect of horticulture - from how to improve soil health, identifying and treating diseases and integrated pest management; to botany, plant identification, vegetable gardening, fruit production, lawn and tree care - and much more.

"This course provides in-depth information, as well as where to go for more resources," explains David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

Graper has been involved in the SDSU Extension Master Gardener program for nearly 25 years.

"In all this time, I continue to see the program satisfy curiosity, but also spark an even greater interest in learning about horticulture for participants," Graper says.

Benefiting all South Dakotans

Master Gardener classes are designed to be as hands-on as possible. Once participants have completed the eight-week session, to receive their Master Gardener certification, they must apply what they have learned by volunteering at least 50 hours to share their knowledge with their communities over the following two years.

"Answering questions from the public definitely expands my knowledge. I learn so much because I can only absorb so much from a class. However, when someone asks me a question I don't know the answer to, it makes me go back to my resources and find the answer," Brandt-Jenson explains.

Brandt-Jenson became an Master Gardener just before she took early retirement from a career as a District Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. As an Master Gardener, she continues to give at least 20 volunteer hours each year to the Watertown community. Recently, she taught an outdoor class on seeds and plants to second graders.

"It's fun to see kids get excited when they see the size difference between carrot and bean seeds," she says.

Volunteer service can vary, depending on an individual's skills and the needs of the local community.

"Some volunteers answer telephone requests for information, host plant clinics or speak to groups. Others assist with demonstration gardens, farmers markets, youth gardens, 4-H activities or write articles for local newspapers. Still others help with research projects, or serve as a volunteer coordinator," Graper explains.

In 2017 alone, SDSU Extension Master Gardeners logged more than 10,850 volunteer hours.

"Their service is invaluable," says Graper. "Master Gardeners serve every county and many communities throughout our state. They are a resource to all citizens. And many Master Gardeners give of their time and knowledge long after their mandated 50 hours are complete."

He adds that some Master Gardeners have served South Dakotans for more than 25 years.

Graper references the more than 14,000 hours which have been logged in the last 15 months, since a new Volunteer Reporting System went live. The system is a convenient way for Master Gardeners to log their volunteer activities and continuing education hours.

If a dollar amount were to be placed on the 14,000 logged hours, Graper said it would be more than $287,000 in service to South Dakotans.

"As Master Gardeners, we always keep learning," Brandt-Jenson says, emphasizing the value in networking with other South Dakota gardeners that the Master Gardener class and organization provides. "Master Gardeners are all ages and come from all backgrounds. Through Master Gardeners, I have made many friends, I would not have met otherwise."

Today, Brandt-Jenson also serves as President of the South Dakota Master Gardener Association, an organization which maintains communication among the many local Master Gardener groups and serves as a liaison with SDSU Extension. The association also provides grant funds to educational horticulture projects.

Deadline extended to May 25, 2018

The hands-on training sites for 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener program are Huron, Pierre and Rapid City. Participants may attend any of the three sites; the topics presented each week will be repeated in all three sites that week.

An updated training manual, written by SDSU Extension staff, will be utilized during the 2018 class. The first class will include picking up their training manual and learning the log-in procedure to access the online material. Trainees will need access to a computer or tablet and an email address to access the online material.

All classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time.

The training dates are:

  • Huron: (Tuesdays) June 5, 12, 19, 26; July 10, 17, 24 and July 31.
  • Pierre: (Wednesdays) June 6, 13, 20, 27; July 11, 18, 25 and August 1.
  • Rapid City: (Thursdays) June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26 and August 2.

Registration deadline is May 25, 2018

To register for the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener training complete the online application found at the iGrow Events page.

The class fee is $250 for individuals that commit to becoming SDSU Extension Master Gardeners.

To become an SDSU Extension Master Gardener, individuals must first become an intern. To achieve intern status, individuals must complete the course and pass the online final exam. Then, interns have two years to complete 50 hours of volunteer service. For more information, contact David Graper by email.

Courtesy photo. Arlene Brandt-Jenson of Watertown is a 2011 graduate of the SDSU Extension Master Gardener program. She encourages South Dakotans interested in learning more about gardening and all things horticulture to consider enrolling in the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener class.

Registration deadline has been extended to May 25, 2018.

Courtesy photo. Before she became a Master Gardener, Arlene Brandt-Jenson's modest flower garden served to beautify her home's landscaping. Today, her garden has increased in size, beauty and it provides habitat for many butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects.

She encourages South Dakotans interested in learning more about gardening to consider enrolling in the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener class.

Registration deadline has been extended to May 25, 2018.

This photo of Joe-Pye plant with monarch butterflies was taken in Brandt-Jenson's Watertown flower garden in 2017.

Courtesy of iGrow. David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator

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Teens Answer Questions in Science of Ag Event

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota teens applied research methods to answer real-world questions impacting our state's number one industry of agriculture through SDSU Extension 4-H Science of Agriculture project.

May 8, 2018 teens from across the state, presented the results of nearly nine-months of research to a panel of judges on the campus of South Dakota State University during the inaugural Science of Agriculture Event.

"We developed this project to help teens develop their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM skills. And, as an opportunity for them to gain first-hand experience in applied research," explained Christine Wood, SDSU Extension 4-H Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Field Specialist.

Piloted in 2017, the Science of Agriculture project is designed to expose teens to the engineering process. The Science of Agriculture project begins with a question developed by a team of teens early in the school year. Then, through hands-on research, data evaluation and working with experts and professionals in the field, the team collaborates to find solutions.

"The hands-on nature of this project allowed students to make connections to how science can be applied to answer real-world questions," said Wyatt DeJong, Winner High School Agri-Science Instructor/FFA Advisor and 4-H Leader. "The more students are exposed to the how - how science and research is really used - the wiser they become."

DeJong co-coached a team of Winner High School sophomores, along with Laura Kahler, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Gregory & Tripp Counties.

The Winner High School 4-H Science of Agriculture team asked the question: What are the most profitable range management practices that are good for cattle production, soil/range health, and will build pheasant populations?

The question, 17-year-old Loren Moeller explained, was motivated by the abundance of local cattle operations and pheasant hunting in the area.

"Tripp County has a lot of beef cattle, so we're trying to find ways cattle producers can manage grazing to benefit pheasants," Moeller said. "Pheasants are a big thing in our area of South Dakota and we want to find ways to increase their populations because they have been declining rapidly due to recent winter weather."

During their judged presentation, the team explained that the ability for pheasants to have ideal habitat during the 23-day nesting period is crucial to population density. And, the team explained that as a rural, farm/ranch community, pheasant habitat in the Winner area is primarily found on private land cattle producers use for grazing.

Their hope is to find grazing practices that work well for cattle and pheasants.

To answer their question, the team worked with several experts; Pheasants Forever biologists, SDSU Extension wildlife and range specialists, as well as DeJong and Kahler.

Working with mentors is key to the Science of Agriculture's success, explained Van Kelley, Department Head of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at SDSU.

"Connecting with university faculty, SDSU Extension personnel - or really, any professional in the field of science or research - early on is beneficial because it alerts students to opportunities," Kelley said.

He added that the hands-on nature of the Science of Agriculture project may open the door to an interest in STEM careers. "I think back on my own experience, having someone show me how engineering science could help me solve problems in things I was interested in, is the reason I pursued the career I did," Kelley said.

Unlike more traditional science fairs they had participated in prior to this project, Ryder Mortenson, 16, said he actually enjoyed the Science of Agriculture project. "It was the fact that we got outside the classroom for hands-on experience and we got to get down to earth with what we were doing," he said.

To collect data for their project, Mortenson, Moeller and their teammates; Colby Kaiser, 16 and Ethan Vesley, 16 worked with cattle producers to review their grazing practices. They made on-site visits to five area ranches and documented vegetation and access to key pheasant habitat resources such as shelters, waterways, foodplots and treelines.

Based on factors essential to pheasant nesting success, the team hypothesized which grazing practices would serve the dual purpose of profitability for cattle producers and increase pheasant populations.

At this point, the team believes: "Overall, the main grazing practice is rotational grazing. It can benefit not only the pheasant population by giving the nests a break so the chicks can grow without being stepped on by a cow, but also helps the cattle industry by not grazing the grass too short to where it will never recover."

This spring, following nesting, the team is going to do follow-up research to better understanding of whether or not their hypothesis is true.

"We have more questions, but that is OK because now we have more things to work on for next year," Vesley said.

The team plans to continue their research and compete again next year. Following their judged presentation, Science of Agriculture participants hosted toured SDSU research labs, meeting with faculty and researchers.

The Winner High School 4-H team placed second. The Spink/Hand County 4-H Science of Agriculture team, which included the following team members: Hailie Stuck, Kiarra Stuck, Alana Howard and Maya Howard placed first. Each individual of the first place team received a $1,000 scholarship.

The Science of Agriculture program is sponsored by SDSU Extension 4-H, SD 4-H Leaders Association, and the SD Community Foundation. Judges for the event include: Rocky Forman, South Dakota Farmers Union; Shane Swedlund, Raven Industries and Tabitha Scott, USDA NRCS.

To learn how you can become involved in the 2019 SDSU Extension 4-H Science of Agriculture project, contact Wood by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. The Winner High School 4-H Science of Agriculture team presents nearly nine-months of research to a panel of judges during the inaugural Science of Agriculture Event held on the campus of South Dakota State University, May 8, 2018. Pictured here, (left to right) Ethan Vesley, Ryder Mortenson, Colby Kaiser and Loren Moeller.

Courtesy of iGrow. The Winner High School 4-H Science of Agriculture team presents nearly nine-months of research to a panel of judges during the inaugural Science of Agriculture Event held on the campus of South Dakota State University, May 8, 2018. Pictured here, (left to right) Ethan Vesley, Loren Moeller, Ryder Mortenson and Colby Kaiser.

Courtesy of iGrow. The Spink/Hand County 4-H Science of Agriculture team won the 2018 Science of Agriculture Event held in Brookings May 8. Team members include: Hailie Stuck, Kiarra Stuck, Alana Howard and Maya Howard. Each individual of the first place team received a $1,000 scholarship.

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SDSU Extension Collaborates to Serve Dairy Producers Along I-29

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

As kids, Greg and Jim Moes and their siblings, helped their parents milk the family's 30 dairy cows each morning and night.

For the 1950s and 60s the Moes were considered typical South Dakota dairy farmers.

Nearly six decades later, the brothers remain involved in South Dakota's dairy industry near their childhood home of Goodwin; however, their operation looks much different.

Today, Greg and Jim, along with their sons, milk 2,000 head of dairy cows.

"Things are much different today. If they (consumers) know where milk comes from, unfortunately most still think we are milking in a little red barn," says Greg Moes, 65, who works to inform consumers through annual tours of his farm which he guides for area fourth grade classes.

To remain competitive and efficient, the men rely on the latest technology and management practices - many of which they glean from the SDSU Extension dairy team, other dairy producers and experts they connect with through the I-29 Moo University Collaboration.

"Everything is changing so fast. These programs connect producers to information and other producers," says Moes, who also opens up MoDak Dairy for SDSU Extension and public tours.

Established as a multi-state learning community, the I-29 Moo University Collaboration connects extension dairy staff and dairy producers from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska to share research, information and management practices through workshops, webinars, monthly e-newsletters and on-farm tours.

Collaboration with extension staff and progressive dairy producers maximizes resources and outreach, explains Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

"Although we're all focused on the dairy industry, all extension staff have expertise in specific areas. This collaboration allows us to pull from a large pool of extension staff and producers to expand our knowledge and resource base," says Erickson, who served as the 2014-2016 chair of the I-29 Moo University Collaboration.

"This collaboration allows us to reach an even larger number of producers than if we were doing these programs individually within each of our states," adds Kim Clark, Nebraska Dairy Extension Educator and current I-29 Moo University chair.

Clark explains that programming focus is determined by producers' needs and industry trends.

In 2017, more than 325 producers participated in workshops, tours and webinars that focused on robotic milkers, adding on-farm value to dairy products, planting and feeding forages and cover crops, raising dairy beef cattle, employee training and the Dairy Margin Protection Program. An additional 700 stakeholders access the I-29 Moo University e-newsletter on a monthly basis from all over the world.

Employee training is an on-going challenge, key to success, explains Moes, who employs nearly 40 individuals. "We are producers, not teachers."

For employee training, Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist with a Ph.D in Veterinary Science, has become one of the I-29 Moo University Collaborative go-to experts. Rovai is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese as she is from Brazil. Along with milking procedures, cow health and safety, Rovai collaborates with her SDSU Extension teammate, Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate and Erickson to provide dairy cattle handling and employee training workshops.

"I truly believe that when we understand the "why", we perform our jobs better," Rovai explains. "It is not profitable for dairy farmers just to say, 'do this task this way.' Employees need to understand the reason, so they perform at a 100 percent commitment level.'"

For maximum milk production, research has proven dairy cows respond to certain procedures done specific ways and they appreciate consistency.

To make training consistent and effective, Rovai, developed the SDSU Extension Dairy Toolbox training modules - produced in Spanish and English - so producers and employees have access to research-based employee training in one kit. She also collaborates with Carroll and Erickson for the Dairy Toolbox training.

"Our employees feel better about the work they do when they clearly understand what they are doing and they appreciate being able to call Maristela to visit about other questions they may have," Moes says.

It's no secret that turnover drops when employees understand and enjoy the work they do. This has been Wim Hammink's experience. Hammink co-owns Hammink Dairy LLC near Bruce with his wife, Nicolien and son, Tom. They employee 30 individuals.

In addition, to employee training and human resource advice, the Hammink's have gained valuable information on balancing forage rations and calf health by working with the SDSU Extension dairy team and I-29 Moo University collaborating partners.

"There are not a whole lot of educational opportunities available outside of SDSU Extension, unless you count different animal health or dairy equipment companies who put on trainings. But, it is nice to have access to people who are not trying to sell something," Hammink says.

Over the years, the Hamminks have hosted I-29 Moo University Collaboration on their dairy. They appreciate the opportunity the collaborative gives them to connect with other dairy producers.

"You get into your own ways of doing things, and those are not always the best ways," Hammink says. "There are so many things you can change that will impact your milk production - I would say there are endless possibilities to make small improvements. By talking with other guys you always learn what things you want to do or change and what things you are doing that you should keep doing."

To learn more about how SDSU Dairy Extension supports South Dakota dairy producers, the I-29 Moo University Collaborative or to request a customized on-farm training from SDSU Extension staff in English or Spanish contact Erickson by email or Rovai by email.

Greg Moes operates a 2,000-head dairy near Goodwin.

Employee training is an on-going challenge, key to success. To make training consistent and effective, Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy and Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist provide by request personalized individual trainings in English and Spanish. In this picture, skid load safety training is being provided.

Established as a multi-state learning community, the I-29 Moo University Collaboration connects extension dairy staff and dairy producers from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska to share research, information and management practices through workshops and on-farm tours.

Wim Hammink co-owns Hammink Dairy LLC near Bruce with his wife, Nicolien and son, Tom. They employee 30 individuals. In addition to employee training and HR advice, the Hammink's have gained valuable information on balancing forage rations and calf health by working with the SDSU Extension dairy team and I-29 Moo University collaborating partners.

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Teens Learn About Water Quality Along the Missouri

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota teens ages 13 to 18, are invited to navigate the Missouri and learn about water quality during SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H Project WATER, held July 23-27.

"Water is a resource we all rely upon. This learning adventure gives youth hands on experience in canoeing, gathering water quality samples and an overall look at water quality in South Dakota," said Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist.

Project WATER (Watershed Assessment Through Environmental Research) will take teens down a stretch of the Missouri River during which they will test water quality at various sites.

Participants will receive instruction in canoe safety and camping, as well as additional lessons from SDSU Extension professionals on water quality testing, environmental indicators, and various uses of technology in environmental research.

SDSU Wellness Center will provide the necessary gear and safety for this venture.

Space is limited to 12

In its first year, Project WATER is limited to 12 youth. Enrollment in South Dakota 4-H is not required to participate. Registration will open on May 14, 2018 and will remain open until June 8. To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

To help cover costs, registration for Project WATER is $350 per participant and includes all meals and equipment.

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Keeping Horses Safe from Equine Herpesvirus (EHV)

Categorized: Livestock, Horse

Column by Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian

In recent weeks, equine herpesvirus (EHV) infections have affected horses in South Dakota and the surrounding region.

These horses have been associated with travel to and from events such as rodeos where they have contact with numerous horses from a wide area.

While in general, herpesvirus infections in horses are not rare, this particular strain of the virus (the "neurologic" form) can cause severe and even fatal illnesses in those affected - this illness is sometimes referred to as "equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy" or EHM.

Like the other strains, the neurologic form of the virus is quite contagious and can easily be passed from horse to horse.

Horses affected with EHM show signs of illness that begin with fever and possibly some mild respiratory issues such as runny nose, sneezing, and cough.

Over the next several days, nervous system problems may develop. These signs may include incoordination, weakness or paralysis of one or more legs (which might look like lameness), muscle tremors, loss of tail and bladder function and, finally, an inability to rise.

Infected horses spread the EHV virus mostly through breathing and fluids from the nose and mouth.

Close contact with an infected horse is usually necessary for a horse to catch the virus, but buckets, halters and other tack can carry the virus from one horse to another.

An infected horse can be a source of infection even before they start showing serious signs of illness.

Horse owners can take steps to prevent EHM from affecting their horses:

  • During events, limit the horse's contact with other horses and equipment used by other horses.
  • When arriving home, keep the horse separate from other horses for a period of three weeks. This will allow for easier recognition of illness and will prevent the spread to horses that have remained at home. Limit person and equipment contact between the isolated horse and other horses. Avoid bringing the horse to events until after that time period has passed.
  • Clean and disinfect any equipment, tack or trailers that accompanied the horse to the event.
  • Keep horses up to date on routine preventive vaccines and parasite control.

While current "rhino" vaccines do not appear to protect against neurologic strains of EHV, preventing these other illnesses will prove valuable in restoring the health of a horse potentially affected with EHM.

In addition, all horse owners should obtain the necessary Certificates of Veterinary Inspection/health papers when horses cross state lines.

Certain horse events may require these papers regardless of the horse's origin. This practice not only ensures that horses showing early signs of illness do not travel and spread it to others, it also allows for officials to contact horse owners promptly if their horse has unknowingly been exposed to an EHV-infected horse.

When signs of EHM are suspected, a horse owner should promptly contact their veterinarian. Take care to isolate the affected horse from others as soon as possible, limit visitor traffic, and manage tack and equipment so other horses are not exposed. The veterinarian may take nasal swab samples for a diagnosis, but this is usually only successful early in the course of the disease.

There is no specific treatment or cure for EHM, so veterinarians will outline a course of supportive care. Despite these best efforts, in many horses, the disease progresses to the point where euthanasia is necessary.

For more information about EHM and your horse's health, contact your local veterinarian. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board website and SDSU Extension also have information about EHM.

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2018 S.D. Professional’s Range Camp

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota Professionals Range Camp will be held June 5-7, 2018 at the Lamphere Campground near Sturgis (East Hwy 34).

"This camp had its origins with the Ag Lender's Range Camp and has expanded its educational content to meet continuing education credit requirements for appraisers, assessors, realtors as well as undergraduate/graduate credits for agriculture educators and agriculture industry related professionals," explained David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist and co-coordinator for the camp.

With rangelands covering approximately 50 percent of South Dakota, Ollila explained that rangelands are an important natural resource that impacts the economy of the state.

"Rangeland is a kind of land, not a land use," Ollilla said. "Rangeland is fragile, yet durable and resilient. Management profoundly impacts the rangeland forage productivity and its value for livestock, wildlife and humans."

The Professionals Range Camps seeks to educate attendees about the productive potential of the rangeland based on the ecological range site, the similarity index of the range plant composition and the management practices that will support sustainable multiple uses. 

Participants will be able to better determine the economic value of the rangelands as well as the production and conservation practices that will improve or sustain this precious resource.

Hands-on training

The camp's itinerary is designed to place participants on area ranches that will serve as case studies toward meeting the objectives of the program.

"Attendees will participate in hands-on activities that ranchers actually use to manage their rangelands and determine the appropriate livestock carrying capacity for the current year," Ollila said.

Regionally and nationally-recognized rangeland management professionals, practitioners and ranchers will present key messages and concepts that have been proven to promote and support rangeland forage production.

Activities are scheduled into the agenda to promote valuable networking opportunities and listening sessions will occur each evening with a question and answer period for invited panelists who can share years of rangeland management experience and strategic planning scenarios when implementing practices.

Registration details

For more information and to register, contact Dave Ollila by email or 605.394.1722.

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Five SD Youth Travel to DC to Attend National 4-H Conference

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H members from Day, Clark, Haakon/Jackson and Pennington Counties traveled to Washington DC to attend the National 4-H Conference this April.

"The trip to DC was life changing! I met new friends, saw national monuments and was able to work with other students from all over the US to present a topic that I was excited to speak about," said Sage Gabriel, a 4-H member from Haakon/Jackson Counties.

Other South Dakota 4-H members to travel with Gabriel include: Kayla Fischer, Day County; Emily Foiles, Clark County; Mary-Katherine Schlichte, Pennington County and Jaicee Williams, Pennington County.

The trip was sponsored and funded by the 4-H Livestock Industry Trust Fund.

More about the National 4-H Conference

The National 4-H Conference is a premier professional and leadership development event for 4-H members, ages 16 to 19, from across the U.S. and its territories.

The conference is administered by the National 4-H Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Held annually, except for several years during World War II, the camp's mission is to assist in the development of the next generation's leaders. Delegates attend training workshops, become acquainted with government and have the opportunity to meet with state leaders.

During the conference, all participating youth attended several roundtables focused on the following topics:

  • Conservation: Department of Agriculture (USDA); Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Juveniles: Department of Justice (DOJ); Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
  • Opioids: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); National Institute of Health (NIH); National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Preparedness: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD)
  • Social Media: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Texting: Department of Transportation (DOT); National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

South Dakota's youth also participated in the following workshops:

  • Revive Civility
  • Speaking for 4-H

"The people were great and the memories were even better. I will never forget about the trip that helped me realize that it doesn't matter how old you are to make a change in your community," said Jaicee Williams, a 4-H member from Pennington County.

The youth were selected to attend based on involvement in 4-H Citizenship and community service, and the leadership skills that they have developed through 4-H activities. To learn more about how you can become involved in South Dakota 4-H as a member or volunteer, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing icon.

South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

South Dakota 4-H members from Day, Clark, Haakon/Jackson and Pennington Counties traveled to Washington DC to attend the National 4-H Conference this April.

South Dakota 4-H members and SDSU Extension staff who attended and are pictured here include: (left to right) Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension Pesticide Education & Urban Entomology Field Specialist; Emily Foiles, Day County; Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist; Jaicee Williams, Pennington County; Mary-Katherine Schlichte, Pennington County; SD Representative Kristi Noem; Kayla Fischer, Day County; SD Senator John Thune; Sage Gabriel, Haakon/Jackson Counties; Donna Bittiker (former SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director) and Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator.
 

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Collaborating for Research-Based Solutions

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Profit Tips, Healthy Families, Community Development, Gardens

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

Why was their potato crop destroyed by disease some years, and other years produced a bumper crop?

As a young child growing up on his family's diversified farm in Uganda, Africa, this unanswered question frustrated Emmanuel Byamukama. It also sparked an interest in agricultural research which eventually led to his career as a South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

"Research is fascinating," explains Byamukama, who works in all areas of SDSU's land grant mission - teaching, research and extension. "It gives me a lot of joy and job satisfaction when I am able to help farmers. Through SDSU Extension we provide growers with research-based, unbiased information so they can make decisions on what practices they want to implement."

To provide research-based information, Byamukama, like all SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources staff, works closely with the team at the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU (SDSU AES).

"No one person can do everything. Because of the collaborative relationship SDSU Extension has with SDSU AES, together we can address problems, develop applicable solutions and share them with growers," Byamukama says.

Currently, Byamukama is collaborating with a team of AES agronomists, along with computer scientists and mathematicians from SDSU's Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering, to develop a tool South Dakota soybean growers can use to protect their fields from white mold.

The research is driven by concerns pouring in from numerous South Dakota soybean growers who annually lose yields and profits because they are unable to effectively treat the white mold fungus.

And, the products are not to blame. The issue is due to treatment timing. In order to be effective, fungicide needs to be applied at flowering, before any indication of a white mold attack.

White mold is a devastating, difficult-to-treat disease, Byamukama explains, because the first visual signs of the fungus in a field are dead soybean plants. However, because a white mold attack is triggered by specific weather conditions, researchers have found that there are environmental predictors which can be used to forecast the probability of white mold.

Through multi-season field analyses conducted in farmers' fields and in SDSU AES test plots, as well as weather data collected in the same locations, Byamukama and the SDSU team are developing white mold prediction models.

Once perfected, the anticipated result will be an online tool that allows farmers to determine whether or not a fungicide application is necessary. And, if it is necessary, the tool will let farmers know when to apply a fungicide.

"This information will help growers protect their soybean yields and, ultimately, become more profitable and sustainable," Byamukama says.

This research project is just one of many examples of the effective working relationship between SDSU Extension and SDSU AES, explains Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director.

"This collaboration is the land grant mission at work," Trautman says. "For more than a century, SDSU Extension has served as the communications conduit providing applicable information, based on research conducted at the university, research stations and elsewhere, to South Dakotans who need it."

Because of the grassroots nature of SDSU Extension, many research projects underway at SDSU AES are initiated in the same way as the white mold research, explains Bill Gibbons, Interim Director, South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at South Dakota State University and Interim Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

"SDSU Extension staff work closely with South Dakotans. Our SDSU Extension team has long been relied upon as a trusted source for information. So, many times, they are the first to learn of issues producers are encountering in the field. If the research is not already available, our extension staff come to the AES team for that research," Gibbons says.

Local research, like that conducted on stations and in farmers' farms across the state by SDSU Extension and AES staff is invaluable, says Byamukama, again referencing the white mold research.

"Because pathogens and environment are location-specific, the conditions that are here in South Dakota would not be the same as those found in Iowa, Minnesota or any other state. To solve local problems, we need to have access to local research," Byamukama explains.

Byamukama and the SDSU AES team will continue to collect data and test white mold prediction models throughout the 2018 growing season, field-test the system in 2019, in hopes that South Dakota farmers can begin to use the online tool growing season 2020.

To learn more about how SDSU Extension serves South Dakotans, visit iGrow. To learn more about SDSU AES, visit the SDSU Ag Experiment Station webpage.

Courtesy of iGrow. Currently, Emmanuel Byamukama, South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist is collaborating with a team of S.D. AES agronomists, along with computer scientists and mathematicians from the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at SDSU to develop a tool South Dakota soybean growers can use to protect their soybean fields from white mold.

The research is driven by concerns pouring in from numerous South Dakota soybean growers who annually lose yields and profits because they are unable to effectively treat the fungus.

Courtesy of iGrow. "Research is fascinating," explains Emmanuel Byamukama, South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

Byamukama works in all areas of SDSU's land grant mission - teaching, research and outreach. "It gives me a lot of joy and job satisfaction when I am able to help farmers. Through extension we provide growers with research-based, unbiased information so they can make the decisions on what practices they want to implement."

Pictured here during a field day at an Agricultural Experiment Station research farm at SDSU.

Courtesy of iGrow. Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director

Courtesy of iGrow. Bill Gibbons, Interim Director, South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at South Dakota State University and Interim Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

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Youth Hazardous Occupation Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA)

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Youth planning to work on a farm or ranch this summer are encouraged to attend one of four Hazardous Occupations Safety Training for Agriculture (HOSTA) courses hosted by SDSU Extension this summer.

The HOSTA programs aims to help teach those young employees about the dangers associated with working on the farm and ranch.

"The agricultural industry is the only industry in the U.S. that allows youth under the age of 16 to be legal employees. Because this in an industry using equipment that can be unsafe, we encourage youth to be aware of risks and take these courses," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist.

The 2018 HOSTA courses will be held May 24-25 in Winner, June 5-6 in Aberdeen, June 7-8 in Clear Lake and June 12-13 in Rapid City.

The trainings will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first day at both locations and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second day. Lunch is provided to all participants.

Registration is required

A test will be held the second day, those passing the test will receive certification. The written exam covers 48 core task sheets. The test must be passed with a minimum of 70 percent in order for the participant to advance to the driving portion of the training.

The trainings this year are being offered in a format that all youth, ages 12 to 18 are welcome the first day. We encourage them to attend to learn the information, if they are working on their families farm/ranch.

Only youth ages 14 to15 will be able to go through the entire course and gain certification to work on a farm/ranch not owned by their family. Those age 16 and over, do not need to certify to work off their family's enterprise.

A minimum of 10 participants are required for each location. Please sign up early. Each location will evaluate attendance the week before the event and inform participants if there are changes.

Upon registration, participants will be sent a training manual. This will also include a list of the information that the students will be responsible for before arriving on site as part of the independent study portion of training.

Registration is due three days prior to each event. To register, visit iGrow Events page, search by event date.

Attend Because It's the Law

Since 1969, the United States Department of Labor has declared many agricultural tasks to be hazardous to youth younger than 16. Currently, the law states that any individual who is ages 14 to 15-years-old must be trained on the safe operation of tractors, farm machinery and other hazardous activities in the agricultural industry.

One exception to the rule is youth who are employed on their home farm. When youth reach 16 years of age this law no longer applies to their employment.

Program details

The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program is a project the United States Department of Agriculture Research, Education and Extension Service's HOSTA Program.

HOSTA was developed to respond to the need for resources to inform and support the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Regulation, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The training consists of independent study as well as hands-on participation and classroom instruction.

Independent study materials will be sent to youth ages 14 to 18. SDSU Extension personnel will be coordinating the training.

A registration fee is required to cover the cost of participation and materials. Fees vary depending on the participant's age. Each age group will receive different class materials: youth, ages 12 to 13 will receive the manual; youth, ages 14 to 15 will receive a manual and certification if they pass the written and driving test and youth, ages 16 to 18 not receive any materials because certification is not required.

If you have questions, questions on HOSTA training for Agriculture, please contact Keimig at 605.688.4167 or by email

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Results of Forage Binding Survey

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - What type of forage binding material do livestock producers in the Upper Midwest prefer? And, what are the impacts if livestock consumer these materials?

Looking for answers to these commonly asked questions, SDSU Extension recently completed a survey on forage binding materials. "The goal of this survey was to evaluate producer preference for forage binding materials, feeding methods and impact of binding material on livestock performance," explained Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Various types of net wrap or twine are used by livestock producers in the Upper Midwest who feed bound forages.

The survey was conducted online with QuestionPro Survey Software. Producers were asked to participate through iGrow, South Dakota State University websites, social media, email lists and news releases.

The results of this survey will be utilized by SDSU Extension staff for programming purposes and as they continue to pursue research on management practices to reduce negative impacts of binding consumption on livestock health and performance.

Results

The survey was completed by 548 livestock producers across the country, including the following:

  • 80 percent - beef cow/calf producers
  • 5 percent - beef feedlot producers
  • 2.5 percent - dairy producers
  • 2 percent - sheep producers

Of those surveyed, 67 percent prefer net wrap, 26 percent of producers prefer twine and 6 percent use both net wrap and twine to bind forage.

Removal methods

The survey showed livestock producers implement a variety of removal methods based on feeding methods.

"By assessing forage binding material preferences and likelihood of removing these prior to feeding, incidence of consumption and possible accumulation might be determined," Grussing explained.

Results of the survey showed the following:

  • 54 percent - remove net wrap or twine before feeding whole bales (in bale feeder or on the ground)
  • 11 percent - remove net wrap or twine prior to grinding or processing bales
  • 24 percent - do not remove net wrap or twine prior to feeding whole bales or processing bales
  • 11 percent - sometimes remove binding material before feeding bales to livestock

Other observations:

  1. When binding materials were not removed prior to feeding, 46 percent of respondents observed livestock eating binding materials that remain on the ground.
  2. Even when forages are processed with binding materials still in place, long strands of plastic material can be found and when consumed by livestock can accumulate in the rumen.

30 percent of survey participants believe consuming net wrap may be leading cause of death

"Research shows that long-term feeding of forages, without prior removal of binding material, can cause rumen accumulation and pose challenges to livestock health," Grussing said.
In fact, 41 respondents found net wrap/ twine accumulation during a postmortem exam and 30 percent of respondents believe binding materials may be a leading cause of death on their farms and ranches. 

Symptoms of net wrap impaction reported by livestock producers include reduced feed intake and depressed performance.

"Overall annual average death loss on cow/calf operations is 2 percent," said Grussing.

She explained that if a greater occurrence is observed, livestock producers should contact their local veterinarian to conduct postmortem exams upon mortalities and examine animals for binding material accumulation in the G.I. tract.

Future Implications

Based on the results of this survey, livestock health and performance are negatively impacted when forage binding materials (net wrap and twine) are consumed.

"The obvious solution is to remove all binding prior to feeding bound forages to livestock. Yet, the constraints of increased labor and feed waste are realistic obstacles that livestock producers face when making the decision to remove binding," Grussing said.

While there are sisal and solar biodegradable binding options, the survey also showed that 86 percent of respondents would be interested in a digestible net wrap/ twine product - if it was cost effective, of equal strength to conventional binding and environmentally stable.

Overall, 58 percent of respondents are interested in learning the best management practices for feeding bound forages to livestock.

Consider this

With haying season soon arriving, Grussing encouraged forage producers to consider alternatives in binding materials as well as ways to minimize binding accumulation by implementing the following:

  1. Potentially decrease the number of wraps per bale;
  2. Use a smaller screen size when grinding hay; or
  3. Remove binding prior to feeding/ processing hay

To learn more about this topic, future programming on this topic or to provide your own comments, contact Taylor Grussing by email or 605.995.7378.
 

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Livestock Environmental Training Workshop

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Sheep, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - An environmental training session for operators of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), is set for June 27, 2018 in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 Fourth St. S.W.).

Pre-registration is required and is due by May 22, 2018. To register, visit the iGrow events page. To cover the cost of the event, registration is $50 and includes lunch, breaks and training materials. The program begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Specialists from SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are offering the training.

"Past attendees of this program have come away with at least one new practice they consider adopting related to land application, livestock feeding, air quality or soil conservation," said Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Training fulfills permitting requirements

In the Spring of 2017, the S.D. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources reissued the General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

The new permit requires existing permitted operations to obtain coverage under the proposed permit between one to four years after the General Permit is issued.

One of the proposed permit conditions for existing permitted operations is that an onsite representative attends an approved environmental training program within the last three years prior to obtaining a new permit. Also, if the person who attended training no longer works at the operation, another representative must attend training within one year.

This current training program meets the training requirement of the proposed permit as long as it is attended within three years of obtaining coverage under the new permit.

Manure applicators, producers and any other interested individuals who are not currently applying for a permit can also benefit from the information and are encouraged to attend.

Certified Crop Advisor credits are available as well.

Speaker line-up & presentation details

  • John McMaine, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer will discuss water quality.
  • Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist will lead a session on livestock nutrition options for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus content of manure.
  • Jason Roggow, a natural resources engineer with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), will give an overview of the South Dakota DENR Livestock Permit program.
  • Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, will discuss managing nitrogen and phosphorus in land applications of manure.
  • Jason Gilb, Conservation Agronomist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will go through nutrient management planning worksheets.
  • John Lentz, Resource Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will cover implementing conservation practices to improve sustainability.
  • Nathan Jones, State Soil Scientist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will demonstrate soil erosion and infiltration.
  • Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist, will conclude the day's training with a session on air quality and odor.

For more information, contact Bob Thaler, SDSU Extension Swine Specialist by email or 605.688.5435 or John McMaine, SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer by email or 605.688.5610.

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SDSU Dairy Teams Receive Top Finishes

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Dairy Products Judging Team and Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team had noteworthy finishes at their respective competitions this spring. The Dairy Products Judging Team won the national championship at the 2018 Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest. The Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team placed seventh at the 17th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge®.

“The students’ hard work over the course of the year shows in their performance,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry. “Our coaches and their assistants are passionate about these programs and provide students excellent direction and education. These two program reflect the unique offerings of the department, providing opportunities from farm to product.”

Dairy Products Judging Team

The 2018 Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest was held on April 18, 2018, in Milwaukee, Wis. A total of 49 undergraduate and graduate contestants from 15 universities in the U.S. participated in the contest.

Team members were Anna Hemenway, Huron, S.D.; Greg Reeter, Volga, S.D.; Megan Struss, New Ulm, Minn.; Ahmed Hammam, Assiut, Egypt. Lloyd Metzger, SDSU Professor of Dairy Science and Alfred Chair in Dairy Education, and Bennet Baker, SDSU student, served as coaches.

At the national contest, the team placed first in butter, ice cream and yogurt, second in milk and fourth in cottage cheese and Cheddar cheese. Struss was also the top overall judge, receiving the Robert Rosenbaum Award.

The team also competed in the 2018 Midwest Regional Collegiate Dairy Products Judging Contest on April 7, 2018 in Coopersville, Mich. They placed first in All Products and Hemenway achieved second overall.

"The team did exceptionally well," Metzger said. "Dairy products judging teaches the students to identify flavor and quality defects in six different dairy products. This critical skill helps manufacturers produce products that have the desired taste and texture, as well as helping to quickly identify and correct problems that can occur during the manufacturing process."

In dairy products judging, students evaluate the appearance, texture and flavor of milk, butter, Cheddar cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cottage cheese. Members of the judging team often obtain a position in quality control or manufacturing and they use their product judging skills to identify issues and improve the quality of dairy products.

According to Mistry, students from SDSU have been competing in dairy products judging since the beginning of the judging program in 1916. SDSU has won the national championship nine out of the last 10 years and 24 times in the 96-year history of the contest.

Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team

The Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team participated in the 17th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) held April 12-14 in Visalia, Calif. The SDSU team placed seventh overall at the national contest. 

The team consisted of Olivia Bartel, New London, Wis.; Kelli Berger, Lake Benton, Minn.; Caleb Blaisdell, Starbuck, Minn.; Audrey Souza, Milbank, S.D. Melissa Schmitt, Assistant Manager at the SDSU Dairy Research and Training Facility served as coach. Students Chelsea Schossow and Jacob Weg were assistant coaches.

“Participating in Dairy Challenge gives students a great opportunity to not only use the knowledge learned in class, but also to gain hands-on experience in evaluating a dairy farm,” Schmitt said. “This program is very beneficial to be involved in, as it helps to better understand the economics of running a dairy business and what it takes to be a successful dairy farmer.”

In total, 235 students from 38 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada attended this educational event. Participants visited six dairy farms in California as part of their training to help farmers evaluate and adapt management to optimize success and animal care. Also, industry professionals presented cutting-edge research, new programs and career opportunities to students.

Each contest team received information from an area dairy, including production and farm management data. After an in-person inspection of the dairy, students interviewed the herd owners. Each team developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management.

The event culminated with team members presenting recommendations and then fielding questions from a panel of judges. These official judges included dairy producers and industry experts in dairy finances, reproduction, nutrition and animal health. Judges evaluated presentations for accuracy of analysis and recommendations, with awards presented at a final banquet.

According to Mistry, SDSU students have been competing in the Dairy Challenge event since 2003.

About the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department

With expertise in Dairy Production, Dairy Manufacturing, and Food Science, the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry; from farm to product. The department is housed in the newly renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to which is the new state of the art Davis Dairy Plant. The South Dakota State University dairy farm provides the source of milk for well-known SDSU ice cream and cheese products, and is home to some 150 milking Holsteins and Brown Swiss cattle. The Department boasts 100% job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers Bachelors, Master's and Doctorate degrees. Learn more at the Dairy and Food Science webpage.

Photo 1: Dairy Products Judging – Left to Right: Coach Lloyd Metzger, Anna Hemenway, Gregory Reeter, Megan Struss, Ahmed Hammam, Assistant Coach Bennet Baker.

Photo 2: Dairy Challenge – Left to Right: Coach Melissa Schmitt, Assistant Coach Jacob Weg, Olivia Bartel, Kelli Berger, Audrey Souza, Caleb Blaisdell, Assistant Coach Chelsea Schossow. 

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Livestock Windbreak Design Principles and Resources

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Windbreaks, both constructed and planted, can improve conditions for livestock in windy and cold conditions.

"Windbreaks increase the effective temperature that an animal is exposed to during cold weather, keeping them comfortable, more efficient users of feed, and at a lower risk of cold stress which can lead to disease," explained Joe Darrington (former SDSU Extension Livestock Environment Associate).

What to consider when installing a windbreak

The main considerations of windbreak design are windbreak height, orientation, length and density.

Height: Windbreak height is the highest point on the structure or tallest row of trees.

Generally, the protected zone of the windbreak will extend out 10 to 15 times the height of the windbreak with a 50 percent reduction in wind-speed.

Figure 1 shows a conservative example of the protected area calculation for a windbreak.

Orientation: Orientation of the windbreak is ideally perpendicular to the cold winter wind.

"Given that wind patterns fluctuate around the state, wind roses can be used to evaluate the frequency of wind direction in your area," Darrington said.

Wind roses can be found on the SD Mesonet website at this link: https://climate.sdstate.edu/tools/windrose/windrose.shtm.

Length: Windbreak length is the uninterrupted distance between roads or paths through the trees.

Ideally, Darrington explained the ratio of windbreak length and tree/windbreak height is 10 to one. Which means, that to develop a full protected zone, a 10-foot tall windbreak should be 100-feet long.

Density: Density is the ratio or fraction of solid space in relation to total space.

"Density impacts the effectiveness of a windbreak by controlling how much wind blows through the windbreak versus blowing over the windbreak," Darrington said.

He explained that the denser the windbreak the greater the initial reduction in wind speed. But, the wind speed increases faster on the downwind side of the windbreak which decreases the protected area.

Additionally, very dense shelterbelts and solid fences create a larger negative pressure area just behind the windbreak. This causes snow to build up in large drifts.

The target for livestock windbreak density is 60-80%. Figure 1. is a conservative example of the protected area calculation for a windbreak.

Constructing windbreaks

Windbreaks can be built to be mobile or permanent.

"The biggest considerations to take into account are the wind load that the structure needs to withstand and the density of the windbreak," Darrington said.

Wind load: Wind pressure loads for a 10-foot-high windbreak can exceed 20 pounds per square foot if winds exceed 85 miles per hour.

"This means that for a solid windbreak (most extreme condition) with posts in the ground every 10-feet, the wind can exert more than 2,000 pounds of force on each post," he explained.

Posts of diameter 8-inches or greater, with underground portion below the frost line (3 to 5-feet depending on location) should be adequate in permanent systems.

In mobile systems, the base needs to be broad enough and heavy enough not to tip over - or move.

Figure 2 is an example of a mobile wind break that is used at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

"An important note is that mobile systems connect together and can be set up to create a corner which provides greater protection for multiple wind directions and reinforces each individual section," Darrington said.

Density: The density of the windbreak is important to control to increase the size of the protected area, reduce the physical load on the windbreak, and limit snow drift formation on the downwind side.

To target 80 percent density measure the width of the solid material you are using for the windbreak panels, and divide by 0.80, this will give you the center to center spacing that you need to reach 80% density. See Figure 2.2 for equation and example.

Planting windbreaks

When planting windbreaks the principles described above still apply, but Darrington said we have less control over the growth characteristics of the plants regarding density.

"Density is controlled by the types of shrubs and trees planted, their spacing, and how many rows are used," he explained.

Coniferous trees maintain their leaves throughout the winter and improve the winter time density. Deciduous trees lose their leaves and provide less density in the winter time.

"A benefit of living shelterbelts is that they can provide significant snow storage capacity, especially if they are wide; this can also be a detriment however if there is inadequate drainage out of the shelterbelt in the spring thaw," Darrington said.

Shelter belt sizing

When sizing a shelterbelt, Darrington said it is important to determine how many head will be in the pasture at one time through the winter. Multiply by the amount of space per head depending on how much space you would like to give them.

"Remember, the less space, the greater the likelihood of muddy conditions in spring," Darrington said.

Once the desired area is determined, you can calculate the planting length required using the equation found in Figure 2.3.

Other considerations

Roads, feed alleys and cattle alleys should never be less than 75 feet downwind of a shelterbelt, or 50 feet upwind, as snow accumulation and storage usually occurs within these areas and could cause unnecessary snow blowing/moving duties.

If you have any questions or comments contact Darrington by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2: Windbreaks, both constructed and planted, can improve conditions for livestock in windy and cold conditions.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1 Target density should be between 60-80 percent for wind protection, and that width and species selection determine density in planted windbreaks.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2.2: Using 1 x 8's for the windbreak we find a spacing of 9.0625 inches. Feel free to round up or down to the nearest quarter inch, if rounding up the density is 78 percent, if down the density is 80.5 percent. Which means that between each board there will be a 1.75-2 inch space.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2.3 Use this equation to determine the length of a windbreak based on desired protected area.

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SDSU Professors Collaborate to Publish Conservation Biology Book

Categorized: Livestock, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Experience from 30 years of work led two South Dakota State University professors to collaborate with other experts in conservation biology to publish a book titled, “Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations.”

“Climate change has created potentially disruptive situations which means we have to learn to manage many plants and animal populations,” Charles Fenster, professor in the Department of Biology and Microbiology at SDSU, said. “One example is that certain species found on the tops of mountains in the American southwest hundreds of years ago are now found in places such as the Black Hills. Species have evolved to adapt to changing conditions. The alternative is that they become extinct.”

Work on the book started in 2011. The book provides valuable insight into how management of fragmented plant and animal populations can improve through practical applications of conservation biology. Whether to maintain genetic isolation is a major issue for managers of wild animal and plant populations.

Fenster and Michele R. Dudash joined others to co-author the book. Dudash is a professor and Head of the Department of Natural Resource Management in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. She is a population biologist. Her research focuses on both the ecological and genetic factors responsible for a population's persistence or demise in nature.

Fenster developed an early interest in population dynamics and genetics. He has focused on the conservation of biodiversity, which this book represents. His current work focuses on the origin of genetic diversity through the study of mutations.

Dudash and Fenster are experts in the field of inbreeding and documenting the consequences of crosses to alleviate inbreeding. They have worked at various locations across the United States, earning respect for their research and developing relationships with other scientists conducting similar work. They accepted positions at SDSU in Brookings in 2015 and have continued to collaborate with experts in their field.

The work of the couple led them to join forces with Richard Frankham, Emeritus Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia and Jonathan D. Ballou, Scientist Emeritus, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Institution and others.

Frankham encouraged them to develop a paper on the subject of genetic management and that idea grew into the fundamental premise for this book. That original work has been cited over 300 times since 2011, providing the foundation for the book which called on the talents of this group of authors.

The value of the book comes from its use as a tool to teach conservation biology, conservation genetics, and wildlife management, Dudash said. The authors predict that between 3,000 and 5,000 copies of the textbook will provide the basis for upper level graduate students to understand the fundamentals of managing populations for the future. 

By making people aware of the impact of changes, habitat can be restored. This is what is happening with the Dakota skipper butterfly.

“We need to get the word out and try to actively manage populations or we let the situation continue and watch the species disappear,” Dudash said. “There are many populations that have adapted to their environments. Thus there is some fear about introducing genetic variation from populations that are hundreds of miles away.”

Fenster said prairie chickens thrive in the Midwest. However, in Illinois, the grassland environment where the prairie chickens occur have been replaced by fields of corn and soybeans. Consequently, the few remaining populations are isolated from one another as they exist in similarly isolated patches of prairie. There has been very little hatching success in that area, leading to fewer and fewer birds, likely associated with loss of vigor following mating between relatives. Introducing genotypes from another state restored genetic diversity and hatching success improved. The authors indicate that same dilemma is increasing and is faced by tens of thousands of species. “We are not advocating for a change in farming practices,” Dudash said. “We want to create an awareness of what is happening and why it happens. “

Dudash and Fenster point out in the book that inbreeding difficulties with wildlife can be understood by looking at the selective breeding that takes place in cattle herds. If animals are too closely related, deformities such as dwarfism can result. Another example would be the concern about dogs developing hip problems and genetic abnormalities that occur at puppy mills.

Fenster said outbreeding depression can occur as a consequence of animals that are brought together from different areas in an effort to maintain the integrity of species. The offspring of that union may perform less well than the individual parents. However, the book demonstrates that even if mixing is at first deleterious, populations can recover and eventually thrive. It’s an important paradigm shift in thought.

Collaborating on the book has been very rewarding, Dudash said. “We have worked as a team to write and edit every chapter to make sure it is intellectually engaging and reader-friendly. It has been a wonderful experience to meet and learn from others in this field.”

“We are proud to be associated with SDSU and South Dakota,” Dudash said. “People know we are a resource. To get started on proposing sound genetic management decisions, we first had to pin down a definition of what is a species for conservation. There are more than two dozen definitions of what is a species. We needed to identify a practical definition. Thus we wrote a paper on this topic, which has been adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and cited over 100 times since 2012. That work has been incredibly impactful at the global scale, impacting management around the world, which is pretty exciting.”

Next chapter

“We are in the process of working on a second book, which will be more a primer focused at individuals who are actively engaged in the management of species and their habitat,” Fenster said. “The work can apply to many systems in South Dakota. An example would be the Badlands and need to manage the habitat for the black-footed ferret. The book will provide the fundamental principles with recommendations for managers. It will provide specific ideas, much like a cookbook."

SDSU Professors Dr. Charles Fenster, left and Dr. Michele Dudash collaborated on the “Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations” book.

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USDA Margin Protection Program Changes

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The I-29 Moo-University Extension collaboration along with the Minnesota Milk, South Dakota Dairy Producers, Iowa State Dairy Association, Nebraska State Dairy Association and the North Dakota Livestock Alliance, are hosting a webinar May 2, 2018 11:30 a.m. (CST) to help dairy producers understand changes made to the Margin Protection Program (MPP) by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which were signed into law on February 9, 2018.

These changes included a new signup for 2018 which began April 9, 2018 and will end on June 1, 2018.

Webinar details

The webinar will feature Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota Assistant Professor in Dairy Foods Marketing Economics.

To register for the webinar visit their online registration. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

More on changes

"It is important to note that the new MPP signup allows producers to make new elections for 2018, even if you had previously signed up that are now retro-active back to January 1, 2018," said Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

Erickson also encourages producers to note that if they previously elected coverage for 2018 they must now make a new election or they will not have coverage in 2018.

"Producers will need to register and complete form CCC-782, along with electing a coverage level if they want coverage for 2018. Additionally, a $100 administrative fee will be assessed unless a qualified waiver is available," she explained.

Changes to the Milk Protection Program include the following:

  • Revised premium costs for Tier 1 levels
  • Tier 1 volume was increased from 4 to 5 million pounds
  • Indemnities are now determined monthly
  • There is an exemption for the administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators who were enrolled previous to 2018 and paid the administrative fee may request a refund if they qualify for this exemption.

For additional information about the Dairy Milk Protection Program visit the USDA's web information page or to access the Margin Protection Program Decision Tool aid go to the FSA website.

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2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener Training

Categorized: Gardens, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The registration deadline for summer 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener training classes is May 19.

To become a Master Gardener, trainees must attend eight days of hands-on classroom training that will be held one day per week for eight weeks in three cities in South Dakota this summer. Supplemental training information will be available online for individuals to review. This year SDSU Extension also has a new SD Extension Master Gardener training manual.

"This gives us a chance to directly interact with the Extension Master Gardener trainees and for them to get to know each other as well as other Extension Master Gardeners that are already in their area of the state," said David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

The 2018 Master Gardener training class will cover botany, plant care and identification, soils, vegetable and fruit production, weed management, composting, integrated pest management, working as a Master Gardener and much more.

Huron, Pierre and Rapid City sites for 2018 Master Gardener Training

The hands-on training sites for 2018 are Huron, Pierre and Rapid City. Participants may attend any of the three sites; the topics presented each week will be repeated in all three sites that week.

The first class will include picking up their training manual and learning the log-in procedure to access the online material. Trainees will need access to a computer or tablet and an email address to access the online material.

All classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time.

The training dates are:

Huron: (Tuesdays) June 5, 12, 19, 26; July 10, 17, 24 and July 31.
Pierre: (Wednesdays) June 6, 13, 20, 27; July 11, 18, 25 and August 1.
Rapid City: (Thursdays) June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26 and August 2.

Registration deadline is May 19, 2018

To register for the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener training complete the online application found at this link: Register Today at the iGrow Events page.

The class fee is $250 for individuals that commit to becoming SDSU Extension Master Gardeners.

To become an Extension Master Gardener, individuals must first become an intern.

Individuals must complete the course and pass the online final exam with a minimum of 80 percent. As an intern, they must then provide 50 hours of volunteer service back to the people of South Dakota over the next two years and report those activities using SDSU Extension online Volunteer Reporting System, to become a full-fledged Extension Master Gardener.

The fee for the course to obtain a Certificate of Recognition without the volunteer commitment is $600.

"This is a great option for individuals to receive the training for their own education or to better prepare them to work in the field of horticulture," Graper said.

In both cases, the fee includes access to the online training materials, a resource manual and the hands-on classes.

Having trouble registering? Contact the Master Gardener program by email or call 605.782.3290.

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Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers Program

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - North and South Dakota livestock producers are encouraged to participate in the Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers program co-hosted by SDSU Extension and NDSU Extension.

Launched in 2017, theCattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers program is designed to help livestock operations gain a clear understanding of their herd's mineral needs and how to make significant changes, if necessary, to improve herd performance.

"Participants who took full advantage of the program last year were able to make changes to their mineral program to improve the overall health of their cattle," said Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. "A balanced mineral nutrition program is key to optimizing cattle health and reproduction. If there is an imbalance or deficiency cattle may not perform as desired."

Program details

Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers is an intense program and class size is limited to 30 operations; 15 in each state.

To register, visit the iGrow Events page. Registration will be open until May 21, 2018 or until all tickets are sold out.

The dates and locations for the first classes are below:

Dickinson, North Dakota training will be held May 24, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT) at the Dickinson Research Extension Center Ranch Headquarters near Manning (11090 15th ST SW Manning, ND 58642).

Lowry, South Dakota training will be held May 25, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CDT) at Rock Hills Ranch near Lowry (30872 143rd Street Lowry, SD 57472).

Due to the nature of the program, we encourage two people to participate per operation. To help cover expenses, registration is provided at a reduced rate of $150 per operation thanks to the following sponsors:

  1. Gold sponsors: Micronutrients (a Nutreco Company) and CHS Nutrition
  2. Silver sponsors: South Dakota Grassland Coalition and Ward Laboratories, Inc.

This investment provides participants with materials, one free forage mineral analysis, a ranch visit, and lunch at both trainings.

What to expect

The program consists of a one-day training in May, followed by sample collection and ranch visits during the summer and a final, one-day training this coming fall.

During the first class, participants can expect the following:

  1. Learn the basics of mineral nutrition and mineral delivery options;
  2. Determine how animal grazing behavior can affect mineral intake;
  3. Receive training on proper forage, feed and water sampling techniques; and
  4. Learn about tools to monitor mineral consumption.

The May session will equip producers to evaluate their current mineral program to determine if it is meeting their herd's nutritional needs or if modifications are needed.

Tools will be provided to monitor mineral consumption throughout the summer to determine whether cattle are consuming mineral at the appropriate level.

Presenters will also provide some tips and tricks to help with consumption challenges.

Throughout the summer, SDSU and NDSU Extension personnel will conduct ranch visits to focus on specific needs of each producer.

During the fall session, participants will gain an understanding of applied components of mineral nutrition. These include; interpreting and utilizing forage analysis, reading a mineral tag, understanding mineral sources (i.e. inorganic, organic, and hydroxy), and determining how the mineral can meet the cow's requirements.

Professionals in the field and producers who have established mineral programs, will share the impact balanced mineral programs have had on animal health and operation finances.

For more information

For more information about the program or to be added to a waiting list for future programs, contact Adele Harty at 605.394.1722 or by email or Janna Kincheloe at 701.567.4323 or by email.

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Regional Swine Symposium May 22 in Brookings

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The North Central Extension & Research Activity (NCERA-57) Swine Reproductive Physiology Committee will be hosting a Regional Swine Symposium May 22, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Animal Science complex on the campus of South Dakota State University, (1097 N. Campus Drive).

Working as a multistate effort, the NCERA-57 committee comprises a diverse group of research and extension scientists with expertise across a broad spectrum of reproductive biology in domestic food animals.

"Members of the NCERA-57 committee have had major impacts on understanding of reproductive biology in swine as a focus but also produce results that impact other domestic farm species," explained Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

During the symposium, speakers representing academia, industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will share their thoughts on pertinent and emerging challenges facing the swine industry, and particularly reproduction.

Topics to be covered include:

  • An update on diseases impacting the swine industry;
  • Uterine prolapses and swine mortality;
  • Pre-weaning survival with normal and large litters and failure of the first parity female to return to estrus.

The event will conclude with tours of the new Swine Education and Research Facility. These tours will utilize the facilities' viewing windows which allow visitors to view modern hog production without having to shower into the facility.

Registration is requested

Thanks to sponsorships, this event is offered at no cost. However, because lunch is provided, registration is requested.

To register, visit wthe iGrow events page. At registration, a complete schedule and sponsor list will be available.

For more information, contact Jeff Clapper, SDSU Professor of Animal Science at 605.688.5417 or by email.

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State 4-H Leaders Sponsor Financial Assistance

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 4-H Leader's Association annually sponsors financial assistance for youth wanting to attend 4-H summer camp programs.

"The South Dakota 4-H Leaders are proud to sponsor these scholarships each year. The yearly camps allow youth to meet new friends, experience new culture, learn new things, and have a lot of fun," said Donna Bittiker (former SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director)

The many opportunities include: 4-H Camp at Lake Poinsett; 4-H camp at Camp Bob Marshall near Custer; Performing Arts Camp in Aberdeen and the Teen Leadership Conference in Brookings.

Thanks to the generous support of the South Dakota 4-H Leader's Association 4-H members can apply for $25 in financial assistance to attend 4-H Camp at Lake Poinsett or Bob Marshall or $50 for participation in Teen Leadership Conference or Performing Arts Camp.

When 4-H members apply for scholarships, they agree to share their camp experiences with one local group if they attend 4-H Camp or two local groups if they attend Teen Leadership Camp or Performing Arts participants.

"Participants can share their 4-H club or a civic group," Bittiker explained.

Participants will receive their scholarship after they submit their application.

Scholarship application details

Scholarship application forms are due by December 31, 2018. Forms can be found online.

The registration deadlines for the summer opportunities are drawing near.

Please follow these steps:

Step 1: Register for the 2018 camp and pay the full camp fee.

Step 2: Attend camp

Step 3: Tell a group about camp

  • For the $25 4-H Camp scholarship one group
  • For the $50 Teen Leadership Camp or Performing Arts Camp scholarship, two groups.

Step 4: Complete the camp assistance/scholarship application form complete with necessary signatures and
submit to the South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association.

Step 5: All youth who complete all steps will receive scholarship within 2 weeks of its receipt.

The South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association raises these funds for scholarships through two State Fair dances held Saturday and Sunday night during S.D. State Fair and through the sale of 4-H attire at the Leaders Booth in Nordby Hall during State Fair.

Both of these activities receive volunteer assistance from many of the 4-H leaders and parents throughout the state. For additional information please visit http://www.southdakota4hleaders.com/.

Questions, contact Susan Karels, SD 4-H Leaders Association President and Grant County 4-H Leader by email.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff LIsting.

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Wet and Cool Pattern Fades into Summer Season

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - According to April 19, 2018 National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center outlooks, the relentless cool and wet climate pattern throughout South Dakota is likely to fade away as summer approaches.

"The outlooks show a transition away from cool and wet in the month ahead," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Based on the models, Edwards said South Dakota is less likely to have cooler than average conditions in May, with the exception of the northwest.

Record breaking spring

Reflecting on the cooler than average start to the month, Edwards said that some South Dakota locations, like Sioux Falls, broke monthly snowfall records.

"The growing season is off to a slow start with cold air and soil temperatures, and not just wet, but snowy conditions. The first half of April has been the coldest start on record across the region," she said.

Already this winter and spring, there have been record or near-record snowfall in central and eastern Montana as well. Moving into May, the outlooks show Montana and a portion of northwest South Dakota are likely to continue to be wetter than average.

"Gradually, the drought is easing in the Northern Plains region," Edwards said. "Even with cold temperatures, stock ponds are refilling and soil moisture is being slowly replenished."

She referenced the U.S. Drought Monitor's maps over recent weeks which shows improvements across the region. The worst drought areas from 2017 are now in D0, Abnormally Dry, or D1, Moderate Drought, severity levels in South Dakota.

"This is a two-class improvement from mid-winter," Edwards said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been keeping a close watch on snowpack in Montana as it has melted. They are prepared for the remaining snowmelt runoff and any spring rainfall to be captured in the reservoir system.

"The Corps is expecting higher runoff than usual this season. However, reservoir levels are low enough to accommodate the snowmelt runoff and rainfall from the prairies and mountains," Edwards said.

Summer 2018: What can we expect?

Looking ahead to the early summer season, Edwards said it is predicted that the wet soils will prevent air temperatures from getting very warm in the region.

"For the months of May through July, South Dakota has equal chances of warmer, cooler or near average temperatures overall," she said.

Precipitation is often a challenge for long-term climate forecasts in the summer season in the Northern Plains. Currently, according to NOAA, our region has equal chances of wetter, drier or near average rainfall.

"The forecast for the next one to two weeks gives some optimism that spring-like temperatures will finally arrive, as warmer air gradually comes in from the west," Edwards said.

She added that drier weather is expected overall, which will help to melt snow and dry the soils.

"This spring has been one of the most difficult for calving and lambing in recent years, with a continued pattern of cold, wet mud and snow. Perhaps at last we can plant spring wheat, and get ready for corn and soybean planting in the coming weeks," Edwards said.

Courtesy of NOAA Climate Prediction Center. May 2018 Temperature outlook for the United States. Cooler than average temperatures are favored over Montana, North Dakota and northwest South Dakota.

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Show 4-H Pride with License Plate Decal

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H members, supporters and alumni can show their pride with a 4-H license plate decal.

All funds collected from the $10 decals will go to 4-H programming.

"This decal provides an opportunity to showcase 4-H pride," explained Peter Nielson (former SDSU Extension Coordinator of Youth Development Operations).

Showing your support through an organizational license plate is easy. Purchase an organizational license plate from the S.D. Department of Transportation (DOT). The 4-H decal is registered with the S.D. DOT, so all you have to do is contact the State 4-H Office at 605.688.4792 to purchase the decals.

South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

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Cool and Wet Spring Slowing Down Planting Season 2018

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Spring is slow to come this year, as late season snowstorms continue to impact South Dakota.

"Indeed, as of April 10, this is currently the coldest start to April on record for many locations in the state," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

She explained that during the first third of the month, air temperatures were 12 to 20 degrees below average nearly everywhere statewide.

Crop planting

It will come as no surprise that soil temperatures are struggling this season.

Although most of Central and Southern areas are thawed out through the profile, Northern and Eastern areas still have some frost in the soil profile. According to the SD Mesonet, as of April 10, frost depth was still 2 to 4-feet deep in the Northeast.

"As we are entering into the early season for corn planting, per the crop insurance rules, we have a little way to go before the soils are ready for corn seeds," Edwards said.

When considering planting conditions, ideal soil temperatures for corn are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently, the SD Mesonet is measuring 30 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit at 4-inch depth. This is about 12 degrees cooler than last year at this time for most locations.

For spring wheat germination, ideal soil temperature is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so even that crop is slow to get planted this year in many areas.

Gardening

A lot of gardeners are asking when the last frost will occur.

Although average last frost ranges from late April to mid-May, moving from east to west across the state; this growing season Edwards said an exact date is not clear.

"The climate outlook through April 24, continues to show a cool and wet pattern across the state, transitioning to warmer and drier conditions the last few days of the month," Edwards said.

She said the active storm track will likely continue during this time.

April Climate Outlook

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Climate Outlook, April 2018 will be slow to warm and looks to continue the current cool and wet pattern.

The weather has proven to be most challenging for South Dakota's livestock producers who are in the midst of calving and lambing. Wildlife have also suffered.

"In the long run, the additional moisture will be beneficial for improving drought conditions in pastures and grazing areas, and providing early season soil moisture in cropping areas," Edwards said.

She added, "Spring-like weather will come, as it always does, and we will embrace the warm weather."

Courtesy of SD Mesonet

Figure 1. Soil temperature at four inch depth as of April 11, 2018.

Courtesy of iGrow.

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Managing Heifers to Improve Longevity

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Management strategies to develop the best possible conception rate for replacement heifers are critical to improve longevity in the herd. Hence the ultimate goal is the same: getting the heifers bred - and preferably early in the breeding season.

"Developing or purchasing replacement heifers is a huge investment and potential financial returns depend on future calf production," explained Julie Walker, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist.

Walker points to research which indicates it takes net revenue from approximately six calves to cover the development and production cost of each replacement heifer.

What the research says about time of calving: Research conducted at USDA-Meat Animal Research Center (USDA MARC) and with South Dakota herds showed that heifers who calved in the first 21 days had greater longevity and increased weaning weight compared to heifers that calved in the second 21-day period or later.

The South Dakota study looked at 2,195 heifers who calved in the first 21-day period. These heifers had increased longevity (5.1 years compared to 3.9 years).

The USDA MARC longevity data resulted in 8.2 years for heifers calving in the first calving period; 7.6 years for those calving in the second calving period and 7.2 years for heifers that calved in the last portion of the calving season.

In addition, the study reported improved weaning weights through the sixth calf born for the heifers that calved in the first calving period.

What the research says about nutritional development: It has been reported numerous times that heifers developed in a drylot and turned out to grass immediately following breeding, have fewer pregnancies in the first 21 days.

"A possible reason is a negative plane of nutrition due to re-learning grazing skills," Walker said.

Walker points to research conducted at the Antelope Research Station, which reported that when heifers were moved from drylot to range, they lost weight (3.5 pounds per day) during the first week; whereas, range-developed heifers gained weight (2 pounds per day).

However, after 27 days of grazing, there was no difference in average daily gain between heifers developed in a drylot and heifers developed on forage.

"So, when observing heifers we may not notice this short period of negative energy; however, it can impact conception rates especially the early conceptions," Walker said.

What the research says about activity level: A second possible reason in decreased pregnancy rates, may be increased activity level.

Walker discusses an experiment conducted by SDSU researchers on 69 drylot developed heifers allotted to one of two treatments:

  1. Heifers remained in the drylot; or
  2. Heifers were moved to graze spring forage for 42 days prior to breeding.

Daily activity was measured by pedometers (steps per day). Heifers that were grazing spring forage took more steps per day compared to heifers in the drylot. However, following being moved to spring pasture, heifers that remained in the drylot increased activity compared to those with previous experience grazing spring forage.

"This is significant because energy requirements increase with activity," Walker said. 

Other Considerations

The question becomes, what management strategies can help improve conception rates and promote heifers conceiving earlier in the breeding season?

"First if your heifer system is working, there is no reason to change," Walker said.

However, if a livestock producer wants to see an improvement in early-season heifer conception rates below are a few management strategies to review.

Body condition score: Heifers should be in a body condition score of 5 or 6 and range between 55 to 65 percent of their mature weight.

Conception rates are impacted by heifers that are over or under-conditioned.

Reduce changes in diet immediately following breeding: Heifers can be kept in the drylot and fed a similar diet or heifers can be adapted to pasture prior to the breeding season.

The specific number of days that heifers should be on pasture prior to the breeding season is unknown. However, heifers should be on a positive plane of nutrition at the start of the breeding season.

Estrous synchronization: Estrous synchronization will group heifers to express estrus within a similar window of time as well as allow some heifers to express estrus earlier.

Estrous synchronization can be completed with artificial insemination or natural service.

For more details on specific estrous synchronization programs and other management strategies discussed in this article, contact Walker by email.

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Tractor Supply Teams up with SD 4-H to Help Youth

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Visit your local Tractor Supply this spring and purchase a paper clover to help fund scholarships for South Dakota 4-H youth to attend 4-H camps and leadership events.

"Every year, 4-Her's in South Dakota participate in a number of 4-H programs to help improve their knowledge and leadership skills," said Peter Nielson (former SDSU Extension Coordinator of Youth Development Operations). "Tractor Supply stores are continuing their long-standing partnership with 4-H through the 2018 Spring Paper Clover Campaign to make it possible for more youth in the community to experience 4-H's youth-led, hands-on programming."

Spend $1 April 11-22 & support S.D. 4-H

April 11-22, 2018 South Dakota Tractor Supply customers can participate in the 2018 Spring Paper Clover Campaign by purchasing paper clovers for $1 or more at checkout.

The funds raised will be awarded as scholarships to individual South Dakota 4-H members wishing to attend 4-H camping experiences.

"The South Dakota 4-H Youth Development program greatly appreciates the support of Tractor Supply and the generous donations from their customers. The Paper Clover Campaign provides opportunities for youth from across the state to participate in youth camping and leadership programs," said Donna Bittiker (former SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director).

Since it began in 2010, the partnership between Tractor Supply and 4-H has generated more than $11,000,000 in essential funding nationwide.

The spring and fall Paper Clover fundraiser raised more than $981,000 during the Fall 2017 campaign. The fundraising effort directly supports numerous 4-H camping programs in South Dakota.

About Tractor Supply

Founded in 1938, Tractor Supply Company is the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States. As of July 1, 2017 the Company operated 1,630 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website

Tractor Supply stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers and others who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. 

Stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, livestock, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware, truck, towing and tool products; (3) seasonal products, including heating, lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys; (4) work/recreational clothing and footwear; and (5) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

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MyPI Empowers Youth With Disaster Preparedness Training

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Disaster can strike a family or community at any time. Are you prepared?

SDSU Extension, is working to empower South Dakota teens, their families and communities through MyPI. My Preparedness Initiative or MyPI, is a two-time national award-winning youth disaster preparedness/youth leadership program developed by Mississippi State Extension and adopted by SDSU Extension.

"This hands-on training program is designed to get teens to take ownership of their preparedness plans, so they can take an active role in protecting themselves and those close to them," explained Ryan Akers, MyPI National Project Director and Associate Extension Professor with Mississippi State Extension.

Developed in 2013, following severe storms and devastating flooding in rural communities throughout Mississippi, the program is designed to train teens in several basic areas of disaster preparedness and then equip them with the necessary skill set to train seven families they know and help them prepare.

"Many times when disasters occur - whether it be a natural disaster, house fire or car accident - many youth think they are supposed to stay out of the way and wait for professional help to arrive. Those first moments are critical. While we certainly do not train our teens to self-deploy, we do provide them with the skill set to assist those in need prior to professional first responder arrival," Akers explained.

"A quarter of our nation's population is under the age of 18 ... this program shows them that responding to a disaster is not necessarily an "adult thing," and preparedness certainly is not," Akers continued. "We all have a place in helping secure our communities and our teens are empowered when they feel that they are a part of the solution, instead of an unused resource or barrier."

MyPI provides teens with basic skills to be safe before, during and after a disaster in numerous areas of preparedness including: basic disaster preparedness, fire safety and utility control; basic disaster medical operations; light search and rescue; disaster psychology, among others.

Through MyPI, students complete a technology track, career track, disaster simulation. They also have the option to receive CPR and AED certification. MyPI also gives youth the option to gain additional training in specific types of natural disasters which may be common in their region of the country.

Once MyPI program was proven successful in Mississippi, Akers began introducing it to other states by training extension personnel, who train teens, who then assist families and friends in their communities become better prepared for emergencies and disasters. South Dakota is the twelfth state to receive a MyPI grant.

Through the program's capstone leadership program, for every 25 teens graduated, 175 households will have enhanced preparedness measures through the development of emergency supply kits and family communication plans.

By the time they graduate, teens will make a widespread community impact in addition to gaining leadership characteristics, civic responsibility, self-esteem and empowerment.

In 2014 and 2017, MyPI received the FEMA Individual Community Preparedness Division's national award for most outstanding youth preparedness program.

"The idea is not to make youth completely self-sufficient, but to give youth the skill set to do basic things until more help arrives and so they are not part of the problem," said John Keimig, the SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist, who serves as the MyPI program coordinator in South Dakota.

This work is supported by the Smith Lever Special Needs Grant program, Grant no. 2017-41210-27102/project accession no. 1014022 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

MyPI training in six South Dakota counties

MyPI training will begin mid-2018 in the following six South Dakota counties: Beadle, Brown, Clay, Harding, Minnehaha and Pennington. Local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisors and certified MyPI Instructors will be providing the training and oversight to interested youth.

To learn more about MyPI visit thier website. To learn how you can participate, contact Keimig by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension, is working to empower South Dakota teens, their families and communities through MyPI. My Preparedness Initiative or MyPI, is a two-time national award-winning youth disaster preparedness/youth leadership program developed by Mississippi State Extension and adopted by SDSU Extension.

Recently, SDSU Extension 4-H staff received training in MyPI. Pictured here (left to right) R yan Akers, Mississippi State University Extension and MyPI Overall Grant Coordinator; Bobby Goff, MSU Extension; Laurie Elmore, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Harding County; John Madison, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Beadle County; Nathan Skadsen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Minnehaha County; Chuck Martinell, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Minnehaha County; Jane Amiotte, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Pennington County; Paul Pederson - MyPI volunteer, Clay County; Becca Tullar, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Brown County; Lauren Hollenbeck, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Clay County; John Keimig SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist and MyPI S.D. Grant Point of Contact and Dave Nichols, Mississippi State Citizens Cop Council.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension, is working to empower South Dakota teens, their families and communities through MyPI. My Preparedness Initiative or MyPI, is a two-time national award-winning youth disaster preparedness/youth leadership program developed by Mississippi State Extension and adopted by SDSU Extension.

Recently, SDSU Extension 4-H staff received training in MyPI. Here, Becca Tullar, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Brown County, practices using a fire extinguisher.

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Raise Your Hand to Support 4-H Youth & Families

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H, the largest youth development program in the nation, is calling on alumni and supporters to raise their hands to help bring 4-H to 10 million youth by 2025. Currently 4-H empowers nearly 6 million young people in every county across America, including more than 9,000 4-H'ers in South Dakota.

States with the most raised hands, have the opportunity to earn monetary awards up to $20,000.

"Having experienced our programs first-hand, our alumni know best what a positive impact 4-H had on them growing up, which is why we're reaching out to them to support the next generation of true leaders in South Dakota," said Donna Bittiker (former SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director).

For more than 100 years, the 4-H impact on young people has been immeasurable.

"Whether they're running Fortune 100 companies, performing to sold-out crowds, leading community programs or volunteering to empower local youth, 4-H alumni are the epitome of true leadership," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. "Our alumni and supporters across the country now have the perfect opportunity to support 4-H youth in their communities, ensuring that the next generation has the opportunity to benefit from the 4-H experience."

Visit www.4-H.org/RaiseYourHand

As part of the Raise Your Hand campaign, which runs April 1 to May 15, 2018, 4-H is asking supporters in South Dakota to 'Raise Your Hand' to help kids in our community by providing the hands-on learning that only 4-H provides.

Joining is easy - alumni can go online and fill in their details. Raising your hand is a vote towards a $20,000, $10,000 or $5,000 award for the states with the most hands raised. Help South Dakota be one of the winning states, vote now.

"4-H gives kids the opportunity to learn by doing, to grow from not only the encouragements brought by success, but also through challenges and failures, as these skills will help them to handle whatever life may throw their way," explained Jennifer Nettles, Grammy-award winning musician, actress and 4-H national alumni spokesperson.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

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Edgar S. McFadden Symposium on Wheat Improvement to be Held in Brookings on May 1-2, 2018

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University will host the third Edgar S. McFadden Symposium on Wheat Improvement on May 1- 2, 2018.

“We are excited to host this symposium for the second time and are honored to continue to recognize McFadden’s work on wheat development,” shared Dr. David Wright, Head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. “We have some top-notch speakers this year, so I think the event will be very educational and enjoyable for all who attend.”

The symposium is focused on continuing Edgar S. McFadden’s legacy by honoring him and other global leaders in wheat research. Edgar S. McFadden accomplished the first major breakthrough in conferring genetic resistance to stem rust in 1916 in the garden of a Brookings boarding house. The seed from which it grew was named “Hope wheat.”

“McFadden’s breakthrough kindled the Green Revolution,” said Dr. Wright. “His work is still making a difference today.”

The symposium begins with a banquet at McCrory Gardens on the evening of Tuesday, May 1. Dr. R.A. McIntosh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Sydney, Australia, will be speaking about rust history and the way forward. Kevin Kephart, Vice President Emeritus for Research and Economic Development at South Dakota State University, will also be sharing the story of Edgar S. McFadden.

A scientific symposium featuring the latest research on wheat will be held Wednesday, May 2, in the SDSU Student Union.

Sanjay Rajaram, 2014 World Food Prize Winner for developing disease-resistant wheat, will kick off the day as the keynote speaker. The scientific symposium will be comprised of educational sessions featuring speakers from universities and organizations who will discuss the importance of wheat and share latest research.

All sessions are open to the public. Early-bird registration closes April 21, 2018, but onsite registration will be available. There is a reduced price for students to attend.

Register online. For more information, contact the Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department by email or 605.688.4600.

Dr. David Wright, South Dakota State University Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department Head.

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Herbicide Considerations for Cover Crop Planting

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Long residual pre-emergent or early post-emergent herbicides may cause stand reduction or complete failure of cover crops.

"Growers need to consider the rotational restrictions and intervals of herbicides before application," explained Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist. "This can become a larger issue if the cover crop will be grazed."

Rotational restrictions can be found on most herbicide labels under the title of similar wording to "rotational crop restrictions" or "rotational crop guidelines." Specific guidelines, usually found under "forage restrictions," must be followed for cover crops that are grown for feeding livestock whether for grazing or forage.

Shaffer added that depending on efficacy of the herbicide, residual can both affect in-season and/or post-harvest cover crop establishment.

Crop rotational interval

A few chemical companies add common cover crops and rotation intervals to their labels. If a cover crop is not listed on the label, it then falls into the "other" category.

Most corn, soybean and small grains herbicide labels do not have rotational intervals for non-harvested or harvested cover crops.

A crop rotation interval is the required time between application time and the time of next planting.

The crop rotation interval is required for two main reasons, Shaffer explained. First, a rotation interval ensures potential herbicide residues in the soil will not affect plant establishment. And, it ensures there are no unsafe levels of herbicide in plant tissues.

"If a producer does not intend to harvest the cover crop, the rotation interval requirement is not a legal requirement, but if the producer plans on harvesting the cover crop the label restrictions must be followed," Shaffer said.

For example, if a producer grows wheat and applies an herbicide with plant back restriction of six months for cover crops. If the grower goes ahead and plants cover crops for non-forage use five months after application, the producer would be fully responsible for any damage that occurs to planted cover crop as a result of residual herbicide.

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2018 SDSU Youth Livestock Judging Camps to be held June 7-9, 10-12

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Livestock Judging Team will host two youth livestock judging camps in Brookings, S.D. on June 7 - 9 and June 10 - 12.

The camp is recommended for fourth grade students through seniors in high school. Younger ages are also welcome to attend with a chaperone. Students will be divided based on their ages and judging levels at the camp. Introductory to advanced-level skills related to placings and reasons for judging swine, beef, goats and sheep will be taught. 

“We are really going to focus on each individual at the camp, so there will be significant one-on- one time between attendees and SDSU Livestock Judging Team members and coaches,” SDSU Livestock Judging Team Coach Brady Jensen explains.

Cost to attend the camp is $250. The registration fee includes two night’s lodging in SDSU dorms, six meals plus refreshments, recreational activities each evening, a livestock judging manual, and a camp t-shirt.

Registrations are due by May 24th. Contact Brady Jensen at 605.688.5165 or by email for more information. 

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2018 SDSU Natural Resources Camp to be Held July 16 – 20

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development, Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Department of Natural Resource Management will host its annual Natural Resources Camp for high school students on July 16 - 20, 2018.

The camp is intended for students entering ninth to 12th grades who have a strong desire to learn more about the natural world or have an interest in pursuing a career related to natural resources.

Camp activities will include fish sampling, aquatic invertebrate sampling, birds of South Dakota, stream ecology, prairie plant diversity, vegetation sampling, identifying mammal tracks, soil health, orienteering, nocturnal invertebrates, and careers in natural resources. The final list of activities is subject to change based on weather conditions or other unforeseen issues. Additional activities may also be added. 

“Natural Resources Camp was created not only for educational outreach, but also for students who are considering future careers in ecology, environmental science, rangeland ecology, natural resource law enforcement, and wildlife and fisheries,” says Michele Dudash, Natural Resource Management Department Head. “Camp is an excellent way for students to ‘get their feet wet’ and learn more about natural resource careers.”

Space for the camp is limited to 25 males and 25 females and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration will close on May 31. The registration fee is $300 and includes lodging and meals. Camp will be held at the Oak Lake Field Station in Astoria, S.D., which is located 22 miles northeast of the SDSU campus.

To access the camp registration form and for more information, please visit the SDSU Natural Resources Camp page. Contact the Department of Natural Resource Management at 605.688.6121 or by email

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Great Plains Fire Tour Visits the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A team of professional firefighters recently met with members of the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association (MMRPBA), in Bonesteel as part of the Great Plains Fire Tour. The team included professional firefighters from various government agencies, non-profit organizations and international firefighting agencies.

South Dakota was the last stop in a four-state tour which also included Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. The objective of the tour was to assist on prescribed fires and review prescribed burn plans created by a variety of agencies, organizations and local prescribed fire cooperatives throughout the Great Plains.

The tour travels with their own firefighting trucks, equipment and gear. All the firefighters completed their pack test and are National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWGC) I-100, S-130, S-190 and FEMA IS-700 certified.

"The MMRPBA was extremely grateful for the opportunity to spend time with this amazing group of firefighters and we hope to see them again next year," said Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist.

The MMRPBA had several prescribed burns scheduled for the tour in South Dakota. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. So, the MMRPBA asked the tour group to review burn plans for the upcoming burn season and spent some time discussing goals and challenges of cedar tree control and rangeland health within the Missouri River corridor in south-central South Dakota.

"Due to the extremely rugged terrain within the Missouri River Corridor, the MMRPBA sought advice on conducting prescribed burns in such difficult terrain with high fuel loads," Kelly said. "The tour group provided excellent advice on different ignition sequences as well as advice on including multiple landowners on one prescribed burn to simplify the terrain difficulties."

The MMRPBA was established in 2016 to control cedar tree infestation and improve grassland health by conducting prescribed fires on land along the Missouri River and surrounding areas. Kelly is involved in the organization through his role with SDSU Extension.

To learn more about the impact prescribed burns can have on your rangeland, contact Kelly by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. A team of professional firefighters recently met with members of the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association (MMRPBA), in Bonesteel as part of the Great Plains Fire Tour. The team included professional firefighters from various government agencies, non-profit organizations and international firefighting agencies.

Members of the Great Plains Fire Tour are pictured here with MMRPBA members. Front row left to right: Breck Klein, U.S. Forest Service (Idaho); Fernando Ivan Caceres Castro, EIRIF, La Palma (Spain); Roberto Romero Muino, GEACAM (Spain); Patty Carrick, U.S. Forest Service (Michigan); Tom Hausmann, MMRPBA Director and Erin Banwell, Forest Stewards Guild (New Mexico).

Back Row left to right: Davin Luoma, Bureau of Land Management (Utah); Angel Larriba Aldea, GEACAM (Spain); Victor Riera Jimenez, EIRIF, La Palma (Spain); Sean Kelly, MMRPBA/SDSU Extension Liaison; Sara Grim, MMRPBA Secretary/Treasurer; Brad Christensen, MMRPBA Director/Training Officer and Dave Steffen, MMRPBA Vice-Chairman. 

Not pictured: Ben Wheeler, Pheasants Forever (Nebraska); Keith Hovorka, MMRPBA Chairman; Greg Schmitz, MMRPBA Director and Mark Green, MMRPBA Director.

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Pre-emergence Herbicide Program is Always A Good Idea

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - To prevent weed resistance, it is always good to start with a pre-emergence program, said Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

"Usually the pre-emergence is a different chemistry than what would be used post-emergence - and it will buy time before doing a post treatment if the pre-emergence is activated," Johnson explained.

Due to current wet, cool conditions, spring 2018 many growers may see weeds which have already germinated prior to the application of a pre-emergence product after planting.

"In order to activate most pre-emergent products, they need about one-half to three-fourth of an inch of moisture. So, if weeds germinate before the pre-emergent was activated, there may be some weeds that will continue to grow. These weeds will need a post-emergent treatment for control," Johnson said.

However, there are some pre-emergence products on the market which can kill some, small emerged weeds. Atrazine is a pre-emergence product with the largest window to control emerged weeds.

"To insure the product being used has kick back control, check you label," Johnson advised. "If it does not, consider applying a burndown with the pre-emergent to take out emerged weeds, or consider doing one more tillage pass before planting."

Johnson reminds growers that once the product has been activated, it will start to control germinating weeds and should work as normal from this time forward.

"In most cases, no chemical is lost waiting for activation. In all cases, read the label for more information on how you product works," he said. "Do not add more of the same product to the field unless it is recommended as this may cause injury to the crop. Even if the field had some temporary flooding the product is usually still there." 

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Dandelion Season is Nearly Here

Categorized: Gardens, Home & Garden Pests

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Although current weather conditions have detained them, the yellow flowers of spring are beginning to emerge.

Thriving in cool damp weather, if dandelions were not sprayed last fall, Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator said South Dakotans can expect to see them emerge soon.

"Spring treatments are not as effective as fall but can be used to stop the yellow flowers from producing viable seed," he said of the perennial weed that can produce multiple flowers. A large plant can produce up to 50 flowers with several seeds per flower.

This spring, Johnson said herbicide treatments can be used, either the weed and feed type granule or a liquid spray. He explained that in order for the chemical to be effective, it must enter thought the leaves.

Spray products can be applied with a variety of equipment.

"Keep sprays coarse and use low pressure to reduce the chance of spray going on non-target sensitive plants. Remember the older the dandelion the harder it will be to kill," Johnson said.

Scattered plants can be dug, but be sure to cut the root off below the ground so the crown is killed to avoid the plant coming back as a new plant.

Mark your calendars

The best time to control dandelions is after the first frost, so make a note to apply chemical fall 2018.

"Remember, even if you lawn is dandelion free this spring, the weed's seedlings can return next year," Johnson said.

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Register for 2018 Teen Leadership Conference Today

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 4-H Youth Council invites all South Dakota teens, ages 13 to 18, to attend the 2018 Teen Leadership Conference held on the South Dakota State University campus, June 4-8, 2018.

This year's camp theme is Fear Factor: Face Everything and Rise.

"Teen Leadership Conference provides teens with a fun balance of leadership training, personal growth and campus exploration," said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor.

Register by April 20 and save

To register for Teen Leadership Conference, visit the iGrow Events page. Early bird registration is $275 and open until April 20, 2018. In order to receive the early bird registration, registrants must enter "TLC25."

General registration is $300 and extends from April 21-May 8, 2018.

Registration fee includes room, all meals and a t-shirt. Transportation to and from Brookings will not be provided, unless otherwise arranged by county 4-H offices.

Fear Factor: Face Everything and Rise

"The 2018 Teen Leadership Conference will provide the experiences needed to prepare youth for secondary education and career readiness," Risner explained.

Throughout the week, teens will face their fears as it applies to leadership development. Complete tract and workshop descriptions are located at the iGrow events page.

Teens will have the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of engaging networking opportunities at many landmarks across campus, such as Club 71 in the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

"Teens should attend TLC because it's a place for them to make lifelong friends and connections that they will have for the rest of their life," said Taylor McMartin, 4-H Youth Council member from Turner County.

This year, the Youth Council is excited to welcome keynote speaker, Bob Prentice, aka "Mr. Attitude." Prentice will discuss fears as they apply to leadership, with attitude of course.

For more information about the conference, please contact SDSU Extension South Dakota 4-H Youth Council Co-Advisors, Amber Erickson by email or Hilary Risner by email.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

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SDSU Extension Hosts Youth AI Day Camp

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - More than 30 4-H youth involved in the 4-H beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

During the day camp, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle.

"Understanding how the female and male beef reproductive tracts work is critical to a successful A.I. program," said Audra Scheel, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Sanborn, Aurora & Jerauld/Buffalo Counties.

Scheel along with Grussing and Salverson helped organize the event. "The youth asked great questions," Scheel said. "Last year the day camp was held at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell. It's our goal is to move this day camp around the state so we can provide the opportunity to youth across South Dakota. We want to see youth excited to go home and assist with A.I. on their family cattle operations."

Once they learned the basics, youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

"This is a critical part of A.I., you can have the best technician in the world inside the cow, but if the semen isn't handled correctly outside the cow, your conception rates with show it," Salverson explained to youth during the demonstration.

Youth were also able to work with real, female beef cow reproductive tracts and learn how pregnancy tests and ultrasound equipment work. These breakout sessions allowed youth to see what they are working with inside a cow. According to post day camp surveys, the hands-on portion of the day received high marks by youth attendees.

"At camp, we provided youth with knowledge and hands-on techniques of A.I., but then followed that up with how to pregnancy check cows to see how successful A.I. was. This really brings the day full circle for the kids," said Taylor Grussing.

In addition to A.I. information, Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate led a session on how to handle vaccine and led a breakout session on proper protocols. Youth also engaged in a breeding soundness demonstration conducted by George Perry, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist and Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

Front row, right to left: Tyler Rasmussen, Elkton; Cameron Noethlich, Doland; Austin Rawden, Mina; Ty Bergh, Florence; Trevor Bergh, Florence; Kahli Gall, Hurley; Riley Rasmussen, Elkton; Cassandra Twedt, Beresford and Ryan Blagg, Salem.

Middle row, left to right: Ruby Hoiten, Montrose; Natalie Grocott, Colton; Micah Leonard, Armour; Drew Pederson, Sherman; Kade Grocott, Colton; Kylie Harriman, Parker; Lexi Osterman, Conde; Ryann Grussing, Platte; Kiley Klein, Madison; Journey Mehlhalf, Menno; and Aubrie Hartley, Henry.

Back row, left to right: Elliott Chase, Salem; Katelyn Lueth, Montrose; Lindsey VanderWal, Bruce; Tessa Pederson, Sherman; Evan Bly, Garretson; Tate Bergh, Florence; Brodie Robinson, Henry; Grant Loehrer, Watertown; Nolan Dvorak, Lake Andes; Teigen Hadrick, Faulkton; and Molly Myers, Canton.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility. During the day camp, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle. Youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

Courtesy of iGrow. 4-H member, Austin Rawden, Mina, looks at a fetus with the use of an ultrasound machine during the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the day camp where SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle. Youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility 4-H member, Nolan Dvorak, Lake Andes, learns how to correctly load a syringe under the supervision of Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian.

More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the day camp where SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle. Youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

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SD 4-H International Program Seeks Host Families

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H International Exchange program is seeking South Dakota families to host middle-school age youth from Japan for summer 2018.

"Being a host family is a really amazing experience," said Kristi Van Tassel-Hinkle, South Dakota's 4-H International Program coordinator, a 4-H leader and the owner of New Beginnings Greenhouse in Highmore. "I enjoy seeing how much the youth change after living in a different country for a month."

Kristi was first introduced to 4-H International Exchange Program when her daughter, Brittany traveled to Costa Rica for a month-long exchange. Since that time, she has hosted three youth. This year her youngest daughter, Shelby is participating in a 4-H exchange to Japan.

"I am really interested in Japanese culture and want to experience what life is like in a foreign country," explains the 17-year-old Holabird native.

Kristi explains that in addition to teaching the youth you host about life in South Dakota, her family learned a lot about the country and culture of the youth they hosted.

"In addition to the friends they have here in South Dakota, my children now have friends from Japan and Norway," she explained

Sign up to host

Host families are needed for summer 2018: July 21-August 18.

Since partnering with the organization in 1979, South Dakota 4-H has hosted about 650 delegates from Japan, Costa Rica, Norway and Finland. Through the decades, 30 South Dakota 4-H members have traveled abroad through States' 4-H International exchanges.

Kristi and South Dakota's States' 4-H International program were recently recognized with the Outstanding Quality Program Award.

To learn more about how you can become a host family, contact Kristi Hinkle at 605.852.2298, or 605.870.0080 or email her.

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SDSU Extension Veterinarian Recognized

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

South Dakota State University recently recognized Russ Daly with the F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Service in Extension/Outreach. Daly is an SDSU Professor in the Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department, the SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian.

"Dr. Daly has dedicated his life to serving the community and stakeholders of South Dakota, the nation and the world by providing the highest quality outreach through applied research, scholarly output, consultations and the development of relationships with the public," said Jane Christopher-Hennings, Head of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department at SDSU.

Service to South Dakotans, their livestock and companion animals, has been the mission of Daly's diverse career.

"Veterinary medicine is a wonderful profession that has provided me with so many different opportunities," said Daly, who began his career as a rural, large and small animal veterinarian. "Throughout my career I have had the wonderful opportunity to truly understand the relationship between people and their animals and work to keep humans and animals healthy."

Growing up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Brown County, Daly said he always knew he wanted to pursue a career that would allow him to remain closely connected to land and livestock. Initially, he didn't consider veterinary medicine.

When he first enrolled at SDSU, it was as an Agricultural Engineering student.

It wasn't a good fit.

Daly tried other majors, but he wasn't content.

Then, while reading a profile article on a local veterinarian in The Collegian, Daly's career goal became clear.

"A light bulb went off. This was the career I'd been looking for. As a veterinarian I could stay involved in agriculture, be part of a small community and, be intellectually challenged every day with the science and medicine involved in keeping animals healthy," Daly said.

In 1990, Daly received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University and was asked to join the private practice in Montrose, South Dakota where he had completed his preceptorship.

During his years in private practice, along with pets, Daly's clientele represented nearly all aspects of animal agriculture. He worked with cow/calf herds, feedlots, dairy herds and swine facilities.

"Rural South Dakota is a great place to be a veterinarian," he said, adding that today, he calls upon his experience often.

"I learned so much from the livestock producers I worked with," he said. "At first, as a new veterinarian, I wasn't very confident - it took time, mentorship from more experienced veterinarians, mentorship from livestock producers I worked with and a lot of experience."

Throughout his career, Daly says it is the human aspect of his work that is most rewarding.

"The most enjoyable part of veterinary work was interacting with clients. In private practice I got to know their families and operations well, and many clients became my friends," Daly said.

In fact, it was the opportunity to serve more South Dakotans that appealed to Daly when he was asked to join the SDSU Extension team and South Dakota State University faculty in 2005.

Daly saw his new role as a way to utilize his practical, private practice experience and collaborate with SDSU faculty and researchers to solve health challenges facing South Dakota's livestock producers and the general public.

"I get to investigate interesting questions and try to find answers," he said.

In addition to owners of pets and livestock, today as Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian Daly's clientele has expanded to encompass students, human and animal health researchers, faculty and veterinarians across the state and country.

Daly's ability to connect with those he serves is not overlooked, explained Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota State Veterinarian, S.D. Animal Industry Board in a letter of recommendation.

"Dr. Daly's resume is impressive and speaks volumes as to the many qualifications that he possesses which make him an ideal candidate for the F.O. Butler Award. It is not only that which is listed on his resume, however, that makes him deserving of the award. Rather, it is also the humble and dedicated manner in which Dr. Daly interacts with those whom he serves," Oedekoven wrote.

As the SDSU Extension Veterinarian, Daly works closely with veterinarians across the state to understand livestock and pet owners' resource and information needs. Through bi-weekly news columns, journal articles and seminars, Daly provides research-based information and education to veterinarians and their clients.

When a disease outbreak occurs or a new disease appears in the state, Daly relies on the state's veterinary network to keep him informed, aiding his  work with researchers at the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory to implement testing procedures, develop tests and treatment plans.

In his role as State Public Health Veterinarian, Daly works closely with those in human medicine. Together with medical doctors, he helped launched South Dakota One Health, a working group focused on public health education and prevention of zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are those that can be transmitted from animals to humans or humans to animals.

"There is a lot of contact between humans and animals, particularly in South Dakota where agriculture and livestock production is such an important part of our economy," explained Susan Anderson, MD, Professor and Chair of Family Medicine Department at University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and Director of Frontier and Rural Medicine Program. "Dr. Daly has worked as a vet in a small community. He understands what it is like to live and work in rural South Dakota - these are the populations we are trying to impact."

When Daly joined SDSU Extension and SDSU, he was hired based on his field experience and ability to communicate. While maintaining a demanding work schedule, Daly received a Master of Science in 2013 from SDSU.

Daly pours his heart, soul and intellect into every aspect of his work.

In 2013, he served as Interim Department Head of the SDSU Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, and Director of the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL); he serves on the South Dakota One Health working group; he is chair of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Animal Contact in Public Settings Compendium Committee; serves as chair of the SD Veterinary Medical Association Continuing Education Committee and coordinates outreach for the SDSU Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department and South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory.

In addition to the F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Service in Extension/Outreach, Daly has been named Outstanding Faculty Member in Extension, by the SDSU Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture and has been nominated as the Ag-Bio Teacher of the Year.

Courtesy of iGrow. Russ Daly, SDSU Professor in the Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian works closely with veterinarians across the state to understand livestock and pet owners' resource and information needs. Through bi-weekly news columns, journal articles and seminars, Daly provides research-based information and education to veterinarians and their clients.

Courtesy image. Growing up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Brown County, Russ Daly, SDSU Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian said he always knew he wanted to pursue a career that would allow him to remain closely connected to land and livestock. Daly his pictured here as a baby with his father, Kenneth, and grandfather Richard. 

Courtesy of iGrow. Russ Daly, SDSU Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian works closely with veterinarians across the state to understand livestock and pet owners' resource and information needs. Through bi-weekly news columns, journal articles and seminars, Daly provides research-based information and education to veterinarians and their clients.

Courtesy of iGrow. During his years in private practice, along with pets, Daly's clientele represented nearly all aspects of animal agriculture. He worked with cow/calf herds, feedlots, dairy herds and swine facilities. Today, as SDSU Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian, he calls upon his field experience often.

"Rural South Dakota is a great place to be a veterinarian," said Russ Daly.

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SDSU Extension Selected as National Anchor Partner

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension was recently selected by Everyday Democracy, a national leader in civic participation and community change, to serve as an Anchor Partner.

"It is a special honor to welcome SDSU Extension as an Anchor Partner," said Martha McCoy, Everyday Democracy's Executive Director. "Our work with them dates to the beginning of the Horizons program, in which hundreds of small communities across the Pacific Northwest and Midwest have used Dialogue to Change to address poverty and make a difference in the lives of their residents. SDSU Extension is a leader in community engagement in this area. Their work shows the power of people of all backgrounds coming together to solve public problems and create strong communities that work for everyone. We look forward to working with them, learning from them, and sharing their lessons and stories with our network across the country."

Anchor Partners are leaders in addressing structural racism, engaging all different kinds of people in public dialogue and linking dialogue to action and positive change. They are selected for their effective work and dedication to shared principles.

"Everyday Democracy is a natural partner for the work of the SDSU Extension Community Vitality team," explained Kenneth Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director. "SDSU Extension has already utilized their materials addressing racism in several of our programs. We are excited to be an Anchor Partner and the benefit it will bring to South Dakota communities."

As an Everyday Democracy Anchor Partner, SDSU Extension becomes part of a national learning network, share lessons and tools on racial/social equity-driven dialogue and change practices.

Anchor Partners contribute to a larger movement of regional and national organizations dedicated to strengthening democratic capacity for community voice and change.

"Anchor Partners help build a civic infrastructure for equitable, democratic change in our country," said Valeriano Ramos, the Director of Strategic Alliances at Everyday Democracy. "We learn from them and they learn from us and each other about ways to strengthen our toolkits and practices to support authentic community participation for local problem-solving and decision-making."

Everyday Democracy first worked with the SDSU Extension Community Vitality team in 2003, when together they worked with the Northwest Area Foundation and the Horizons project with the goal of helping small, rural communities and reservations address issues of poverty through leadership training, community organizing and assisting in Dialogue to Change programs.

From 2003 until 2010, SDSU Extension Community Vitality team introduced the Horizons project to more than 40 communities and reservations throughout the state.

More about Everyday Democracy

Everyday Democracy helps improve the quality of civic life through dialogue, organizing, including all voices and addressing structural racism and other inequities.

In addition to helping create capacity in local communities, Everyday Democracy works with Anchor Partners around the country, whose capacity and leadership amplifies the impact of community work while building capacity in regions and nationally.

Everyday Democracy is a project of The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, a private operating foundation dedicated to strengthening deliberative democracy and improving the quality of public life in the United States.

Since its inception, Everyday Democracy, based in Hartford, Connecticut, has worked with more than 600 communities by providing advice, training, tools and resources. It also partners with national and local organizations to strengthen the field of dialogue and deliberation and promote a stronger, more equitable democracy.

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Sign up for 4-H Camp Today

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension encourages South Dakota families to consider South Dakota 4-H summer camp options for their youth.

"Camp is a fun, safe way for South Dakota's youth to explore new topics and activities in an experiential manner," Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist.

In addition to fun, Jaeger said based on feedback from campers and their families, those who attend 4-H camp can benefit from the following:

  • Appreciate differences amongst people;
  • Listen and communicate effectively;
  • Accept responsibility in a community-living setting; and
  • Apply independent life-skills away from home

"These skills that the youth learn or improve on do not stop when they leave camp; rather, youth can transfer these abilities to any group, organization, or team that they are involved with," Jaeger said.

Counselor Benefits

Campers are not the only youth who benefit from attending camp, Jaeger said feedback from older 4-H members who serve as camp counselors also gain a lot from the experience:

  • Leadership;
  • Responsible citizenship;
  • Contribution; and
  • Teamwork

"The skills learned as a camp counselor make teens a more qualified job applicant, a better team member, and a more confident leaders," Jaeger said.

Sign up for 4-H camp today

4-H camps are available for youth 8 to 18. To register for camp, visit the iGrow Events page and look under the 4-H & Youth event category on the left hand side if the screen. Registration deadlines vary.

To sign up as a camp counselor or volunteer, visit the following iGrow.org links:

Camp Counselor Job Description.

Camp Counselor Volunteer Application.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

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Reducing Insecticide Exposure

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - To prevent accidental insecticide exposure, applicators need to take appropriate, precautionary steps when it comes to the care of their clothing following application, explained Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

"Exposure to insecticides can pose a serious health threat to the individuals working with insecticides along with their families, as families can be exposed to insecticides when contaminated work clothes are laundered at home," Varenhorst said.

In many cases, reading the insecticide label will provide the information needed regarding the use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Insecticide labels list the minimum required PPE that must be worn while working with insecticides to reduce exposure.

"However, even with exercising caution when mixing and applying insecticides or disposing of used PPE a person's clothing can still be contaminated," Varenhorst explained. "Even when label recommendations are carefully followed, and PPE was worn there is still the risk of work clothing having some insecticide residues present."

Handling Clothing

It is important to exercise caution when handling and laundering clothing that was worn while working with insecticides.

  1. Potentially contaminated articles of clothing should always be handled as if they were contaminated.
  2. Clothing that is worn while working with insecticides should be changed as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk for exposure to the individual working with the insecticides and prevent potential contamination of personal vehicles and homes.
  3. When the clothing is removed, it should be placed into a sealable container that is clearly labeled "Contaminated Clothing."
  4. When handling contaminated clothing, wear chemical resistant gloves that are rated as highly resistant to the insecticide that was applied.
  5. Lightly contaminated clothes should be laundered immediately, and only with other potentially contaminated clothing.
  6. Do not wash these clothes with the rest of the household laundry.
  7. Wash contaminated clothes in hot water using a highly concentrated or heavy-duty detergent.
  8. Do not dry clothes in the dryer once they are washed.
  • Even after washing, there may still be insecticide residues present in the fibers of the clothes. The heat from the dryer will remove the residues, resulting in a contaminated clothes dryer.
  • The clothes should be line dried instead.
  • Before washing any other items in the washing machine, it is important to run the machine through one empty cycle with detergent. This will remove any remaining insecticide residues.

Direct exposure

In instances where insecticides were spilled onto clothes, remove them, and dispose of them in the same manner as used for contaminated PPE.

"Although proper laundering can remove small amounts of insecticide residue, laundering clothes with larger amounts may result in contamination of the washing machine, yourself, and others," Varenhorst said.

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Feedback to Address the Farm Economic Situation

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans, Wheat

Column by Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor

Speaking in March 2018 to Newsmax Finance, Anthony Busch, a 45-year-old corn, soybeans and wheat farmer stated: "I look for a period of pretty tough times. I need to borrow money in the spring to cover the costs I pay off in the fall, so when you're buying your seeds, your fertilizer, you have to take on your debt all at once. If you want to stick in this business, you have to be an eternal optimist. We may not have cheap interest rates. But we'll still have to eat."

Mr. Busch's statements pretty much summarized what's has been going on in the U.S. farm sector for several years.

It is not just about crop production at a relatively fair price anymore, it is also about being able to sustain the farm family budget. It is about maintaining the necessary optimism to remain in business, and still be confident that the situation will turn around.

According to Bloomberg News U.S. farm income will hit a 12-year low in 2018.

In its first 2018 broadcast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted farmer profits will drop 6.7 percent this year to $59.5 billion.

That's the lowest since 2006, down 52 percent from a record high of $123.8 billion in 2013.

To Best Serve During Tough Times, SDSU Extension Asks Agriculture Producers for Feedback

Starting a few years ago, the SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources team discussed how to incorporate into its outreach research-based information that pertains to the South Dakota farm economy.

Today, we face a situation that has worsened significantly since our early efforts.

Farms are undergoing significant economic woes that have resulted in not only financial difficulties but emotional strain. To avoid assuming what South Dakota's agriculture producers' need and maximize our outreach efforts, our team put together a highly diversified Farm Economy Task Force.

This task force discussed the best approach to maximize impact - similar to what we did to address the 2017 drought effort.

In addition to myself, the task force includes: Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist; Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist; Andrea Bjornestad, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Mental Health Specialist; Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist; Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist; Lindsey Gerard, SDSU Extension iGrow Technology Coordinator; Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist; Michelle May, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Butte/Lawrence Counties; Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist.

To understand how we can best serve South Dakota producers we are conducting a random survey of 10 percent South Dakota agriculture producers.

The poll will go out this April together with self-addressed stamped envelopes to 10% of our farms or 3,150 out the roughly 31,150 total. Distribution will be at random in 350 farms in each of the nine quadrants that SDSU and USDA use to describe other aspects of our state: Northwest, North central, North East, West Central, Central, East Central, South West, South Central, and South East.

The survey is confidential and includes several topics including: demographics, production, finances, and sources of emotional strain.

Once we receive completed surveys, our team will also make the survey to all producers through social media.

The data of these surveys will be utilized to guide the development and distribution of SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources programming for 2018 and into the future.

If you have questions, please contact me by email.

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April is Financial Literacy Month

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - In an effort to emphasize the important of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits April is recognized throughout the U.S. as Financial Literacy month.

"Financial literacy is your ability to make sound financial decisions based on your financial knowledge. A high level of financial literacy will improve your financial well-being," said Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist.

Let's celebrate

Throughout the month of April, the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) has developed tools and resources designed to encourage consumers to take action to improve their financial well-being.
Weekly themes for the month include:
 
April 1-7, 2018 - Planning
April 8-14, 2018 - Saving
April 15-21, 2018 -Protection through insurance
April 22-30, 2018 - General financial preparedness

To access tools and resources for each theme, visit the USA.gov website.

Information about budgeting, goal setting, tracking spending, retirement, insurance, and credit is available at the Family and Personal Finance community.

Year-round focus

Through her role with SDSU Extension, Saboe-Wounded Head, works with consumer across the state of South Dakota to improve their personal finance skills and knowledge.

Ways she works with South Dakotans to increase their financial literacy include: one-on-one financial counseling, small and large group financial programs, on-line courses, and worksite wellness programs.

To connect with Saboe-Wounded Head, e-mail or follow her on Twitter @SDSUExtFinance.

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Consumers & Packers Demanding BQA Certification

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Healthy Families, Food Safety

BROOKINGS, S.D. - As of Jan. 1, 2019 one of the nation's largest processors of U.S. beef, Tyson Foods, will require that all beef they purchase is sourced from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified producers. Additionally, by Jan. 1, 2020 all cattle transporters hauling to Tyson Foods' harvest facilities will need BQA Transportation (BQAT) certification.

"Consumers care about how the food they eat is raised and this impacts their purchasing decisions," said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate and the new South Dakota BQA Coordinator.

Tyson Foods, which processes 25 percent of all U.S. beef, is following the lead of their foodservice customers. Carroll explained that some retail outlets and restaurants, like Wendy's, will only buy beef sourced from BQA certified farms and ranches.

Although livestock producers raise their livestock in a responsible, humane way that may meet BQA standards, without the certification, Carroll said livestock producers could miss out on marketing opportunities. Below, she outlines the necessary steps livestock producers need to take to become certified or re-certified in these quality assurance programs.

Changes to BQA certification in S.D.

If a livestock operation is currently BQA certified, they need to know that when their certification expires, the certification process has changed.

"It's no longer as simple as filling out a renewal form," Carroll said.

To recertify, or to certify, all livestock producers need to take a BQA class online or in person. These changes to the South Dakota BQA Program took effect this year (March 1, 2018) as program management transitioned to SDSU Extension.

Other changes and updates include:

  • SDSU Extension will manage the South Dakota BQA program and a BQA Advisory Board will provide program guidance as needed.
  • The Level 2 Critical Management Plan is NO LONGER required for South Dakota BQA certification.
  • Feedyards may choose to complete a BQA Feedyard Assessment as one step to become eligible for listing on the national Feedyard Assessment Database.
  • All BQA certifications will be issued by the National Beef Quality Assurance program. No separate South Dakota certificates or numbers will be issued.
  • A South Dakota BQA Trainer program will be implemented. Veterinarians practicing in South Dakota and SDSU Extension Professionals on the Beef and Dairy Teams are eligible to become South Dakota BQA Trainers.
  • The BQA Transportation (BQAT) certification is available online.
  • According to the National BQA and National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) programs, dairies participating in FARM are "BQA Equivalent." However, no National BQA certification number will be assigned to the dairy's herdsman, manager, or owner without directly contacting the South Dakota BQA Coordinator and providing a copy of the current FARM Animal Care Evaluation Report. Only one person per dairy will receive a BQA certification. Other employees are encouraged to complete one of the other BQA or Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance (DACQA) training options available.

"Producers should be aware that limited in-person trainings will be offered in South Dakota for either BQA or BQA Transportation (BQAT) certifications," Carroll said. "The best option is to complete the online course."

Cost of certification

Each of the certifications (BQA, BQAT, DACQA, and BQA Trainer) and the on-farm assessment programs (National Feedyard Assessment Database, and FARM Evaluation) are valid for three years.

All online certification courses (BQA, BQAT, and DACQA) are available at no cost and can be completed at the producer's convenience, 24/7 at the Beef Quality Assurance website.

In-person certification courses (BQA and BQAT) have a fee of $50 per person. Discounts are available for operations certifying multiple individuals.

Veterinarians interested in becoming a South Dakota BQA Trainer should contact Carroll by email. The Trainer certification fee is $25. Trainer certification courses will be available later during the summer of 2018.

Feedyards that desire to be listed on the National Feedyard Assessment Database need to complete several steps and work with the South Dakota BQA Coordinator to finish the submission process. Feedyards will need to complete a BQA Feedyard Assessment, or equivalent assessment, once every three years as one of the criteria. These assessments may be self-assessed by a feedyard staff member at no cost, or the feedyard can ask Carroll to conduct the assessment for a fee of $150 per site.

Dairies that want to have a FARM Animal Care Evaluation completed can either work with their processor or contact Carroll. Most processors and co-ops are conducting FARM Evaluations for their members. Carroll is also available for $150 per site.

To check your individual certification status or with questions on any quality assurance programs, Carroll can be contacted by email.

Producers interested in completing a BQA Feedyard Assessment or FARM Animal Care Evaluation can also contact Carroll directly to schedule a site visit.

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4-H Ambassador Program Expands Teen Leadership Opportunities

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H is launching a State 4-H Ambassador program to expand leadership opportunities for teens.

"For years South Dakota 4-H Youth Council provided leadership opportunities through event facilitation. This new 4-H Ambassador program includes these same opportunities, and so much more," said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor who is also co-advisor of the State 4-H Ambassador program along with Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator.

Risner explained that the State 4-H Ambassador program offers more opportunities to South Dakota teens because it is designed to engage youth in leadership development through all four 4-H program areas including:

  1. Agvocacy
  2. Leadership
  3. Health & Wellness
  4. Science

State 4-H Ambassadors will be expected to develop a customized action plan together with Erickson or Risner that will outline leadership milestones they hope to achieve and 4-H activities they will take a leadership role in.

"This new program enhances 4-H program delivery and provides more leadership learning experiences for teens," Risner said.

When designing the State 4-H Ambassador program, Erickson and Risner did their research and gleaned the best ideas from other state 4-H teen leadership programs.

"The program plan will be customized to the 4-H member and their interests'. By broadening the focus, we hope to engage more teens," Erickson said. "Not all teens are interested in organizing the 4-H Teen Leadership Conference, which used to be the main focus of the State 4-H Youth Council. But, that doesn't mean those teens wouldn't be interested in educating and engaging with the public about a topic that does interest them, like robotics or the cattle industry."

High school junior and 4-H member, Sydney Hoffman agrees. "I think this appeals to more teens, because not everyone wants to stand in front of a big crowd of campers or facilitate a small group," explains Hoffman, 16, who has served as a member of the State 4-H Youth Council for two years.

Hoffman says she has developed leadership skills, like team work and public speaking, through serving on the State 4-H Youth Council and sees even more opportunities for leadership and professional development through the new State 4-H Ambassador program.

"We get to do more things and participate in more 4-H events across the state, not just conference and state fair," said Hoffman, who plans to remain involved in planning 4-H Teen Leadership Conference as a State 4-H Ambassador. "There are so many 4-Hers who don't even know about this opportunity. Because 4-H Ambassadors will be attending more events, like the state 4-H horse show or state 4-H shooting sports - it will help get the word out about this opportunity."

With more inclusivity and flexibility, Erickson and Risner hope more youth will sign up to serve as State 4-H Ambassadors.

The State 4-H Ambassador program will maintain high expectations for teens who apply. Applications for the new State 4-H Ambassador program will be available on iGrow.org mid-May 2018. Interviews will be held during the 2018 South Dakota State Fair in Huron with the option for applicants to do a Skype interview.

To learn more, visit with your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing icon.

"Leadership development is vast. We believe teens want to engage in leadership development that is tied to their interests and passions. The State 4-H Ambassador program is designed to allow for endless opportunities catered to individualized goals and aspirations," Erickson said.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

Courtesy image. Sydney Hoffman, a 4-H member and junior at Bridgewater - Emery High school is excited about the new opportunities the State 4-H Ambassador program offers to 4-H teens throughout the state. She is pictured here (second from left) presenting hand tied blankets to the Huron Hospital, as part of Blanket Buddies, the 2017 4-H statewide service project.

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Ground Truth for Unbiased Agronomic Information & Training

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

As a kid, Brad Ruden knew he was going to attend South Dakota State University and major in agronomy.

His dad raised certified seed and would host variety plot tours. Agronomists from SDSU Extension would come out and help with the tours and conduct research on their family farm.

"Plant science always interested me, and that exposure to the university early on piqued my interests in agronomy and set the foundation of what has been my life's career," explained the Agronomy Tech Service Manager for Agtegra Cooperative (formerly S.D. Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator).

Throughout his diverse career, Ruden has maintained close ties to SDSU faculty and relies on SDSU Extension agronomy team as a resource to keep him and his team up to date on industry certifications. And, even more importantly, to serve as what he refers to as a "ground truth."

"One of the foundations of SDSU Extension has always been to provide unbiased, research-based information. Even though I am in a career where I can do testing myself, and I have access to all the agricultural companies, SDSU Extension is valuable, it serves as a ground truth of company promotions to cross check data with local testing, to help us make the best recommendations for our farmers," Ruden said.

Ruden's experience is not unique. Each year, the SDSU Extension agronomy team shares unbiased information and recommendations with hundreds of South Dakota agronomists and growers.

"SDSU Extension does not have to worry about making a sale. Our sole focus is providing agronomists, and the farmers they serve, with the best options," explained Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

By collaborating with the S.D. Department of Agriculture, other agencies and organizations, a national network of extension researchers and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU research infrastructure, the team provides timely information to agronomists and the growers they serve in several ways including: iGrow.org, SDSU Extension's online platform; agronomy guide books, field days, farm shows, seminars, workshops and an on-farm research website, which is funded in part by the South Dakota Soybean check off to build a community of farmers willing collaborate with SDSU researchers and SDSU Extension staff to share their own on farm research data.

SDSU Extension provides board-approved continuing education credits to certified crop advisors (CCA's) as well as private and commercial applicator training and certification.

"SDSU Extension values the collaborative relationship we have built with agronomists throughout the state. By working with our team, they can access unbiased facts to help them best serve South Dakota's farmers," explained Johnson, who also oversees the 90-plus test plots that make up the SDSU WEED (Weed Evaluation Extension Demonstration) Project, research data that is collected each growing season to provide farmers with best management practices for weed control. "This is especially important during a tight farm economy. Producers need to sort through a lot of information in order to make the best decision for their fields and their bottom line."

Field-tested, unbiased information is the reason Grant Rix, a fifth generation Brown County farmer and busy father of two, makes time to attend many agronomy-focused field days and seminars hosted by SDSU Extension and others each season.

Before returning home to farm with his dad, Rix spent the first two years of his career working as a researcher for Monsanto. Even with this background and an agronomy degree, Rix, 34, sees value in the information.

"Continuous learning is important. Things change every year - if not every month. As a farmer, I need to stay on top of different trends and technology to try and make a profit," explained Rix, who currently serves on the board for the Northeast Research Station at SDSU and the S.D. Corn Utilization Council.

"My personal philosophy is to work to out-yield low prices. This is where unbiased, agronomy information comes in. Yes, there is a lot of good research being done on the private side. But, they are looking under a biased microscope. It's nice to have SDSU researchers and SDSU Extension also doing research for us, because it is unbiased," Rix said.

Courtesy of iGrow. Providing unbiased information and training to South Dakota's agronomists and the farmers they serve is the focus of the SDSU Extension Agronomy team, explains, Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Courtesy of iGrow. Providing unbiased information and training to South Dakota's agronomists and the farmers they serve is the focus of the SDSU Extension Agronomy team, explains, Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Courtesy image. Brad Ruden, Agronomy Tech Service Manager for Agtegra Cooperative (formerly S.D. Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator).

Throughout his diverse career, Ruden has maintained close ties to SDSU faculty and relies on SDSU Extension agronomy team as a resource to keep him and his team up to date on industry certifications. And, even more importantly, to serve as what he refers to as a "ground truth."

"One of the foundations of SDSU Extension has always been to provide unbiased, research-based information. Even though I am in a career where I can do testing myself, and I have access to all the companies' data, SDSU Extension is valuable, it serves as a ground truth to cross check data, to help us make the best recommendations for our farmers," Ruden said.

Courtesy image. Brad Ruden, Agronomy Tech Service Manager for Agtegra Cooperative (formerly S.D. Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator).

Throughout his diverse career, Ruden has maintained close ties to SDSU faculty and relies on SDSU Extension agronomy team as a resource to keep him and his team up to date on industry certifications. And, even more importantly, to serve as what he refers to as a "ground truth."

"One of the foundations of SDSU Extension has always been to provide unbiased, research-based information. Even though I am in a career where I can do testing myself, and I have access to all the companies' data, SDSU Extension is valuable, it serves as a ground truth to cross check data, to help us make the best recommendations for our farmers," Ruden said.

Courtesy of JL Photography, Aberdeen. Field-tested, unbiased information is the reason Grant Rix, a fifth generation Brown County farmer and busy father of two, makes time to attend many agronomy-focused field days and seminars hosted by SDSU Extension and others each season. Rix is pictured here with his wife, Tracy and sons, Conrad, 2 and Gideon, 4.

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SDSU Extension’s Voices for Food is Citizen-Led Effort to Increase Food Security

Categorized: Healthy Families, Food Safety, Family & Personal Finance, Health & Wellness

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

If your refrigerator and pantry shelves are stocked, food security is not something you spend much time thinking about—unless you are Darci Bultje.

Although the mom of three has a fully stocked kitchen, in her professional role as Community Services Director for the Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS), Bultje spends the workweek focused on improving access to food for families throughout the Lake Andes community through the ROCS Food Pantry.

"Food is something we all need. When it is not available to you, it impacts all aspects of your life," Bultje explains. "Every three years we conduct a needs assessment. Throughout our 20-county service area, food ranks among the top one or two basic needs of those we serve."

Thanks to Voices for Food, an SDSU Extension program that bolsters community support and provides flexible tools to help citizens build food security, Bultje and her co-workers are not alone in this focus.

"When you live in a poverty-stricken community, it seems like there are so many barriers to overcome. Voices for Food brought together such good people from our community. It provided us with guidance and tools to take down some of these barriers together. It made all the difference," explains Bultje of the SDSU Extension pilot program the community of Lake Andes began utilizing in 2014.

Like many rural communities, Lake Andes is considered a food desert, because most residents live 10 miles from a supermarket. Many of its community members are among the 12.6 percent of South Dakota households which experience low or very low food security.

Developing a food council is one of many how-to tips and best practices outlined in the Voices for Food toolkit. And, in the case of Lake Andes, the food council was the catalyst for citizen-led solutions to food insecurity.

"The food council brought together community members to address food security challenges and Voices for Food really opened their eyes to opportunities. Together they were able to set actionable goals and develop activities and programs to achieve those goals," said Ann Schwader, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist and Voices for Food South Dakota Project Coordinator. "My role through SDSU Extension, was to listen to their needs and help them mold some of the many tried and true solutions found within the Voices for Food toolkit to fit their unique needs."

Schwader, under the direction of Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director, was among a multi-state group of professionals who brought the Voices for Food pilot program to rural food deserts as part of a $4 million Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

SDSU Extension was selected to lead in this research project which began in 2013. The other land-grant universities involved in Voices for Food program include; Michigan State University, Purdue University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The Ohio State University and University of Missouri-Columbia.

Once the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council was developed in 2015, Schwader met regularly with its members to discuss how Lake Andes could utilize the flexible resources found within the Voices for Food toolbox to improve food security.

Made up of community stakeholders the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council, has worked with SDSU Extension personnel and utilized Voices for Food toolkit as well as grants from other organizations to increase food security in their community.

Most notably, since 2015 the steps citizens of Lake Andes took to increase food security under the leadership of the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council include the following:

  1. Update the current food pantry to be a more user-friendly and provide healthier food-choice options including more fresh produce;
  2. Develop a community garden where citizens and school children gain hands-on gardening training and enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. Extra produce is shared with the ROCS Food Pantry and Andes Central school lunch program;
  3. Set the groundwork for a community farmers market, planned to launch summer 2018;
  4. Implement Bountiful Backpacks, an SDSU Extension program designed to teach youth how to prepare healthy meals and sends youth home with ingredients to make a meal for their family;
  5. Partnered with the Yankton Sioux Tribe to provide 865 evening meals to youth during the summer months; and
  6. In November 2016, when the local grocery store closed, the council helped promote public meetings around a community grocery store, which resulted in the owner of a grocery store in a neighboring community purchasing and reopening the store in Lake Andes.

"Food is a basic need. You cannot begin to address other needs until it is met. Voices for Food has increased awareness of food and nutritional needs of children and adults throughout our community. It has provided opportunities for citizens to think outside the box and work together to increase food security," said Debera Lucas, Superintendent of Andes Central School District and a member of the Lake Andes Food and Wellness Council. "Through the food council our community has expanded the ways we approach food security."

As an educator, Lucas appreciates the hands-on nature of the solutions found within the Voices for Food toolkit. For example, sixth-graders were recruited to start plants from seed for community garden participants to use. And, using a suggestion from the toolbox, the food pantry was rearranged so that today's patrons "shop" the food pantry according to nutritional needs and family preferences.

"Today, our pantry gives patrons more of a sense of ownership over their food decisions. Instead of us handing them a box we packed, and us deciding what their family should eat, they now have an opportunity to select foods that are healthy and their family will eat," Bultje said.

Voices for Food: A step-by-step guide

Just like Bultje used tips found in the Voices for Food toolkit to redesign the food pantry, the council followed a Voices for Food best practice and made a community needs assessment one of its first items of business.

Through this needs assessment, the food council learned many residents ran out of funds and food before their EBT cards were restocked; it was difficult to access fresh produce, and the only prepared food options available in their community were fast food options.

The findings didn't surprise Mary Jo Parker, a retired educator, community volunteer and director of the public library, who was elected to serve as the food council chairperson and is the community garden coordinator.

Throughout her 40-plus year career working with Lake Andes youth, Parker sees daily reminders of food insecurity. She saw a need to provide healthy, after school snacks at the library so she reached out to Bultje, who she got to know through involvement on the food council, to see if ROCS would be able to supply the ingredients.

News spread. Every day after school hungry children pack into the library for snacks and then hang out to read or enjoy computer time. When summer vacation time rolled around, Parker maintained snack time at the library.

When she learned that the small afternoon snack was the only meal some youth had access to during summer months, she shared her concerns with the food council. The group collaborated with the Yankton Sioux Tribe on a grant to provide community youth with an evening meal. More than 850 meals were served throughout summer 2017. A summer meal program is scheduled again for 2018.

"Providing meals is a very nurturing act," Parker explained. "Being a part of Voices for Food makes me feel good because I am part of something that is lasting. Hopefully I'm teaching them gardening and food preparation skills they can use."

As an SDSU Extension program, the Voices for Food toolkit will be available to all South Dakota communities in the fall of 2018.

"This program is flexible. Whatever your community's food security needs are, Voices for Food can serve as a guide to help citizens meet those needs with research-based best practices that have worked for others," Stluka explained. "It's a great example of our Land Grant mission of outreach, research and teaching."

To learn more, contact Suzanne Stluka.

Young girl enjoying a community-hosted meal in Lake Andes
Courtesy of iGrow.org. Forming a Food & Wellness Council was one of the first steps citizens of Lake Andes took when they began working with SDSU Extension Voices for Food program to address food insecurity in their community. More than 850 meals were served throughout summer 2017.

ROCS Outreach Provider, Becky Sieh stocking shelves in the Lake Andes food pantry
Courtesy of Darcy Bultje. SDSU Extension Voices for Food toolkit guided the Lake Andes Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS) team through a food pantry update that made the pantry more user-friendly for patrons and allows it to provide healthier food-choice options including more fresh produce. ROCS Outreach Provider, Becky Sieh is pictured here stocking shelves. "Today, our pantry gives patrons more of a sense of ownership over their food decisions. Instead of us handing them a box we packed, and us deciding what their family should eat, they now have an opportunity to select foods that are healthy and their family will eat," said Darci Bultje, Community Services Director for the Rural Office of Community Service.

Mary Jo Parker, Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council Chairperson
Courtesy of iGrow.org. Mary Jo Parker, Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council chairperson, uses ingredients from the local ROCS Food Pantry to make cheesy broccoli potato soup and gives samples and recipes to patrons. Another program the Lake Andes community introduced to improve food security is the SDSU Extension's Bountiful Backpack program which teaches youth how to prepare healthy meals and then sends youth home with ingredients to make a meal for their family.

Children sitting on a bench at the Lake Andes community garden
Courtesy of iGrow.org. SDSU Extension Voices for Food toolkit guided the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council in the development of a community garden where citizens and school children gain hands-on gardening training and enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. Extra produce is shared with the local food pantry.

Fresh produce from the Lake Andes community garden
Courtesy of iGrow.org. SDSU Extension Voices for Food toolkit guided the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council in the development of a community garden where citizens and school children gain hands-on gardening training and enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. Extra produce is shared with the local food pantry.

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Grazing Beef and Financial Planning

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

Column by Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor

Todd and Cheryl Ochsner, together with their five children, have been farming Concord Farms in eastern South Dakota for generations.

"In order to improve our soil's organic matter, we plant cover crops behind a crop of spring wheat. A combination of radishes, turnips for deep tillage to break up compaction and install organic matter, along with oats for carbon, crimson clover and flax for natural nitrogen building for the next crop while eliminating a lot of fungicide and pesticide application most farms require," Todd said. "Our method of sustaining and improving organic matter has been to turn a productive grain field back to how the prairie was and let mother nature do the work just like what has been done for millions of years."

The Ochsner's have embraced the concept of soil health as a key component of their beef production enterprise.

Their double cropping of cover crops behind a crop of spring wheat improves the soil organic matter. A combination of several other plants provide not only for an optimum balance for the grazing animal but also improves the structure of the soil by breaking-up the compaction.

Their philosophy and approach to grazing are an example to follow. It does not really matter if the operation is grassfed beef or a cow-calf operation, an adequate management of the cattle/pasture interface is still critical.

As spring pasture turnout approaches, drought conditions remain across regions of western South Dakota, combined with low commodity markets, many producers are facing reduced incomes. An SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources team of experts will be available on several locations in western South Dakota throughout the week of April 2, 2018 to provide producers tools and management tips they can use to proactively make decisions to optimize cattle stocking rates.

The seminar, Decision Making 2018: Grazing and Finance Planning For Agriculture Operations, will provide producers with tools to create grazing plans, which may include destocking, if dry weather conditions continue.

Speakers will include: Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist - weather update and outlook; Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist - grazing and forage tools to evaluate spring turn out and expected grass production; Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist - finances: creating production and personal budgets, as well as working with bankers.

All are invited. There is no registration. This event is available at no cost. The meetings will run for two hours, with additional SDSU Extension staff on hand to answer questions. Come as you are. We understand calving and lambing season has begun.

Dates and Locations:
April 3, 2018

10 AM – Noon PM MDT Kadoka Club 27 (920 SD Highway 248, Kadoka, SD 57543)
2 - 4 PM MDT Wall Community Center (501 Main Street, Wall, SD 57790)
6 - 8 PM MDT Milesville Hall (20308 Milesville Rd., Milesville, SD 57553)

April 4, 2018

10 AM – Noon PM MDT Harry’s Hall (312 Main Street, Dupree, SD 57623)
2 – 4 PM MDT Community Center (700 Main St., TImber Lake, SD 57656)
6 – 8 PM MDT Grand Electric Social Room (801 Coleman Ave., Bison, SD 57620)

April 5, 2018

10 AM – Noon PM MDT Rec Center (108 Hodge St., Buffalo, SD, 57720)
2 – 4 PM MDT First Interstate Bank (41 5th St., Belle Fourche, SD 57717)
6 – 8 PM MDT Community Center (19617 Ballfield Rd., Union Center, SD 57787)

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SDSU 26th Annual Bull Sale Set for April 6, 2018

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University 26th Annual Angus and Sim Angus Bull Sale is set for Friday, April 6, 2018. The sale will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the new SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility. Lunch will be provided before the sale.

Students enrolled in a spring Beef Seedstock Merchandising course, instructed by Dr. Cody Wright, oversee the sale and obtain hands-on learning opportunities while learning about livestock merchandising and marketing. Students in the class are in charge of advertising, creating and editing video footage, putting the catalog together, and providing customer service.

“This class is made up of talented individuals with a passion for the beef industry,” Wright says.

Around 30 bulls will be sold. The bulls were chosen by the class based on satisfactory semen quality and scrotal circumference.

The sale is a limited auction. On sale day, bulls will be on display beginning at 10 a.m. Prospective buyers complete a bidder card and list the bulls they would like to bid on. The auction is held in the classroom at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

The sale begins with the bulls that have the greatest number of bidders interested. For bulls with more than one interested bidder, a limited auction is held. Bids begin with the minimum bid and increase incrementally. Once a bidder declines a bid, they are out of the limited auction. The auction continues until only one bidder remains.

In the event only one bidder is interested in a given bull, they will have the opportunity to claim the bull for the minimum bid. Bulls not sold during the limited auction will be for sale at the minimum bid on a first come, first served basis after the sale. 

SDSU offers free delivery of bulls within 200 miles of Brookings. If buyers pick up their bulls, they will receive a $100 discount per head.

Buyers purchasing two or more bulls, paid by the same check and transferred to the same name, receive a 10 percent discount from their purchase price.

If a bull is not able to breed females because of a physical ailment, customers are provided with a spare bull and possibly given sale credit toward the purchase of a bull at the next sale.

“We really strive to take good care of our customers because we truly appreciate them,” Wright says. 

The SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility is located at 2901 Western Ave, Brookings, SD.

For more information or to request a sale book contact Kevin VanderWal at 605.693.2253 or by email, or Dr. Cody Wright at 605-.688.5448 or by email.

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25th Annual Sioux Empire Water Fest

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota youth from 49 area schools had an opportunity to learn about their water resource during the 25th Annual Sioux Empire Water Fest held March 13 and 14, 2018 on the campus of the University of Sioux Falls.

"Through fun activities and displays, youth learned about the various aspects of water literacy - ranging from understanding the water cycle, to how our daily actions impact the resource," said Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist and member of the Water Fest planning committee.

Jaeger explained the purpose of the event is to inspire interest among fourth-graders in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM topics.

"Research shows that during the upper elementary school and lower middle school years student engagement in STEM subjects begins to decrease - particularly in female youth. Through Water Fest, we hope to make STEM education fun and engaging to can create a renewed passion or to introduce them to entirely new topic areas that may interest them," she said.

Jaeger was among a team of SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H staff who participated in organizing the event that provided fun, hands-on learning opportunities to 2,166 students.

"As the outreach arm of our land grant university, SDSU Extension has a mission to provide research-backed information to the public," Jaeger said. "This event is a great opportunity to share information with youth."

Along with Jaeger, the other SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H staff who participated in the event include: John McMaine, SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer; Christine Wood, SDSU Extension 4-H STEM Field Specialist; Chuck Martinell, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- Minnehaha County; Nathan Skadsen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- Minnehaha County; Alicia Petersen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- McCook County and Megan Kludt, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- Lincoln County.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. South Dakota youth from 49 area schools had an opportunity to learn about their water resource during the 25th Annual Sioux Empire Water Fest held March 13 and 14, 2018 on the campus of the University of Sioux Falls.

"Through fun activities and displays, youth learned about the various aspects of water literacy - ranging from understanding the water cycle, to how our daily actions impact the resource," said Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist and member of the Water Fest planning committee.

The Water Fest Planning Committee is pictured here: Front row (left to right): Alicia Petersen SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - McCook County; Mary Lou Lacey, NRCS; Jill Van Veldhuizen, Siouxland Heritage Museums; Lynda Johnson, Lincoln Conservation District; Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist; Amber Lounsbery, USGS/EROS and Karen Meyer, SF Water Reclamation.

Back Row (left to right): Chuck Martinell, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Minnehaha County; Jeremiah Corbin, South Dakota Associaiton of Rural Water Systems; John Parker, Minnehaha Conservation District; Rick Lehman. NRCS and Hersch Smith, NRCS.

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SDSU Swine Club Speaker to Address Farm Succession Planning

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Swine Club will host University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Emeritus, Ron Hanson, on April 16 as he addresses passing down the family farm to the next generation. 

Professor Hanson’s presentation will take place at 7:00 pm at the Performing Arts Center on the SDSU campus. There is no charge to attend the event, but a free-will donation of canned goods for the Brookings Food Pantry is appreciated.

“I heard Dr. Hanson speak recently about his experiences from more than 40 years of counseling farm families in the approach and resolution of issues stemming from farm succession planning,” explains Madelyn Regier, SDSU Swine Club President and an Agricultural Education and Animal Science major. “The SDSU Swine Club believes that this information will be useful to everyone in planning for their future and the handling of their final estate”.

Ron Hanson recently retired from a college teaching and student advising career of 46 years where he earned 31 university and national award recognitions. He has received the John Deere Agribusiness Teaching Award of Excellence and the University Educator of the Year Award. Ron is the only University of Nebraska professor to have received the USDA Excellence in University Teaching Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which is the highest national teaching honor granted to a college professor in the area of agricultural and food sciences. His two most distinguished career honors were being named the Nebraska Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in Washington, DC and being named the Educator of the Year by the University student government.

Ron was raised on an Illinois family farm. He earned his undergraduate college degree from Western Illinois University and his graduate degrees from the University of Illinois. He has counseled with Nebraska farm families for more than 30 years to help them resolve family conflicts in a more positive manner and to improve family relations through better communications. As a widely traveled national speaker, Ron’s current efforts have been directed at resolving the family issues involved with the farm business ownership family succession and the transfer of management control between farming generations.

The SDSU Swine Club is a student-led organization dedicated to generating interest, building understanding and providing opportunities for growth in the swine industry. Collaboration with a wide variety of very supportive pork industry partners is a cornerstone that helps future pork industry leaders succeed. According to Regier, “The efforts of the SDSU Swine Club are supported by companies representing swine nutrition, swine genetics, animal health, sales, production management and equipment manufacturing. Through our club, students have an opportunity to both learn about the industry and make potential future employment connections.”

For more information contact Madelyn Regier, SDSU Swine Club President, by email, or call 507.822.5944, or contact Swine Club Advisors Crystal Levesque, Assistant Professor, by email or Ryan Samuel, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist by email, or 605.688.5431.

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Three SDSU Students Receive National Dairy Scholarship

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three South Dakota State University students are recipients of 2018 National Dairy Herd Information Association scholarships from among a total of 22 students nationwide.

Dillon Gratz of Atwater, Minn., Jessica Kerfeld of Melrose, Minn., and Margaret Socha of Corcoran, Minn., each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Students were chosen based on scholastic achievements, leadership in school and community activities, and responses to DHI- and career-related questions. To be eligible for a National DHIA scholarship, applicants must be a family member or employee of a herd on DHI test, a family member of a DHI employee, or an employee of a DHI affiliate. The DHI affiliate for the herd of affiliate employee must be a National DHIA member.

“Dillon, Jessica and Margaret are outstanding students in the Dairy and Food Science Department, with strong interest and commitment to the dairy industry,” said Dr. Vikram Mistry, SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department head. “As freshmen they have already established their excellence and the DHIA scholarship helps recognize this excellence.”

Dillon Gratz is currently pursuing a degree in dairy production with plans of returning to the family farm and hopefully taking it over one day. His family milks 60 Holsteins and grows corn and soybeans. Gratz’s grandpa, uncle, dad and mom are all involved on the farm. He goes home on the weekends to help as well.

Along with working on the family dairy, Gratz was involved with FFA in high school and was a 2017 National Finalist in dairy proficiency. He also started showing dairy cattle in 4-H in sixth grade and last year began competing in Minnesota Holstein Association shows. Additionally, during high school Gratz was involved with National Honor Society and played football. On campus, he is currently involved with the Dairy Club and Drone Club. 

“It is really rewarding and exciting to receive a national scholarship like this one, and the support is very helpful,” Gratz said.

Jessica Kerfeld is double majoring in dairy production and dairy manufacturing. She grew up on a family dairy farm where they milk 180 Holsteins and do custom field work. Kerfeld’s parents and grandparents played an important role in her becoming involved in the dairy industry, and provided opportunities to help with American Dairy Association events, Breakfast at the Farm and daily chores.

“With my degree, I hope to find a job close to home so I can still be a part of the family farm while also helping others in the agriculture industry,” Kerfeld said. 

She is currently involved with the SDSU Dairy Club and 4-H. In high school, she was a part of the National Honor Society, an officer in 4-H, the tennis team captain, and an active member of her youth group.

“Receiving this scholarship is really encouraging to me because I know people out there are supporting my education and it relieves a lot of the stress of paying for college,” Kerfeld said.

Margaret Socha worked at a dairy farm throughout high school and fell in love with the cows and doing chores, which led her to pursue a degree in dairy production.

“I am not totally sure what I plan to do with my degree yet, but I am interested in being a herdsman or a manager at a farm,” Socha said.

She also judged dairy in FFA and is currently serving as a dairy princess for her county at home. At SDSU, she is involved with Dairy Club, Ceres Women’s Fraternity, and a Bible study.

“It is an honor to receive this since it’s a national scholarship and it is nice to receive from people in the industry that I hope to work for someday and to know I have support from them,” Socha said.

National Dairy Herd Information Association, a trade association for the dairy records industry, serves the best interests of its members and the dairy industry by maintaining the integrity of dairy records and advancing dairy information systems.

About the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department

With expertise in dairy production, dairy manufacturing, and food science, the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry; from farm to product. The department is housed in the renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to the state-of-the-art Davis Dairy Plant. About a mile north of campus, the South Dakota State University Dairy Research and Training Facility provides the source of milk for well-known SDSU ice cream and cheese products and is home to some 150 milking Holsteins and Brown Swiss cattle. The department boasts 100% job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, master's and doctorate degrees.

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Helping Calves Survive This Stressful Season

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Even the most prepared livestock producer cannot always provide a perfect start when Mother Nature gets involved during calving season.

"Weather during our Upper Midwest spring calving season can prove challenging with frigid temperatures and mud. When weather becomes a factor during calving, it can impact a calf's survival," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Below she references some research-based tips and provides livestock producers with insight into calf health products to keep on hand.

Colostrum

Colostrum, the first milk a dam produces after calving, contains a high concentration of antibodies and immunoglobulins such as immunoglobulin G (IgG).

"In order for newborn calves to receive maximum benefit and passive immunity from colostrum, research shows the calf needs to receive it within the first 12 to 24 hours after birth," Grussing explained. "Antibodies are not transferred across the placenta during gestation."

It is recommended that beef calves receive 2 to 3 quarts of colostrum within the first 24 hours of life. But what options are available when this first milk is not available?

Colostrum Replacers and Supplements

Nature's colostrum is best: The best colostrum replacement available cannot be found at a retail outlet, but in your freezer.

"If colostrum can be sourced from well-vaccinated, disease-free herd, it can be frozen in quart size freezer bags for future use," Grussing said.

To thaw frozen colostrum, take care to do it slowly by placing the bag in warm water of about 110 degrees Fahrenheit and stir every five minutes until the colostrum reaches a temperature of 104 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Typically, this will take about 40 minutes.

Do not use a microwave oven as overheating proteins in the colostrum will cause them to denature and deliver little immunity to the newborn calf.

Commercial colostrum replacements: Commercial colostrum replacements can be purchased. Replacement products will have greater than 100 grams of IgG per dose.

Colostrum supplements are also available and will have 50 grams of IgG per dose.

How do producers decide between using a colostrum replacement versus a supplement? 

If maternal colostrum is completely unavailable, a replacement product should be used. However, if some maternal colostrum is available to the newborn, but not the recommended 2 to 3 quarts, a colostrum supplement can help make up the difference.

Price is reflected in the different options as colostrum replacements provide more IgG and will be more expensive, but both will help ensure more successful passive transfer of immunity and nutrients to the calf during the first 24 hours of life.

Other products:

Oral Calf Paste/Gel: Oral calf paste/gel products that come in 30 milliliter tubes have become popular in recent years as an easy way to provide additional nutrients to newborn calves. But do these pastes provide the same immunity as colostrum?

Calf pastes will vary in design to provide all or some of the following supplements: energy, vitamins, minerals, E.coli prevention, probiotics and lactic acid to name a few. 

Note: these pastes are not colostrum replacements or supplements. Therefore, it is important to not substitute one for the other based on calf needs.

"If a calf needs a small burst of energy on a cold day or appetite stimulation, these paste may be a convenient option for producers. Yet, long term benefits are not the goal of these products," Grussing said.

Electrolyte solutions: Electrolyte solutions should be used to provide fluid to calves that have scours.

Livestock producers should purchase electrolytes that also contain vitamins and minerals, especially sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate.

When a calf has scours, livestock producers should give the calf a 2-quart dose of electrolyte fluid every two to six hours as needed.

"Electrolytes are not a complete nutrient replacer, some energy and protein supplements may be necessary if the calf is not nursing consistently," Grussing said. "As long as the calf is not in severe dehydration, nursing does not prolong or worsen diarrhea."

Keep in mind that the gut healing process is still taking place after scours have stopped; therefore, continued treatment is important for full recovery.

If you have questions on any of the above products, and for assistance in preparing a calving barn health kit, Grussing encourages livestock producers to visit with their veterinarian or an SDSU Extension team member. A complete list of staff can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff icon.

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Results of Off-Target Herbicide Research Data

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Following the 2017 growing season, where many complaints over dicamba reached state Department of Agriculture offices across the nation, researchers from land grant universities set out to conduct a study assessing off-target movement of post-applied dicamba products - Engenia and Xtendimax.

"The goal of the research was to duplicate labeled applications and determine if secondary movement contributes significantly to off-target movement of both formulations," explained Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist.

He added that although Fexapan is also labeled for post-application, it was not part of this study.

The findings of this preliminary and on-going study showed a considerable portion of the total injury is attributable to secondary movement and the likelihood for some secondary movement of either product appeared high. There were no differences between formulations at any distance.

Although the on-going research was conducted by university researchers in Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska and Tennessee, the data matters to many South Dakota soybean growers.

Of the total 170 total pesticide related investigations in 2017, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture had 117 cases related to dicamba. "To put this into perspective, in 2015 and 2016, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture had only 82 investigations each year dealing with pesticide complaints," Shaffer said.

Research details

The research was conducted by Dr. J.K. Norsworthy, G. Kruger, D. Reynolds, L. Steckel, K. Bradley and B. Young.

In each study, small plots, between 2-3.5 acres in size, were set up to be sprayed with either Engenia or XtendiMax.

Wind speed during application at each site was at or between the label requirements of 3 to 10 miles-per-hour at application. Sprayer speed was 8 miles-per-hour, spray volume was 10 gallons-per-acre. TTI 11003 type nozzles were used.

A summary of the preliminary data is in Figure 1. Below.

As shown in Figure 1, percent injury is on the Y-axis; distance of injury from plots on X-axis.

Above each product (Engenia on left and Xtendimax on right) it is indicated if injury was from secondary movement or a combination of primary and secondary movement.

Secondary movement is not affected by application but chemistry of herbicide.

The preliminary research shows that application of Engenia and Xtendimax had the largest off-target damage to susceptible plants 20 feet away from plots, followed by 100 feet with the second most injury and 200 feet with the least in both primary plus secondary and secondary alone. 

If you have questions, contact Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist by email.

Figure 1. Off-Target Movement of Engenia and Xtendimax.

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Apply to be Part of SD Change Network

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - National Arts Strategies (NAS) and SDSU Extension are seeking current residents of South Dakota who see opportunities to create systems of change in their community to apply for the upcoming South Dakota Change Network.

A year-long fellowship, the South Dakota Change Network is designed for South Dakotans working to lead change in their organizations and communities.

The South Dakota Change Network is an initiative program created by the Bush Foundation to provide South Dakotans with a challenging and supportive learning environment to build their self-awareness, leadership abilities, and systems-change skill sets. The Change Network is a collaborative effort between NAS, the Bush Foundation, SDSU Extension and Vision Maker Media.

"NAS has a long history of cohort-based programs partnering with communities across the US. This is an exciting opportunity to add our expertise in arts and community development to support and grow community change in South Dakota," said Gail Crider, President and CEO of NAS.

Participation in the South Dakota Change Network is free and all participants will have access to a small project grant to implement a related community change project.

"Through the Change Network, we are hoping to engage a diverse group of South Dakotans representative of a multitude of backgrounds, professions, ways of thinking, points of view and age," said Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by May 31, 2018.

For more information and instructions on how to apply, please visit South Dakota Change Network online, click on the program's tab and scroll down to Change Network South Dakota.

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Grassfed Exchange National Conference June 20-22

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Healthy Families, Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Community Development, Local Foods, Gardens, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension are co-hosting the 10th Annual Grassfed Exchange National Conference in Rapid City June 20-22, 2018 at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Rapid City.

The Grassfed Exchange is a non-profit group dedicated to advancing the opportunities for grassfed livestock and regenerative agriculture.

"The South Dakota Grassland Coalition sees this conference as another opportunity to bring quality education to South Dakota's livestock producers, agency personnel, political leaders, lenders and the general public," said Jim Faulstich, chairman of the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

To register

To register for this three-day conference or to learn more about scholarships, sponsorships and vendor opportunities and more visit the Grassfed Exchange online. Space is limited for tours, so register soon.

Conference details

Wednesday June 20, 2018

Ranch Tours: Ranch tours will feature grassfed beef, bison and sheep enterprises.

At the end of the day, tour buses will meet at the Central States Fairgrounds for supper, grassfed livestock viewing, and grassfed beef and sheep carcass quality ultrasound assessment demonstrations.

Thursday & Friday June 21-22

Two days packed with speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions/workshops, and a vendor/sponsor trade show. The day ends with a banquet and awards ceremony

Keynote: SDSU President Barry Dunn

Featured speakers:

  • Nina Teicholz, Author, The Big Fat Surprise
  • Dr. Jonathon Lundgren, award winning agroEcologist
  • Dr. Christine Jones, famed soil carbon scientist
  • Dan O'Brien, Author, Great Plains Bison and founder of Wild Idea Buffalo
  • Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Iowa State University
  • Producer panel on grassfed beef, bison, sheep, stacked enterprises and much more.

June 22 session and workshop topics: bison, multispecies marketing, grassfed genetics, diversity on the ranch, grazing management, ecosystems, young farmer/rancher forum and finance and profitability. 

Scholarships: The Grassfed Exchange also focuses on providing opportunities to young or beginning grassfed producers and will again sponsor scholarships to the conference.

More about the Grassfed Exchange

Founded by a diverse group of producers, extension personnel, marketing experts, academics and investors, the Grassfed Exchange's mission is simple and centered on regenerative grassland agriculture, healthy families, healthy soils, clean water, and thriving communities among other things.

"The Grassfed Exchange is the national leader in promoting the opportunities associated with the grassfed industry," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

The Grassfed Exchange draws heavily on volunteer experts from across the nation for its Conference Committee and Advisory Council.

"Here in South Dakota, we have a great diversity of grassland enterprises," Faulstich said. "We know beef production is our primary grass-based industry, but the Coalition is interested in supporting all types of grass-based businesses. So, whether its grassfed or conventional livestock; beef, sheep, bison, or pheasants... what we are concerned with is viable, healthy, and productive grasslands that will carry on to future generations."

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Feed at Night, Calve During the Day

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Does feeding time influence the time of calving? To answer this question, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Adele Harty and Taylor Grussing look to research data.

"Yes, feeding affects time of calving," Harty said. "Feeding cows later in the day and evening will increase the number of calves born during daylight hours, when it is easier for livestock producers to watch them more closely."

Gus Konefal, a rancher from Manitoba, Canada first developed this feeding method after he discovered 80 percent of his cows calved between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. when they were fed later in the day.

Konefal's method included a twice a day feeding, with first feeding between 11 a.m. and noon and second feeding between 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Supporting Research

Similar research was conducted at Iowa State University.

"This research used the Konefal feeding system, but only feeding one time per day at 4 p.m., starting two weeks prior to the expected start of calving," Grussing said.

The result? Eighty-two percent cows calved between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. with 91 percent of the calves born before 11 p.m.

"Only 9 percent of calves were born outside the window when traditional calf checks are performed," Harty said.

When heifers were separated from the data set and analyzed, 90 percent calved in this same time frame.

A survey collected from 15 beef producers in Iowa and Missouri also reported that when they fed once daily between, 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., the result was 85 percent of cows calving between 5 a.m. and midnight.

Compare this data to cows from herds not on the Konefel feeding system. That data showed an equal distribution of cows calving during the night as during the day, a 50/50 split.

Researchers at USDA-ARS at Miles City, Montana completed at three-year study evaluating differences in feeding time on calving time.

"The numbers were not as dramatic as Konefel and Iowa State data," Grussing said. "However, there was a consistent 10 to 20 percent decrease in the number of cows calving between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the late fed cows compared to the early fed cows."

Management Considerations

If you're a cattle producer who would like to see more calves born during daylight hours, below are some points to consider when implementing the Konefal calving method.

  1. Research indicated for this method to be most effective, evening feedings should be implemented one month prior to the scheduled start of calving. If feeding times are changed closer to calving, this will result in a more calves born during the day than morning feeding.
  2. Iowa State University data advises staying as close to the same feeding schedule and feed amount as possible each day. Deviating more than 15 minutes, or providing too much feed, will yield less desirable results.
  3. Maintain regular night checks. Konefal calving may simply mean that there will be less work to be done between checks due to fewer calves born during the night.
  4. The Konefal calving method works best in a drylot situation where all feed is provided. Desired effect in a grazing situation may not be seen unless supplemental hay or timing of grazing can be regulated.
  5. Weather can play a role in effectiveness. Before or during storms, cattle may not come to the bunk to eat and may be more likely to calve at night.
  6. Additional research indicates that a first calf heifer who calves during the day will tend to calve during the day the remainder of her productive years.
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Grazing and Finance Planning For Agriculture Operations

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension's team of experts recognize the challenges South Dakota's agriculture producers face as they enter the 2018 grazing season. To help ranchers with planning for the future, SDSU Extension will host several Grazing and Finance Planning meetings throughout western South Dakota beginning April 3, 2018.

"Drought conditions remain across regions of western South Dakota, combined with low commodity market prices, many producers are facing reduced incomes. As spring pasture turnout will be occurring, or should be occurring during the months of April and May, we want to be on hand to provide producers with tools and management tips they can use to proactively make decisions for stocking rates," explained Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist and one of the meeting's organizers.

All are invited. There is no registration. This event is available at no cost. The meetings will run for two hours, with additional SDSU Extension staff on hand to answer questions. Come as you are. We understand calving and lambing season has begun.

Agenda and topics

The SDSU Extension team will provide producers with tools to create grazing plans, which may include destocking, if dry weather conditions continue.

"A plan empowers a producer to make the most difficult decisions utilizing data and information, and not rely on reactive measures which leave doubts and questions in their minds," Gessner said.

She added that the tools discussed during this workshop will be helpful when meeting with lending institutions if necessary.

Speakers will include: Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist - weather update and outlook; Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist - grazing and forage tools to evaluate spring turn out and expected grass production; Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist - finances: creating production and personal budgets, as well as working with bankers.

Dates and Locations:

April 3, 2018
Kadoka 10 a.m. - noon Kadoka Club 27 (920 SD Highway 248, Kadoka, SD 57543)
Wall 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Wall Community Center (501 Main Street, Wall, SD 57790)
Milesville 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Milesville Hall (20308 Milesville Road, Milesville, SD 57553)

April 4, 2018
Dupree 10 a.m. - Noon Harry's Hall (312 Main Street, Dupree, SD 57623)
Timber Lake 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Community Center (700 Main Street, TImber Lake, SD 57656)
Bison 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Grand Electric Social Room (801 Coleman Avenue, Bison, SD 57620)

April 5, 2018
Buffalo 10 a.m. - Noon Rec Center (108 Hodge Street, Buffalo, SD, 57720)
Belle Fourche 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. First Interstate Bank (41 5th Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717)
Union Center 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Community Center (19617 Ballfield Road, Union Center, SD 57787)

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Horticultural Society Spring Workshop Huron, April 21

Categorized: Community Development, Communities, Gardens, Gardening, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Annual South Dakota State Horticultural Society Spring Workshop will be held in Huron April 21, 2018 at the Plains Dining and Recreation Center (960 4th St. north east).

Flowers grown from bulbs, or bulbous flowers will be the focus of the one-day workshop.

"This is an excellent opportunity to hear presentations from a nationally and internationally renowned speaker who is an authority on bulbous flowers that can help you to have a more beautiful garden, right here in South Dakota," said David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

Registration for the event is due by April 4, 2018. The workshop fee is $30 for South Dakota State Horticultural Society members and $35 for non-members. Registration fee includes lunch.

To register, send a check payable to S.D. State Horticultural Society or SDSHS to the organization's treasurer, Glenda Oakley at 1241 Frank Ave SE, Huron, SD 57350.

Event information

The event begins at 8:45 a.m. (CST).

The event's speaker is Brent Heath.

Heath is from Virginia, and is a noted authority on bulbs. He promotes the use of flowering bulbs of all kinds. Heath and his wife, Becky are co-owners of Brent and Becky's Bulbs at Gloucester, Virginia, and can be found online

At this website you can view photos, an online catalog, learn about their company and find expanded information for the topics on which he is speaking.

Event agenda
8:45 AM - Registration
9:30 - 10:30 AM - Bulbs as Companion Plants
10:30 - 10:45 AM - Break
10:45 - 12:00 PM - Pest Resistant Bulbs
12:00 PM - Lunch during which time the S.D. State Horticultural Society will host its annual business meeting
1:30 - 2:30 PM - Tantalizing Tulips
2:30 - 2:45 PM - Break and door prizes
2:45 - 3:45 PM - Lovely Long Lasting Lilies and Awesome Alliums

If you have questions or for more information, contact Glenda Oakley at 605.352.3391 or by e-mail.

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Women involved in Agriculture at Plankinton

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Wheat, Healthy Families, Aging, Family & Personal Finance, Health & Wellness, Reports to Partners, Community Development, Communities, Local Foods, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, then Annie's Project may be the program for you. SDSU Extension is hosting Annie's Project in Plankinton beginning April 3, 2018.

Is Annie's Project for you?

Have you ever asked a farm/ranch management question and not understood the answer? Have you ever signed papers at the bank or FSA and not really understood what they were for? Have you been thinking about if you have enough insurance or an estate plan? Have you wished you knew more about marketing your cattle or crops?

"If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions then you are a perfect candidate for Annie's Project," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Grussing explained that Annie's Project was designed to empower women by providing detailed farm/ranch management information and build networks between women.

Over a six-week period, women will learn how to develop financial records, learn key communication skills, ask questions about retirement and estate planning, expand marketing knowledge - all while having fun in a supportive learning environment.

Classes meet once a week beginning April 3, 2018 in Plankinton at the Commerce Street Grille, (120 S Main St.). The classes continue on April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 and 8.

Each session will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. CST.

To help cover materials, registration is $100 per person. A meal will be served at each session.

Pre-registration is requested by March 27th, 2018

Pre-registration is requested by March 27, 2018. Class space is limited to 20.

To register, visit the iGrow events page.

For more information, contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605.995.7378 or by email for more information.

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Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Registration is now open for the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference, set for May 8-9, 2018 in De Smet.

Rural leaders and doers are invited to re-invigorate their community work during the conference, which is hosted by SDSU Extension Community Vitality together with leaders of the De Smet community.

"Participants will network with rural community leaders from across the state, hear and share success stories, and gather ideas they can take home and act on in their communities," said Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.

Conference speakers and sessions

Conference sessions will be led by a team of experts from across South Dakota and will focus on the following:

  1. Funding for Community Projects
  2. Entrepreneurial Experiences
  3. Agritourism and Value-Added Agriculture
  4. Engaging Community Members

A panel of young entrepreneurs will also share their perspectives on building businesses in rural South Dakota.

The event will also feature Sarah Calhoun, as the keynote speaker. Calhoun is the owner of Red Ants Pants. She is also the Executive Director of the Red Ants Pants Foundation and Producer of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival.

She will share her story of successful business growth and development in the rural community of White Sulphur Springs, Montana (population 906). In addition she will share information on a large community event and a foundation that were started as a result of her successful business growth and community involvement. 

Registration deadline is April 30, 2018

To register for the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference visit the iGrow Events page. To cover costs, the registration fee is $59 through April 6. After April 7 through the April 30 registration deadline, the cost is $75. Youth may attend for $40.

The event will begin at the De Smet Event and Wellness Center (705 Wilder Ln) and progress through several downtown businesses.

To follow the event on Facebook search for "Energize Exploring Rural."

Downtown businesses host progressive-style conference

The conference location itself will invite innovative thinking.

Instead of discussing building rural communities in a Sioux Falls or Rapid City hotel conference room, sessions will be hosted by De Smet's downtown businesses.

Before each session begins, business owners hosting the session and their employees will briefly share their stories.

"We think it makes sense to have a conference about rural communities in a rural community," said Peggy Schlechter, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist. "This allows participants to become immersed in a rural community and relate to so many things that they see and do their own communities."

The idea for this event, Thares explained, came out of the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference members of the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team attended in McCook, Nebraska.

This conference, hosted by University of Nebraska Extension, offered an interesting venue twist: conference sessions were held in main street businesses.

"McCook shop owners and managers shared their entrepreneurial journeys, while resource providers like Extension, Small Business Development and Economic Development discussed tools to assist entrepreneurs. The combination was powerful, with both groups learning from each other," Thares said. "We hope for a similar experience in De Smet."

The Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference event is sponsored by the following: Platinum sponsors; North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and Bush Foundation. Gold sponsors;Legend Seeds, De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance Company of South Dakota and Kingsbury Electric. Silver sponsors; De Smet Chamber of Commerce and De Smet Development Corporation. Bronze sponsors; Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.

To learn more about this event contact Thares by email. To learn more about SDSU Extension Community Vitality and how the team can work with your community, contact Kenneth Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director, 605.995.7378 by email.

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Know Your Numbers Know Your Options

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, with questions about farm finance and leases, then SDSU Extension's Know Your Numbers Know Your Options may be the program for you. This course will be held once a week for four weeks in Watertown at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1910 W. Kemp Ave.) beginning April 16, 2018.

"Know Your Numbers Know Your Options is a course designed for women involved in agriculture who want to learn more about how to develop financial records, learn key communication skills and expand leasing knowledge - all while having fun in a supportive learning environment," said Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. "We like to reference this course as the second level of Annie's Project, however it is not required that you attended Annie's Project course to attend this course."

Annie's Project is another course hosted by SDSU Extension that is designed to empower women by providing detailed farm/ranch management information and build networks between women. Know Your Numbers Know Your Options, is a pilot program, similar to Annie's Project, which delves deeper into understanding and use of balance sheets, income statements, cash flows as well as cash and flex leasing.

Is this program for you? Have you ever asked a farm/ranch management question and not understood the answer? Have you ever signed papers at the bank or FSA and not really understood what they were for? Have you been thinking about if you have enough insurance? Have you wished you knew more about flexible and/or cash leasing agreements?

If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for Know Your Numbers Know Your Options.

Registration deadline is April 13, 2018

To register for the Know Your Numbers Know Your Options course, contact Sand at Shannon.Sand@sdstate.edu or call 605-626-2870. Class size is limited. The course runs which runs April 16, 30 May 7 and 21. Each session will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

To help cover the costs of meals, registration is $40 per person. Costs of materials are covered by a USDA-NIFA grant award number 2015-49200-24226.

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Community Vitality Team Works with All Communities

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension's Community Vitality team works with any community to help plan, set actionable goals and achieve success.

"Community can be defined many ways," explained Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist. "Some communities are set by geography, increasingly, however, the word community also defines a group of people with similar interests."

O'Neill explained that SDSU Extension Community Vitality team works to fulfill the Land Grant mission of outreach by helping people improve their lives.

"Literally," she said. "If a group wants to improve themselves or the lives of the people in the group, it's our job to help."

Since 2012, O'Neill has worked with the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) to help them organize, market and distribute their products locally.

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association is a nonprofit membership organization of growers, processors, and others interested in producing specialty crops such as; fruits and vegetables, specialty meats, wine and honey. As the organization's treasurer, Kim Brannen explained, "things that can be grown in South Dakota, sold locally to benefit local economies, and produce good food for all of our citizens."

Like all volunteer members of the organization's leadership, Brennen is a specialty food producer. Brennen owns Gavin's Point Vineyards.

"The members have a passion," O'Neill said. "They are a community of individuals with a shared mission. This is a group that is on the move."

In the beginning, O'Neill worked closely with the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, meeting with them frequently and providing evidence-based guidance on everything from hiring a director and building an efficient distribution model.

Today, they only rely on her for advice and periodic leadership training. She recently led a workshop during a South Dakota Specialty Producers Association meeting that focused on action planning for the future.

"The event was set up to figure out how we could work together with other interest communities and organizations to work out solutions and build communication and collaboration," Brannen said. "They (SDSU Extension Community Vitality team) have a background in agriculture and understand the issues."

To learn more about SDSU Extension Community Vitality and how the team can work with your community, contact Kenneth Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director, 605.995.7378 or by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialists Peggy Schlechter (left) and Kari O'Neill, lead a workshop on action planning during a recent South Dakota Specialty Producers Association meeting.

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Road Salt & Water Quality: Growing Concern in Some Northern States

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - While road salt throughout the winter months is seen by most as a necessity in our part of the country, it can come at a cost, said David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist.

"While the salination of South Dakota surface waters is not a water quality concern at this time, awareness of the issue could prevent it from being a concern in the future," Kringen said.

He explained that salt corrosion can not only cause damage to our infrastructure (roads and bridges) and vehicles, it can be harmful to our freshwater ecosystems as well.

Salination (or salinization), is the process where water-soluble salts accumulate in soils, or a body of water. It is typically measured by an increase in chloride, which is an anion of many salts (i.e. sodium chloride, magnesium chloride).

In soils, salination is a concern, Kringen explained, because excess salts hinder the growth of crops by limiting their ability to take up water.

"In freshwater ecosystems, increased salinity can significantly reduce both species richness (the number of species found in an ecosystem) and relative abundance (the abundance of a given species relative to the abundances of the other species) of aquatic plants and invertebrates; which in turn, affects the entire food chain," he said.

Measuring Salinity

Salinity ranges, measured as a concentration (milligrams per liter), are categorized as fresh to highly saline and can be seen in the table.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's nationally-recommended criteria for chronic (long-term) chloride toxicity exposure for freshwater aquatic life is 230 milligrams per liter.

In South Dakota, surface waters designated as coldwater permanent fish life propagation waters are assigned a numeric standard of 100 milligrams per liter for a 30-day average and 175 milligrams per liter for a daily maximum.

"Concentrations above these limits means the water body does not support the beneficial use assigned to it," Kringen said.

For surface waters designated as a domestic water supply, the 30-day average and daily maximum concentrations are 250 milligrams per liter and 438 milligrams per liter respectively.

What research shows

A recent study conducted in 2017 investigated long-term chloride trends in 371 freshwater lakes in North America. "Results indicated that the density of roads and other impervious land cover was a strong predictor of long-term salination in Northeast and upper Midwest lakes where the study was focused," Kringen said.

Other studies also recognize the link between the salination of water bodies with the application of road salts as metropolitan areas continue to develop and grow.

"Keep in mind, runoff that enters city storm sewer systems to be channeled away is discharged untreated and delivered directly to rivers and streams; rivers and streams that we use for domestic, commercial and recreational purposes," he said.

Courtesy of iGrow. This table shows how salinity ranges, measured as a concentration (milligrams per liter), are categorized as fresh to highly saline.

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Jones & Mellette County 4-H Junior Leaders Visit the Capitol

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Members of the Jones and Mellette Counties 4-H Junior Leaders group traveled to Pierre for a Legislative visit.

"It is through becoming aware of the legislative process that youth gain civic mindedness and a desire to inspire change within their community," said Kaycee Jones, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Haakon, Jackson, Jones & Mellette Counties.

The Jones and Mellette County 4-H Junior Leaders include; representing Jones County - Matthew Birkeland, Dylan Fuoss and Bridger Hight; representing Mellette County - Elisabeth Gullickson, Tyson Hill, Tashina Red Hawk and Seth Schoon.

During the one-day event, the teens gained insight into how the South Dakota state legislative process works. The youth sat in on the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and House Transportation Committee meetings and attended the Democratic Caucus. They were invited to sit on the House floor during session and were given a tour of the Capitol by Mary Haugaard, a Draper High School alumnus and wife of Representative Steven Haugaard.

"This trip taught me that bills take a lot of time and work to become laws," said Dylan Fuoss, a Jones County 4-H Junior Leader.

Throughout the day, many of the state's legislators took time out of their schedule to visit with the 4-H Junior Leaders. When the issue of non-meandered waters came up during the Natural Resources Committee meeting, the topic interested many of the members who are avid hunters and enjoy spending time outdoors.

"Senator Troy Heinert, who serves on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee was able to spend time visiting with the youth following the completion of the meeting and invited our group to the floor of the Senate chambers where he provided insight into the non-meandering water bill and also the entire legislative process," Jones explained.

Jones added that it was through the efforts of Representative James Schaefer and Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson that the youth were able to sit on the House floor during session.

"The 4-H'ers really gained an in-person, real-world view of the process of the legislative process," Jones said.

While the youth were in Pierre, they also toured the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Museum.

"This trip was fun and a great experience to learn about our government. I would recommend this trip to anyone," said Matthew Birkeland, a Jones County 4-H Junior Leader.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. Members of the Jones and Mellette Counties 4-H Junior Leaders group traveled to Pierre for a Legislative visit. Back row: Kaycee Jones, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Haakon, Jackson, Jones & Mellette Counties. Middle Back: (left to right) Tashina Red Hawk, Bridger Hight and Seth Schoon. Middle front: (left to right) Elisabeth Gullickson and Dylan Fuoss. Front row: (left to right) Matthew Birkeland and Tyson Hill.

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Insecticide Safety: How to Prevent Unnecessary Exposure

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Insecticide applications occur year-round to manage insect pests that would otherwise reduce crop yields, damage stored grain or infest houses and other structures.

When applying insecticides, South Dakotans need to take appropriate precautions to ensure their own health and safety.

"Insecticide products can be useful for the management of insect pests, especially when they are a part of an integrated pest management program. However, be sure follow label instructions and utilize caution, as misuse can prove harmful or even fatal," said Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

Below Varenhorst outlines the steps that should be taken prior to application to enhance safety.

Know Your Insecticides

Pesticides, of which insecticides are a type, are classified as either general or restricted use.

The products that can be purchased over the counter are those that are classified as general use. As the name implies, restricted use pesticides require a license to purchase and use.

Follow Label Instructions

The most important thing to remember when working with insecticides is to always follow the label instructions.

"Labels contain important safety and allowed use information," Varenhorst said. "Insecticide labels also provide the information regarding the proper personal protective equipment to wear when handling, mixing, loading or applying the product."

For most foliar applied insecticides, this list usually includes chemical resistant protective gloves, a respirator with organic vapor/acid gas cartridges, long-sleeve shirt, long pants, and eye protection.

For fumigants, the required personal protective equipment depends on the fumigant that is being used as well as the levels of the associated gas in the environment that they are being applied to.

Fumigant personal protective equipment usually consists of dry cotton gloves, long-sleeve and loose fitting clothing, and either a canister type or a self-contained breathing apparatus.

Get Licensed

If there is a need to apply restricted use insecticides to reduce insect pests, a license is required - either a commercial pesticide applicator license or a private applicator certification card.

"These licenses must be kept up-to-date in order to legally purchase and apply any restricted use products," Varenhorst said.

Commercial and private applicator licenses can be renewed either through testing at an approved site or by attending a commercial or private applicator training session.

The purpose of these renewals is to ensure that individuals dealing with restricted use insecticides remain aware of the hazards associated with these products and the methods to ensure safe and appropriate use.

"If carelessness of use or misuse occurs, exposure to these products may lead to serious injury or death," Varenhorst said.

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Fuel Up With Dairy

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy, Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - During National Nutrition Month, SDSU Extension, together with the Midwest Dairy Council, encourage South Dakotans to make sure they are consuming enough dairy for a healthy diet.

"When it comes to food and nutrition, one thing most health professionals agree on is we could all benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables. What might not be as well know is the fact that most Americans also fall below their recommended daily servings of dairy foods," said Whitney (Jerman) Blindert, a dietitian with Midwest Dairy Council.

Blindert reminds folks that the federal Dietary Guidelines recommend three servings of dairy each day. Blindert said to think of one serving as 8 ounces of milk or yogurt or 1 ounce of cheese.

"Most people get only an average of 1.8 servings per day, which could mean we are missing out on important nutrients dairy foods provide," she said.

As a registered dietitian in South Dakota, Blindert said she is proud to work on behalf of dairy farmers.

"I'm passionate about combining dairy foods with fruits and vegetables, which helps make healthy eating a bit easier and allows us to Go Further with Food," she said, quoting the slogan the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is promoting this March as part of National Nutrition Month.

Below Blindert outlines tips for pairing dairy with other healthy foods. Visit the Midwest Dairy Association's recipes page for more ideas.

  • Pair cheese cubes with your favorite fruits of vegetables. Try our Rainbow Fruit & Cheese Kabobs.
  • Dip berries or grapes in yogurt for a tasty, sweet treat.
  • Whip up a dairy-based smoothie in a blender for an on-the-go snack. Add whatever fruits and vegetables you like, or perhaps those nearing the end of their shelf life.  
  • Make a yogurt-based dip for fresh vegetables. Try our Green Pea and Parmesan Dip. Feel free to skip the colander step for ease.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to vegetables and/or salads.
  • Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables, cheese and a whole-wheat tortilla.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
  • Pair a bottle of milk, yogurt tube or cheese stick with a piece of fruit for easy snacking on the go.
  • Add cottage cheese to fruits like peaches or pears-or try tomatoes for a savory twist.
  • Use plain Greek yogurt as a base for homemade dressings for your salad.
  • Use cheese to jazz up an egg and veggie dish. Try our Cheddar and Mushroom Breakfast Squares.
  • Pile your pizza with vegetables. Try broccoli, spinach, green pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini.
  • Top a baked potato with broccoli and cheese, or plain Greek yogurt.

For more information on dairy nutrition, visit the Midwest Dairy Association website.

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SDSU Extension Research Looks at Growing Early Maturing Soybeans

Categorized: Agronomy, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - One management strategy soybean growers can implement to reduce risk associated with Mother Nature is to grow soybeans with varying maturity ratings.

"With this approach, producers are not 'putting all their eggs in the same basket' so to speak," said David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

He further explained that planting soybeans other than recommended maturity group for the region, especially early maturing varieties, allows producers to start harvest earlier in the fall and continue field activities such as establishing cover crops and/or timely winter wheat planting.

"Throughout recent growing seasons, growers have commented that early soybeans have performed equally well in terms of yield, if not better, than soybeans with recommended maturity ratings," Karki said.

What SDSU Extension Research Has to Say
In collaboration with interested growers and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU, SDSU Extension established a small plot trial during the 2017 growing season at two locations in Northeast South Dakota.

The first location was at the SDSU Northeast Research Station near South Shore. The second was in a Clark County soybean grower's field near the town of Henry.

The trial used two early varieties (rated 0.2 and 0.3) and two recommended varieties (rated 0.9 and 1.0) provided by Mycogen Seeds.

All varieties were planted at two different dates: 

  1. May 5, 2017 which was early
  2. May 23, 2017 which is when soybeans are typically planted in the area.

The test plots were 10-feet-by-40-feet plots with four replications for each planting date.

Due to consistent rainfall in the second half of September harvesting was delayed more than normal and was only completed October 3, 2017.

The results featured in Table 1 show that yields, even though numerically quite different, were not statistically significant at the Henry location, especially for the early planting date.

"This could be due to weed pressure and population loss as a result of heavy rainfall in late June," said Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist.

He explained that this site received 9-inches of rain in three days the last week of June, which flooded almost half of the early planted plots.

Some early flooded plot yields were not as consistent at harvest compared to the non-flooded plots.

Therefore, the yields from flooded plots were not used while running statistics which may have contributed to large Least Significant Difference (Table 1). This resulted in difficulty to statistically distinguish mean yields for the maturity ratings used in the study.

At the Northeast Research Station, yields from the earliest maturing soybean variety (i.e. 0.2) were significantly different from the other three soybean varieties for both plating dates.

"These results suggest that planting soybean varieties that are earlier than half the maturity point than recommended for the region did not result in equal or higher yields in 2017 growing season," Karki said.

This research group plans to continue this study in the 2018 growing season. The study was funded by South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Average soybean yields of varieties rated early and recommended for two Northeast SD locations: Northeast Research Farm by South Shore and farmer cooperator field by Henry. For more information contact David Karki at 605.882.5140

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Using Weather Forecasts for Newborn Calf Health

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS,S.D. - Calving during a winter season with extreme weather swings can be concerning when caring for newborn livestock. The Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock (CANL) forecast at the Aberdeen National Weather Service website can be a useful tool for livestock producers when preparing for new newborn calves, in particular in the first 24 hours.

"During the month of January, we saw air temperatures as low as negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit and then there were highs of more than 50 degrees," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist. "The CANL tool was designed to help livestock producers prepare for extreme cold temperatures."

Created with input from Northern U.S. ranchers, experts in animal science and those who study biological responses to extreme weather conditions, the CANL forecast takes into account five factors:

  • Wind chill; 
  • Rain or wet snow; 
  • High humidity; 
  • Combinations of wind chill and precipitation; and
  • Sunshine vs. cloudy days. 

"As a result, it is a science-based method to combine several weather factors together to determine the hazardous weather risk to your newborn calves," Edwards explained.

Visit the CANL website to access the tools.

Risk Scale
When viewing CANL producers will see a six-category scale (Figure 1) which was developed to identify the risk of hazardous conditions for newborn livestock, ranging from None (green color) to Extreme (red color).

The categories are described as:

  • None: Wind chill above 41 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Slight: Wind chill less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 or more hours
  • Mild: Wind chill less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 or more hours
  • Moderate: Wind chill less than 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 or more hours or Wind Chill less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and .02-inches precipitation
  • Severe: Wind Chill of -9 degrees Fahrenheit or colder for two or more hours, or wind chill of less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and .05-inches of precipitation
  • Extreme: Wind chill of -18 degrees Fahrenheit or colder for two or more hours, or wind chill less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and .1-inches of precipitation

Forecast Map
These risk categories are displayed on a map of Northeastern South Dakota, and they are updated at least once-per-day.

An example of the CANL forecast map looks like the map in Figure 2. This map for February 13, 2018, shows mild risk in green, moderate in yellow over most of the region, and an area of Severe risk in orange in the north central counties.

A visit to the CANL website will also display the 30-hour forecasts for wind chill, total precipitation and sky cover (cloudy vs. clear).

The CANL and related maps are only available for regions in Montana, North Dakota and Northeastern South Dakota.

six-category risk scale
Figure 1. Six-category scale to identify the risk of hazardous conditions for newborn livestock. Courtesy: CANL
 


Figure 2. Example of the CANL forecast map hazard areas in S.D. Courtesy: CANL
 

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