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Salvaging Drought Stressed Corn in Mid-Summer

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Before harvesting drought stricken corn early to use for forage, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate, Warren Rusche urges producers to test for nitrates.

"As drought conditions deepen in South Dakota and the surrounding region, the likelihood of corn making a harvestable grain crop in some areas is so low that the best option is to take an early forage harvest," he said. "However, we need to make certain that we aren't just trading one problem for another by salvaging drought damaged corn."

Rusche explains that nitrate accumulation can be a very real issue during drought conditions which can lead to potential issues with abortions and/or death loss.

Testing prior to harvest is the safest approach.

Increasing the cutting height also helps as the greatest nitrate concentration tends to be in the lowest portion of the stalk.

Cutting for silage

Cutting drought-damaged corn for silage is hands down the best harvest option.

"There is little need to worry about moisture content of the crop plus there is the added advantage of potential reductions in nitrate concentrations during the ensiling process," Rusche says.

The feeding value, even of short, barren stalks is relatively high, as silage - as much as 70 to 80 percent of normal corn silage.

In extreme cases, Rusche says it may be necessary to first windrow the corn and use a pickup head for chopping if the crop isn't tall enough for conventional equipment.

Management principles still apply

All the management principles for harvesting quality silage still apply with a drought-stressed crop.

"In fact, a good fermentation is critical to reduce nitrate concentrations," Rusche said.

Harvesting at the right moisture content, using proven inoculants, achieving the correct density and excluding oxygen from the pile or bunker are important steps for maximizing silage value, regardless of the quality of the crop.

Dry baling?

How about harvesting the corn as dry hay in large round bales? Harvesting corn as dry hay in large bales is not recommended.

An SDSU trial conducted during the 2012 drought illustrates some of the reasons this is discouraged.

"Getting corn dry enough to bale poses a key obstacle. Even damaged corn can be much wetter than they look and thick stems take a long time to dry down," Rusche explains.

In the 2012 trial, the moisture content of the corn plants at the time of cutting was 68.2 percent. After field curing for 30 days, the crop dried down to 16.2 percent.

Extended curing times can result in increased losses of leaves and husks; which in fact happened in the 2012 trial. If the stalks do not completely dry down, the likelihood of spoilage is high.

Other options

Another option SDSU evaluated in 2012 was baling the corn at a higher moisture content with bale wrap (baleage).

"Using that technique was successful, to a point," Rusche says. "The resulting feed had 6.4 percent crude protein  compared to 8.6 percent at the time of cutting, plus the resulting bales were extremely heavy and difficult to move.

Those factors plus the expense of the wrap and the hassle of disposing of the plastic lead one to conclude that harvesting corn as baleage is less than ideal.

Test forage for nitrates here

SDSU Extension Regional Centers have nitrate quick test kits available. Please call first.
Aberdeen Regional Extension Center (605.626.2870)
Lemmon Regional Extension Center (605.374.4177)
Mitchell Regional Extension Center (605.995.7378)
Pierre Regional Extension Center (605.773.8120)
Rapid City Regional Extension Center (605.394.1722)
Sioux Falls Regional Extension Center (605.782.3290)
Watertown Regional Extension Center (605.882.5140)
Winner Regional Extension Center (605.842.1267)

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Feedlot Shortcourse Aug. 1-2 in Brookings

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Cattle feeders and industry professionals still have time to register for the Feedlot Shortcourse to be held August 1-2, 2017 in Brookings at the SDSU Cow/Calf Education and Research Facility (2901 Western Ave).

This event is sponsored by SDSU Extension.

"The course offers an opportunity for cattle feeders to learn from industry experts strategies and management tips to improve their operation," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate.

The program is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 1and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 2.

The Feedlot Shortcourse will feature industry experts from the Upper Midwest. Sessions will cover:

  • Maximizing the Value of Feed
  • Feed Mixing and Delivery
  • Facility Management
  • Cattle Health
  • Marketing and Risk Management

Speakers for the shortcourse include: Dr. Alfredo DiConstanzo, Beef Specialist, University of Minnesota; Dr. Roxanne Knock, Staff Nutritionist, Dakotaland Feeds; Dr. Erik Loe, Consulting Beef Cattle Nutritionist, Midwest PMS; Scott Varilek, Kooima & Kaemingk Commodities; Todd Franz, Diamond V and Dr. Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian.

Registration is limited to 30 participants. To cover costs, there will be a registration fee of $125 which includes materials and lunch each day.

To register for this event, visit the iGrow events page.

For more information, please contact Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate by email or 605.688.5452.

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Drought Conditions Stressing Lawns And Gardens

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening

Column by David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator

The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor South Dakota Map, shows that more than 90 percent of South Dakota is already under abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions.

While some areas of the state did receive some rain over the last two weeks, showers were very spotty with many areas not getting any rain at all. Many people had patchy areas of dead grass in their lawns this spring and now many lawns consisting of cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass or fine fescues are turning brown and going dormant.

Watering restrictions.

Many communities have already or will be imposing watering restrictions. Since the drought the last couple of years lasted so long, many people just gave up watering entirely.

Or, for some people, it is just not practical to water a large lawn, particularly if they do not have a lawn irrigation system installed. Many people choose not to water their lawns, knowing that it will likely go dormant and turn brown during the heat of the summer, expecting that it would green up again in the fall.

Cool-season grasses

In most years, lack of watering is not a problem, but when no rain falls for several weeks in a row, permanent damage can occur to cool-season grass lawns.

If the crowns, where the growing points or buds of the individual grass plants are located, get too desiccated, they will die and not regrow. They don't need much moisture to remain viable, just two-tenths-of-one-inch of rain or irrigation every two to three weeks is enough to keep those crowns alive and allow them to regrow with heavier rain or irrigation later in the fall.

Managing drought-stress lawns

Typically, when temperatures cool in the fall we also get rainfall to reinvigorate lawns and other plants. However, for many lawns last fall, this did not happen.

The grass plants went into winter and freezing temperatures under water stress. These stressed plants were also not able to store up as many food reserves to help them get through the winter months.

The lack of snowfall also left these grass plants exposed to drying winds much of the winter, further damaging the individual grass plants.

Over-seeding, renovation and weed control

If your lawn did not green up this spring, even though you had rain or you irrigated, you may need to consider over-seeding or renovating the lawn this fall.

Also, If it appears that your lawn is mostly weeds, this may be another reason to consider total renovation of the lawn.

This generally involves a lot more preparation of the seedbed than just re-seeding a few bare spots. A non-selective, non-residual herbicide, like glyphosate, can help get rid of the old weeds and grass to help you get off to a clean start.

Keep in mind that the herbicide will not be very effective until the weeds are actively growing - it is not likely to do much good now if the weeds are also stressed and not growing much with the drought.

Generally, it is better now to wait until fall to try to renovate an old lawn. Generally temperatures will be cooler, moisture conditions are better, and warm-season weeds like crabgrass will be slowing in their growth and die with the first freeze.

Seeding and watering

Whenever you decide to plant your grass plants, either by over-seeding or renovating in the fall, it is critical that you keep the seedbed moist until germination of the grass seed is complete.

This can often take three weeks, particularly for some species like Kentucky bluegrass.

You need to be patient and persistent with light, frequent irrigation or watering to keep that top inch of soil moist until the new seedlings emerge. Then you should decrease the frequency of watering and water more deeply instead.

Adjusting mower height

Generally, the best way to keep your lawn looking green this summer includes more than just lots of watering.

First of all, raise your mowing height.

If you allow your grass to grow taller, it will develop a deeper root system so it can take up more water that might be available deeper in the soil. Mow frequently enough so that you do not remove more than one-third of the grass plant's height.

It is OK to leave the clippings fall on the lawn, particularly if you use a mulching mower. Those chopped up clippings act as mulch to help cool the soil and grass plants and as the clippings break down, they recycle nutrients to the soil. Make sure to keep your mower blades sharp.

Dull mower blades make ragged cuts to the grass leaves, allowing them to lose more moisture.

Fertilize in moderation. Most people can get by with 1 to 2 pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000-square-foot-per-year with most of the fertilizer applied in the fall.

Finally, water infrequently and deeply. The objective is to saturate the root zone, usually down to about 4-to-6 inches deep. Then, the root zone should be allowed to dry out somewhat before you water again.

In a well-drained soil, this could mean watering once per week, applying about 1-inch of water at a time. If the soil is clayey or slow to absorb water, you might need to break up the irrigation so that you may apply half an inch of water twice a week.

Avoid watering every day or even every other day.

This tends to keep the very top of the soil profile saturated which discourages root growth down deeper in the soil and also excludes oxygen from the upper layer of the soil which leads to thatch accumulation and potentially disease problems later on.

Warm-season vs. cool-season grasses

There are of course other options to having a cool-season grass lawn.

Utilizing native warm-season grasses and other plants in your yard, instead of trying to maintain a lush green lawn may be another viable alternative that can be aesthetically pleasing and also benefit wildlife, butterflies and other aspects of the environment.

Buffalo grass and blue grama are warm-season lawn grasses that grow well in the summer and can tolerate hot and dry weather better than cool-season grasses. However, they are slow to green up in the Spring and quickly turn brown in the fall when temperatures drop, usually in October.

Broadleaf weed control in warm season grasses can also be more challenging in that the typical herbicides used for controlling weeds in most cool-season grasses can cause some damage to buffalo grass.

Vegetable garden management

Vegetables can also become severely stressed if they are not provided with supplemental irrigation during dry periods.

Other plants like perennial flowers, shrubs and even trees are now suffering from these dry conditions too. Providing supplemental irrigation when needed while also conserving water where possible is a worthy goal of any gardener.

Drip irrigation is a good option to consider for the vegetable garden as well as for plants in your landscape.

Drip irrigation systems can be set up easily using ooze hoses, drip tape or drip tubing.

Just place it along the row while the plants are still young. Then, when the soil dries out, turn it on and it will water just along the row and not the whole garden. Since the water just oozes or slowly drips out of the tubes or hoses, spraying water up in the air means much of it will be lost to evaporation before it even gets to the plants' roots.

There are also other benefits besides just saving water too. It also helps to reduce weed growth in between the rows and keeps the foliage and fruit dry to reduce disease problems.

Placing the ooze hoses or drip lines beneath mulch also helps further reduce water loss by shading the soil and reducing evaporation.

Courtesy of iGrow. A lawn exhibiting symptoms of drought stress.

Courtesy of iGrow. Kentucky Bluegrass Mix.

Courtesy of iGrow. Buffalograss with weeds.

Courtesy of iGrow. Raising the mowing height helps to keep turf more drought tolerant.

Courtesy of iGrow. Summer: Buffalo grass vs blue grass.

Courtesy of iGrow. Spring: Warm-season vs cool-season grass in early April.

Courtesy of iGrow. Drip line next to onions.

Courtesy of iGrow. Leaf lettuce growing in black landscape fabric with drip tape.

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2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championship

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. -The 2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships were held in Grand Island, Nebraska June 25-30, 2017.

Twenty-seven South Dakota 4-H members were among the more than 700 to compete in the national event which attracted youth from across the country.

South Dakota youth competed in the  Shotgun, 22 Pistol, 22 Rifle, Air Pistol, Air Rifle, Compound Archery, and Recurve Archery. Those youth qualified through their placings at the Spring Shoot in Pierre and the Fall Shoot in Mitchell.

The South Dakota 4-H Air Pistol team placed third nationally. This team placed in the top four in each phase of the competition. Team members include: Wade McClanahan, Tripp County; Cassandra Ryckman, Hughes County; Katrina Fatherlos, Union County and Carter Trefz, Faulk County. Arthur Kneen of Sanborn County coached the team.

Individually, two team members placed in the top 10 overall: Carter Trefz, Faulk County, placed tenth overall, tenth in slow fire and second in rapid fire. Cassandra Ryckman, Hughes County, placed seventh Overall and fourth in Silhouettes.

The 22 Rifle team was awarded fifth place in the Silhouette portion of the competition. Team members include: Cody Amidon, Tripp County; Tye Davis, Butte County; Darian Roghair, Jones County and Cole Thompson, Pennington County. Tim Pravecek, Tripp County, coached the team.

22 Rifle team member, Cole Thompson, Pennington County, placed in the overall standings. As an individual, he was awarded third overall, first in 3P and eighth in Silhouettes.

The 22 Pistol Team placed fifth in the Camp Perry portion of the contest.

Team members include Cole Roe, Hamlin County; Darby Knoll, Charles Mix County; Tane Pravecek, Tripp County and Mary Nold, Brookings County. Brian Fatherlos, Union County, coached the 22 Pistol Team.

Mary Nold, Brookings County, was awarded fifth in the Camp Perry portion of competition.

In the Compound Archery Competition, Alex Nelson, Minnehaha County, placed fifth overall in the 3D Target portion of the competition.

For more information on the national teams, check the iGrow 4H & Youth community page.

For additional information about 4-H Shooting Sports, contact John Keimig,SDSU Extension 4-H Associate, at the State 4-H office, 605.688.4167.

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. Through 4-H 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 of iGrow. 4-H member, Alex Nelson, Minnehaha County, placed fifth overall in the 3D Target portion of the Compound Archery Competition held at the 2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships were held in Grand Island, Nebraska June 25-30, 2017.

Nelson was one of 27 South Dakota 4-H members who competed at the event where more than 700 youth from across the county competed.

Courtesy of iGrow. Members of the South Dakota 22 Pistol were among 27 South Dakota 4-H members who competed at the 2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships held in Grand Island, Nebraska June 25-30, 2017.

Team members pictured here include: (left to right) coach Brian Fatherlos, Union County; Cole Roe, Hamlin County; Darby Knoll, Charles Mix County; Tane Pravecek, Tripp County and Mary Nold, Brookings County.

Courtesy of iGrow. Members of the 4-H 22 Rifle Team were among 27 South Dakota 4-H members who competed at the 2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships held in Grand Island, Nebraska June 25-30, 2017.

Team members pictured include Cody Amidon, Tripp County; Tye Davis, Butte County; Darian Roghair, Jones County; Cole Thompson, Pennington County and coach, Tim Pravecek, Tripp County.

Courtesy of iGrow. The South Dakota 4-H Air Pistol team placed third nationally. This team placed in the top four in each phase of the competition. Team members pictured include: (left to right) coach, Arthur Kneen, Sanborn County; Wade McClanahan, Tripp County; Cassandra Ryckman, Hughes County; Katrina Fatherlos, Union County and Carter Trefz, Faulk County.

Team members were among 27 South Dakota 4-H members who competed at the 2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships held in Grand Island, Nebraska June 25-30, 2017.

More than 700 youth from across the county competed in this national event. 

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Meetings on Drought Management July 24 and 25

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host livestock and agronomy meetings in Lemmon, Faith, Pierre and Chamberlain July 24 and 25, 2017.

"Drought now affects more than 72 percent of the state, and is forecast to continue to get worse over the next couple of weeks," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist. "In our role as SDSU Extension staff, we want to do what we can to help the farmers and ranchers impacted by this drought survive."

Topics include:

  • Creep feeding, managing livestock herds and feeding during drought;
  • Management and utilization considerations for drought-stressed crops and annual forage options;
  • Economic resources in the form of budget calculators and other tools;
  • Weather outlook for the remainder of the growing season;
  • Range management during drought;
  • Information on federal assistance through the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA).

Additional SDSU Extension staff will be on hand to address other topics of interest to producers.

"We want to bring relevant materials to the producers hardest hit by the drought, so the management changes they make truly are the best ones for their operation," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director.

Free testing available

Producers with concerns about nitrates in forages or water quality concerns are encouraged to bring samples in to be tested for livestock suitability during the meeting.

There is no fee to attend the program and early registration is not required.

Date & Location details

July 24, 2017 Lemmon: The meeting in Lemmon will begin at 9 a.m. at the SDSU Extension Lemmon Regional Center (408 8th St West, FJ Reeder Armory classroom).

 July 24, 2017 Faith: The meeting in Faith will begin at 2 p.m. at the Faith Community Legion Hall (on Main Street). 

July 25, 2017 Pierre: The meeting in Pierre will begin at 9 a.m. at the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Community Room (800 West Dakota Ave.)

July 25, 2017 Chamberlain: The meeting in Chamberlain will begin at 2 p.m. at the AmericInn (1981 East King St.). 

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Weed Management Strategies in Soybeans

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The annual Volga Farm Tour will be held on July 26, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. until dusk.

The tour is located 1.5 miles south of Volga on Brookings County Road 5 on the east side of road (21254 464th Ave, Volga, SD 57071).

Tours will run continuously. Each will last about an hour. The day will include a meal provided by our sponsors who include: the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association, South Dakota Wheat Commission and South Dakota Soybeans Research and Promotion council.

2017 Tour Lineup

Weed Management: Led by Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator. Johnson will discuss how pre-emergent herbicides worked this year and weed management strategies in the glyphosate-resistant period like dicamba, Enlist and Balance beans.

Crops and Soils: This tour includes discussions from the following SDSU Extension staff: Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, who will discuss soil fertility issues and SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialists David Karki and Sara Berg who will discuss agronomy and cover crops.  

Insect Management: This tour includes discussions from the following SDSU Extension Staff: Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist and SDSU Graduate Students Brady Hauswedell and Cole Diet who will discuss the following: soybean aphids and host plant resistance; seed treatments in soybeans and corn and the latest updates on what is happening in the field this year and what to be on the lookout for.

Bring plant samples

Between tours, stop by and talk with Connie Tande, SDSU Extension Diagnostician about plant sample issues, identification of pests or field problems.

For more information on the tour contact Paul O. Johnson by email or 605.688.4591.   

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SDSU Extension Feedlot Shortcourse

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is hosting a feedlot shortcourse Aug. 1-2, 2017 at the SDSU Cow/Calf Education and Research Facility classroom (2901 Western Avenue, Brookings).

Each day the shortcourse will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 3 p.m.

"This is an opportunity for cattle feeders to sharpen their management skills and improve their profit potential," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate.

The course is designed for producers or for industry professionals who work with cattle feeders.

The shortcourse will feature industry experts from the Upper Midwest.

Sessions will cover:

  • Maximizing the Value of Feed
  • Feeding Management
  • Successful Management of Facilities
  • Cattle Health
  • Marketing

Registration is limited to 30 participants. To cover costs, the program (including two lunches) will be $125. To register, and more information, contact Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate by email or 605.688.5452.

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SDSU Announces 2017 Eminent Farmers/Ranchers & Homemakers

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Livestock, Agronomy, Healthy Families, Community Development, Gardens

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University Colleges of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and Education and Human Sciences will recognize four individuals with the Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Eminent Homemaker Honor during a banquet September 15, 2017 at the McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center, Brookings.

Banquet reservations are $25 and are available from the Office of the Dean of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Berg Agricultural Hall 131, SDSU Brookings, S.D., 57007 or by calling 605.688.4148 after August 1.

The 2017 Eminent Farmers/Ranchers honored are John Moes of Florence and Tom Varilek of Geddes. The 2017 Eminent Homemakers honored are June L. James of Hazel and Gwenn Vallery of Nisland.

Established in 1927, the Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Eminent Homemaker awards recognize individuals for their contributions of leadership and service to the community on the local, state and national level.

Each year SDSU selects four individuals to honor based on confidential nominations from across the state. The nominations are reviewed and selected by a committee of SDSU faculty members, administrators and SDSU Extension personnel. The selected honorees are approved by the Deans of the Colleges of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and Education and Human Sciences.

The honorees photos join the more than 300 portraits of Eminent Farmers/Ranchers and Homemakers which are displayed in the "Hall of Fame" portrait gallery located in Berg Agricultural Hall on the campus of South Dakota State University.

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Consider When Setting Up an On-Farm Field Trial

Categorized: Agronomy, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Higher yields, greater efficiency, reduced environmental impact! This may sound like a used-car dealership sales pitch, but it could represent the objectives that make an operation sustainable.

"Increasingly, farmers are generating on-farm research data which encompasses a wide-range of practical topics. However, setting up those experiments so that the data is statistically valid is not necessarily common knowledge," said Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

Berg is among a research team made up of extension staff from Kansas State University, University of Minnesota and University of Nebraska Lincoln who are reviewing techniques and developing best management practices for on-farm research trials. Other extension staff include: Josh Coltrain, Kansas State University; Lizabeth Stahl, University of Minnesota and John Thomas, University of Nebraska Lincoln.

"On-farm research can be a valuable tool for farmers. As new products and technology emerge in our ever-changing field, new questions and methods arise," Berg said. "Considering the current economics of production agriculture, producers are finding more value in answering questions using on-farm research methods in their own fields."

The team's research found that choosing a topic of interest, setting up the test on a uniform field area and using proper experimental design and replication, are key parts of a successful on-farm experiment.

Start with topic of interest

Based on their research, the first step in setting up an on-farm trial is to choose a topic of interest.

"While this may seem simple, one important factor that must be considered is that the topic cannot be too complex," Berg explained.

For example, a producer may be interested in how different corn hybrids react with increasing rates of fertilizer at different planting populations and planting dates.

"While this sounds like an interesting experiment," Berg said, "the complexity is simply too great for an on-farm trial."

She explained further. "With three different options for each factor (e.g. three hybrids, three rates, etc.) there would 81 different treatment combinations in a single replication. In this case choosing one of the factors to study (i.e. plant population) would be recommended," she said.

Best location for trial

The next step is to choose an area of a field with limited variability.

"To successfully do this, prior knowledge of the field is a must," said Josh Coltrain, Kansas State University Crops and Soils Educator. "Laying out an experiment in an area of a field with preexisting variability weakens the data generated from the experiment."

The underlying variability, Coltrain explained, could make it almost impossible to detect treatment differences if they exist.

"If variability in the field is not accounted for, producers could end up conducting the study but not be able to tell if any yield differences were due to differences in soil type, drainage, etc., or the treatment," he said.

The best location for test plots is in fields that are uniform or have a uniform pattern.

Replication & Randomization

Replication and randomization of treatments within a replication is vital.

"Replication and randomization help you determine if any differences you see might be due to chance, error or variability you can't account for," Berg said. "The actual experimental design however, will depend on the variables to be studied."

For help in determining the best plot layout, contact SDSU Extension staff. Berg and the team recently published an article discussing these findings in depth. To read this article, visit this link.

This article is part two in a four-part series of articles on agricultural research and interpretation by University Extension Educators in the North Central Region.

To learn more, contact Berg by email.

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SDSU Extension Connects SD to Drought Resources & Information

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Drought, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Drought, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Drought, Community Development, Gardens, Home & Garden Pests, Trees & Forests, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - As South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and communities deal with the challenges brought on by drought conditions, SDSU Extension is connecting individuals with resources and research-based information.

"The land grant university mission positions SDSU Extension to be responsive to the needs of citizens during challenging times, like the drought," explains Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director. "SDSU Extension and its team of experts provide citizens with science-based knowledge that can inform decisions and ultimately mitigate the impact of the drought on the family, the farm/ranch operation and the local community."

Whether it is warning citizens about the first signs of heat stress, providing gardeners with tips to conserve water or connecting producers with timely updates - South Dakotans can rely on SDSU Extension.

Timely information can be accessed 24/7 on iGrow, SDSU Extension's online platform; by contacting SDSU Extension Staff at any one of the eight SDSU Extension Regional Centers or by calling AnswerLine, 1.888.393.6336.

"Providing applicable information is what we do. Our team is out in the field, closely connected to challenges faced on South Dakota farms and ranches. They are also up to date on the latest research and resources to help people make informed decisions," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

Challenges brought on by a drought are not isolated to those connected to agriculture, explained Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.

"South Dakota is a tight knit state. When one community of our state faces hard times, the trickle-down effect is felt everywhere - and in more areas than just economics. We have resources to not only help families budget, but also resources to help make consumers aware of the mental health aspects of a drought," Stluka said.

To learn more, visit any of the iGrow Communities or contact your local SDSU Extension Regional Center.

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Team Takes Second in National Tractor Design Competition

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development, Agronomy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Take a team of inquisitive minds, provide them with an engineering challenge, give them a 31-hp engine and a set of tires and turn them loose to build a tractor, one-fourth the normal size.

That’s a simplified version directing fifteen students from the South Dakota State University Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department in the recent International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, held in Peoria, IL. The successful team, made up of students majoring in agricultural and biosystems engineering and agricultural systems technology, earned second place overall in the contest.

“At the competition we go through technical inspection, design judging, oral presentation, maneuverability, durability, and tractor pulling events,” explained Tia Muller, a senior ag engineering student.

This was the highest placing for SDSU in the 15-year history of attending. Muller explained in the past, the highest SDSU ranking was eighth overall. The competition is sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

This year the SDSU team’s placings included: Overall Placing: 2nd; Overall Performance: 2nd; Overall Pulling: 1st; Written Report: 6th; Presentation: 5th; Design Judging: 7th; Durability: Tied for 5th; Maneuverability: 7th.

Dedicated team

SDSU’s group competed with two garden-sized tractors in the A and X class. The A-class tractor was named TB-242 (Traction-Boss 2 cylinder, 4-speed, 2 WD) and X-Class was JR-15. Students built the A-class from scratch this year. The tractor in the X-class features modifications made after judging the previous year.

The team involves thirteen seniors, one sophomore and one junior. Team members include: Tia Muller- Pipestone, MN; Miranda LeBrun- Reading, MN; Spencer VanOverbeke- Marshall, MN; TJ Harder- Butterfield, MN; Mitch Sandey- Jordan, MN; Caleb Dinse- New Ulm, MN; Tate Ketelhut- Miller, SD; Brady Buck- Bryant, SD; Nate Wright- Houghton, SD; Ryan VanTassel- Philip, SD; Seth Haigh- Philip, SD; Chandler Jansen- Emery, SD; Lucas Derdall- Volga, SD; Alex Koepke- Sioux Falls, SD and Joe DeBoer- Ashton, IA.

As part of this competition, students from across the world are challenged to harness the power of a specified stock engine in order to maximize performance during the tractor pulls with a manufacturable and cost- effective design.

“Our team exhibits impressive strengths,” Muller said. “Some of the team members redo old cars so they know what drivetrain systems will work. Some take part in tractor pulls so they understand ballasting and traction. Others work with farm equipment so they know about maneuverability and durability requirements. We generate a lot of ideas and talk about what works well from what we’ve learned in life and in classes.”

Ryan VanTassel, the team captain for 2016-17, said the competition is design-based. He feels it's a great way for students to test ideas. The event forces students to learn time management and manufacturing processes, and many other practical skills folks in industry are looking for in the new job force.

“Our design was unique when compared to other tractors,” VanTassel said. “A lot of teams use a similar drivetrain configuration, but we went a different route than all of the other teams. Even if two teams shared all of the same ideas, everyone has a different outlook on how to do things and you end up with some neat designs.”

Looking to next year

Muller said planning for the next year’s tractor began as the group left the current year’s competition. During the summer, team members communicate ideas through conference calls and the search begins for critical parts, such as a rear end or transmission.

Once students return to school, they will work in the ag engineering shop twice a week from 5 to 9 p.m.

Students use computer software to design the whole tractor model, incorporating the desired elements before cutting or shaping any material.

“This year we used a program call Inventor,” Muller said. “Our goal is to have the model completed by mid-December. The parts are laser cut during Christmas break. Then we can do the full build, including the fine details we need to fabricate. Once we have it all built, we tear it down and send to Twin City Fan for the final painting. And then we reassemble and make adjustments.”

Twin City Fan is one of the biggest sponsors and helps by fabricating parts, doing the laser cuts and powder coating. “It would be nearly impossible to fabricate those parts in-house,” Muller said. “Sponsors and local businesses have stepped up to provide us with needed support and supplies.”

Muller said the group functions much like a club. All of the work is extracurricular, unrelated from school except they are using the knowledge learned to create a model tractor, the shop and equipment.

“We are really tight knit and all of us know our role in preparing for the competition,” Muller said. “I’m passionate about this project. This is our sport. We put our efforts into the designing and building of the tractor much like athletes train outside of class.”

Competition important

“Out of everything I’ve done, FFA, sports, 4-H, this is the activity that has prepared me for my career,” Muller said. “We are all looking for jobs and that’s the basis for why I joined the group. I’m not the most mechanically minded, but I wanted to be able to learn and to grow my engineering knowledge. In this competition, I learn from teammates. I learn by writing about the process and presenting our work. I learn from listening to industry representatives judge our model. It’s not just building a tractor. A big part of what the industry wants is the ability to prove to your customers, using data and written design reports,  that this works. It means convincing a company that this machine is one they want to develop and manufacture.”

Joe Darrington, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Specialist, served as primary advisor for the Quarter-Scale Tractor Club.  Aaron Franzen, assistant professor, and Douglas Prairie, instructor, served as technical advisors. “This competition brings with it the kind of adversity students will be exposed to once they graduate,” Prairie explained. “They faced multiple unforeseen challenges during the event and spent some late nights making the necessary modifications required for their tractor to compete at its peak performance. This group of students made me proud to be both faculty and alumni of the SDSU Ag and Biosystems Enginering Department.”

Learn more about the competition at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers website.

Photo: Members of the SDSU Quarter-Scale Tractor Team claimed second place at the recent International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, IL. Team members and advisors include, from left to right: Nate Wright, Ryan VanTassel, Tia Muller, Miranda LeBrun, Mitch Sandey, Alex Koepke, T.J. Harder, Chandler Jansen, Lucas Derdall, Joe Deboer, Caleb Dinse, Spencer Van Overbeke, Doug Prairie, Tate Ketelhut, Joe Darrington, and Brady Buck. Not pictured: advisory Aaron Franzen. (Photo courtesy of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers).

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Youth Boost Leadership Skills and Civic Engagement

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Fifty South Dakota 4-Hers learned about political processes in the vibrant, living classroom of the nation's capital as part of Citizenship Washington Focus, an intensive 4-H civic engagement program for high-school youth held at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

"Hands-on, experiential learning is the 4-H way," said Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator. "This trip provided South Dakota teens with a look at politics and our nation's history that you cannot replicate in the classroom."

For more than 50 years, National 4-H Conference Center has invited thousands of young people from across the country to travel to Washington, D.C. and participate in civic workshops, committees and field trips before returning home to make positive changes in their own communities.

"Citizenship Washington Focus was an amazing experience for myself. I met so many new people and learned so many new things. I encourage many 4-Hers to partake on this trip, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience," said Karley Litterick, a 4-H member from Miner County.

Citizenship Washington Focus not only strengthens young people's understanding of the government's civic process, but it also boosts their leadership skills, communication skills and overall confidence.

"CWF is a great way to learn about government and US history. It gives 4-H members the opportunity to build leadership and communication skills. The best experience CWF gave me was in building relationships with kids in my state. I am excited to see the new friends I made at CWF at the State Fair," said Marie Robbins, a 4-H member from Brookings County.

South Dakota counties represented by 4-H members at Citizenship Washington Focus include: Aurora, Beadle, Bennett, BonHomme, Brookings, Brown, Butte/Lawrence, Clay, Codington, Custer, Davison, Day, Douglas, Fall River, Grant, Hamlin, Harding, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Meade, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Roberts, Spink, Turner, and Ziebach.

During Citizenship Washington Focus, youth get a behind-the-scenes look at the nation's capital while meeting with members of Congress to learn more about how their government works. At the end of the program, youth draft step-by-step action plans to address important issues in their communities.

"Citizenship Washington Focus is a great opportunity for young people to come together, talk about the problems they see in their communities, and identify solutions to make their communities stronger," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president & CEO, National 4-H Council. "The experiences these young people gain during CWF gives them the tools and confidence to grow and thrive as leaders."

To learn how you can become involved in 4-H or participate in the 2018 Citizenship Washington Focus contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow.org under the Field Staff icon.

More about 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 photo. Fifty South Dakota 4-Hers learned about political processes in the vibrant, living classroom of the nation's capital as part of Citizenship Washington Focus, an intensive 4-H civic engagement program for high-school youth held at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

South Dakota 4-H delegates and chaperones are pictured here with Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds and Representative Noem on June 21, 2017.

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Wessington Springs 4-H Range & Soil Teams

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Wessington Springs 4-H Range and Soil Judging teams will be representing South Dakota in 2018 at the National 4-H Range and Soil Judging Contest held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2018.

The teams placed first during the 34th Annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 13th Annual Soils Days hosted by the East Pennington Conservation District and held in Wall and Wasta, South Dakota on June 20-21, 2017.

More than 110 youth and adults participated in the event.

Members of the Wessington Springs 4-H Range Team include: Logan Wolter, Coy Fastnacht, Dalton Howe and Rylie Stevens. Members of the Wessington Springs 4-H Soils team include: Landon Wolter, Keah Munson, Chandler Flowers and Alicia Jackson.

The travel to Oklahoma City for the 2018 national competition is partially funded by sponsorship through the 4-H Livestock Industry Trust Fund and the South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management.

Hunter Eide of Gettysburg won the speech competition and will be representing South Dakota in the High School Youth Forum at the Annual Society for Range Management convention to be held in Sparks, Nevada in February 2018.

The South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management provides a sponsorship to cover the travel and participation expenses for Eide.

More about the event

The Rangeland/Soils Days program is an annual event that moves to a different location within the state every two years. The East Pennington Conservation District hosted the event in 2016 and 2017. The Spink County Conservation District will host the event in 2018 and 2019. Area ranchers, personnel from SDSU Extension, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, USDA-Forest Service and the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies provided instruction and expertise.

"This event is an opportunity for youth and adults to learn more about two of the state's most important resources, our rangelands and the soils found in the state," said Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.

The event's learning activities were designed for a variety of age groups and expertise, from 8 years of age through adults. Beginners learned about plant morphology and identification and worked their way up to evaluating rangelands for suitability as livestock and wildlife habitat. Once the rangeland has been given a "rating" for habitat quality, recommendations for improvement are discussed and made to meet the goals of the cooperating producer.

Competitions & Awards

After a day of active learning, participants had the opportunity to measure how much they learned by participating in a contest suited to their age and expertise.

County 4-H teams and FFA Chapters, of three to four members, participated in team competition with the top 4-H team in their respective area of Range Judging or Soil Judging earning the right to represent South Dakota at the National Range and Soil Judging competition held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2018.

Rangeland Day participants also competed for awards in the Rangeland Educational display competitions and Rangeland related speech contests in all the youth divisions.

Top Hand Awards

A Top Hand is selected in each youth division.

This award is based on the participants combined weighted scores in the three areas; range judging (40 percent),range displays (25 percent) and range speeches (35 percent).

The Top Hand in each youth division is awarded a Maynard belt buckle and the Top Hand in the Go-Getter Division also received a 3-foot tall traveling trophy to be displayed in their home for a year.

This Top Hand Award year's recipients include:
New Ranger Division: Bennett Gordon, Whitewood;
Wrangler Division: Matea Gordon, Whitewood; and
Go-Getter Division: Danika Gordon, Whitewood.

For further information about South Dakota Rangeland Days and South Dakota Soils Days please contact Dave Ollila by email.

Courtesy photo. Wessington Springs 4-H Range Judging team will be representing South Dakota in 2018 at the National 4-H Range and Soil Judging Contest held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2018. The team placed first during the 34th Annual South Dakota Rangeland Days hosted by the East Pennington Conservation District and held in Wall and Wasta, South Dakota on June 20-21, 2017.

Members of the Wessington Springs 4-H Range Team include: (left to right) Dalton Howe, Rylie Stevens, Coy Fastnacht and Logan Wolter.

Courtesy photo. Wessington Springs 4-H Soil Judging team will be representing South Dakota in 2018 at the National 4-H Range and Soil Judging Contest held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2018. The team placed first during the 13th Annual Soils Days hosted by the East Pennington Conservation District and held in Wall and Wasta, South Dakota on June 20-21, 2017.

Members of the Wessington Springs 4-H Soils team include: Candler Flowers, Alicia Jackson, Landon Wolter  and Keah Munsen.

Courtesy photo. More than 110 youth and adults participated in the 34th Annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 13th Annual Soils Days hosted by the East Pennington Conservation District and held in Wall and Wasta, South Dakota on June 20-21, 2017.

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PQA Plus & TQA Certification Training

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - In support of pork producers and transporters looking for certification or re-certification in Pork Quality Assurance (PQA Plus) and/or Transport Quality Assurance (TQA), SDSU Extension has planned quarterly regional certification trainings throughout South Dakota.

The next certification training will be held July 19, 2017 in Mitchell at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1800 E. Spruce St., Mitchell, SD 57301).

The PQA Plus training begins at 1 p.m. (CST) and the TQA training begins at 3 p.m.

"Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) is an educational program addressing food safety, animal well-being, environmental stewardship, worker safety, public health and the community. The original, voluntary PQA® educational program was launched in 1989," said Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

"Demonstrating the commitment of the pork industry to incorporate the latest scientific knowledge and production methods, the most recent version of the program, PQA Plus® 3.0, was introduced June 8, 2016 at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa."

Similarly, Samuel explained, Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA®) is an educational program for swine transporters, producers and handlers covering how to handle, move and transport pigs and the potential impacts of those actions on pig well-being and/or pork quality. The program was launched in 2002 and the most recent version of the TQA program, TQA® 6.0, provides science-based information on the humane handling and transport of pigs.

Programming details

The National Pork Board update of the PQA Plus® materials have composed a program that more closely matches the format of the Common Swine Industry Audit. Packers continue to require that swine producers and transporters are up-to-date on their certifications before accepting hogs. Producers with current certifications in PQA Plus® 2.0 or TQA® 5.0 are not expected to re-certify in the new versions (PQA Plus® 3.0 or TQA® 6.0) until their certification is up for expiration. However, producers may choose to attend and receive certification that has a new expiration date.

To register

There is no cost to attend the certification training sessions. However, producers and transporters are strongly encouraged to register for the sessions to ensure enough manuals are available.

To register for a training session or for more information, please contact Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate by email or 605.688.6623; or Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist by email or 605.688.5431.

Please let us know which site you'd like to attend (see list of additional trainings below) and how many people are attending from your farm.

For assistance with directions, the Mitchell Regional Center may be reached at 605.995.7378.

Huron Training Date is Oct. 18, 2017

Certification training will be held in Huron Oct 18, 2017 at the Beadle Co. Department of Health meeting room (1110 3rd St., Huron, SD 57350). The PQA Plus training begins at 1 p.m. (CST) and the TQA training begins at 3 p.m.

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Bean Leaf Beetles & Bean Pod Mottle Virus

Categorized: Agronomy, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Fields across South Dakota are dealing with pests this season, according to SDSU Extension staff.

"It doesn't seem to matter which way we turn or what crop we are scouting, pests are being observed," said Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist.

Strunk noted that bean leaf beetles have been found in both soybean and alfalfa fields. She said that with the amount of bean leaf beetles being observed in fields, producers need to also watch for bean pod mottle virus development.

First identified in South Dakota in 1998, Strunk said bean pod mottle virus is considered an economically important soybean disease.

What does bean pod mottle virus look like?

"Bean pod mottle virus symptoms are commonly confused with herbicide injury and can resemble symptoms of other viruses," said Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

Symptoms associated with bean pod mottle virus include mild to severe chlorotic mottling or mosaic and rugosity (distortion or wrinkling) on foliage, stunting and delayed maturity (Figure 1).

"Symptom severity may lessen during hot weather or with maturity. However, the plant still remains infected with the virus," Byamukama said.

One effect of delayed maturity is the green stem disorder.

"This is where the stem remains green after the soybean pods have matured," Byamukama said.

Infection by bean pod mottle virus decreases pod formation and reduces seed size, weight and number.

Seed coat mottling - the discoloration of the seed due to a black or brown pigmentation bleeding from the hilum - is another symptom caused by this virus.

Grain with discolored seeds may be docked at the time of sale. Bean pod mottle virus is also associated with increases in fungal seed infection by Phomopsis spp.

How is bean pod mottle virus spread?

Bean pod mottle virus is primarily vectored by the bean leaf beetle, explained Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

"When bean leaf beetles feed on bean pod mottle virus -infected soybean plants, they also ingest the virus and become a carrier," Varenhorst said.

He explained that the virus can be obtained with a single bite of an infected plant. "Virus transmission occurs rapidly with the next feeding," Varenhorst said. "As the beetle moves throughout the field, it spreads the virus to the healthy plants."

Not only is the beetle an efficient vector, but Varenhorst said it also feeds on the soybean foliage resulting in defoliation.

Later in the season the bean leaf beetles will feed not only on the leaves but also on the soybean pods and are capable of causing yield loss by clipping the pods from the plant prior to harvest.

Bean Leaf Beetle Identification

Adult bean leaf beetles are approximately ¼-inch long and can vary greatly in color from white, yellow, brown, red and several other intermediate shades (Figure 2).

Adult beetles have a black triangle directly behind their thorax and varying numbers of black spots (can have 0, 2 or 4) on their backs.

"Bean leaf beetles can be difficult to scout for due to their defensive behavior of falling off of plants when disturbed," Varenhorst said.

If fields are exhibiting large amounts of defoliation Varenhorst said a sweep net can be used to determine if the culprit is bean leaf beetles.

Management

Bean leaf beetles can be managed through insecticide applications which will inhibit the spread of bean pod mottle virus.

"Bean leaf beetles should be managed when scouted plants have approximately 30 percent defoliation," Strunk said.

Insecticide seed treatments are effective at managing the overwintering population of bean leaf beetles.

Transmission of bean pod mottle virus by the overwintering generation of bean leaf beetles causes severe yield loss.

There is no chemical control available for bean pod mottle virus infected plants found in the field. To date, no soybean cultivars have been found to be resistant to bean pod mottle virus.

Credit: Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1: Chlorotic mottling and rugosity observed on the soybean leaves.

Credit: Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2. Bean leaf beetle adult.

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Advice on Making Use of “Ugly” Feeds

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

Column by Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate

Summer marks the height of hay season. In an ideal world, every bale was harvested perfectly resulting in large quantities of bright green, high-quality hay. Designing cattle diets can be easy under those conditions.

Unfortunately, conditions are far from ideal in much of the Dakotas this year.

Hay will be short and producers will be forced to use some feedstuffs that may be unconventional or less than ideal.

So how do we make use of those feeds?

The good news is some quality issues can be fixed with proper supplementation.

Ruminants have the unique ability to make use of relatively poor-quality feeds, as long as we provide the right supplements for the rumen microbes.

When relying on supplements to provide nutrients forages lack, the key is knowing the kind and amount of supplementation your cattle require.

To illustrate the point, Table 1 shows the amount of feed required for drylotted 800 pound yearling heifers gaining 1.3 pounds using poor, average or high-quality grass hay, plus supplements.

Hay Quality

The expected performance and costs per day are relatively similar between the three kinds of hay. However, the supplements required to achieve those results are quite different.

Poor quality hay requires almost twice the dried distillers grains (DDGS) as average hay, while the higher protein hay achieved the same performance target with only a small quantity of corn grain.

Sampling & Testing

Relying on book values can be extremely risky, especially during challenging growing conditions.

Plants under drought stress mature more quickly than normal, resulting in more rapid declines in hay quality. The same scenario can play out when salvaging a small grain crop for forage.

As the plant begins to produce heads, the quality and feeding value of the feed decreases rapidly. The only way to know exactly what you have is to collect a representative sample and have it analyzed.

View Forage Hay Sampling Method at this link.

Problems That Limit (or Prevent) Feed Usefulness

Some issues simply can't be solved with a supplement.

Feeds can contain harmful compounds or other issues that either limit the amount that can be used or in extreme cases prevent the feed from being used at all.

Nitrate Concerns

Nitrate concerns immediately come to mind during drought.

Salvaged small grain crops harvested for hay are notorious for accumulating nitrates, but weeds such as kochia or pigweed can as well.

The usefulness of feeds containing nitrates depends upon the concentration of nitrates.

The only way to know for certain is to have these feeds tested. Producers can find more in-depth information on making use of feeds that contain nitrates by reading Nitrate Poisoning of Livestock: Causes & Prevention which can be found at this link.

Other Problems

Other problems arise from where the crop grew or how it was harvested.

Ditch hay can be a useful feedstuff, but can contain a great deal of foreign material. This could cause problems with hardware disease in cattle.

Prior pesticide applications can also limit the usefulness of a feed. Ash content is often overlooked. Researchers in North Dakota reported ash content in ditch hay samples as high as 37 percent. This represents an extreme case but illustrates that conditions along the road side can affect the usefulness of the feed.

The Bottom Line

Feed does not have to be perfect to be useful. The key to making smart feeding decisions is knowing what the imperfections are and adjusting accordingly.

To learn more, contact an SDSU Extension staff member. A complete list can be found at the iGrow Our Experts page.

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Beef Field Day Held August 22 in Bridgewater

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host the Fall Beef Field Day August 22, 2017 at the Stillwater Cattle Company near Bridgewater (25969 436th Ave).

Following an on-farm tour, the event will continue at the Davison County Fairgrounds in the afternoon.

"The Stillwater Cattle Company has implemented a hoop barn and heifer development enterprise to the operation and will provide insight into the use of the building and facilities," said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

Additionally, silage pile creation and management will be covered on-site.

"Silage is a common feed ingredient for many East River cattlemen," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Feedlot Specialist, "However, it isn't always put up correctly, and that's like burning money."

When the Field Day moves to the Davison County Fairgrounds (3200 W. Havens Ave. Mitchell) a noon meal will be served and the afternoon's agenda will begin.

"In today's economic situation producers need to look for ways to make extra income by any means available, and this field day is designed to look at ways to increase revenues, but also decrease big expenses," Gessner said.

"Through the integration of cow-calf, feedlot and management field staff, we have included many aspects important to cattlemen with our agenda."

Registration and agenda information

This event is sponsored by South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, Zoetis, Dakotaland Feeds LLC, Cattle Business Weekly, MultiMin USA, Creekside Veterinary Clinic, Hoop Beef, and Farmers State Bank. These sponsors for helped keep the cost to producers low.

To help cover meal costs, a $5 registration fee will be collected at the door. There is no preregistration.

Agenda:

8:30 a.m. Registration begins at Stillwater Cattle Company
9 a.m. Facilities Tour: Cody Stahl, Stillwater Cattle Company
10:30 a.m. Silage quality and management: Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate
11 a.m. Drive to Davison County 4-H Center
11:30 a.m.  Noon meal
Noon Prepping calves for weaning and delivery: Feedlot manager panel discussion led by Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate
1:15 p.m. Marketing plans for calves: Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist
2:15 p.m. Pregnancy checking cows, costs and effects: Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist
3 p.m. Wrap-up

Driving Directions: From Interstate 90 take Exit 357. Go 3 miles south to 260th street. Head east on 260th St for 1 mile to a dead end. Turn north on 436th Avenue and go ¼ mile. Stillwater Cattle Co will be located on the west side of the road. Please park by the barn.

Questions about the event can be directed to the organizing committee of Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Specialist; Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist; and Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Feedlot Associate. Contact information can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing.

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4-H Performing Arts Youth Preform

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 4-H Performing Arts Troupe will perform The Amazing 4-H Race during the 2017 Dakota State Fair in Huron with five performances held Saturday, September 2, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday, September 3, at 3 and 6 p.m. and Monday (Labor Day), September 4, at 10 a.m.

The Troupe consists of 16 teens, ages 13 through 18, from eight South Dakota counties. The 2017 4-H Performing Arts Troupe members include:

Brown County - Matthew Sperry
Campbell County - Callie Mickelson
Clay  County - Phillip Hauck; Tyler Hauck; Amanda Havermann; Katrina Heles
Deuel County - Ian Lundgren
Edmunds County - Benjamin Pond
McCook County - Olivia Fuller; Rafe Fuller; Maleah Gordon; Paige Peterson
McPherson County - Brandon Mueller; Zach Mueller; Jayna Sanborn        
Spink County - Breanna Roth

"Now in its 34th year, this 4-H educational program provides youth an opportunity to learn new skills by participating in the 4-H Performing Arts Preparation Camp, set this year for June 11-17 at Northern State University in Aberdeen," said Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator.

This year's musical production is The Amazing 4-H Race. The troupe will perform a musical race adventure. Along the way the audience will enjoy such songs as "Our State Fair," "Material Girl," "Sugar Sugar," "Count on Me" and many more.

"Come join in the fun with a show for the entire family," Stade said.

Prior to the State Fair performances, the Troupe had two performances at the Northern State University's Krikac Auditorium held during their South Dakota 4-H Performing Arts Camp, held June 11 - 17 in Aberdeen.

"In addition to the public performances at the end of preparation camp, the youth are also reached out to senior members in the area by performing shows at different nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Aberdeen," Stade said.

More about S.D. 4-H Performing Arts Troupe

The South Dakota 4-H Performing Arts Troupe is a theater arts educational experience for youth interested in developing skills in drama, music, dance, and technical theater.

This distinctive program was started in 1984 by former SDSU Extension Youth Development/4-H Specialist, Carolyn Clague.

"The program is unique in that it provides opportunities for youth and the arts to come together. The Troupe often involves youth who do not have the opportunity to experience the arts, except through the 4-H program, particularly youth from rural areas," Stade said.

The youth are directed by theater arts professionals and guided by parent volunteers. The Co Directors are Danica Mickelson of Aberdeen and Alyssa Serfling of Mellette with Danica as vocal director and Alyssa as choreography director.

More than 10 parent and alumni volunteers assist during preparation camp and the season with chaperoning, costuming, and overall production details.

4-H Performing Arts Volunteer committee members are Kathy Sperry, Bath; Cathy Mickelson, Herreid; Robyn Morgan, Mellette: Leah Fanning, Miller; and Pam Hanson, Vermillion.

More about 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.

The South Dakota 4-H Performing Arts Troupe will perform The Amazing 4-H Race during the 2017 Dakota State Fair in Huron with five performances held Saturday, September 2, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday, September 3, at 3 and 6 p.m. and Monday (Labor Day), September 4, at 10 a.m.

The Troupe consists of 16 teens, ages 13 through 18, from eight South Dakota counties. The 2017 4-H Performing Arts Troupe members pictured here include: 

Row 1: Callie Mickelson, Olivia Fuller
Row 2: Benjamin Pond, Brandon Mueller, Tyler Hauck
Row 3: Jayna Sanborn, Amanda Havermann, Breanna Roth
Row 4: Zach Mueller, Rafe Fuller, Matthew Sperry, Phillip Hauck
Row 5: Ian Lundgren, Paige Peterson, Katrina Heles, Maleah Gordon

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Dry Conditions Prompt Production Changes

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

SDSU Extension will host livestock and agronomy meetings in Herreid and Gettysburg on July 6, 2017. The meeting in Herreid will be at 9:00 a.m. at the Community Center/Skateland (107 Main Street S.) and in Gettysburg at 2:00 p.m. at Bob’s Steakhouse (29336 U.S. Hwy 212).

“Drought conditions have been at severe drought (D2) conditions for the past few weeks, and reached extreme drought (D3) in several South Dakota counties the past week,” said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Topics include:

  • Early weaning calves and the effect on cow and calf performance, as well as the effect on feed requirements and costs.
  • Grazing annual forages, how to get them established and the added value they may have for the operation.
  • Economic resources in the form of budget calculators and other tools, as well as information on federal assistance through the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA).
  • Weather outlook for the fall months.

Additional SDSU Extension staff will be on hand to address other topics of interest to producers. “We understand there are many aspects of the operation affected by the lack of precipitation the past six months,” said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director. “We want to bring relevant materials to the producers hardest hit by the drought, so the management changes they make truly are the best ones for their operation.” 

Producers with concerns about nitrates in annual forages or water quality concerns are encouraged to bring samples in to be tested for livestock suitability during the meeting. 

There is no fee to attend the program and early registration is not required. 

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2017 Governor’s Agriculture Summit

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist will be among the panelists discussing business succession planning July 13 during the 2017 Governor's Agricultural Summit, July 12 and 13, at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen.

To register for this event, visit the SD Governor's Agricultural Summit website or call the South Dakota Department of Agriculture at 605.773.5111.

Along with Davis, the succession planning panel includes; Will Walter, South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management, MTI and Stephanie Judson, S.D. Community Foundation.

The panel discussion will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

The panel will present information about their programs and what they have experienced when helping businesses make the transition to the next generation.

Time will be allowed for questions about succession planning from the audience, so bring your succession planning questions.

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2017 SDSU Southeast Research Farm Field Day

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Reports to Partners, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU's Southeast Research Farm will host Summer Research Day July 11, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the farm located at 29974 University Road, Beresford. 

The Research Day will features field tours and indoor presentation highlighting topics in Agronomy, Soil Health, and use of Precision Agriculture by SDSU Extension Staff and SDSU faculty as well as NRCS personnel.

Featured speaker for the tour will be John Nowatzki, Extension Agricultural Machine Systems Specialist; Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at North Dakota State University. Nowatzki will be giving a presentation entitled "Using UAV's in Crop and Livestock Production" at 3:15 p.m.

Field Tours will start at 1:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and will be one to 1.5 hours in length.

Indoor presentations will begin at 3:15 p.m. with featured speaker and continue at 4:15 p.m. in Southeast Farm Conference Room; ending at 5:45 pm.

Tentative Tour Schedule and Topics

Corn and Soybean Herbicide Demonstrations: Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator;

Small Grain Variety Development: (tentative) Melanie Caffe, SDSU Assistant Professor, Oat Breeding; Sunish Sehgal, SDSU Assistant Professor;

Grazing Cover Crops at the Southeast Farm: Brad Rops, Operations Manager, SDSU Southeast Farm;

Rotation and No-Till: Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist; and Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Farm Supervisor/ Plant Science;

Soybean Pest Update: Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist;

Soybean Disease Update: Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist;

Options for Adding Cover Crops to Corn and Soybean Rotations and the Impact on Soil Health: Eric Barsness USDA - NRCS; and Shannon Osborne, USDA-ARS

Foliar Nutrients in Soybeans: Péter Kovács, SDSU Assistant Professor Ag Cropping Systems;

Rye Cover Crop in a Corn/Soybean Rotation: David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist and Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Farm Supervisor/ Plant Science;

Organic Weed Control: Grit Blaster - Mike Carlson, SDSU Graduate Research Assistant;

Indoor Presentations will begin at 3:15 p.m.

Feature Presentation: Precision Ag - Using UAV's in Crop and Livestock Production: John Nowatski, Extension Agricultural Machine System Specialist, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, North Dakota State University;

Precision Ag: Managing Soil Fertility by Soil Type: Jim Millar, Precision Soil Management, Redfield;

Precision Ag: What's coming down the Pike: an Engineer's Point of View: Doug Prairie, SDSU Dept. of Ag and Biosystems Engineering;

Precision Ag: Four seasons of Multi-hybrid Planting: Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Farm Supervisor/ Plant Science;

Mesonet@SDSTATE: Real Weather Data from the Ground Up: Nathan Edwards, Manager, Mesonet at SD State;

The Southeast Farm Research Day is presented in conjunction with Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, SDSU Extension, and SESD Experiment Farm Corporation.

For more information on the Summer Research Day please call 605.563.2989 or email Ruth Stevens or Peter Sexton.

Use Alternative Route

Due to road construction on University Road, use alternate routes to reach the farm:

From East: I-29 Beresford exit 2.5 miles west on Highway 46; turn south (left) on Greenfield Road and go three miles south, turn west (right) go three miles on 300th and turn north (right)  on University Road 0.25 mile.

From west: From corner of Highway 46 and 19 turn south and go three miles to 300th Street; turn east (left) and go three miles; turn north (left) on University Road 0.25 mile.

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Universal Design for Customer Satisfaction Workshop

Categorized: Healthy Families, Aging

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is collaborating with Western Resources for Independent Living to host the third in a four-part workshop series designed to increase business owner awareness on the experiences of customers with disabilities.

Universal Design for Customer Loyalty workshop is free and will be held July 11, 2017 at SDSU Extension Rapid City Regional Center (711 North Creek Drive, Rapid City SD 57703) from noon to 1 p.m. MT. Lunch will be provided.

Universal design will be explored during this session. "Often times we see universal design shown as ramps and grab bars," said Leacey E. Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist. "These are accessible design features. What makes universal design different is its focus on the needs of all people who use the space."

Chad Ratigan, Executive Director, Western Resources for Independent Living added.

"We want to add design to the discussion about customer service. When we are aware of how design impacts the experiences of our customers, we are able to take steps to enhance the experience of our customers."

More on Universal Design for Customer Loyalty

This workshop is meant to be a conversation starter.

"We hope to continue the conversation and provide support to businesses and organizations seeking to increase their understanding of how design impacts their customers," Brown said.

To register

To register for this event, visit the Western Resources For Independent Living website. For more information, contact Leacey E. Brown, Gerontology Field Specialist, at either 605.394.1722 or by email

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Feeding Ditch Hay During Drought

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Farmers and ranchers across the state may cut and bale state highway ditches adjacent to their property as a way to provide access to more forage during the on-going drought in South Dakota.

This is part of the State of Emergency declared by Governor Dennis Daugaard.

"As part of the State of Emergency, the state eased haying and transportation restrictions to assist livestock producers," explained Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

The S.D. Department of Transportation suspended all mowing operations until July 5, 2017 to allow farmers to access to more hay. The state also authorized producers to travel statewide without a commercial driver's license (CDL) to ease transport of feed in the drought stricken area.

July is the Best time to Harvest Ditch Hay

Although it is a good practice to have the bales of ditch hay analyzed for at least crude protein and total digestible nutrients (TDN) - and balance diets accordingly - Garcia said that if the bales are not analyzed, based on research, the best time for livestock producers to harvest ditch hay is during the month of July.

"During 2015, NDSU Extension analyzed 182 samples of harvested ditch hay from across the state. The results showed that most of the ditch hay consisted of cool-season grasses, predominantly smooth bromegrass. There were differences in nutrient composition that were attributed mostly to variability in the stage of maturity at cutting. The best compromise between tonnage and quality seems to be when ditch hay is harvested precisely during early July," Garcia said.

Consider safety & herbicides

When deciding to harvest ditch hay, is very important to thoroughly inspect the area to make sure that the ditch is tractor-safe and will not result in a dangerous rollover.

Garcia also encouraged producers to inspect/rid the area of garbage that may have accumulated such as glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic, etc.

"In addition, it is important to know whether the roadsides have been sprayed for weeds," he said. "Some herbicides are not cleared to be used on forage that is to be fed to livestock."

He added that some broadleaf herbicides sprayed on ditch hay fed to cattle are eliminated intact in the manure. "If manure from animals fed ditch hay sprayed with these herbicides is applied to the fields, there is a good chance the herbicide will hurt yields or even the whole subsequent broadleaf crop," Garcia said.

Current research-based suggestions are to skip at least two growing seasons before planting broadleaf crops to acreage that was fertilized with manure from these animals.

"There have not been health issues reported in cattle fed hay treated with either herbicide," Garcia said.

To find out whether a ditch has been sprayed with herbicide, contact your local county or Township government or SD DOT offices.

For more information on feeding ditch hay, contact SDSU Extension staff. A complete listing can be found on the Our Experts webpage.

Additional information is available in the publication "Feeding Ditch Hay with Distillers’ Grains to Growing Heifers".

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Dakota Lakes Annual Summer Field Day June 29

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Research plots showcasing advance farming techniques at Dakota Lakes Research Farm southeast of Pierre, next to SD Highway 34, will be the focus of the Annual Summer Field Days on Thursday, June 29, 2017.

Tours begin at 3 p.m. and run until dark. Attendees will travel on wagons around the farm to view different aspects of the ongoing research program. Wagons will load at the farm headquarters and leave there at 45-60 minute intervals. A light lunch will be available.

Dwayne Beck, manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm said weather defines a lot of what people will see on the tour. Recent rains totaled 1.80 inches, and the moisture will invigorate some of the crops, according to Beck, but some areas will show the impact of early season heat and drought conditions.  

Attendees can view the unique areas at Dakota Lakes showing several long-term crop rotations under irrigation and dryland management.

The research center hosts numerous projects conducted by scientists from the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Some of these projects will be featured on one tour.

Sunish Seghal, SDSU Winter Wheat Breeder, will show aspects of the SDSU winter wheat breeding program. This year there were issues with winter survival and drought stress in the plots and the researchers will discuss strategies used to deal with these existing conditions. Additional topics will include issues such as wheat streak mosaic disease and other concerns with this year’s conditions.

SDSU graduate student Phillip Alberti will discuss the work of alternative biofuel research. His work is directed by SDSU Agronomist Thandiwe Nleya. This work involves brassica carinata (Ethiopian mustard) and camelina.

Another topic will be the pea and lentil research being conducted on the farm. Emphasis is on varieties and on the value of biological inoculants in pulse crops. Chris Graham, SDSU Extension Agronomist, is in charge of this work. Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, will share observations made from inspecting a large number of problem winter wheat and spring crop fields this year. She notes there are some common threads across a large area.

The public will also have the opportunity to meet two new scientists who now work at Dakota Lakes. Cody Zilverberg, has a Ph.D. in range science. He works with the farm through funds provided by the Howard G. Buffet Foundation in Decatur, IL.  Zilverberg is taking the lead on the livestock integration work. This work involves using cover and forage crops as a source of high quality winter swath grazing to complement crop aftermath. Transitioning rangelands that have been invaded by species like smooth bromegrass, crested wheatgrass, bluegrass, and cheatgrass back to native species is a major component. This work is using grazing pressure supplied by the Dakota Lake’s brood cow herd as one of the primary tools in this process. These cows are grazing established switchgrass and big bluestem areas on the farm. Zilverberg will discuss this project at the field day.

Jose Guzman joined the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science at South Dakota State University in late May. He will be stationed at the Dakota Lakes Research Farm. Guzman is a soil scientist by training and will focus on soil health issues such as carbon sequestration as well as water and nutrient cycling processes. He has begun analyzing soil samples from several of the long-term rotation experiments and some of the grassland areas (degraded and transitioned). Guzman will discuss these results and how this history impacts the soil’s resilience, water-holding capacity, and potential productivity. Beck manages the Dakota Lakes Research Farm for SDSU and also operates the crop production enterprise. He will discuss the crop rotations used, the forage crops produced, and work designed to better cycle nutrients and water in the system on the main farm and the nearby North Unit of the research farm.

Directions: The Dakota Lakes Research Farm is located 17 miles east of Pierre on the south side of SD Hwy 34 (Junction of Highway 34 and Canning Road). The physical address is 21310 308th Ave. This event is free to the public. No registration is required. Call 605.773.8120 or 604.224.6114 for more information.

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Natural Resources are the Ranch Foundation during Drought

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Drought is here for many cattle producers across South Dakota. With drought come many difficult decisions. At this difficult time, along with their cattle herd, Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist urges ranchers to consider the natural resources they are also responsible for during drought.

"Just as every factory needs a sturdy and healthy foundation to be sustainable, a ranch manager must keep a watchful eye on the natural resources of the ranch during drought," Kelly said, adding that the natural resources are the foundation for all other perspectives of a ranch.

Other ranch perspectives Kelly references may include: 

  1. Production
  2. Financial
  3. Customers
  4. Quality of life

"Natural resources to a large extent also set the boundaries for each of the other perspectives on a ranch," Kelly said.

He explained that it's a ranches' natural resources which determine the number of cattle that can be stocked or the number of wildlife that can be sustained, as well as the amount of forage crops or hay that can be produced. "Striving to maintain the rangeland resources in the best condition as possible through a drought will be crucial for a fast recovery when conditions improve," he said.

Vegetation conserves moisture

Since nearly all the forage growth for this year has occurred, Kelly said a ranch manager must try to maintain some vegetation cover on the soil surface to help aid in restoring soil moisture as quickly as possible when rain returns.

"Leaving adequate vegetation cover in the pasture will increase the water holding capacity and infiltration rate into the soil profile and reduce runoff from heavy precipitation events (Figure 3)," he said. "Consequently, the soil moisture will be restored more quickly versus a pasture grazed to bare ground (Figure 4)."

According to research, ranch managers should strive for at least 50 to 60 percent organic material cover on the soil surface and at least 4 to 6-inch residual stubble height for native grasses.

Kelly quotes Wayne T Hamilton (2003) and paraphrases Dr. E.J. Dyksterhuis (1951): "The man who has a short pasture needs a rain much worse than his neighbor who has ample forage on the range. But, when the rains come, it will do the least good for the fellow who needs it most."

Although some areas of extreme southern South Dakota have been blessed with adequate precipitation so far this year, ranchers in these areas need to be thinking about drought conditions and making sure drought plans are up to date.

Resources are available to help assist developing drought plans.

"A ranch manager must be flexible and adapt to resource conditions during a drought," Kelly said. "Rangeland health and drought plans are priorities; a ranch manager must try and make other perspectives of a ranch adapt if the ranch's vision includes long-term sustainability and profitability."  

Figure 3. Rangeland with adequate ground cover and residual plant heights.

Figure 4. Overgrazed rangeland with poor water holding capacity and increased runoff.

Source: South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service. Figure 1. South Dakota NRCS Drought Condition Status Map with Percent of Normal Forage Production as of June 1, 2017.

Source: National Drought Mitigation Center. Figure 2. U.S. Drought Monitor published June 8, 2017.

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Forage Fiesta Field Day Aug. 24, 2017

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Southeast Research Station will host the Forage Fiesta Field Day Aug. 24, 2017 (29974 University Road Beresford). The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with registration and run till approximately 3:30 p.m.

During the Forage Fiesta Field Day topics will include alfalfa, cover crops, grass and more.

"This is day provides hands-on educational opportunities to the public, consultants, and extension professionals regarding the utilization of various cover crops, grazing systems, and alfalfa varieties," said Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

To help cover costs, early registration is $20 per person until August 18, 2017 and then increase to $25 per person after that. Lunch and refreshments are included with the registration fee. To register, visit the iGrow events page.

Along with Erickson, this event's organizing committee is made up of Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist; Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist and Karla Hernandez, SDSU Extension Forages Field Specialist.

Agenda

9:30 a.m. Registration
10 a.m. Welcome & Introductions
10:05 a.m.  When & How to Plant Forages: Planting timing, methods & management
10:45 a.m.  Forage Variety Selection: What we've learned through trials about selection, production and quality
11:30 a.m.  Harvest Management and Forage Analysis Implementation and interpretation of forage quality tools and results
12:15 p.m. Lunch & Sponsor Networking
1:15 p.m.  When to Graze What Season vs. year-round grazing forages
1:45 p.m.  Cover Crop Identification & Grazing Plots
2:15 p.m.  View Alternative Forage Plots Cover crops including triticale, rye, forage sorghum and more
2:45 p.m. Refreshment Break
3 p.m.  Economics of Raising High Quality Forage, Crops and Animals
3:30 p.m.  Wrap Up, Questions, Evaluation

Driving Directions

Due to road construction, please seek alternate routes. From I-29: Take Exit 47. Take Hwy. 46 west to Greenfield Road, turn south and go 3 miles to 300th street, then go west 3 miles and turn north on University Road. The farm will be the first place on the east side of University Road.

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Climate Predicts Rainfall Delays Drought Expansion and Warm July

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Gardens, Trees & Forests, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. -  Recent rainfall throughout South Dakota has put drought expansion on hold and offers hope for the summer-season crops and gardens.

"After some record warmth in early June and several weeks of dry weather, rainfall finally came to the region this week," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

According to data, most of eastern South Dakota received about 2 inches of rain. Some areas in the northeastern portion of the state are reporting more than 4 inches for the week of June 12, 2017. Much of western and central South Dakota received between 1 and 2 inches.

"The rains brought welcome relief to dry soils that were affecting crop growth, as well as gardens and yards," Edwards said.

Despite some severe weather and thunderstorm winds, she added that early damage reports show that there were relatively few losses.

"Most corn and soybeans were small enough to avoid significant hail or wind injury," Edwards said.

U.S. Drought Monitor & NOAA update

The U.S. Drought Monitor, updated June 15, shows some expansion of severe drought conditions (D2) in central South Dakota, which now includes 13 percent of the state.

Moderate drought (D1) was slightly reduced due to weekly rainfall totals, primarily in the south central and east regions. Forty-five percent of the state is now in moderate drought or worse.

"Climatologists and others will be watching drought closely over the next couple of weeks, however, as the forecast appears to turn dry and warm again," Edwards said. "Drought conditions are severe. Recent rains will not be able to sustain crops and gardens for very long."

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center released their update on June 15 as well.

The temperature outlook for July 2017 indicates higher likelihood of warmer than average conditions in the month ahead.

"Almost the entire country is leaning towards warmer climate in July, with the exception of the northwest states," Edwards said.

The precipitation outlook for July does not show a clear signal for either wet or dry conditions in South Dakota.

"Wetter conditions are favored to our northwest, and drier to our southwest, so we could be in a transition from a drier to wetter pattern in the month ahead," she said.

Obviously, if drier conditions persist, Edwards said this will be challenging for South Dakota's farmers.

"Corn acres are pollinating in early to mid-July - it's a critical period for corn - a time when farmers do not want their corn acres impacted by heat or drought stress because those stresses have a negative impact on yields at harvest," Edwards explained.

Northern Plains long range outlook

The long-range outlooks for the Northern Plains continue to favor wetter than average conditions for the months of July through September.

"Much of this year, we have seen strong swings from dry to wet, cold to warm and back again," Edwards said. "The climate computer models may be picking up on a transition to a wetter, warmer period in late summer, which could be beneficial for soybean growers especially."

Although agriculture acres benefit from recent rains, the moisture brings with it increased weed and pest pressures.

"Now that there is sufficient moisture in the topsoil layers in most areas; hayland, pastures and grasses will show some short term growth and green-up as well, but the climate outlook remains challenging for long-term growth through the summer," Edwards said.

Wildfire

Wildland fire will continue to be a concern in the weeks ahead, Edwards said, pointing to the fact that there are a lot of dry or dormant grasses that can burn easily.

Most counties in the state have burn bans in place to help prevent large fires from occurring in the driest areas.

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Black Hills Hay Day June 22

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Sheep, Agronomy, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host the Black Hills Hay Day Thursday, June 22, 2017 beginning at 9 a.m. at Seven Down Arena near Spearfish (6625 Centennial Road).  

The program is designed with active demonstrations of a variety of forage related topics including:

  1. New hay harvesting equipment will be demonstrated.
  2. Viewing and yield/quality determination of cool season and warm season forage cover crop mixes, perennial and annual forage plots.
  3. Dennis Hoyle, Director of the S.D. Soil Health Coalition and Stan Boltz - USDA-NRCS Regional Soil/Rangeland Health Specialist will be on hand to discuss and demonstrate the value of soil health in mitigating drought conditions. 
  4. Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist, along with Boltz will instruct attendees in methods to determine forage availability, nutrient levels and grazing plans when grazing cover crops, cereal grains and irrigated pastures.
  5. Tom Baer with American Ag Video Auction will discuss hay marketing and quality issues when buying and selling forages.
  6. Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist, will be on hand to conduct Nitrate Quick tests on forages and Livestock Water suitability testing free of charge. 
  7. Special Guest Speaker, Dr. Ray Ward of Ward Laboratories, will discuss the value and use of forage and soil analysis.
  8. Forage-related vendors will be present.

For more information about the program or interest in hosting a booth, please contact Dave Ollila at 605.569.0224, by email or Meghan Foos, CBH Cooperative Agronomist at 605.645.7556, by email.

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Mesonet at SD State

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Numerous severe thunderstorms brought high rain rates, strong winds and nine confirmed tornadoes to the state June 13, 2017. 

Throughout the storms, meteorologists across the state relied on the South Dakota Mesonet, a community-supported network of live weather stations operated by South Dakota State University to keep them up to date on the storm so they could warn South Dakotans of impending danger.

"The Mesonet keeps the public, agriculture producers, utility companies, emergency managers and the National Weather Service informed of weather developments as they happen," said Nathan Edwards, Manager of the Mesonet. "Some of the state's top wind gusts Tuesday - which trigger National Weather Service issuance of warnings - were reported by the Mesonet."

Edwards explained that the Mesonet's unique capabilities to monitor water balance helped the U.S. Drought Monitor accurately reflect drought conditions last week and will help determine the level of relief these areas saw with the storms' rainfall.

"Improved evaporation calculations along with new soil moisture maps are critical to getting a complete view of drought that just can't be had looking at rainfall alone,"  Edwards said.

Weather highlights from June 13, 2017

With nearly 80 percent of the state ranging from "abnormally dry" to "severe drought," Edwards said the June 13 storms brought welcomed rainfall to some - others dealt with power outages or structural damage from wind.

Live and archived data are available from the state's 26 Mesonet stations can be found online. June 13 storms drove more traffic to the website than any other day in the site's history.

Mesonet@SDSTATE reports for June 13, 2017-

Rainfall totals greater than 1 inch:

  • Webster* - 3.34
  • South Shore - 2.51
  • Groton* - 1.69
  • Redfield* - 1.49
  • Britton* - 1.47
  • Sioux Falls Landfill - 1.30
  • Pierre* - 1.19
  • Gettysburg** - 1.19 

            *moderate drought as of June 6
            **severe drought as of June 6

Peak wind gusts greater than 40 miles per hour:

  • Parkston - 62
  • Webster - 60
  • Beresford - 61
  • Colton - 56
  • Britton - 51
  • Flandreau - 45
  • Gettysburg -  44
  • White Lake -  44
  • Groton -  43
  • South Shore - 43
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Drylotting Cows: An Option During Drought

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Feeding cattle in a drylot rather than range or pasture may be a viable alternative for livestock producers dealing with drought conditions this year, said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate.

"If drought conditions become severe enough that productive cows must be removed from pastures - or never sent to grass at all - making the best decision becomes much more complex," Rusche said. "Feeding pairs in a drylot setting is one alternative management strategy that may be worth considering."

Drylotting Strategy

Drylotting allows ranchers to hold on to productive cows until it rains again and pasture conditions improve," Rusche said.

He added that drylotting also facilitates early weaning, which saves additional feed.

For operations with sufficient feed resources, Rusche said buying pairs from drought-stricken areas and placing them on feed may be an opportunity.

"Market timing can be an issue if the plan is to market slaughter cows and then either sell or retain the calves," he said. "Placing younger cows in the drylot offers the potential for marketing young bred females at a premium plus the value of a weaned calf."

Dietary Considerations

If drylotting is the option a producer goes with, Rusche explained that research data from a number of universities shows cow-calf pairs do well on a wide variety of diets - either by limit feeding or by allowing unlimited access to feed.

Table 1 provides examples of diets used by North Dakota State University and by the University of Nebraska.

"These diets rely on relatively cheap sources of roughage combined with grain or by-product feeds," Rusche said.

Other Considerations

Other considerations for feeding pairs in a drylot include:

  • Take steps to minimize hay waste if cattle have ad-lib access.
  • Manage bunks carefully to prevent acidosis or other digestive upsets when limit feeding.
  • Provide ample bunk space for both the cow and her calf, as much as 3 to 4 feet per pair.
  • Manage pens to reduce fly pressure and the incidence of mud.
  • Providing shade may be beneficial in reducing heat stress in the calves. A dedicated creep area for the calves will also help keep the calves healthier.
  • If newly purchased cattle are brought into the yard, keep pairs isolated to avoid respiratory disease.

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Heat Stress Preparations for Feedlot Cattle

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Summer heat waves pose a serious danger to cattle in feedlots.

"Not only is there elevated risk of death loss but there is also the reduction in performance and efficiency to consider," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate. "Developing a plan before hot and humid conditions hit will put producers in a better position to deal with the conditions and minimize the impact on their cattle."

Below, Rusche explains the factors which impact heat stress as well as provides some ways to reduce heat stress in feedlot cattle.

Factors Impacting Heat Stress

The amount of stress that cattle are under is affected by both the air temperature and the relative humidity, as shown by Figure 1.

"The combination of high temperatures plus high relative humidity is particularly dangerous, especially when there is little to no night-time cooling," Rusche said.

He explained that solar radiation and air movement aren't accounted for in Figure 1, but these factors are a major component in determining how high temperatures affect cattle.

Managing Heat Stress

Provide water: Water access is vitally important to maintain the well-being of cattle during hot weather.

Water consumption can be 2.5 times greater at 90 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

"The water system needs to have enough capacity to satisfy cattle demand at all times," Rusche said.

There should be at least 3 linear inches of trough access per head.

Extra tanks may be required to ensure enough access and holding capacity.

Maintaining and keeping tanks clean will help make sure that water intake is not limited.

Use sprinklers for cooling: Heat stress can also be reduced by using sprinklers to cool both the cattle and ground.

"It is important not to create a fine mist that will only increase humidity and make the situation worse," Rusche said.

Introduce sprinkling to cattle prior to extreme heat and before the cattle are under significant heat stress; waiting until the cattle are overheated is too late.

An additional supply of emergency water may need to be acquired so that the system can meet both sprinkler and drinking water demand.

Provide shade: Another way to mitigate heat stress is by providing shade.

"Shade reduces the radiant heat load on the cattle as well as the ground temperature," Rusche said.

He references the SDSU Extension video, Combating Heat Stress with Cattle Shades. "This video demonstrates the use of shades and temporary water tanks to mitigate heat stress in outside yards," Rusche said.

The video can be accessed at the iGrow Youtube webpage.

"Providing a layer of light colored bedding will also reduce the temperature of the soil surface in an unshaded pen," he said.

Removing barriers to air movement such as temporary windbreaks or tall vegetation that's close to the pens will help increase airflow and provide some relief.

Avoid working cattle: When possible, avoid working cattle during heat waves.

If it is absolutely necessary to move or work cattle during hot weather, plan on being done before 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

"The core temperature of cattle peaks about two hours after the peak air temperature and it takes roughly 6 hours for cattle to dissipate their heat load," Rusche said.

So, even if it cools down at night, the carryover effects from earlier in the day could be enough to cause problems if cattle were worked.

Other Considerations: Some other management steps to reduce heat stress related losses include:

  • Pay particular attention to cattle that are at higher risk for heat stress. These include heavy cattle, those with dark hides, and those with past health problems.
  • Controlling flies will help keep cattle from bunching in a group, allowing for more airflow to each animal.
  • Feed 70 percent or more of the daily ration in the late afternoon or evening. Delaying feeding times has been shown to reduce the animal's peak body temperature.
  • One method to determine whether or not to reduce morning feed deliveries is to monitor early morning respiration rates. If cattle are still breathing faster at 6 or 7 a.m. that's an indication that the heat load didn't dissipate overnight and offering less feed and sprinkling more often would be warranted.
  • Feeding MGA to heifers has been associated with less death loss due to heat stress, presumable because of less riding activity.

Figure 1. Livestock weather hazard guide. Source: Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.

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Cattle AI School June 26, 27, 28 Near Philip

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host a three-day artificial insemination (AI) school beginning 12:30 p.m. (MST) June 26, 2017 at SDSU Cottonwood Livestock and Range Field Station, near Philip (23738 Fairview Rd.).

This event is limited to 20 participants. To reserve a spot, call the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Lemmon at 605.374.4177.

To cover costs, the registration fee is $400. The fee covers the cost of educational materials, supplies, facility and cow use.

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

Morning sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday 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 3:30 p.m. on June 28.

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

The AI School hosted at Mitchell, on July 24, 25 and 26 is full. If you are interested in joining the waiting list, please contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605.995.7378 or by email.

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Feed & Forage Finder Connects Livestock Producers with Resources

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Profit Tips, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension Forage Finder connects livestock producers with forage suppliers. A much needed resource when forage supplies are tight due to current drought conditions across many areas of the state.

"Connecting those with hay and forage resources to sell with livestock producers in need of forage can sometimes be difficult," explained Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate. "Our purpose for starting this Facebook group was to provide a low-cost way for buyers and sellers to connect. This page harnesses the power of social media to help make those connections."

SDSU Extension facilitates the Facebook page.

Open to anyone interested in either buying or selling hay or feedstuffs, the SDSU Extension Feed & Forage Finder is a group is easy to access on Facebook.

Listings can include baled hay, straw or silage, as well as, individuals seeking out pasture to rent, custom feeding or custom grazing arrangements.

Access SDSU Extension Forage Finder

To access the page, Facebook users should type in "SDSU Extension Feed & Forage Finder" into the search box at the top of the Facebookj web page. From there, individuals have the option viewing the postings as well as asking to join the group.

For additional information, contact Rusche by email, Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist by email.

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Garden Soil Health Presentation June 19 in Rapid City

Categorized: Healthy Families, Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Community Development, Communities, Local Foods, Gardens, Home & Garden Pests, Trees & Forests, Gardening, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host a garden soil health presentation June 19, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the SDSU West River Ag Center in Rapid City (1905 Plaza Blvd., Rapid City, SD 57702).

The free event will focus on why soil health is important and how to achieve it. The public is welcome.

"This presentation will review and contrast examples of poor soil health versus good soil health and why it is important for food security," said Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist and the events' presenter.  

Bly explained that soil health parameters will be reviewed and examples of management practices for improved soil health will be provided.

"I hope that this presentation will challenge participants' thought processes as I provide them with information on alternative approaches in soil management," Bly said.

The event is open to all interested members of the public.

RSVP is appreciated to ensure sufficient space. To RSVP, call or email Aimee Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist at 605.782.3290.

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Applications Extended for AmeriCorps Positions

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension has an extended deadline to apply to serve as an SDSU Extension AmeriCorps VISTA member. These are full-time positions open in Aberdeen, Lemmon, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown and other South Dakota communities.

"AmeriCorps VISTA service members will work with SDSU Extension staff to increase knowledge of and access to physical and financial health and wellness techniques in effort to bring economically disadvantaged South Dakotans out of poverty," said Aimee House Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

What do AmeriCorps members do?

AmeriCorps members will have the opportunity to do the following:

  • Serve your country full-time for 1 year to bring SD citizens out of poverty;
  • Earn a monthly living stipend;
  • Receive an education award at end of term of service;
  • Gain valuable work experience and community connections;
  • Receive preferential hiring post-service with federal agencies and hundreds of employers of national service across the country

Position Openings

Applicants must be 18 years old or older to apply. Some college is preferred for most position openings.  

Applications are due June 20, 2017

A variety of positions are available to meet a diversity of professional interests and skills including:

Unique opportunity

Ladonski points out that this is a unique opportunity for South Dakotans and encourages readers to share with friends and family that might be interested, particularly those that meet the following criteria:

  • Current college students seeking a "gap year" to build their resume (one or two online or evening college courses are allowable during service if needed);
  • Recently graduated college students;
  • Retirees looking to get involved in a FT service effort (their education award can be awarded to children or grandchildren should they choose to forego it for themselves);
  • Stay-at-home parents seeking to get back in the work force; or
  • Any interested party that meets the qualifications and has a passion for service.

For position descriptions and application information, send an email of interest or call Aimee Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist with questions 605.782.3290.

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Detecting Multiple Viruses in Pigs Getting Easier

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Over the last decade, surveillance and diagnosis of swine respiratory disease have been transformed by innovations in sampling and testing.

"In pigs, the same visual signs of disease can be caused by very different germs. It's important to know which ones are present in the midst of a respiratory disease outbreak. This is where quick and accurate agent detection through laboratory testing comes into play," said Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian.

Below, Daly discusses some of these recent developments in laboratory techniques.

Oral fluids sampling: This novel method of sample collection has dramatically changed testing for disease agents in pigs.  Rather than restraining and obtaining blood or swab samples from individual pigs, which can be stressful to the animal, investigators simply collect viruses, such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) or Influenza A Virus (IAV), which are shed in saliva by animals who chew on a cotton rope hung in their pens. In recent years, this sampling method has been validated for more and more test procedures and is now widely accepted for many applications.

Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing: While oral fluids have transformed sample collection, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology has revolutionized agent detection in such samples.

"The speed, accuracy and sensitivity of PCR technology is unparalleled," Daly said. "It's given swine veterinarians and producers the ability to confidently and quickly respond to new disease threats in the animals they care for."

The PCR testing method is particularly valuable in swine medicine compared to other species. "Perhaps no other domestic animal species has been faced with as many emerging disease threats over the past couple decades as have swine," Daly said, referencing PRRS, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and Porcine Circovirus.

In a typical PCR test, samples submitted to diagnostic labs are processed such that nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) is extracted from the various viruses and bacteria present in the particular sample.

Then, primers and bases specific to the tested-for germ's nucleic acid are added.

Repeated cycles of heating and cooling result in an exponential amplification of the target nucleic acid. In "real-time" PCR tests, an indicator dye fluoresces in the midst of this reaction when sufficient nucleic acid has built up in the test chamber. This signifies that the target nucleic acid is present in the sample and the test is deemed positive.

Most PCR tests run at veterinary diagnostic labs detect nucleic acid of a single pathogen. The section of nucleic acid targeted by the test must be one that's "conserved" (the same) across multiple strains of a pathogen. In this manner, PCR tests can also be designed to target a very specific strain or portion of the germ.

Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests: ThesePCR procedures utilize the same pig sample, but test for more than one germ simultaneously. This can mean savings in both testing time and cost for veterinarians and producers.

"Establishing a multiplex PCR test is not as simple as throwing two "single-plex" tests together," Daly explained. "The reagents and time and temperature conditions for the test for germ A might be different than those for germ B."

Tweaks and adjustments need to be made by the test developers so they work together.

Current examples of multiplex PCR tests which are run at the SDSU Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory include Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus + Transmissible Gastroenteritis + Deltacoronavirus and the multiplex PRRSV PCR that detects both North American and European strains.

Testing services coming to SDSU

A new multiplex PCR test coming online at the SDSU Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory will greatly help veterinarians and producers sort out clinical signs in growing pigs and other groups.

"For the first time, the Influenza A PCR and PRRSV PCR tests are being combined in one multiplex procedure," Daly said.

He explained that the multiplex PCR test has been validated on oral fluids samples, nasal swabs and tissues. Blood and serum samples will still be tested with individual single PCR tests.

Benefits of Multiplex Testing

"The multiplex test will be particularly valuable in light of the end of USDA support for influenza testing in swine populations," Daly said.

He explained that its price is the same as a current single-plex test for either virus, making for more cost-effective diagnostics, whether for routine surveillance or for disease diagnostic investigations.

"The development of tests such as the multiplex influenza-PRRSV PCR test demonstrates the responsiveness of today's veterinary diagnostic laboratories to the needs of swine veterinarians and producers," Daly said. "Labs such as the SDSU Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory continue to adapt even newer technologies such as whole genome sequencing of germs in order to help these professionals make better decisions for the health of their pigs."  

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Change Network Cohort is Looking for Participants

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - National Arts Strategies' (NAS) is partnering with SDSU Extension and Vision Maker Media to offer Change Network to 15 South Dakotans eager to enact change in their communities and organizations through a one-year, cohort-style program.

"Through the Change Network, we are hoping to engage a diverse group of South Dakotans who represent a multitude of backgrounds, professions, ways of thinking, points of view and age," said Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.

Funded by the Bush Foundation, Change Network will enable 15 participants to build their self-awareness, leadership abilities and systems-change skill sets.

"We are honored to partner with the Bush Foundation, SDSU Extension, and Vision Maker Media to be a part of the Change Network," said Gail Crider, President and CEO of National Arts Strategies. "NAS has a long history of cohort-based programs partnering with communities across the U.S. This is an exciting opportunity to add our expertise in arts and community development to support and grow community change in South Dakota."

More about Change Network

The premise behind the Bush Foundation's Change Networks initiative is to provide South Dakotans with a supportive learning environment where they can gain the skills needed to enable them to lead change in a more equitable and inclusive manner. 

Participation in the Change Network is free and all participants will have access to a $5,000 grant to implement an action plan or support an on-going project.

South Dakotans who see opportunities to make change in their community or organization are encouraged to apply for the Change Network program by July 12, 2017.

To apply and for more information, visit South Dakota Change Network online.

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How to Stop Drift Before It Floats Away

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The goals of applying any crop protection product includes increasing effectiveness, mitigating drift and maximizing profits.

"Of these three, if an applicator's primary focus is mitigating drift, they can increase spray effectiveness as well as maximize profits," said Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist.

Why should we focus on drift?

"Drift may cause spotty pest control, it wastes chemicals and can cause damage to high value specialty crops, as well as increase higher production costs and negatively impact the environment (water and air quality)," Shaffer said.

He added that drift can also create negative neighbor relations as well as create a negative perception of pesticides among the general public.

So what is drift?

Drift is off target movement of spray particles and vapors, causing less effective control and possible injury to susceptible vegetation, wildlife and people.

"Vapor drift is associated with volatilization (gas, fumes). Particle drift is movement of spray particles during or after the spray application," Shaffer said.

Factors affecting drift include the following:

  1. Spray characteristics of the actual chemical - chemical formulation, droplet size and evaporation.
  2. Application equipment - nozzle type, nozzle size, nozzle pressure and height of release chosen by the applicator and sprayer calibration.
  3. Weather factors - air movement (wind direction and speed), temperature and humidity, air stability/inversions and topography.
  4. Wind direction - applicators should know the location of sensitive crop areas (http://arcgis.sd.gov/server/ag/sensitivesites/) and consider safe buffer zones.

"Drift potential is lowest at wind speeds between 3 and 10 miles per hour (gentle but steady breeze) blowing in a safe direction," Shaffer said.

He added that "dead calm" conditions are not recommended, because drift potential may be high. "This is because light winds (0-2 miles per hour) tend to be unpredictable and variable in direction," he said. "Calm and low wind conditions may indicate presence of a temperature inversion."

     5. Wind speed - speed may vary when moving from within the crop canopy to above the crop canopy.

"Wind speed and direction can drastically affect spray droplet displacement, as structures can affect the wind currents around windbreaks, tree lines, houses, barns, hills and valleys," Shaffer said.

Temperature inversions

Under normal weather, air tends to rise and mix with air above. Droplets will disperse and will usually not cause problems.

"Temperature inversions are caused when the temperature increases as you move upward in the atmosphere," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Edwards explained that temperature inversions prevents air near the surface from mixing with the air above it.

"Therefore, inversions cause small-suspended droplets to form a concentrated cloud, which can move in unpredictable directions," she said.

Temperature inversions often occur under clear to partly cloudy skies and light winds during the overnight hours; a surface inversion can form as the sun sets.

"Under these conditions, a surface inversion will continue into the morning until the sun begins to heat the ground," she said. "Be careful near sunset and an hour or so after sunrise, unless there is low heavy cloud cover, if the wind speed is greater the 5-6 miles per hour at ground level or there is a 5-degree temperature rise after sun-up."

Courtesy of iGrow.

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Dairy Month: Unleash the Power of Dairy Nutrition

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - June is Dairy Month which means there's no better time to celebrate dairy farmers and the delicious dairy products they bring from the farm to your refrigerator.

"Thanks to their hard work, you're able to unleash the power of dairy nutrition," said Ann Schwader, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist. "If you're trying to boost the nutrition of your meals and snacks, look no further than your refrigerator. Dairy products provide a powerful nutrition package that can help you meet your nutrient needs and achieve better health."

Schwader said whether South Dakotans are trying to reduce disease risk, age well or fuel an active lifestyle, they can count on the power of dairy products to maximize nutrition.

Dairy Misconceptions

Research conducted by Midwest Dairy Association uncovered some interesting misconceptions when it comes to dairy nutrition knowledge, explained Whitney Jerman, Registered Dietitian with the Midwest Dairy Association.

"Findings showed only one-third of consumers understand milk to be one of the best sources of protein and other nutrients," Jerman said. "Additionally, less than one-third of consumers understand the nutritional difference between milk and milk alternatives such as soy, almond or rice beverage."

Milk Nutrition 101

  • With nine essential nutrients, milk, cheese and yogurt deliver a unique nutrition package superior to milk alternatives, which are often fortified and/or fall short on these important nutrients.
  • Milk is a natural clean food with only three ingredients listed on the label, whereas milk alternatives can have 10 or more ingredients.

"As a registered dietitian, I not only appreciate the unique nutrient package that dairy delivers - but also its flexibility which allows you to make simple substitutions in meals and snacks to help boost nutrition and get your three servings of dairy every day," Jerman said.  

Try these tips to unleash the power of dairy nutrition:

  • Substitute flavored yogurt for syrup on pancakes and waffles. Try our Berry Yogurt Parfait Pancakes recipe.
  • Prepare oatmeal and other cooked cereals with milk instead of water.
  • Use plain Greek yogurt as a base for homemade dressings or dips. Try our Salad on a Stick.
  • Create creamy, delicious, soups with milk.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of your favorite casseroles and pasta dishes, or use it to jazz up vegetables or scrambled eggs.
  • Use milk in hot chocolate or coffee.

Dairy Month Events

If you are looking to learn more about dairy farming in South Dakota, be sure to check out these June Dairy Month Events and recipes online.

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Replicated Comparisons vs. Side-by-Side Comparisons

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Planting season is in full swing across South Dakota and maximizing yields and profits is the primary focus of farmers this growing season.

"Producers are interested in knowing what works best, yields the most and especially what is most profitable during these tight economic times," said Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

To help answer these questions, many farmers and input providers plant comparison plots. But, how do they know these plots are set up in a way that provides growers with a true picture of results and useful information?

To answer this question, Berg is involved in a multi-state extension project with University of Nebraska Lincoln, Kansas State University, and University of Minnesota extension, which surveyed farmers on basic agronomy research understanding and focuses on development of materials for improved research education.

"Poorly laid out field studies can generate misleading data and can lead to incorrect conclusions," she said.

Along with Berg, the other extension personnel involved in this project included; John Thomas, University of Nebraska Lincoln; Josh Coltrain, Kansas State University and Lizabeth Stahl, University of Minnesota.

Field Layout: Variability Considerations

How should a basic study be set up or laid out in the field? One very common approach is to divide a field in half and compare the halves or possibly compare two fields in close proximity and see which variety or practice yields highest.

"This approach can end with very misleading results because of the variability that exists across a field or fields due to many factors," Berg explained.

Some sources of variability include:

  • Variations in soil type
  • Topography
  • Varying management practices
  • Drainage
  • Pesticide residues
  • Disease pressure
  • Compaction
  • Weather events

"Just as you can count on yield monitor results to not remain constant across a field, you can essentially count on there being sources of variability that would impact study results if you just split a field in half or compared fields across the road from each other," she said.

Randomization is a solid approach

Based on academic research and practical field experiences, Berg and her colleagues agree that the better approach, which provides a more accurate estimation of future performance of a treatment, is to put out replicated studies with random placement of treatments in each replication.

"This simply means that the same treatment is put out more than one time across the area of study to be assured that treatment performance is not based on location in the field," Berg said.

Replication from three to six times is common in most agricultural studies.

"The more replications, the more reliable results will be in a given comparison," she said.

Repeating the replicated comparisons for more than one year is also a good idea to test performance over more environments to come to stronger conclusions and estimations of real differences between treatments.

An on-farm research example

As an example, the on-farm trial described below was completed in 2016 by John Thomas in western Nebraska. "This trial shows how replication affected the results," Berg said.

The study compared two systems commonly used in planting pinto beans in Nebraska. The treatments were applied and replicated six times with random placement.

One treatment was pinto beans planted in 30-inch rows at a population of 90,000 plants per acre; the second treatment was pinto beans planted in 7.5-inch rows at 120,000 plants per acre (Figure 1).

This was a large field trial with each treatment being 60 feet wide by 1,400 feet long. The randomization is outlined in Table 1.

A clear example

The average yields from the treatments in the six replications were:

  • 7.5-inch with 120,000 population yielded 52 bushel per acre
  • 30-inch treatment with 90,000 population yielded 44 bushel per acre  

The 7.5-inch treatment yielded 8 bushels per acre more than the 30-inch treatment.

"Having analyzed the yield data statistically (at the .05 probability level), yields were significantly different, with the least significant difference being 2 bushels per acre," Berg explained. "This means that due to variability within the study, a yield difference of less than 2 bushels per acre would not indicate any treatment differences."

During early August a hail storm damaged the field, with the most significant damage occurring on the half of the field containing replications 4, 5 and 6.

"If the field had just been split with one treatment on each side, results would have looked different," she explained. "If we lump the 7.5-inch treatments from the hailed side of the field together we would find an average yield of 49 bushels per acre."

In comparison, Berg explained how, in the Nebraska research, if the 30-inch treatments were lumped together on the side with minimal hail, average yield for this treatment would have equaled 45 bushels per acre.

This equals a difference between treatments of 4 bushels per acre (half the difference that was detected by the full, replicated trial).

Conversely, if the 30-inch treatments were on the side of the field that received the most hail, yield for this treatment would have been 43 bushels per acre and yield for the 7.5-inch treatment on the side receiving minimal hail would have equaled 54 bushels per acre, for a difference of 11 bushels per acre (Figure 2).

Importance of Replication & Randomization

"It is clear that when the six replications were spread out across the field we found a more accurate estimation of the impact of these systems on yield than splitting the field in half," she said.

In all three layouts the 7.5-inch treatment yielded the most. A split field design would have either exaggerated or diminished the yield advantage of the 7.5-inch treatment depending on which treatment was exposed to the heavier hail damage (Figure 2).

Based on the research, Berg urges those organizing 2017 comparison plots or field strip trials to consider treatment layout when implementing trials and when looking at data from other studies.

"In our modern era with GPS guidance, it is relatively easy to put in replicated, randomized studies, even on large field-scale comparisons," she added.

Figure 1. Left, 30-inch rows at 90,000 plants per acre; right, 7.5-inch rows at 120,000 plants per acre.

Figure 2. Change in yield advantage of the 7.5-inch treatment as compared in split field layout versus a replicated randomized field layout. An early August hail storm had greater damage on one half of the field. Like treatments were lumped together on the hailed half versus the light hailed half to get the above yield averages in the split field comparisons. 

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Serve as an SDSU Extension AmeriCorps VISTA Member!

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is currently recruiting AmeriCorps members to serve full-time in: Aberdeen, Lemmon, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown and other South Dakota communities.

"AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) service members will work with SDSU Extension staff to increase knowledge of and access to physical and financial health and wellness techniques in effort to bring economically disadvantaged South Dakotans out of poverty," said Aimee House Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

What do AmeriCorps members do?

AmeriCorps members will have the opportunity to do the following:

  • Serve your country full-time for 1 year to bring SD citizens out of poverty;
  • Earn a monthly living stipend;
  • Receive an education award at end of term of service;
  • Gain valuable work experience and community connections;
  • Receive preferential hiring post-service with federal agencies and hundreds of employers of national service across the country

Position Openings

Applicants must be 18 years old or older to apply. Some college is preferred for most position openings. Application deadline June 9, 2017.

A variety of positions are available to meet a diversity of professional interests and skills including:

For position descriptions and application information, send an email of interest to Amiee. If you have any questions, contact Aimee Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist at 605.782.3290.

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Scott Credits 4-H Sewing for Business Success

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

by Lura Roti for SDSU Extension/iGrow

Fabric scraps and a stapler are how self-made designer and South Dakota entrepreneur, Rebekah Scott, got her start.

"I would sit at my mom's knees while she sewed and whatever scraps fell, I would take them and staple them together to make dresses for my Barbie dolls," recalls Scott, 35.

At 4 she began to compete with her mom, Peggy Eggers, for time at the sewing machine. By 7 Scott had her own machine and was soon selling handcrafted items on the playground.

Today, when she reflects on the experiences upon which Rebekah Scott Designs are rooted, the Haakon County 4-H alumnus credits the organization with helping her refine her sewing skills.

"I loved 4-H because it was competitive. My mom loved it because it gave me direction. I couldn't just sew, I had to sew well because I knew the items would be judged," explains Scott, who says the quality of her work continues to receive compliments. "I ripped out my share of seams because 4-H showed me quality is worth the extra effort."

Today, when Scott interviews prospective seamstresses, she always tells them, "I'm a good 4-Her, so it will be stiff competition before I hire you," says Scott, who designed her business model to allow her the freedom to work from home and provide that same opportunity to other Midwestern seamstresses. Scott and her husband, Nick, live on a farm near Valley Springs, South Dakota where they raise their four young children.

Today, Scott employs eight women within the tri-state area.

"When people pay $140 for one of my purses, they should know that the item is handcrafted here in the U.S. Handcrafted should not mean cheap," Scott says. "It was always my vision that through my business I would prove sewing was not only a time-worn tradition but a skill to be valued."

Prior to launching her business in 2004, Scott, a South Dakota State University graduate, worked in radio broadcasting. As she was developing her business plan, Scott says she relied on the presentation and organizational skills she gained in 4-H.

"I heard about boutiques carrying handcrafted purses - so I knocked on store doors and asked if they would carry my purses. This was painful but I had learned in 4-H how to stand in front of people and pitch," explains Scott.

Her hard work and dedication to quality has paid off. Today, Rebekah Scott Designs' bags and purses are sold in more than 20 boutiques across the Midwest. They made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, her business was featured in Success magazine, a national entrepreneur/business publication and in 2016, she ranked ninth in the Fiber and Textile division of Martha Stewarts' annual Made in America competition.

Along with being featured on several local, regional and national news shows, the South Dakota Small Business Association named Scott the 2012 Home Based Business Champion of the Year.

Scott continues to design all her products, provide the final quality review and sew several items from her home studio.

"My happy place is sewing and raising babes," Scott says.

To learn more about Scott and view her product line, visit her website.

For more information on 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 on the Our Experts page.

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. Through 4-H 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.

SDSU University Marketing & Communications. Today, when self-made designer and South Dakota entrepreneur, Rebekah Scott, reflects on the experiences upon which Rebekah Scott Designs are rooted, the Haakon County 4-H alumnus credits the organization with helping her refine her sewing skills.

SDSU University Marketing & Communications. Today, when self-made designer and South Dakota entrepreneur, Rebekah Scott, reflects on the experiences upon which Rebekah Scott Designs are rooted, the Haakon County 4-H alumnus credits the organization with helping her refine her sewing skills.

SDSU University Marketing & Communications. Fabric scraps and a stapler are how self-made designer and South Dakota entrepreneur, Rebekah Scott got her start.

Today, when she reflects on the experiences upon which Rebekah Scott Designs are rooted, the Haakon County 4-H alumnus credits the organization with helping her refine her sewing skills.

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Water: A Better Beverage

Categorized: Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition

BROOKINGS, S.D. - This summer, when reaching for a cool beverage, consider the most healthy, available option - water.

"Water is a vital nutrient for the body and staying hydrated plays an important part in staying healthy," said Ann Schwader, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist.

Schwader went on to explain that our bodies need water to help with digestion, provide moisture to skin and other tissues, remove toxins from the body, regulate blood circulation and body temperatures and to transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells throughout the body.

"Water is a preferred beverage choice because it contains no calories, fat or cholesterol; it's also generally inexpensive," Schwader said.

How much is needed?

Water is an important nutrient for the body, but everyone's needs are different, Schwader explained. "How much water you need depends on body size, gender, age, health status, exercise intensity and if you are pregnant or nursing," she said.

Most healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking healthy beverage choices with meals.

"Drink plenty of water if you are very active, live or work in hot conditions or if you are an older adult," Schwader said.

Do you know how many calories are in your favorite beverages?

Calories from drinks can really add up, Schwader explained. "So it's important to read the Nutrition Facts labels on beverage products. Check the serving size and the number of servings in the can, bottle, or container to stay within calorie needs," she said.

Schwader encouraged South Dakotans to limit sugar sweetened beverages such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, lemonade, sweetened iced teas and juice drinks or cocktails.

"These beverages aren't so thirst quenching or hydrating and are often high in calories," she said.

Easy ways to make better beverage choices

  • Take a refillable water bottle with you to work or when you're running errands.
  • Drink water with meals and snacks.
  • Add pizazz to water with a twist of lemon, lime or other fruit, cucumber or mint.
  • Try seltzer water if you prefer the carbonation of soda.
  • Make water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or 100% juice an easy option in your home by having ready-to-go containers filled in your refrigerator.
  • Choose water when eating out. You'll save money and reduce calories.
  • Read the label. Check calories, sugar, caffeine, and fat before you drink a beverage.
  • To ensure your water stays cold and flavorful all day, try freezing herbs and fruits in your ice cubes.
  • Reduce the juice. Start by filling your cup or water bottle a quarter of the way with juice and fill the rest with water.

Drink up!

Try the following healthy beverage recipes; they are easy to serve anytime.

Flavored Water Recipes Courtesy of Oregon State University Extension

Cucumber Water
Add 1/2 cucumber
1 gallon water
Preparation: Slice crosswise into thin slices. Leave skin on for color.
 
Strawberry Kiwi
12 to 16 strawberries (about 1 pint)
2 kiwis
1 gallon water
Preparation: Peel the kiwi. Slice both fruits into thin slices.
 
Herb Water
10 small leaves of your herb of choice (mint, basil, rosemary) or a small sprig
1 gallon water
Preparation: Tear or crush the leaves to release the flavor.

Preparation Tips:

  • Wash all fresh fruits, veggies and herbs. Trim away any damaged or bruised areas on produce before adding to water.
  • Mash the fruit or vegetable to release the most flavor.
  • Remove citrus slices from plastic containers after 1 hour.
  • Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the most flavoring.
  • Do not mix batches. Use it up; clean the container; make a fresh batch.
  • Water will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Fruit Juice Spritzer Courtesy of the University of Maryland Extension
Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 liter club soda or seltzer water
 
Instructions:
Mix juices in a pitcher and add club soda.
Stir and serve over ice.

More information

For additional information about the benefits of drinking water, check out Penn State Extension's Make It Water. Are you looking for quick, easy, and delicious beverage recipes? See West Virginia University Extension Service's Fruit-Infused Water Recipes.

Courtesy of Pixabay. This summer, when reaching for a cool beverage, consider the most healthy, available option - water.

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Re-Visit Forage Production Drought Plans

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Recent rainfall across South Dakota has eased drought concerns in some areas of the state. However, other areas are still at risk and ranchers need to keep a close eye on rangeland conditions and update their drought plans, said Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist.

Kelly references the South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service current grass production estimates and projected peak grass production estimates for May 1, 2017 (Figure 1 and Figure 2) which indicate improved conditions compared to April 2017.

Climate Outlook

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center also predicts a wetter period for the next three months (Figure 3). However, Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist cautions producers.

"The North Central Region is still half or less of average rainfall in the last two months," Edwards said.

Looking Ahead: Critical Production Months

April, May and June are critical months for precipitation and grassland production in the Northern Plains.

"By July 1, research shows that 75 percent to 90 percent of vegetation growth has been completed," Kelly said. "Ranches in South Dakota that received half or less of average rainfall by the third week in May, should be implementing management actions within their drought plan and adjusting stocking rates."

Some examples Kelly shares include:

  1. Delaying turnout;
  2. Culling cows;
  3. Running no yearlings; and
  4. Moving animals to other areas in the state if possible and cost effective.

Drought Planning

If no drought plan is in place for the ranch, please see review the iGrow article, Time to Revisit Drought Plans for the Ranch information regarding the South Dakota Drought Tool and the importance of trigger dates within a drought plan. The article can be found online.

"With roughly a month left in the spring growing season, ranch managers need to stay diligent with their drought plans to ensure the rangeland resource will remain in favorable condition and recover faster when precipitation returns," Kelly said.

For more information on this topic, contact Kelly by email. For more information, see Summer Season Climate Outlook 2017, visit this Agronomy article.

Fig. 1. S.D. Grasslands Current Projected Production for May 1, 2017.

Fig. 2. S.D. Grasslands Projected Peak Production by July 1, 2017. 

Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center. Fig. 3. Precipitation outlook for June through August 2017. 

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Curtis Braun joins SDSU Extension

Categorized: Healthy Families, Food Safety

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Curtis Braun recently joined the SDSU Extension team to serve part time as an SDSU Extension Food Safety Field Specialist. He will be affiliated with the SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department.

In this role, Braun will help South Dakota food entrepreneurs by coordinating basic food testing and shelf-stability analysis, understand regulatory jurisdiction for foods other than canned and baked goods, and assist with other marketing aspects regarding food safety and food labeling. In addition, he will work with various partners such as the SD Department of Health, Food & Drug Administration, and many more to ensure that safety standards are in place at levels of the food system.

"Curtis brings extensive food processing, food safety, quality control, quality assurance, and industry experience to this position. Most recently he obtained his Better Process Control Certification from the University of California to help our local food entrepreneurs with the review of their production of low acid and acidified foods," said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.

More about Curtis Braun

A fascination with health and fitness led Curtis Braun, the new SDSU Extension Food Safety Field Specialist, to pursue a degree in Nutrition Dietetics at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and launch a career in quality assurance and food safety quality control.

"When it comes to food safety, there are so many steps involved," explained Braun, who spent nearly a decade working for General Mills.

During his time with the food processing corporation he served in many roles including; External Supply Chain Quality Manager, Food Safety and Quality Technical Manager, Ingredient Manager, Regional Auditor, Ingredient Specification and Labeling Coordinator and Finished Product Labeling Coordinator.

"I worked in a lot of areas of food production and had the opportunities to see several different manufacturing systems - from cereal, milling flour and popcorn to vegetables and fruit," he said.

Today, in his new role with SDSU Extension, Braun is eager to pass along research-based food safety information to South Dakota's consumers, canners and entrepreneurs.

"I look forward to working with South Dakotans to answer their questions - I like the local and human aspect of SDSU Extension. I enjoy working with entrepreneurs and helping them bring their food products to market," said Braun, who also has a master's of Business Administration from the University of St Thomas, Opus College of Business.

He acknowledges the challenges entrepreneurs face in meeting food safety and other industry standards and regulations. "I am looking for ways that they can bring their products to market with as few hurdles as possible," Braun said.

To contact Braun, e-mail him or call, 605.782.3290. His office hours (part time) are typically from 2-5 PM, Monday - Friday with his office located at the Sioux Falls Regional Extension Center, 2001 E. 8th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103.

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Heifer Development Webinar Series Available for Streaming

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The live Heifer Development Webinar Series, Building Your Genetic Base, is available to beef producers. This three-part series is presented by SDSU Extension.

"I encourage cattle producers to stream this series if they are interested in receiving information and insight on the many steps which go into designing the genetic framework of the cowherd, starting with heifer development," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

The cost to purchase the three-part seminar is $15. Webinar is available on iGrow in the download store.

Along with Grussing, the three-part series features Joseph Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department Head and Professor; Brandon Peterson, Owner and Operator of Peterson Angus and Troy Hadrick, Commercial Cow/Calf Producer.

The presenters focus on the following:

  1. How to use EPD's (expected progeny difference) when making herd sire and genetic selection decisions;
  2. How genomic technology can be used to make faster genetic progress in cow/calf herds;
  3. How genetic selection can be managed differently based on heifer development and herd goals.

Contact information for each presenter is available in their respective webinar.

If you have any questions about this webinar series or annual heifer development programming, contact Grussing through e-mail.

More details

When purchasing this webinar series, allow 48 hours for payment to be processed. After payment has cleared, you will receive an email with instructions and links to watch the three webinars.

Webinar recording links will not expire and can be accessed on any device with browser settings. Webinar can be purchased at the iGrow Store under Downloads.

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Day County 4-H Team Earns Top Honors

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 4-H Land and Range Judging Team from Day County was named the Reserve National Champions at the National Land and Range Judging Contest held May 4, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Day County 4-Hers who made up the Reserve National Champion 4-H Land and Range Judging Team are Sara Hemmingson, Sydney Swanson, Riley Johnson and Levi Johnson.

The team was coached by Fred Zenk, FFA Advisor at Webster Area School in Day County and Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.

"They worked hard to be successful and set a goal to make it to the National Contest after winning the Region FFA contest last year," Zenk said of the youth.

The Day County 4-H team qualified for the National Contest in June 2016 during the South Dakota Rangeland Days held in Wall.

Leading up to the national competition, the 4-H members spent many hours practicing for the one-day National Contest. In addition, the team departed for Oklahoma April 29 and spent four days practicing prior to the contest.

During the national contest, the team worked through three sites. The youth assessed the soil, identified the limiting factors of the site for sustaining quail and beef cattle and then made management recommendations for the production of quail and beef.

The team members were also required to identify 20 plants from a list of 130, providing numerous details about each plant.

"They were very excited to be named Reserve Champion team, and their hard work certainly paid off," Zenk said.

In addition to their team title, two members placed individually. Levi Johnson placed third overall and Riley Johnson placed 10th overall.

Courtesy photo. The South Dakota 4-H Land and Range Judging Team from Day County was named the Reserve National Champions at the National Land and Range Judging Contest held May 4, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Team members pictured here with Jimmy Emmons, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, include: left to right: Sara Hemmingson, Sydney Swanson, Riley Johnson and Levi Johnson and coach, Fred Zenk, FFA Advisor at Webster Area School.

Courtesy photo. Day County 4-H member, Levi Johnson placed third overall at the National Land and Range Judging Contest held May 4, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Johnson is also a member of the South Dakota 4-H Land and Range Judging Team from Day County who were named the Reserve National Champions during this same contest. Pictured here with Jimmy Emmons, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts.

Courtesy photo. Day County 4-H member, Riley Johnson placed 10th overall at the National Land and Range Judging Contest held May 4, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Johnson is also a member of the South Dakota 4-H Land and Range Judging Team from Day County who were named the Reserve National Champions during this same contest. Pictured here with Jimmy Emmons, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts.

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CAFO Training in Huron on June 21, 2017

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Pork, Agronomy, Corn

BROOKINGS, S.D. - An environmental training session for operators of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), is set for June 21, 2017 in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 Fourth St. S.W.).

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in Huron. To cover the cost of the event, registration is $50 and includes lunch, breaks and training materials.

The program begins at 8:50 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.

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

Erin Cortus, Associate Professor & SDSU Environmental Quality 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, 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.

Stan Boltz, Regional Soil Health Specialist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will demonstrate soil erosion and infiltration.

Erin Cortus, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Environmental Quality Engineer will conclude the day's training with a session on air quality and odor.

"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," Cortus said.

To register for the training, contact Erin Cortus, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Environmental Quality Engineer at 605.688.5144. 

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Synchronization Protocols for Cows

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Beef Reproductive Task Force has released its 2017 recommended synchronization protocols for beef producers.

"These recommendations are designed to optimize pregnancy rates," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Recommendations are based on review of current research and field-use of bovine estrous synchronization protocols.

Two sets of protocols are released. One for cows and one for heifers. "This is due to the physiological differences in the timing of key events, such as ovulation," Grussing explained.

The protocols are outlined for step-by-step instructions of how to carry out each synchronization protocol, detailing the number of days required for each protocol, products needed and timing for each step. The 2017 protocols can be viewed at the UNL website.

Three different protocols

Beef producers can choose from between 3 types of synchronization protocols for cows:

  1. Heat Detection: Select Synch, Select Synch + CIDR®, PG 6-day CIDR®
  2. Heat Detection and Time AI: Select Synch & TAI, Select Synch + CIDR® & TAI, PG 6-day CIDR® & TAI
  3. Fixed-Time AI: 7-day CO-Synch + CIDR®, 5-day CO-Synch + CIDR®

Heat Detection: Heat detection protocols work by setting cows up to show visual estrus and then to be bred by an AI technician 12 hours after the onset of standing heat.

In order for heat detection protocols to return acceptable pregnancy rates, cows need to be frequently monitored for visual signs of estrus.

Check cows at least three times per day for a half hour each time, with extra time spent detecting heat at sunrise and sunset as research shows that 56 percent of cows show heat from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Heat detection aids are also available to assist in identifying cows in heat when no one is watching.

For this reason, when using a heat detection protocols, it is important to train people to look for specific signs of estrus behavior in order to detect cows coming into estrus, during estrus and after estrus (Table 1).

Heat detection & Time-AI: Heat detection and Time-AI protocols are the same as heat detection protocol steps with the exception of the shorter duration of time for heat detection.

After the three days of heat detection, any animals that have not shown signs of estrus are given an administration of GnRH (product that causes ovulation to occur within 30 hours) and fixed-time AI at that time.

Even though these cows may not be showing visual estrus, there is a possibility that fertilization can still occur.

Fixed-Time AI: Fixed-Time AI protocols are designed to breed all cows at a predetermined time as these protocols synchronize ovulation and not necessarily visual estrus.

These protocols are more labor intensive and expensive than the previously described protocol categories, as they require more trips through the chute and injections. However, there is no heat detection with fixed-time AI, so the value of labor saved not heat detecting can go towards funding these more intensive protocols.

Cow Criteria

In order for these recommended protocols to be most effective, cows should meet some minimum qualifications before beginning an estrous synchronization protocol.

Body condition score (BCS) is important for reproductive efficiency. Cows should be in a BCS of 5 at protocol initiation. Also, cows should be 50 days postpartum before starting protocols.

By waiting 50 days after calving, cows should have completed uterine involution and resumed fertile estrous cycles which will give them better chances of conceiving than if started earlier.

Take advantage of Free Estrous Synchronization Planner

There are several steps to each protocol that must be carried out correctly in order to achieve the best pregnancy rates possible. Yet, we know mistakes happen and the environment cannot be controlled.

In order to assist producers in scheduling estrous synchronization protocols, the Beef Reproductive Task Force has a free Estrous Synchronization Planner available to download in Excel.

"This program allows producers to select the specific protocol they want to use, date to breed and products to use," Grussing said.

She explained that the spreadsheet back calculates date to start the protocol, when to administer injections and breeding. It even calculates when to turn in the cleanup bull. Once complete, a check list and calendar can be printed out for easy access.

This free calculator can be accessed at the Iowa State Extension website.

Table 1. Observe cows for signs of estrus during heat detection protocols.

Before Standing Estrus
(6 – 10 hours before)
During Standing Estrus
(can last 6 – 24 hours)
After Standing Estrus
(up to 10 hours)
Will not stand to be ridden Stands to be ridden Will not stand to be ridden
Vocal & smells other cows Nervous & restless Clear mucous discharge
Nervous & restless Congregates & rides other cows  
Attempts to ride other cows Vulva moist, red & slightly swollen  
Vulva moist, red & slightly swollen Clear mucous discharge  
 

The Beef Reproductive Task Force has released its 2017 recommended synchronization protocols for beef producers.

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Jane Strommen Joins SDSU Extension

Categorized: Healthy Families, Aging

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension welcomes Jane Strommen to the team. Strommen will serve as an SDSU Extension Gerontology Specialist.

"Jane brings to SDSU Extension decades of experience working in the field of gerontology. Her experience and qualifications make her a great fit to serve South Dakotans," said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.

In this position, Strommen will team up with Leacey Brown, who also serves as an SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist, to serve our state's aging population and their support network.

"When you look at the population trend of South Dakota, we are becoming an aging state - as are many states," Stluka said. "Our gerontology staff focuses on the challenges aging presents and uses research-based information to work with individuals and their communities to tackle those issues."

Because Strommen's position is shared with NDSU Extension, Stluka added that it allows for sharing of resources between two state extension groups.

"As our population ages, many wish to age in place, and we work to help them do so," Stluka said. "This is a really good example of leveraging resources to provide the best services to our South Dakota stakeholders."

More about Jane Strommen

As a young child, Jane Strommen developed many friendships with local nursing home residents. Her mom was the office manager, so she spent many hours visiting with residents.

"I got to form some really awesome relationships with residents," explained Strommen, who has worked in the field of gerontology since 1987 when she began her career as a long term care administrator. "I have always been drawn to this population. They are a special group of people with great life stories and wisdom."

In 2003, Strommen developed Community of Care, a nonprofit organization serving needs of older, rural adults. Since 2010, she has worked at North Dakota State University, first in the NDSU Department of Nursing, as Project Coordinator for North Dakota Partners in Nursing Gerontology Consortium Project and then as an NDSU Extension Gerontology Specialist. Today, she will split her time between NDSU and SDSU Extension.

"I really appreciate the community partnership piece of extension. That is where my heart has been - in the applied side of gerontology, where I get to work in the field helping people and community members," Strommen said. "Because extension is connected to the research side of things, in our role as gerontology specialists, we are liaison between those who work in gerontology research, those who work in the field of gerontology and those who are aging and their families."

Partnering with Brown, Strommen will assist with existing programming and work to launch new programs and connect South Dakotans with new resources to meet their needs.

Strommen has a Ph.D. from North Dakota State University in Human Development,

Gerontology Track; a master's in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois and she received her bachelor's in Business Administration from North Dakota State University.

To contact Strommen, e-mail her or call 701.231.5948.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension welcomes Jane Strommen to the team. Strommen will serve as an SDSU Extension Gerontology Specialist.

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Park Prescription Project Encourages Activity

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota's state parks can become your outdoor gym. Free 1-day park passes are now made available to healthcare providers to prescribe to patients as a way to encourage more physical activity among South Dakotans of all ages.

The passes are provided through the Park Prescription Project, a project organized through a partnership between SDSU Extension, South Dakota Department of Health and South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

"Many South Dakota adults and children fall short of meeting the recommended physical activity levels," explained Nikki Prosch, SDSU Extension Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist and a coordinator of the Park Prescription project.

Piloted by healthcare and mental health providers in 2015, the Park Prescription project aims to connect healthcare professionals with physical activity assessments and prescriptions to open the conversation about physical activity.

"When a healthcare provider prescribes a free 1-day pass to any South Dakota State Park, it's our hope this encourages patients to engage in physical activity in the wonderful park system we have available in our state," Prosch said.

To further encourage continued physical activity in South Dakota state parks the 1-day park pass can also be turned in for a discounted annual pass.

South Dakota's state parks offer kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, winter sports, walking/running trails and many more options to be physically active.

Get outside and get active

Regular physical activity offers ample benefits.

"It can improve muscular fitness, help prevent falls, assist with weight management and improve cognitive function in older adults," Prosch said, pointing to research that shows physical activity to be an effective behavior to both prevent certain chronic diseases, and in some cases, help treat or monitor others.

"For example, regular physical activity decreases an individual's risk of cardiovascular disease and may also serve as a disease management behavior for individuals already diagnosed with cardiovascular disease," Prosch said.

Engaging in physical activity outdoors in parks or green spaces may further enhance the mental and health benefits associated with exercise as well, including reduced feelings of stress and improved attention.

"Exercising outdoors also provides the opportunity for increased social interactions which offers an array of health benefits," Prosch said. "This project is also a fantastic motivator for anyone looking for another reason to get out and be more active while enjoying all the great state parks South Dakota has to offer."

To learn more about the project, request a prescription pad (healthcare professionals only) or to request the we reach out to your healthcare provider to participate in the project, contact Prosch by email or visit the Healthy SD website.

More information on the Park Prescription Project can also be found online.

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2017 West River Field School

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The third annual 2017 SDSU West River Field School is set for June 20, 2017 at The SDSU West River Ag Center, (1905 Plaza Boulevard).

"This event is intended to provide continuing education to crop advisors and others who work with farmers and ranchers in central and western South Dakota," said Ruth Beck, event coordinator and SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

Attendees will have a chance to receive hands-on, in-field experience during this one-day event which begins at 8 a.m. with registration and ends at 4 p.m. (MDT).

Session details

Six educational sessions will be presented by SDSU Extension staff and other experts.

Presentations will include sprayer management, weed control, insects, crop diseases, weather outlook, soil fertility, cover crops and soil health.

"The information presented will focus on the diverse nature of agriculture in central and western South Dakota," Beck said.

Crop advisor credits available

Five certified crop advisor educational credits are available during the day. Reference material will be provided to attendees.

To help cover expenses, this event will cost $50 if registration is turned in on or before June 9, 2017. After June 9, the cost increases to $60. Registration fee covers lunch and materials. Space is limited at this event so register soon.

To register, visit the iGrow Events page. Online registration will be available beginning May 30th. Or request that a registration flyer be mailed to you by calling the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Pierre at 605.773.8120. Registration and payment can be mailed to the SDSU Regional Extension Center at 412 West Missouri Ave., Pierre, S.D.  57501.

For more information, call Beck at 605.773.8120 or Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist at 605.394.1722.

Courtesy of iGrow. The third annual 2017 SDSU West River Field School is set for June 20, 2017 at The SDSU West River Ag Center, (1905 Plaza Boulevard). Attendees will have a chance to receive hands-on, in-field experience during this one-day event which begins at 8 a.m. with registration and ends at 4 p.m. (MDT). 

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Fact Sheet for Natural Service Breeding Programs

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - With 92 percent of beef operations in the United States solely relying upon natural service breeding, the use of reproductive technology is highly underutilized as many cattle producers may associate these programs with artificial insemination (AI), explained Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

"Natural-service synchronization protocols can be utilized without AI if slightly different steps are implemented," Grussing said.

She explained that natural-service synchronization protocols differ in that less injections are utilized because cattle producers do not want estrus grouped so tightly that bulls cannot cover all the cows.

Fact sheet available on iGrow.

SDSU Extension provides cattle producers with the Using Estrous Synchronization in Natural-Service Breeding Situations factsheet which is available online.

This fact sheet describes the benefits of estrous synchronization, how it works with the estrous cycle, which protocols to use and bull considerations for natural-service synchronization.

Three protocols which Grussing said are cost effective and minimally labor intensive include:

  • 1-Shot Prostaglandin Protocol
  • 7-day CIDR Protocol
  • MGA Protocol (Heifers ONLY)

Why Synchronize the Cowherd?

Similar to synchronization with AI, the benefits associated with natural-service synchronization include; increasing the number of females bred during the first 21 days of the breeding season.

"By frontloading the breeding season and subsequent calving season, there will be better use of labor and resources," Grussing said.

She added that there will still be some late-bred or open cows that will sort themselves off from the herd. "However, the economic ramifications realized from synchronizing the breeding season include; labor savings during a shorter calving season, more pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed and potential for receiving an increased price per head on sale day due to increased lot uniformity," Grussing said. "These are benefits producers should consider before passing up potential dollars this year."

Bull Management

Bull management becomes very important when implementing a natural-service synchronization protocol.

Factors Grussing encouraged producers to consider when selecting bulls for a natural-service synch program include; experience of bulls (virgin vs. mature), pasture size and terrain.

"Mature bulls are better suited for natural-service synchronization protocols because they already have some experience and can service more cows (1 to 20 and 1 to 25 bull-to-cow ratio).

All bulls should pass an annual breeding soundness exam, health and body condition evaluation before turn out.

Grussing added that before a natural-service synchronization protocol is implemented, cattle producers need to first determine if necessary resources are available, such as facilities, labor, and number of bulls.

"Compliance is vital to the success of these systems," she said. "Therefore, evaluate which protocol will work best with the resources that are available and consult herd advisors for assistance if other options need to be considered."

For more information, contact Grussing by email other SDSU Extension staff to contact on this topic include; George Perry, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist by email or Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist by email.

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4-H Animal Projects: Paperwork Reminders

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The deadline for submitting Ownership Verification Affidavits (OVA), Horse Forms, Dog Forms, and YPQA+ Certification is June 1, 2017.

As this date approaches, the State 4-H Office wants to remind 4-H members and volunteers of key points to keep in mind when completing these forms.

Form Completion Tips

Be thorough.

The entire individual animal identifier is needed on Ownership Verification Affidavits and on 4-H Online. The last few numbers of tags, tattoos and registration numbers are not acceptable.

Please include the entire number/letter combination when completing forms and entering animals.

Be accurate.

Ensure all information entered for animals and exhibitors is accurate. Double check all identification numbers, birthdates, breeds, gender and registration numbers.

Enter every participating animal.

Enter every horse or dog that could be exhibited at the State Shows. If an animal becomes sick, injured or otherwise unable to show, the replacement animal needs to be on the respective form and in 4-H Online prior to June 1.

Registration Reminders

Registration Paper Deadline

Registration papers are due August 1, 2017 or the first day of your county's Achievement Days for Breeding Beef, Market Beef, Dairy Cattle, Dairy Goats, Breeding Sheep, and Market Swine.

  • Registration papers must show the exhibitor or exhibitor's family as the owner; or
  • A lease agreement must be on file if registration papers do not show ownership by the exhibitor or exhibitor's family; and
  • The complete registration number, matching tattoo or other permanent ID must match the registration papers and animal's information on 4-H Online.
  • If any of the above are not in compliance, the animal will not be eligible to show at the South Dakota State Fair.

Ownership Verification Affidavits Breed Listings

Animals must be exhibited at the State Fair in the corresponding breed lot indicated on the Ownership Verification Affidavits.

Registration papers must be on file and presented at the division's check-in for breeding and market beef, breeding sheep, swine, dairy goats, and dairy cattle.

If registration papers cannot be produced for the breed listed on the Ownership Verification Affidavits, the animal will be ineligible to show. Only one breed may be entered on Ownership Verification Affidavits; this is the breed division the animal must show in.

Market Sheep Classification

Youth and their families are asked to make their best guesses for the breed classification of market sheep on Ownership Verification Affidavits.

Lambs will not be disqualified if they are classified differently than that listed on the Ownership Verification Affidavits.

Youth in Action Exhibits

August 20 is the last day to enter exhibits and Youth in Action contests at the State Fair. After this date, no changes may be made to entries.

Accuracy of animal identification, breed, gender, and birthdates is very important as any animal with missing or incorrect information will not be allowed to show at the State Fair.

If you have any questions or need more information, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found the iGrow our Experts page

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2017 SD Rangeland and Soils Days Held June 20-21 in Wall

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 34th annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 14th annual Soils Days will be held June 20 & 21, 2017 in Wall, South Dakota.

"This hands-on training teaches South Dakotans about our state's most precious resource - land and soil," said Dave Ollila, event coordinator and SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.

Rangeland management learning activities have been designed for a variety of age groups and expertise, from 8-years-old through adult. During Rangeland Days, participants learn everything from plant morphology and identification to judging habitat suitability for cattle or grouse.

"Everyone attending Rangeland Days is sure to gain new knowledge from participating," Ollila said.

Soil Days learning activities are designed for participants 14-18 years of age.

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

"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," Ollila said.

Using this new found knowledge, Ollila explained that 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 home site.

Judging contest included

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.

"These contests are designed specifically for their age level and expertise," Ollila said.

Competition will be offered for individuals and teams for all age groups. New this year, the contest will include a ranch hand plant ID contest for adults at the same time as the student contest.

Educational credits available

Adults attending the Soil Days portion of the event can receive one undergraduate or graduate credit for participating in the entire program and completing additional requirements found in the syllabus. A copy of the syllabus can be mailed out prior to the event.

Student talks & educational displays

Youth 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 2-8 minutes, Wranglers 3-8 minutes, Scouts and Go Getters 5-8 minutes

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: The overall top scoring youth will receive a silver buckle.

Rangeland Top Hand: The overall top scoring youth in each division will receive a silver belt buckle. 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 2018 Society for Range Management annual meeting in Sparks, Nevada.

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 & the top Soils team in 4-H will represent South Dakota at the National Land & Range Judging Contest held in Oklahoma City, OK in May 2018. (All team members must be current 4-H members and will not graduate before May 2018.)

Registration information

For further details or a copy of the pre-registration brochure visit the iGrow events page or contact Dave Ollila by email. Ollila can also be reached at the Rapid City Regional Extension Center at 605.394.1722.

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Youth Explored Natural Resources During 4-H Outdoor Day

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Newton Hills State Park welcomed 38 Minnehaha, Lincoln and Union County 4-H youth and friends for a sun-filled day of hands-on outdoor activities May 6, 2017.

"For many of the youth, it was their first time at the park," said Katherine Linnemanstons, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Lincoln County.

Throughout the day, 4-H members rotated among five stations where they learned about resources specific to the park, such as how to identify trees and how to measure the water quality of the Big Sioux River.

Participants were also taught outdoor survival skills, including fire starting and navigational skills. Additionally, they investigated the power of wind and how to harness it and were given the opportunity to analyze soil nutrients and health.

Newton Hills State Park is located six miles south of Canton along the Big Sioux River.

"This was also a great leadership development opportunity for Jr. Leaders who were on site to serve as day-camp counselors," Linnemanstons said.

Jr. Leaders provided guidance and fostered a sense of community within their assigned groups throughout the day.

The event was co-hosted by SDSU Extension and S.D. Game, Fish & Parks thanks to a grant to Lincoln and Union County 4-H from the South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association.

Additional assistance was provided by Alcester FFA, Friends of the Big Sioux River and South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks. SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisors involved included Lauren Hollenbeck (Clay, Union, and Yankton Counties), Katherine Linnemanstons (Lincoln County) and Nathan Skadsen (Minnehaha County).

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 about 4-H and how you can become involved, visit the 4H & Youth page on iGrow.

Courtesy of iGrow. Newton Hills State Park welcomed 38 Minnehaha, Lincoln and Union County 4-H youth and friends for a sun-filled day of hands-on outdoor activities May 6, 2017.

Courtesy of iGrow. During a 4-H outdoor day-camp held at Newton Hills State Park 38 Minnehaha, Lincoln and Union County 4-H youth and friends learned about resources specific to the park, such as how to identify trees and how to measure the water quality of the Big Sioux River.

Courtesy of iGrow. During a 4-H outdoor day-camp held at Newton Hills State Park 38 Minnehaha, Lincoln and Union County 4-H youth and friends learned about resources specific to the park, such as how to identify trees and how to measure the water quality of the Big Sioux River. 

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2017 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 7-9, 2017 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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Better Choices, Better Health Promotes Healthy Environment

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Does the community that you live and work in promote a healthy environment? If it does not, your health could be compromised, explains Megan Jacobson, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist.

"While many chronic health conditions are largely preventable and linked to individual health bahviors, there is a growing body of evidence that recognizies that multiple factors shape health - including our environment," Jacobson said.

Jacobson explained that chronic health conditions - such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lung diseass, stroke, and type 2 diabetes - and their associated risk factors, continue to be the leading causes of illness and dealth in South Dakota as well as across the United States.

So, what exactly is meant by a healthy environment?

The World Health Organization defines a healthy city or community as, "one that is safe with affordable housing and accessible transportation systems, a healthy and safe environment with a sustainable ecosystem, and offers access to health care services which focus on prevention and staying healthy."

"Living in a community where there is unequal access to goods and services, unhealthy environmental exposures, and unafforable, poor quality housing quality can often contibute to the prevalence of chronic health conditions," Jacobson said.

Community Services

To aid South Dakotans in managing their chronic health conditions, SDSU Extension in cooperation with the South Dakota Department of Health and the South Daktoa Department of Human Services, provide the opportunity for South Dakotan's to participate in the Better Choices, Better Health® SD program.

"This program increases community resources that are avaliable and is one way to promote healthy community enviornments across the state. The program allows participatns to engage in discussions and connect with resources that are proven to help individuals manage chronic health conditions," Jacobson said.

More details about Better Choices, Better Health

Better Choices, Better Health is a six-week workshop delivered in a group setting. Participatns meet one time a week for 2 ½ hours. It is designed for individuals with chronic health conditions and/or their caregivers.

Workshops are led by two trained community members, many of whom have a chronic physical or mental health condition themselves.

"The workshop format is not focused on teaching participants about their specific health condition, but rather the focus is on helping people with chronic health conditions and those who care for them, learn and adopt steps toward positive changes and a healthier life," said Jacobson.

She added, "Supporting community based health care resources, like Better Choices, Better Health, that focus on empowering individuals with self-management skills and support needed to successfully manage chronic physical and mental health conditions is a key component in creating healthy community environments."

To learn more about Better Choices, Better Health and for a list of scheduled community workshops, visit the Good and Healthy SD website or call 1.800.484.3800.

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Summer Season Climate Outlook 2017

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - According to the May 18, 2017 National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's long-range outlook, the last couple of weeks of May are more likely to stay on the cooler side of average.

"Rainfall is also projected to taper off and South Dakota will turn drier again for the rest of the month," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Edwards added that the new climate outlook for June 2017 is uncertain - given this cool and dry start.

"Most climate computer models are showing a transition to warmer conditions in June, specifically in the south and east," Edwards said.

The same models are also indicating a movement towards a wetter pattern that will carry through July and August.

"This leaves the month of June leaning neither particularly cool nor warm and neither wet nor dry," she explained. "It appears as if sometime mid-June, conditions will turn wetter and warmer for most of South Dakota."

She added that this up-and-down pattern has affected the state for the last several months as we swing from one side to the other of the jet stream's path. "For example, in February, very warm temperatures melted our snowpack early, followed by many fluctuations this spring, most recently with snow over the last few days," Edwards said.

Abnormally Dry Conditions

Wetter conditions are eagerly awaited by those in north central South Dakota, which are below average in rainfall.

"As of May 22, all northern counties, from Perkins to Roberts, are reporting less than 50 percent of average rainfall in the last 30 days," Edwards said.

Rainfall totals for the week of May 15 struggled to get over an inch in many of these areas.

"Climatologically speaking, in May and June we average .50 to .75 inches of rain a week for most of the state. Deficits in moisture can grow quickly with just a couple of dry weeks in this wettest part of the year," she explained.

In recent weeks, the U.S. Drought Monitor has expanded Abnormally Dry conditions for north central South Dakota.

"Impacts of dry and windy conditions can grow rapidly this time of year and climatologists and SDSU Extension staff will be watching this area closely for worsening conditions," Edwards said.

Edwards and SDSU Extension colleagues have already noticed concerns in winter wheat related to recent dry and windy conditions. The same climate, however, has allowed planting progress to move rapidly in corn and soybeans this season.

The ups and downs have made spring field work challenging for some. With row crop planting more than half complete, weed, disease, and insect control will be among the next tasks on the farm.

If unusually dry conditions are noted and readers have any drought impacts to report, these can be submitted on the Drought Impact Reporter website.

These reports are posted anonymously and will be accessible to the U.S. Drought Monitor authors as well.

Precipitation outlook for June through August 2017. Green areas are favored to be wetter than average in that 90 day period. Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center. 

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Winners of the 2017 Quotes to Live By Essay Contest

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension announces the winners of the 2017 Quotes to Live By Essay contest.

"The contest helps participants use critical thinking skills to examine how a maxim impacts their life," said Peter Nielson, SDSU Extension Director of Youth Development Operations. "It helps them build a stronger character foundation by reflecting on their own lives and who they are and are going to be as a person of character."

The contest is offered to all South Dakota youth in fourth, seventh and ninth grade classes. Across South Dakota, 416 student writers participated in local competitions.

Winners come from schools across the state and include: Fourth graders: first place, Delainey Burrack, Tea; second place, Bennett Gordon, Whitewood; third place, Annabella Pickner, Peirre; fourth place, Ted Smith, Hayti and fifth place, Lynnae Beld, Castlewood.

Seventh graders: first place, Matea Gordon, Whitewood; second place, Jaxon Bowes, Brookings; third place, Eh Ray Ler Paw, Aberdeen; fourth place, Tristina Ting, Brookings and fifth place, Korbin Leddy, Stockholm.

Ninth graders: first place, Kayla Jensen, Columbia and second place, Danika Gordon, Whitewood.

In each grade level, the top five individuals are awarded a monetary prize. First place receives $200; second place receives $150; third place receives $100; fourth place receives $75 and fifth place $50.

More about Quotes to Live By Essay contest

The 2017 Quotes to Live By Essay contest is designed to promote reading, critical thinking and composition skills.

Participants choose a maxim, which is an expression of a general truth or principle, from a predetermined list and write an essay that shows how the maxim fits into their lives.

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. For more information, contact the State 4-H Office at 605.688.4167 or by email.

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4-H Helped Launch Harding County Rancher to NASA

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

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension/iGrow

Ten-year-old Travis Davis spent days building a wooden bookshelf to exhibit at the local 4-H Achievement Days. When it was nearly finished, he realized that he'd made a big mistake.

"I had to take the book shelf apart. I cried. This project had taken me forever and now I had to start over," recalls the NASA Engineer.

To make matters worse, he did not have any extra wood. His family's Camp Crook ranch was 40 miles from the nearest hardware store. So, Davis had to rebuild the shelf using recycled wood.

"In 4-H you learn that you finish projects. So, I did. It also taught me at a young age that even when you work really hard on something, you will not always get first place. Things won't always go as planned," says Davis, adding that these were a few of many life skills he gained through 4-H which he applies to his work at NASA.

"I get a project and I work with a team of technicians. We are given a goal, a date, a timeline and a budget," says Davis, who designs valves for the new rockets NASA is building to go to Mars.

"Providing youth with skills necessary to succeed in their future is the focus that drives 4-H programming", explains Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

"Among the benefits of 4-H are the project-based learning opportunities and the connections between youth and adult mentors," Bittiker explains. "Youth can explore anything they are interested in - whether that is nutrition, livestock production or rocketry - there is a project area for everyone."

Davis joined 4-H as a Kindergartener. His parents, Doug and Julia, became club leaders when his older brother, Jake, joined 4-H. Along with woodworking, Davis' other 4-H projects included welding, rocketry, horticulture, baked goods and judging - a contest which Davis says developed his ability to communicate.

"4-H taught me that if you have something to say, you need to say it with confidence. No one will believe you if you don't come off confident," explains the 2008 Harding County High School graduate. "I remember giving livestock judging oral reasons during the Black Hills Stock Show - judges would comment that I was calm and confident, but my palms would be sweating."

Career trek to NASA Took Persistence

"Insane," is the word Davis admits he would use to describe anyone who would have told him as a high school senior that he would one day be employed by NASA. "When I graduated I never even dreamed that NASA would be an opportunity - it was not even within reach," he says.

What he did know is that he wanted to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

"Growing up on the ranch was literally priceless. I equate my childhood to going to a vo-tech school to become a mechanical engineer," he explains. "I didn't realize how truly lucky I was until college where I learned not every kid grew up with a fully furnished shop."

Passionate about agriculture, initially Davis saw his career path leading to an equipment manufacturer like John Deere or Caterpillar. His sophomore year of college he actively pursued internships with both companies and received them. He became aware of internship opportunities at NASA through a childhood friend who received one.

Davis applied and was accepted.

A few weeks into the internship, Davis knew NASA was where he wanted to build his career. "One of the coolest things about NASA is its culture. My managers and everyone I work with have an open-door policy. As a young mechanical engineer, this was a huge deal to me."

Looking to a future with NASA, Davis realized he needed to apply for a co-op position - basically a job with NASA each summer until graduation. At that time however, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology was not among the schools which had filled out the paperwork necessary for students to apply for co-op positions.

Davis took it upon himself to work with administrators at NASA and School of Mines to complete the paperwork so he could apply. In 2012, Davis received a co-op position.

"Through my background on the ranch and 4-H projects, I developed the mindset that "no" is not really an option. I just need to find a way to do what I really want to do," he says.

Today, Davis and his wife, Amanda, live in Huntsville, Alabama. Davis enjoys sharing his story with rural youth. Feel free to contact him by email to learn more.

To learn more about how 4-H can help prepare you or someone you know for a successful future, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at the iGrow Our Experts page.

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 photo. 4-H alumnus and Camp Crook rancher, Travis Davis credits what he learned on his family's ranch and through 4-H with helping him launch a successful career as a NASA valve, actuators and ducts design engineer.

Courtesy photo. 4-H alumnus and Camp Crook rancher, Travis Davis credits what he learned on his family's ranch and through 4-H with helping him launch a successful career as a NASA valve, actuators and ducts design engineer. Pictured here with the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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June 1 is Deadline for 2017 Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Homemaker Awards

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Livestock, Agronomy, Healthy Families, Community Development, Gardens

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Homemaker Committee is seeking nominations for SDSU's Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Homemaker Award Program.

2017 marks the 90th anniversary of the program, which was founded in 1927. The intent of this program is to recognize citizens for a lifetime of leadership and service.

The nominees should have made significant contributions to their community, state and SDSU. Nominees should be known for giving unselfishly of their talent, time and leadership. There is no age requirement but the nominees must be living at the time honorees are notified. Spouses may be nominated but a separate nomination form is needed for each individual. If nominees were previously employed by SDSU, employment cannot have been within the last five years. Up to five letters of reference are also requested.

How to nominate

Official Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Homemaker brochures detailing the selection process and criteria and official nomination forms are available online.

These forms are the basis for the selection process. To request a copy of the brochure and nomination form, contact Angela Loftesness at 605.688.6732 or by email.

Deadline is June 1, 2017

All nominations must be received by June 1, 2017. Please send nominations to: EFRH Nominations; ATTN:  Angela Loftesness, Dean's Office, ABS College SDSU, Box 2207, Brookings, SD  57007. Or, they can be emailed.

The awards will be presented at SDSU on September 15, 2017 by the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences. 

If you have questions, please contact Angela Loftesness at 605.688.6732.

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Natalie Brandt Joins SDSU Extension

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Natalie Brandt recently joined the SDSU Extension team as an SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Brule and Lyman Counties.

In this role, Brandt will provide support, guidance and leadership to 4-H youth and volunteers; manage 4-H programming; develop and deliver educational programming and work with local stakeholders to enhance the overall mission of South Dakota 4-H.

"Natalie has a strong 4-H background and her previous career experience will enhance the 4-H programming in Brule and Lyman Counties," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

More about Natalie Brandt

A 4-H alumnus, Brandt credits the organization with helping her develop personally as well as professionally.

"4-H definitely made me who I am today," said Brandt who grew up on a farm near Elkton. "My mom worked in the Brookings County 4-H Office and encouraged me to do everything 4-H had to offer - so I did."

Through 4-H photography projects, Brandt developed a talent that she continues to enjoy as a wildlife photographer.

Brandt is eager to work with 4-H volunteers and 4-H members to help youth find their niche through 4-H.

"4-H has so much to offer and I gained so much from my involvement in the organization, that I am excited to provide valuable opportunities to Brule and Lyman County youth," she said. "4-H provides positive experiences for youth to learn and grow."

Prior to joining the SDSU Extension team, Brandt worked as a S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Naturalist at the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus. In this role she developed and hosted outdoor programming for youth.

"I look forward to implementing more outdoor programming in Brule and Lyman Counties," Brandt said.

To learn more about Brandt, contact her at Natalie.Brandt@sdstate.edu or call 605.869.2226.

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.

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Poultry Day Camps Provide Youth Opportunities

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Sixty-two South Dakota youth attended two Poultry Day Camps held in Mitchell and Aberdeen late April where they learned about poultry care, biosecurity, nutrition, showmanship and show preparation.

"As more communities across South Dakota are allowing poultry within city limits, the State 4-H Office along with Dr. Rosie Nold, Assistant Department Head and Associate Professor in the Animal Science department decided to organize these day camps," explained Hilary Rossow, SDSU Extension State 4-H Animal Projects Coordinator.

A grant through the U.S. Poultry Foundation helped fund the events and ensured there was no cost to participants.

Along with Rossow and Nold, several volunteers helped organize the events which included presentations by Dr. Todd Tedrow and Dr. Craig Hanson from the South Dakota Animal Industry Board; Brett LeBrun, Territory Sales Representative with Alltech and poultry producers, Reynold Loecker and Mike Hassebroek.

Tedrow and Hanson presented on and answered questions concerning poultry disease detection, prevention and best practices for implementing biosecurity measures to ensure birds stay healthy.

LeBrun spoke about proper nutrition for each life stage as well as reading feed tags.

Loecker and Hassebroek brought their own chickens to show youth and their parents how to handle birds, select birds for exhibition and proper showmanship techniques.

Youth had the opportunity to demonstrate what they learned during the day camp when they were placed on teams to participate in a Poultry Quiz Bowl.

More on 4-H poultry

In 2016, 1592 youth enrolled in 4-H poultry.

"This is particularly encouraging as there were no poultry exhibitions in the 2014-15 4-H Year due to Avian Influenza," Rossow said.

Through 4-H, youth have an opportunity to exhibit poultry and eggs projects. These projects help them develop showmanship skills as well as learn about poultry production, processing and biosecurity, and identifying and evaluating different breeds and species of poultry.

"Because poultry are generally small, require little feed, space or start-up costs, and because they are welcomed in many South Dakota communities, the poultry project is an excellent opportunity for youth in South Dakota to learn about animals in a hands-on manner without the need for a lot of land and capital," Rossow said.

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 about South Dakota 4-H, visit the 4-H & Youth page or contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at the Our Experts page.

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Youth Livestock Judging Camp 2017

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Livestock, Beef, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The third annual South Dakota State University Youth Livestock Judging Camp will take place on the SDSU campus in two sessions; session one will take place June 4 to 6, and session two will be held June 8 to 10.

Both sessions are open to all youth ages 8 to 18. Early registration is available until May 19 with a fee of $225. After May 19, the registration fee is $250. Registration closes on May 26.

The registration fee includes two nights lodging in an SDSU dormitory, six meals, refreshments, nightly recreation events, a livestock judging manual, and SDSU Youth Livestock Judging Camp t-shirt.

Participants will be able to practice live evaluation of the primary livestock species, as well as learn about preparation and critique of oral reasons. Camp attendees will learn through lectures, demonstrations, hands-on experiences, one-on-one coaching and critique, and question and answer sessions. Guest speakers will talk to campers about livestock nutrition and production. Recreation events include bowling, dodgeball, and other activities.

Forward payment, the registration form, code of conduct, and waiver of liability to:

SDSU Youth Livestock Judging Camp, Attn: Grady Ruble and Josh Cribbs, Animal Science Complex Box 2107, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007. Registration forms can be found online.

Make checks payable to the SDSU Animal Science Department.

For more information contact SDSU Animal Science Department Head Dr. Joseph Cassady by email, 605.688.5165.

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Health and Wellness Summit for SD Teens

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota teens are invited to attend a two-day wellness summit June 14-15, 2017 held at the SDSU Wellness Center on the campus of South Dakota State University.

"We are looking for teens who are motivated and engaged learners and excited about being a healthy living role model for their community," said Tara Shafrath, SDSU Extension Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist. "This summit provides teens with an opportunity to learn about the seven dimensions of wellness and prepares them to advocate for health and wellness."

Shafrath is collaborating with Nikki Prosch, SDSU Extension Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist to host the event which is designed for 50 South Dakota teens eager to learn and share health and wellness education and information with their community.

"The educational resources provided are meant to enrich 50 teenagers from across South Dakota with wellness-based knowledge, while empowering them to serve as a wellness ambassador within their respective communities," Prosch said.

Space is limited to 50 S.D. teens

Shafrath and Prosch said they are looking for teens who have the ability and willingness to partner and speak with adults, other peers and community members about health and wellness topics.

"Following the Wellness Summit we will ask the teens to participate in a volunteer service project that promotes healthy living messages and education within the community," Shafrath explained.

This event is sponsored by First Bank and Trust, Brookings Health System, Bel Brands and the Midwest Dairy Council.

Registration for the event ends May 31, 2017. Register on the iGrow Events page.

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SD 4-H Shooting Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three new members were welcomed into the South Dakota 4-H Shooting Sports Hall of Fame April 29, 2017.

"The 2017 inductees represent 95 years of service to SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development specifically in the Shooting Sports project area," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension 4-H Associate.

Those welcomed into the Hall of Fame during the 4-H State Shoot held in Pierre were Jerry Opbroek, Mitchell; Marlin Davis, Faulkton and Don Guthmiller, Hayti.

"While some Hall of Fame programs recognize members after they have finished their service, this year's class is still very much involved on the local and state level," Keimig said. "The South Dakota 4-H program greatly appreciates the contributions made by these individuals to the Shooting Sports Program."

More about the S.D. 4-H Shooting Sports Hall of Fame

The South Dakota 4-H Shooting Sports Hall of Fame was established in 2015 to recognize individuals instrumental in the development and growth of the 4-H Shooting Sports program in South Dakota.

Past inductees include the original developmental committee members, original South Dakota 4-H Shooting Sports Training Team, and youth who pursued competitive opportunities beyond their 4-H career.

More about 2017 inductees

Jerry Opbroek began his service as one of the original South Dakota 4-H Shooting Sports black powder trainers, starting in 1985.

He was a member of the original developmental committee throughout the 1980's, then started an open 4-H shotgun match in Mitchell that continued until 1995 when the 4-H shotgun discipline became more formalized.

Since the return of the fall state shoot to Mitchell, Opbroek has hosted the event at the Mitchell Trap Club and provided space and preparations for the muzzle loading event as well.

Opbroek has contributed over 33 years of continuous service to the program.

Marlin Davis first attended shooting sports instructor training in 1985. His name has since appeared regularly on attendance lists for the annual meetings of the developmental committee.

Davis has coached hundreds of youth in Faulk County for the past 32 years and served as a pistol coach on several national teams over the years.

He has been foundational to the Faulk County program and shared his knowledge and skills generously at the statewide level, especially in the area of air pistol maintenance.

Davis is well known for his calm and caring demeanor on the air pistol line during the State Match where he has helped and coached for years.

Don Guthmiller has greeted thousands of youth over the years and he is often recognized as one of the main stays of the "Welcome Center" at the South Dakota 4-H State Shoot.

Guthmiller attended shooting sports training as a SDSU Extension County Agent in 1986. During his career with SDSU Extension, Guthmiller developed a large program in Hamlin County.

Guthmiller was actively involved at the state level as well in the development and expansion of the program.

Over the years, Guthmiller has been a stalwart supporter of the State Shoot. He has recruited volunteers, subbed at pistol training, and assisted many counties in writing their first NRA grants.

After retirement from SDSU Extension, Guthmiller has continued his involvement, providing training, advice and support at the county and state level.

More about 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 the iGrow Our Experts page

Courtesy of iGrow. Three new members were welcomed into the South Dakota 4-H Shooting Sports Hall of Fame April 29, 2017, they include; Jerry Opbroek, Mitchell; Marlin Davis, Faulkton and Don Guthmiller, Hayti. Pictured here left to right: Peter Nielson, SDSU Extension Director of Youth Development Operations; Alan Pickard, SD 4-H SS Committee President; Jerry Opbroek, Davison County Volunteer; Don Guthmiller, Hamlin County Volunteer; Marlin Davis, Faulk County Volunteer and John Keimig, SDSU 4-H Extension Associate.

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Test for Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Severe wheat streak mosaic disease was discovered in several winter wheat fields scouted in Central South Dakota. Due to this discovery, SDSU Extension advises that growers test for the disease, caused by Wheat streak mosaic virus, before applying nitrogen.

"This disease causes wheat leaves to yellow and plants to be stunted (Figure 1)," said Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist. "Producers may mistakenly attribute the yellowing to a nitrogen deficiency."

Byamukama explained that yellowing of lower or older leaves in wheat can be an indication of nitrogen deficiency. However, if the yellowing is the result of Wheat streak mosaic virus, the yellow leaves will have a streaked mottled look to them.

To clearly know what is causing the yellowing, Byamukama encouraged growers to  submit a sample to the diagnostic clinic to confirm Wheat streak mosaic virus before adding inputs such as fertilizer or fungicide in yellowing wheat fields.

Test plants here

Plant samples can be mailed or dropped off at the SDSU-Plant Diagnostic Clinic, SPSB 153, Box 2108, Jack Rabbit Lane, Brookings, SD 57007-1090.

Below Byamukama answers some frequently asked questions about Wheat streak mosaic virus.

How can one tell whether yellowing is due to Wheat streak mosaic virus?

The best way to know if a plant has Wheat streak mosaic virus is to submit a sample to the SDSU diagnostic lab. Wheat streak mosaic virus is systemic, meaning that all leaves have symptoms. Younger leaves may appear healthy but over time, these also show symptoms.

Older leaves show severe yellowing and streaking starting from the leaf tips (Figure 2a).

Some wheat fields scouted, however, showed just older lower leaves with yellow blotches (Figure 2b). This is not caused by Wheat streak mosaic virus; it may be some infection initiation that was halted by unfavorable environmental conditions or due to unknown environmental stress.

Producers may wonder why this disease is so prevalent this year?  Wheat streak mosaic virus is transmitted by the wheat curl mite. Wheat curl mites are microscopic (0.3 mm long) and can only be seen under magnification (such as 20x hand lens).

They do not move on their own, they depend on wind to move between fields and within a field. Wheat curl mites survive from one crop to another on volunteer wheat and grassy weeds. The pattern of infection within fields can be an indication of where the disease came from. For instance, if the entire field is infected, one can assume the Wheat streak mosaic virus came from within the field. In situations where the infection is occurring along the field edge, one would assume that the mites were blown in from the adjacent field. Mites are estimated to travel up to 2 miles.

All fields found with Wheat streak mosaic virus were winter wheat planted into wheat stubble (Figure 3). It is possible that these fields were planted before all grassy weeds and volunteer wheat had completely dried up after herbicide application last fall. It is recommended that burn-down of grassy weeds and volunteer wheat is done at least two weeks before planting. The long warm fall that we had in 2016 in South Dakota and other winter wheat production areas in the central US may have allowed mite populations to build and spread the virus to more areas.

Management of Wheat Streak Mosaic

Wheat streak mosaic disease can be best managed through cultural practices. Unlike fungal diseases, nothing can be sprayed on virus-infected plants to prevent or cure virus infection. However, a few practices can be used to prevent or reduce the chances of winter wheat getting infected by Wheat streak mosaic virus before planting:

  1. Destroy volunteer wheat and grassy weeds at least two weeks before planting in the fall. Volunteer wheat and grassy weeds are the most important risk factor for the wheat streak mosaic disease. Volunteer wheat and grassy weeds can be destroyed through tillage or herbicide application. This will reduce the ability of the wheat curl mites to use these plants as a green-bridge to the newly emerging wheat.
  2. For areas prone to Wheat streak mosaic virus infection, delay winter wheat planting in fall. Planting early in the fall especially when temperatures are mild increases the risk of wheat curl mites landing and transmitting viruses in emerging winter wheat.
  3. Plant wheat varieties which are resistant/tolerant to Wheat streak mosaic virus. The SDSU Crop Performance Test program provides ratings of wheat cultivars against Wheat streak mosaic virus. A few cultivars are rated moderately resistant (see table below)
  4. Include a broad-leaf crop in the rotation. Wheat curl mites can survive on other cereal crops including corn, millet, barley, and sorghum. Therefore, for areas with frequent Wheat streak mosaic virus epidemics, planting non-host broadleaf crops like field peas, lentils, sunflower etc. will help keep Wheat streak mosaic virus pressure low.  

Source of the table: Crop Performance Testing program
Cultivar rating score for Wheat streak mosaic virus
R= resistant, MR=moderately resistant, MS= moderately susceptible, S=susceptible. Ratings in parenthesis were provided by the entity that submitted the variety

Figure 1. A winter wheat field with Wheat streak mosaic virus symptomatic plants spread across the entire field (Picture taken 5/3/2017)

Figure 2 (A) Yellowing caused by WSMV. Notice the presence of streaks in most of the leaves.

Figure 2 (B) Yellowing caused by environmental factors. No streaking is observed.  

Figure 3. A winter wheat field planted into millet stubble on the left, and into wheat stubble on the right. Notice severe yellowing on the wheat stubble side. 

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Liver Abscesses: The Unseen Profit Thief

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Liver abscesses are a value robber in feedlot cattle that's not immediately apparent.

"The toughest losses to control are often the ones we cannot see," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate. "Even though cattle producers can't tell by looking if cattle have liver abscesses, the problem is certainly visible at the packing plant and in lost profit opportunities."

In addition to the most obvious losses - condemned livers, resulting in about $10 to $16 per head lost export value - Rusche explained that other profit robbers can include:

  • Poorer feedlot performance and efficiency
  • Reduced carcass weights and increased trimming losses
  • Reduced output and capacity at the packing plant

Liver abscesses are caused by the same pathogenic bacteria responsible for footrot (Fusobacterium necrophorum and Trueperella pyogenes).

"A key contributing factor to the development of liver abscesses is damage to the cells lining the rumen wall due to excessive acid load or other physical irritants," Rusche said.

He explained that the irritation allows for these pathogens to pass from the rumen to the portal blood and eventually to the liver (Figure 1).

Incidence rates of liver abscesses in beef cattle average roughly 15 percent, with some variation, depending on sex and geographical region. "Recently there has been a marked increase in the level of liver abscesses in Holstein steers with infection rates increasing from 12 percent in 2003 to as much as 55 percent in 2013," Rusche said. "This could be related to the fact that dairy steers are typically fed a high concentrate diet for a longer period of time compared to beef breeds."

VFD requirements led to increased interest in control measures that do not rely on antimicrobials

Feeding antibiotics is the most common method of controlling liver abscesses in feedlot cattle in the U.S., Rusche explained. With the most commonly used product today is tylosin.

Research shows that tylosin is effective in reducing the incidence of liver abscesses by about 40 to 70 percent compared to untreated cattle.

"Keep in mind that feeding tylosin does require a Veterinary Feed Directive in order to be used in feedlot diets," Rusche said.

The combination of VFD requirements as well as increased scrutiny of antibiotic usage in livestock diets in general has led to increased interest in control measures that do not rely on antimicrobials.

"Strategies such as feeding essential oils and vaccinating against F. necrophorum have been studied, but unfortunately, these approaches have not been consistently effective," Rusche said.

He added that this will be an active area of research now and in the future to increase the options available to control liver abscesses.

Management Tips

As with most diseases and production issues, management plays a critical role in reducing the incidence and negative impact of liver abscesses.

"Acidosis and increased risk of liver abscesses usually go hand in hand," Rusche said.

Management practices that reduced the risks of acidosis and other metabolic disorders include:

  • * Avoid stepping up cattle to high starch diets too rapidly;
  • * Minimize daily feed intake variation; and
  • * Make sure there is adequate effective fiber in the diet. Finely ground roughage does not promote sufficient rumination and saliva production to help buffer rumen pH.

Figure 1.

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Keep Your Garden’s Produce Clean & Safe

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Home gardeners need to consider food safety when they care for their produce this summer, said Rhoda Burrows, Professor & SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist.

"Every so often we hear about people getting sick from eating raw produce that got contaminated somewhere on its path from the field to the consumer," she said.

"Commercial growers are taking great care to keep your food safe, and there are new national rules to guide them. Following are some tips for home gardeners to help keep their fruits and vegetables safe."

Below, Burrows outlines food safety tips to consider:

Manure

  • Do not use manure on your garden unless it is at least 6- months-old or has been carefully heat composted. 
    If you purchase manure, make sure it has been properly composted. If you are not certain, treat it as raw manure that will need to be aged before use.
  • If you have rabbits, deer, or other wildlife that regularly visit your garden, fence them out. Their droppings are raw manure and can transmit pathogens to humans. The same is true for pets.
  • If you discover piles of animal droppings in the spring (or anytime during the growing season), don't grow anything that you will eat raw in that spot. 
  • Carefully remove the droppings and mark the spot so you don't come back and plant raw vegetables in that spot that year. 
    Use that area for sweet corn, potatoes, winter squash or pumpkins or other vegetables that will be thoroughly cooked. 
    Or plant some flowers there, to help support beneficial insects in your garden and please the eye as well.
  • Don't locate your garden downslope or downwind from an area where animal droppings are concentrated (such as a feedlot or corral). 

If downslope, construct a berm to divert any run-off. A windbreak will help reduce problems, although dust and insects may still travel between the two areas.

Water

  • If you water from a well, have the water tested. Make sure the well-head is in good condition, and that the ground slopes away from it. If you have heavy rains or flooding and water was standing at/near the well-head, you should have the water tested again.
  • Avoid using "captured" water, such as run-off from a roof, to irrigate your garden. It may well be contaminated with bird (or squirrel) droppings. 
    If you have no other water source, grow vegetables that will be cooked (see above), or at least those that will bear fruit well off the ground (such as trellised tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.), and use a mulch over the ground surface to reduce chances of soil splash.
  • Always use "potable" water - safe for drinking - for mixing up any sprays that will be applied to your fruits or vegetables. Sprayers are great places for unwelcome bacteria to breed.
  • If your garden area has been flooded, consider the source of the water. Could it be carrying any chemicals or pesticides from treated areas upstream? Has it come through a pasture or feedlot somewhere upstream? If so, you may want to relocate your garden, or at the most, harvest only produce that will be cooked, or will be born well off the ground (preferably with a mulch between the soil and the above-ground portion of the plant.)

Humans

  • It's a good idea to wash your hands before you work in the garden, as well as afterwards. Always wash your hands before you harvest produce that will be eaten raw and always use a clean container to transport the produce. Clean any knives or other tools used to harvest crops, before each trip to the garden.
  • Don't let anyone who is sick with a cold or flu or other contagious disease work in your garden. 
  • If you have livestock, don't wear the same shoes or boots from working in the livestock area into your garden. Rubber or vinyl boots can be cleaned and sanitized between the two areas.

Other things to watch

  • If you make your own compost tea, be sure to make it from potable water. New guidelines prohibit the use of molasses or other nutrients that sometimes are added to the brew, as these can feed harmful bacteria in the tea.
  • Damaged produce, such as tomatoes with rotten spots, should be discarded, as areas with rot allow pathogens harmful to human to grow and thrive in that fruit.
  • Don't use tools or water hoses that have been used in livestock chores in the garden, unless they are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized first.
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Educators Teaching Personal Finance

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is hosting Financial Foundation for Educators, a one credit on-line course designed to help classroom teachers build their knowledge and confidence in personal finance.

"According to a survey, three out of four Americans believe youth who take a personal finance course in school are more financially capable," said Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist, quoting a survey conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education. "Another study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that educators did not feel prepared to teach personal finance concepts and were concerned about their own financial well-being."

Saboe-Wounded Head will teach the course offered by SDSU Extension through South Dakota State University, using the Jump$tart Financial Foundations for Educators Model which was developed by the Jump$art Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Saboe-Wounded Head explained that the Jump$tart Financial Foundations for Educators Model was developed to specifically address these findings.

Course details

The course is scheduled for July 3 - August 4, 2017, and will be offered at a reduced tuition rate. The course will be on-line using the platform Desire 2 Learn (D2L), which is used by all South Dakota Board of Regents universities.

Those interested in taking the course who are currently an undergraduate or graduate student at SDSU should register for the course, CA 492-S01D or CA-592-S01D, via WebAdvisor.

For those interested who are not currently a student need to first apply for SDSU admission. Ap[ply online, create an account and complete the application process.

Apply as a non-degree seeking student. Once admitted, the Graduate School will complete the course registration.

For more information about registration, contact the Graduate School at 605.688.4181.

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Urging S.D. Farmers to Fill Out Census

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans, Wheat, Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension strongly urges South Dakota farmers to participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

"By participating in the Census of Agriculture, you help show the nation the value and importance of U.S. agriculture," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor. "By responding to the census, you have the power to influence decisions that will shape American agriculture for years to come."

The Census of Agriculture provides valuable information that will be used to plan the future, including:

  • community planning;
  • farm succession planning;
  • store/company locations;
  • availability of operational loans and other funding; and
  • federal budget support for agriculture

"The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation," said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. "As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves."

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting the USDA Ag Census website and clicking on the 'Make Sure You Are Counted' button through June.

NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit the USDA Ag Census website or call 800.727.9540.

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Deadline Extended to May 15 for 2017 SDSU Extension Master Gardener Training

Categorized: Gardens, Home & Garden Pests, Trees & Forests, Gardening, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension has extended the registration deadline to May 15, 2017 to sign up for SDSU Extension Master Gardener training classes.

To become a Master Gardener, trainees must attend eight days of hands-on classroom training. The 2017 Master Gardener training is returning to hands-on classroom sessions. Supplemental training information will be available online for individuals to review.

"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 2017 Master Gardener training class will cover botany, plant care and identification, soils, integrated pest management, working as a Master Gardener and much more.

Aberdeen, Sioux Falls and Spearfish sites for 2017 Master Gardener Training

The hands-on training sites for 2017 are Sioux Falls, Aberdeen and Spearfish. Participants may attend any of the three sites.

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 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:

  • Sioux Falls: June 6, 13, 20, 27; July 11, 18, 25 and August 1.
  • Aberdeen: June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26 and August 2.
  • Spearfish: June 8, 15, 22, 29; July 13, 20, 27 and August 3.

Registration details

To register for the 2017 Master Gardener training complete the online application found at this link: https://www.igrow.org/gardens/master-gardeners/.

The class fee is $190 for individuals that commit to becoming SDSU Extension Master Gardeners.

To become a Master Gardener intern, an individual must complete the course and pass the online final exam. As an intern, they must provide 50 hours of volunteer service back to the people of South Dakota over the next two years, to become a Master Gardener.

The fee for the course without the volunteer commitment is $540. In both cases, the fee includes access to the online training materials, a resource manual and the hands-on classes.

For more information, contact David Graper.

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McCrory Gardens Events to Welcome Spring

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Tulips are unfurling their blooms, letting a vast array of colors wash through McCrory Gardens in Brookings, S.D. The blossoms are only a tiny section of the wonders within the garden. Tulipalooza showcases 8,500 tulips choreographed to bloom en masse and 15,000 additional spring bulbs that will unfurl during the month of May.

May kicks off many events in the 25-acres of formal gardens and 45 acres of arboretum, north of the site’s visitor’s center. McCrory Gardens is a botanical garden and arboretum operated and maintained by South Dakota State University. Hundreds of different flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses in harmonious settings offer a sensory delight. Funds for the garden come from donations from the Friends of McCrory Gardens, admission fees, other special gifts, and endowment returns.

Lisa Marotz, interim director at McCrory Gardens, invites people to take time to relax in the gardens, whether it’s for a brief visit when traveling or for an extended look at the plantings. She said 42,000 visitors enjoyed the gardens last year, which were 6,000 more than the year before. And that count includes the SDSU students admitted free.

The gardeners start 40,000 plants from seed every year, utilizing the greenhouses on the South Dakota State University campus. It’s not only a cost savings but a point of pride. One by one, seedlings grow in seed pots, then are nurtured and added to the garden, according to Marotz. Chris Schlenker is the long-time head gardener assisted by Christina Lind-Thielke. Christina serves as the McCrory Education Coordinator as well.

Twelve student gardeners, some in high school and some SDSU students, work with part-time post graduates as they plant, weed, hoe, water, rake and care for the plants and facilities.  

Special Events Coordinator Cindy Pfennig works with groups who use the Education and Visitor’s Center for business meetings, reunions, education and weddings.

Marotz shared that one couple visited last June as they searched for a location for their wedding. She was from Oregon, he from Clear Lake, S.D. During their visit, the bride-to-be said, “I found the place for my destination wedding. This is it.” They will marry in the gardens this year.

Many volunteers donate their efforts to projects and upkeep.

“I spoke at the local Rotary Club,” Marotz said. “One member asked if she could bring out kids to help plant the garden sponsored by their service club. That’s one way the garden flourishes through the seeds of volunteerism.“

Special events coming up in May at McCrory Gardens include:

Sunday, May 7: Mad Hatter Garden Tea Party 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.;

High tea is based around the theme of Alice in Wonderland. Three food and beverage stations will be located around the gardens with family activities in between to occupy the children and entertain the adults. One station will feature tea made from the medicinal garden and local herbs. Another station will feature light snacks such as finger sandwiches. A third station will feature decadent desserts and sweet teas. The gardens will be transformed into a wonderland to bring in families and organizations around the community and region to listen to music, explore McCrory Gardens and Brookings.

Friday, May 12: National Public Gardens Day

​The Garden Discovery Festival will celebrate National Public Gardens Day! Open for self-exploration at 9 a.m., the festival events run from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Activities include bird banding, a “bio-blitz,” take-home crafts, gardening education, and painting the tulips on canvas! Enjoy free admission to the gardens and festival! There is a separate fee for the painting class.

Sunday, May 14: Mother's Day Brunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

​Make plans to enjoy a wonderful brunch at the Education and Visitor Center among the thousands of tulips! Reservations and prepayment are required.

​Thursday, May 18: Third Thursday at the Gardens

A presentation by Dr. John Ball, SDSU Professor and Extension Forestry Specialist will focus on Selecting & Planting Trees. It begins at 6:30 p.m.

Planting the right tree in the right spot is critical to having it become a long-term asset to your landscape. This seminar will cover the best trees to consider for different objectives and conditions in landscapes. Dr. Ball will show how to properly select and plant ornamental trees and shrubs from bare-root to container.

Hours for Memorial Day Monday, May 29 will be noon to 6 p.m.

Summer hours began May 1. The gardens are open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon until 6 p.m. Sunday. Learn more online.

The gardens are named in honor of Professor Samuel McCrory and were started in 1964. The education and visitor’s center was dedicated in 2012. 

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There’s something for everyone at Dairy Fest ‘17

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy, Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The dairy industry invites you to be their guest at the 2017 Dairy Fest on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in celebration of June Dairy Month.

The farm comes to you with a carnival at the Swiftel Center in Brookings. The FREE event will include tons of hands-on, family friendly activities. Cow and calf petting area, combine & skid steer bouncy houses, milk dunk tank, a prize wheel, Moo Cow Dancing, cow milking, straw bale maze and farm relay race are just some of the activities that will be at this year's event.

"Educating consumers is important to South Dakota's dairy industry," said Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist. "Dairy Fest gives consumers a face to face opportunity to visit with dairy producers and industry representatives. What is unique is they actually get to see a working dairy farm and dairy plant in addition to having some fun at the Carnival."

Erickson serves on the committee which organizes the annual event which includes Hy-Vee "Cooking with Dairy Demonstration" along with the opportunity to get your picture taken with the South Dakota Dairy Princess.

Free SDSU ice cream will be served during the carnival, while supplies last. The carnival will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Tours

SDSU Davis Dairy Plant: Wondering how SDSU ice cream is 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 be given at 10 a.m.and 10:30 a.m. and buses will run continuously from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. from the Swiftel Center to bring participants to the dairy plant.

Golden Dakota Dairy Farm: Join us for a free lunch and bus tour of Golden Dakota Dairy Farm in Elkton. These tours will take place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. This will be a great opportunity to see the workings of a modern family dairy farm. Free grilled cheese sandwiches will be served. Free transportation to the farm will be provided with buses leaving from the Swiftel Center, approximately every half-hour.

For more information about Dairy Fest, contact Larissa Neugebauer at 605.770.8233 or by email and follow on Facebook.

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Youth Summer Dairy Cattle Judging Schools

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - This summer SDSU Extension will be hosting several Dairy Cattle Judging Schools for youth interested in developing their judging skills.

"These schools are designed for both beginner and advanced judges," explained Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

Beginner and first time judgers will gain understanding and develop skills in:

  • Identifying basic cattle body parts and correct structure;
  • Taking organized notes to defend their decisions;
  • Properly delivering a set of oral reasons; and
  • Evaluating and ranking cattle based on the Dairy Cow Unified Scorecard.

More experienced judgers will expand their knowledge and practice of:

  • Identifying correct dairy cattle breed standards;
  • Dairy Cattle Selection through performance and pedigree evaluation; and
  • Delivering oral sets of reasons utilizing proper note taking techniques.

Judging School details

The judging schools are free to attend. No registration is necessary.

Claremont June 13, 2017 a judging school will be held at Frey View Dairy Farm (41161 115th St. Claremont, S.D.) thanks to the generosity of owners Mike and Sara Frey. The school begins at 6:30 p.m. Directions: from Claremont, SD go 2 miles north, 1 mile east, 1 mile north and ½ mile east. Farm is on south side of road.

Chancellor July 18, 2017 a judging school will be held at Plucker Guernsey Farm (27179 463rd. Ave, Chancellor S.D.) thanks to the generosity of owners Stuart and Brenda Plucker. The school begins at 6:30 p.m. Driving Directions: I-29 Tea Exit (Exit 73), go west on 271st street, 2.5 miles, turn south (by Auto Auction) on 468th Ave go 1 mile south, then turn west on 272nd Street or Main Street and go 5 miles west, then turn north on 463rd Ave. go 1/8 mile north, farm is on west side of road.

Goodwin July 19, 2017 a judging school will be held at Fieber Dairy, Inc. (135 South Bowdoin Street, Goodwin, S.D.) thanks to the generosity of owners Mike and Chris Fieber and Family. The school begins at 6:30 p.m. Driving Directions: from the junction of I-29 and Hwy 212, go east 10.5 miles to county road 312 (Goodwin corner) go 1 mile south to Goodwin. At first four way stop sign, continue south 3 blocks (Fieber Dairy is on the South west edge of Goodwin.)

Milbank July 20, 2017 a judging school will be held at Victory Farms (15987 480th Ave., Milbank, S.D.) thanks to the generosity of owners Kevin and Suzanne Souza. The school begins at 1:30 p.m. Driving Directions: From the Junction of Hwy 15 & 12, go 11 miles south turn left on 160th street, then 2miles east on 153rd, north side of road Victory Farms NEW dairy. Or, from Highway 212 & Hwy 15 go 9 miles north, turn right on 160th Street, go east 2 miles, NEW dairy on north side of road.

Brookings July 26, 2017 a judging school will be held at the South Dakota State University Dairy Farm (3219 Medary Avenue, Brookings, S.D.) hosted by the SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department. The judging school begins at 6:30 p.m. Driving Directions: I-29 & Hwy 14 by-pass exit 133, go west 1 mile. Take 471st ave. / Medary Avenue north (Old Hwy 77) go approximately 1.25 miles, dairy is on the west side of road.

To learn more, contact Erickson by email.

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Borlaug Lecture Delving in to World Hunger

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Well-known anti-hunger advocate Julie Borlaug recently spoke at South Dakota State University. The event, “Biotechnology: Friend or Foe in Fighting World Hunger?” was hosted by the SDSU Swine Club. Borlaug serves as an associate director at The Borlaug Institute at Texas A & M University, and is the granddaughter of Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of The Green Revolution.

Borlaug’s visit continues the Swine Club tradition of bringing in a speaker who focuses on how to start and create engaging conversations about agriculture.

“She was an excellent speaker to inspire others to be advocates,” said Bob Thaler, SDSU Extension Specialist and advisor for the SDSU Swine Club.

Borlaug explained how biotechnology is, at times, a controversial issue in the world today, but pointed out that biotechnology holds the key to helping to feed a hungry world. She noted, “It is impossible to be anti-hunger and anti-technology.”

Borlaug continued, “Consumers are driving the anti-science movement. This has unintended consequences for the world’s poor. Much like my grandfather in the Green Revolution, we have the same problems today. This requires a new way of thinking.”

With approximately 10,900,000 hunger-related deaths per year and even more people negatively impacted by nutritional deficiencies, Borlaug said something needs to change. She mentioned that it’s acceptable for many people to believe in organic production methods, but not acceptable to limit or force others into using those methods exclusively. She emphasized this is especially true in areas of the world where these methods are being used unsuccessfully.

Mothers are serving as the new “boss” of agriculture, according to Borlaug. “I’m talking about bloggers, yoga instructors and others who have gained their nutrition knowledge online,” she said. “Unfortunately, people have romanticized farming. We need to talk about the realities of agriculture.”

She talked about the trend of backyard farming. While desirable to consumers, she said it is unrealistic to feed a growing population on this method.

Borlaug brought up seeing GMO-free salt and other product labels created to trick consumers’ mindsets into feeling like a product was superior.  

Non-GMO wheat is also sold on market, and Borlaug noted seeing people blaming gluten intolerance on the genetic modification of wheat. However, she told the audience that there is currently no genetically modified wheat being sold. She explained how agricultural technologies have seen immense resistance from consumers and organizations.

“If we try to ban the future here, it’s going to happen somewhere else,” Borlaug noted.

While speaking, she left the audience with anecdotes about her grandfather, which provided a window to his life and legacy.

Norman E. Borlaug started his career at a research field in Mexico. During the Great Depression, he wondered what was happening in other countries if the United States was struggling with food issues? This line of thinking led him to realize he couldn’t wait, and had to act to make a difference. She told the audience he made his biggest breakthrough when he was only 30 years old.

“If my grandfather were here, he would want to speak to the students in the room,” Borlaug said. “You are the next generation of Hunger Fighters.”

She urged the audience to challenge the status quo. “Know your strengths, have a mentor, be prepared to learn from others, develop a thick skin, be empathetic and always respect others,” she said.

After her presentation, Borlaug had a question and answer session with the audience.

“I think she had a great message,” Thaler said.

Madelyn Regier, president of the SDSU Swine Club, estimates that approximately 75 percent of the audience were students. However, she thought Julie was able to relate to anyone in attendance.

“I thought the event was a great success,” Regier said. “She discussed a lot of big topics in agriculture and she also sees the effects of everything globally.”

Sponsors for the event included the SDSU Swine Club, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, South Dakota Wheat Commission and the Collegiate FFA.

Madelyn Regier, president of the SDSU Swine Club, introducing Borlaug recently.

Well-known anti-hunger advocate Julie Borlaug recently spoke at South Dakota State University.

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2017 SDSU Rodeo Team Honorees

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Jim Thompson, Belle Fourche, S.D., and Mary Carlson, Slayer, N.D., were announced as the 2017 South Dakota State University Rodeo Team Honorees on April 6, during the SDSU Buckles and Bling Rodeo fundraising gala. SDSU Rodeo Coach Ron Skovly presented the awards to the two, long-time college rodeo supporters.

Skovly said, “With more than 50 years of service to regional and local rodeo events, honoring Jim and Mary was an easy decision. Their overall service to college rodeo has been a huge contribution to our community.”

Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson is a long-time announcer for SDSU’s Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo. This year marks over 30 years he has announced for this rodeo or emceed the Buckles and Bling Fundraiser.

The Jackrabbit Stampede has a special place in Thompson’s heart, as it was the first college rodeo he ever announced. During Thompson’s 42-year career as a rodeo announcer, he has been the voice associated with 76 consecutive Great Plains Region rodeos.

“I love college rodeo,” Thompson says. “It is so much fun getting to know the students.”

Residing in Belle Fourche, S.D., Thompson is still working in the radio industry. He began his radio career in 1966 as a broadcaster and started his own program about rodeo, “On the Road Again,” in 1976. He currently hosts a slice-of-life radio program called “The Good Stuff.” This show was started 12 years ago and is now played on about two-dozen stations in six states.

Thompson says he is extremely honored and grateful to be named an SDSU Rodeo Team honoree.

This year will most likely be the final year Thompson is involved with the Jackrabbit Stampede as he is moving to Ireland and will reside there almost full-time.

Mary Carlson

Mary Carlson is finishing her 26th year as the Great Plains Region secretary. She firmly believes she works with the best people: college rodeo coaches and athletes.

Carlson deals with entries and then travels to the 10 college rodeos, taking a “mini office” with her. She typically spends three days at each rodeo. Her husband, Dale, travels with her to all the rodeos. When not on the road, the Carlsons reside in Slayer, N.D.

Carlson loves the job and says she will continue with it as long as she feels she is doing a good job and still enjoys the experiences.

“I have amazing students and coaches to work with,” Carlson says. “The students keep me young.”

Carlson also works for the North Dakota Roughrider Rodeo Association. It works well for her to do the two jobs because the rodeo schedules are different. She stays busy, but loves working in rodeo.

“I am just so honored and humbled to be selected as an honoree,” Carlson says.  

SDSU Rodeo Team

The SDSU Rodeo Club was established in 1952. Though Rodeo Team members are part of the club, not all club members are competing members of the Rodeo Team. The Rodeo Club helps set up and take down equipment for practices and provides behind-the-scenes support for the Jackrabbit Stampede.

The SDSU Rodeo Team has 45 competing members who compete in 9 rodeos in addition to the Jackrabbit Stampede each year. More than 1,200 SDSU alumni have been Rodeo Club and Rodeo Team members since the Club began. Members of the 2016-17 Rodeo Team are from Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Florida, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Learn more about the SDSU Rodeo Team by contacting Ron Skovly, SDSU Rodeo Coach, for more information at 605.690.1359, or email.

SDSU Rodeo Coach Ron Skovly, left, thanks Jim Thompson for his many years of service to SDSU Rodeo.

SDSU Rodeo Coach Ron Skovly, left, presents Mary Thompson with a thank-you gift for her support of College Rodeo.

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Charles Dieter Rewarded with Butler Award

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

Students who have grown up around fishing and hunting flock to the Wildlife and Fisheries major at South Dakota State University. One professor who shares his passion for wildlife biology with students earned honors for his teaching proficiency this spring.

Charles Dieter, professor of Natural Resource Management, received the F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dieter set a standard of excellence in teaching, advising and mentoring that impacted not only students, but the current and future Wildlife and Fisheries workforce of the state and the nation according to his peers.

“Teaching is an honor,” Dieter said. “It’s a privilege to work with the many students I’ve had in my classes. It hasn’t been a job for me. Being able to interact with the young people has made teaching an enjoyable experience. I remain friends with many of my former students. I loved all of the time I’ve been at SDSU.”

“Dr. Dieter relates to students in a real way,” Ben Hanzen, Sioux Falls, one of Dieter’s students said. Hanzen is majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries sciences. “He cares about the students. He relates the curriculum to his own field experiences in an easy-to-understand way.”

Dieter’s passion for learning about animals led him to SDSU in 1988 where he has perfected his teaching and mentoring skills.

“Dr. Dieter’s commitment to experiential learning has been a hallmark of his teaching style and he has positively impacted numerous undergraduate and graduate students under his mentoring,” Michele Dudash, Head of the Department of Natural Resource Management said. “Professor Dieter has given 33 years of service to SDSU impacting thousands of undergraduate students majoring in wildlife and fisheries sciences and related majors within our department by teaching six core courses.”

“Wildlife and Fisheries has always been a popular major within the Department of Natural Resources,” Dieter said. “It is a very competitive field for jobs. We specialize in educating applied biologists. We found that agencies like to hire our students because they have good hands-on training.“  

Determined to make classes fun and interesting, Dieter brings animals to class and provides a hands-on experience with skins and skulls. He shows videos of some cool animals students may not see otherwise. The Department houses one of the largest mammal collections at a university in the upper Midwest. Specimens from the large mammal collection enhance learning by sharing the characteristics of exotic animals and as well as those more common to the area such as bears and coyotes.

When Dieter set up a herpetology class a few years ago, he sought amphibian and reptile specimens for the department’s collection. His dedication shows in the response to the class.

“Dieter made the class fun,” Hanzen said. ”In South Dakota we don’t run across amphibians or reptiles very often as in other places. I thought the class was unique and really cool.”  

Dieter’s dedication rubs off on his students. Sometimes he offers extra credit to students in his animal behavior class when they give presentations to students at the Boys and Girls Club and area schools. The experience enhances student opportunities for public speaking and community involvement. Many found they liked presenting the material. And some become teachers.

Dieter’s mentorship and friendship provided valuable help for Chelsey Loney who graduated from SDSU in 2011 with a degree in biology. Now a teacher in the Kasson Mantorville (MN) school, she reflected on the impact he had on her career.

Loney said he was almost like an SDSU dad who helped her when she struggled to carry 22 credits one semester. She said he was a phenomenal teacher. Knowing her desire to gain field experience, he worked to make that happen.

“Dr. Dieter encouraged me to get my master’s degree which I completed last year in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematic) education,” Loney said. “It wasn’t on my radar until he suggested it. He played a big part in that accomplishment.”

Mentoring graduate and doctorate students provides a way for busy instructors to work on research projects. Dieter said it is rewarding to learn from them and to see them complete graduate school and go on to other colleges or work. During his tenure at SDSU, Dieter mentored 38 graduate students with 12 being in the last 5 years. His guidance enabled them to work in state and federal wildlife agencies as well as non-governmental organizations.

One example of the research he oversaw focused on the damage caused to soybeans by giant Canada geese that raise their broods in eastern South Dakota. One of the master’s projects focused on the nesting habits of burrowing owls in western South Dakota.

Ranchers and farmers across the state were eager to help with research projects. Dieter noted, “I developed friendships with the farmers and landowner when we worked in the field. It was a real pleasure.

A classic tale involved a trip to Marshall County to put collars on Canada geese for tracking their movement. One collar helped nab a thief. Dieter related that a farmer in the area had experienced theft of hay bales. They placed one electronic device meant for the geese in a bale. By turning on the device, they tracked the bale when it traveled to North Dakota. Not the intended use but an interesting story.

Retirement at the end of the school year means that Dieter will have more time for hunting and fishing, which is what drew him to him profession 29 years ago. He’ll spend more time with his wife, kids and grandkids.  

“I’ll really miss teaching the students but not the paperwork,” Dieter said.

Dieter’s retirement will leave a void for those taking classes in the department, Hanzen said. “I had him as a teacher each semester. Students will miss out without his presence in the classroom.”

Retirement Event Information

The Department of Natural Resource Management is hosting a Retirement Celebration for Distinguished Professors Chuck Dieter and Carter Johnson on Friday May 5 from 1-3 p.m. in the atrium.

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4-H Provides Character All Stars Curriculum

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, an estimated 9,596 South Dakota youth participated in the 4-H Character All Stars curriculum provided by South Dakota 4-H.

"Peer-to-peer mentorship is powerful. This program is designed to encourage good decision making and overall character development. It starts by encouraging youth to look within themselves to begin building or strengthening their personal character," said Brad Keizer, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Fall River & Custer Counties.

Character All Stars curriculum teams selected teen role models team up to work with elementary and middle school students. During the 2016-2017 school year, 64 teen volunteers participated as role models.

During a recent sixth-grade presentation, Custer High School Character All Star mentors, Morgan Parys and Noah Zacher shared these words with the middle school class.

"Jr. and Sr. High can be tough, your parents are your biggest supporters. The limits they may place on you are for your good and to protect you," Parys said. 

Zacher added. "Use your parents as an excuse if someone is pressuring you to do something you know is wrong."

Parys, Zacher and the 63 other Character All Star volunteers were selected based on the following criteria: 

  1. Character Traits: Possess Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, and Citizenship.
  2. Positive Role Model - Lead by example; Are respected citizens by peers and adults.   
  3. Education - Take their studies seriously and work to be good students.
  4. Extracurricular Activity - Active in a minimum of one extracurricular activity.
  5. Writing and Presentation Skills - Ability to share a positive character message.

Once selected, the student-volunteers participated in South Dakota 4-H curriculum training so they could return to their communities to lead by example in schools across the state. 

The 2016-2017 program theme was Grow Your Self.

The Character All Stars six-lesson curriculum was developed by a team of 4-H Youth Program Advisors including: Brad Keizer, Becca Tullar, Audra Scheel and Jodi Loehrer, and Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor Karelyn Farrand. 

"The program was designed with flexibility in mind, emphasizing the impact of positive role-modeling" Keizer said.

Participating schools had the flexibility to choose one or up to six of the available Grow Your Self lessons which focused on self-image, self-emotions, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline and control and relationships with friends and family.

"Character is truly the foundation of youth development," Keizer said. "It is a significant component of all that we do, whether we're teaching in a classroom, working with livestock or simply setting kids up for success, or as our 4-H motto states; 'making the best better.'"

South Dakota 4-H program priority areas emphasizes Health and Wellness, Science, Agvocacy & Leadership. Strength of character begins within one's self and fits perfectly within these emphasis areas. The Character All Stars programming efforts targeted self-awareness initially then connected with character building across the state. This was designed to help all areas of 4-H & youth development as a whole.

For more local information regarding the South Dakota 4-H Character All Stars Project, please contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. For a complete list, visit the iGrow Our Experts page.

Courtesy of iGrow. Custer County 4-H Character All Stars, Noah Zacher and Morgan Parys of Custer High School, visit with elementary students about self-image, self-confidence, character and real-modeling.

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Agricultural Water Testing Project

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakotans can test their agriculture water for nitrate-nitrogen this summer during one of three events hosted by SDSU Extension and partners.

The events will be held near Beresford July 19 to 20, 2017 at the SDSU Southeast Research Farm (29974 University Road, Beresford) and near Volga July 26 at the SDSU Volga Research Farm (21254 464th Ave., Volga). The date and location of the third event will be announced later this summer.

"Subsurface drainage water can look clean to the eye when coming out the end of a pipe. However, it doesn't always mean it is," said David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist and one of the events' organizers. "Tile water can carry with it high concentrations of dissolved nutrients such as nitrate-nitrogen which can contribute to the eutrophication of surface water."

Eutrophication, Kringen explained, is when excess nutrients enter a body of water stimulating the growth of aquatic plants and depleting the water's dissolved oxygen content as the plants decompose.

The project is funded by SD Corn, the East Dakota Water Development District (WDD), the James River WDD and the Vermillion Basin WDD.

The goals of this water testing pilot project are to:

  1. Educate participants about the potential for nutrient loss in surface runoff and/or subsurface drainage;
  2. Provide information about potential economic and environmental impacts associated with elevated nutrient losses; and
  3. Provide information on best management practices aimed to reduce nitrogen loading from agricultural land to South Dakota lakes and streams.

"The nutrient testing program is meant to be entirely voluntary and confidential," said Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist. "We hope that through this project, landowners, producers, agronomists and other stakeholders will learn more about nutrient management, water quality and soil health."

While nitrate testing of tile drainage water is the program's primary driver, water samples taken from other sources such as a wells used for drinking and/or livestock or a ditch or stream are also welcome. 

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Animal Care & Welfare Webinars

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Profit Tips, Sheep, Healthy Families, Food Safety, Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota livestock producers, industry professionals and 4-H youth are encouraged to tune in the first Wednesday of each month for webinars provided by SDSU Extension.

The Animal Care Wednesday Webinar series is made possible through a five-state partnership of university and extension staff from Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

"These webinars are designed to provide a brief snapshot of animal welfare and care topics," said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.

Past webinar topics have included: antibiotic resistance and stewardship, show animal resources on the VFD (veterinary feed directive) changes, medication and remote delivery methods for cattle, equine welfare and neglect and understanding public perceptions of livestock practices.

"We see these webinars as a great way to provide information, while at the same time generating discussion on current animal care topics," Carroll explained.

First Wednesday at 11 a.m. CST

The 30-minute webinars are held the first Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. CST. However, anyone is welcome to view the webinar once it has been aired here.

"These webinars provide a flexible way to learn about current animal welfare and care topics that impact animal agriculture in the United States," Carroll said.

The May 3, 2017 webinar is titled "Cattle Transportation & Preparing for Emergencies". The webinar will be presented by Lisa Pederson, the North Dakota Beef Quality Assurance Specialist.

To learn more, visit the UNL Animal Science resources page

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April 20 Climate Update Cool start to May 2017

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The April 20, 2017 climate outlook released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows a couple of weeks of cooler weather are ahead for much of South Dakota.

"According to the outlook, South Dakota's planting season temperatures have an equal chance of being warmer, cooler or near average temperatures," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist. "A week or more ago, I would have thought that eastern South Dakota would lean towards warmer temperatures in May but now the forecast is turning cool for the start of the month. So, we may end up near average overall, if the end of May turns warm."

The forecast for cool temperatures, along with a mix of rain and snow across the state, will put a hold on field work for many. 

"Wet fields in the southeast and cool soil temperatures across the region have prevented farmers and gardeners alike to make much progress in planting and spring activities," she said.

Edwards added that thus far, the spring season has shown some early signs of weeds and insect activity.

"The warm 2016 fall season may have set the stage for both weeds and insects," Edwards explained.

She added that SDSU Extension Weed specialists are already receiving reports of kochia and other species coming out. Some adult grasshoppers have also been observed in eastern South Dakota.

Precipitation outlook

Based on NOAA report, the precipitation outlook for May 2017 for the northwestern corner of the state shows a good likelihood of above average rainfall. 

"This area was hit hard last summer with severe drought. The recent rains in April, along with a continuing stream of precipitation in May, could bring good growth to grasses and forages in the area," Edwards said.

The current outlook for western South Dakota shows wetter than average now through July. As far as temperatures are concerned, the outlook is favoring warmer than average temperatures across all but the northern tier of the state from May through July. 

"This could be good news, since we are starting out the growing season with cooler temperatures, and some warmth could help with plant growth in the latter spring season," Edwards said.

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Winter Kill in Alfalfa fields: What is next?

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Sheep, Agronomy, Other Crops

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Alfalfa stands throughout South Dakota are showing signs of winter kill.

"This year lack of snow coverage along with up's and down's in temperatures have caused several issues with alfalfa stands in several locations in South Dakota," said  Karla A. Hernandez, SDSU Extension Forages Field Specialist.

Hernandez said that where damage has occurred, it is concentrated in areas of alfalfa fields where ice sheets formed, water ponded, there was poor drainage and not enough snow cover to insulate alfalfa against extreme temperatures.

"Late harvested stands that are three or more years old are showing more damage than younger ones' under moderate management," she said.

Before making decisions, Hernandez recommends that growers first analyze the severity of damage. "When assessing your fields, it is important to take roots samples and consider other factors," she said, encouraging growers to read the iGrow article, Alfalfa Winter Kill: Top Contributing Factors, which can be found here.

If an alfalfa field shows signs of winter kill, yet the grower wants to keep the field what should they do? Hernandez answers this question below.

  1. For fields planted last year, consider interseeding alfalfa in thin spots.
  2. For older alfalfa stands, auto-toxicity and other problems could make interseeding alfalfa very risky in this case add other species to keep forage production.

If an alfalfa field shows signs of winter kill and the grower decides to replace the alfalfa stand, what are their options? Hernandez addresses this question below.

"If the damaged alfalfa field was seeded more than two or three years ago, it is recommended to plant a different crop before planting alfalfa again to avoid auto-toxicity issues," she said. "Interseeding forage grasses or clovers will fill the gaps left by winterkilled alfalfa, preventing weed competition while yielding acceptable amounts of good quality forage."

Some forages to consider include:

Red clover: Average seeding rate of 6 to 10 pounds per acre. Red clover can help prolong the life of alfalfa by an average of two years. "This is a great option for producers that harvest their forage for haylage," Hernandez said.

Small grains and annual cool season grasses: Examples: Oats, wheat, rye, or triticale, annual or Italian ryegrass can provide high quality forage fast, and prolong the stand life for one year.

Interseed perennial grasses such as orchardgrass: Orchard grass at a seeding rate of 5 to10 pounds per acre; timothy at a seeding rate of 3 to 5 pounds per acre or tall fescue, at a seeding rate of 4 pounds per acre.

"These perennial grasses could enhance stands for two or more years depending on production but might take longer than annual grasses," Hernandez said.

Other guidelines to following when treating alfalfa fields with winter kill:

1. Stem Counts: wait until new growth is about 6 inches tall and count all stems longer than 2 inches within a one square foot area.

  • Healthy Stands: will have more than 55 stems per square foot, regardless of stand age.
  • bntervention and decision making: stem count is below 40 stems per square foot. Consider interseeding with some of the options suggested in this article.

2. When to keep or not your alfalfa stand? Decision on whether to keep the stand should be based on the total area lost. There is a tendency that when fields have more than 50 percent of alfalfa loss, starting over may be the best solution; whereas fields with less than 50 percent alfalfa loss may be worth salvaging for one additional year of production.

Courtesy of iGrow. Alfalfa winter kill in south eastern South Dakota.

Courtesy of iGrow. Alfalfa winter kill in Beresford, South Dakota. Second year of establishment.

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Ryan Samuel Joins SDSU Extension

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Ryan Samuel recently joined the SDSU Extension team to serve as an SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

"Ryan comes to us with production as well as extensive research experience which I believe will be beneficial to our state's pork producers," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

Prior to joining SDSU Extension, Samuel worked as a research project manager with Alltech at the Center for Animal Nutrigenomics & Applied Animal Nutrition in Nicholasville, Kentucky. His research focus was Alltech nutritional solutions for monogastric agricultural animals.

In his new role with SDSU Extension, Samuel is eager to continue pursuing his passion for research. In this SDSU Extension role he is also looking forward to working directly with South Dakota's pork producers.

"The biggest thing I am looking forward to is sharing information with producers. It's no good for me to have this knowledge and research information if I only hold on to it," he explained.

More about Ryan Samuel

Ryan Samuel developed an interest in swine nutrition as a youth working on his uncle's Alberta, Canada farm. "I was working in the farrowing rooms of PigPen Hog Farms, a 1600-sow isowean facility, and it occurred to me that there was so much difference between sows at the same stage of production and similar genetics - I thought, there has to be something missing nutritionally," said Samuel, of the nagging questions which led him to pursue master's and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Science following his undergraduate degree in Chemistry.

Samuel is eager to develop and share research-based information with South Dakota pork producers to help them improve their management practices and profits.

"It seems this position has brought my career full circle, where I will be able to work with and help producers like my uncle," he said. "I am excited to aid in the success of pork producers throughout South Dakota."

To connect with Samuel, e-mail him here.

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Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers Program

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will be hosting a Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers Program at the Cottonwood Range and Livestock Field Station beginning May 23, 2017.

"This program will provide information and hands-on tools and training to assist producers in improving mineral nutrition for their cattle," said Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

The May 23 session is the first of two sessions, the second session will be held this fall.

During the May session producers will gain a basic understanding of mineral nutrition and the role minerals play in health and production.

"Tools will be provided to monitor mineral consumption throughout the summer and determine whether cattle are consuming mineral at the appropriate level and what some tips and tricks are to help with consumption problems. In addition, the participants will be doing hands-on sample collection to be equipped to collect samples on their own operation for mineral analysis," Harty said.

Throughout the summer participants will be encouraged to collect forage, water and other feed samples on their operation to determine mineral status. One-on-one assistance will be made available through ranch visits, phone calls and e-mails.

In the fall, the group will come back together to discuss what they observed for mineral consumption and sample analysis. Time will be spent understanding mineral tags and bioavailability of minerals within different minerals. During the fall session participants will be asked to bring their laboratory analysis from their feed and water samples to discuss.

"We will go over how to interpret the results and what's next in determining the best commercial mineral or formulating a custom mineral," Harty said.

Both sessions will include panel discussions that address how to develop a custom formulation from the professional nutritionists' perspective and how it works for the ranch from the producer perspective. Producers will share why it was worth it to modify their mineral program and how it has benefitted their operation.

Registration deadline is May 16, 2017

Class size is limited to 20 operations, with up to two people per operation participating. Registration is $150 per operation.

To register visit iGrow events and search by the event date. 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.

This program is sponsored by SDSU Extension, Micronutrients a Nutreco Company and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

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HOSTA for Youth Farm & Ranch Workers

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will be conducting two Hazardous Occupations Safety Training for Agriculture courses May 25 - 26, 2017 in Philip and May 31- June 1, 2017 in Mitchell. Youth planning to work on a farm or ranch this summer are encouraged to attend.

"If youth are 14 or 15 and working on a farm or ranch that is not their families they are required by law to attend a training," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension 4-H Associate. "Because agriculture work can be dangerous, we encourage all youth who plan to engage in agriculture work to attend the training."

The trainings will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first day at both locations and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. the second day.

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. Those under 14 can also attend but will not be able to take the written or driving test.

The Philip course will be held at the American Legion Hall (West Main Street) and the Mitchell event will be held at the Davison County Fairgrounds (3200 W Havens Ave).

Attend Because It's the Law

"The agricultural industry is the only industry in the U.S. that allows youth under the age of 16 to be legal employees," Keimig said. "The HOSTA programs aims to help teach those young employees about the dangers associated with working on the farm and ranch."

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 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," Keimig explained. "When youth reach 16 years of age this law no longer applies to their employment."

While not required to work on the family farm, Keimig encouraged all youth who plan to engage in agriculture work this summer to attend.

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 Hazardous Operations Safety Training for Agriculture (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 14-18 year-old participants. SDSU Extension personnel will be coordinating the training.

Register before May 19

To register visit, the iGrow Events page and search by event date.

To cover the cost of participation and materials, there is a $50 fee for the Phillip training and a $60 fee for the Mitchell training.

Registration ends on May 19 for Phillip and on May 23 for Mitchell.

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.

For questions on Hazardous Occupation Safety Training for Agriculture, please contact Keimig at 605.688.4167 or by email

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Cutting-Edge Science to Feed and Fuel the Future

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

What do netwrap, feedlots and testing injection pumps have to do with graduating from the College of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at South Dakota State University? Through Senior Capstone Design projects, the senior engineering students partner with innovators in the ag industry using the latest technology. The experience provides an opportunity to work on projects that will impact agriculture for future generations.

The designs and work involved in these projects will be showcased at the SDSU Engineering Expo Design Competition April 28 at the Swiftel Center in Brooking from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is invited to the Expo to learn from the students.

“The Expo promotes the technologies and creates interest in entrepreneurship. It allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and provide recognition for their efforts,” Ag and Biosystems Engineering Instructor Douglas Prairie said. 

Netwrap and Twine Densification

Turning netwrap and twine intermingled with corn stalks, tree branches and chunks of debris into an efficient fuel source is the challenge presented to one group. The team of three Senior Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students tapped their brainpower as they searched for a way to efficiently process the waste materials into a useable fuel used at POET-DSM's cellulosic ethanol plant at Emmetsburg, Iowa.

This is the Capstone project chosen by Cody Myers of Columbus, Neb.; Colin LeBrun of Dell Rapids, S.D. and Grant Bose of Slayton, Minn. They developed a less energy-intensive process which increases reliability and decreases cost associated with converting corn stover to biofuels. The process needs to break down the waste material into a form so it can feed the solid fuel boiler system year-round.

LeBrun was realistic that there were issues that didn’t always work out. “But we’ve had some success,” he said. “Netwrap is a very hard material to deal with. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. You can’t find the flowability of netwrap in a book or go online to figure out how to make this work.” LeBrun recently accepted a full-time job with POET in Sioux Falls after graduation. LeBrun firmly believes his offer was a result of his work on this project.

“This is cutting edge and what I thought I’d be doing as an engineer,” Bose said. “It’s taking a task and finding a solution. A commercial machine isn’t available; we made one we think will work.”

Devising solutions

Prairie outlined the challenges faced by thirteen students as they devise solutions to problems for some of the premier businesses in the industry. The first semester students choose a project, develop a team approach and come up with a design. The second semester is the execution of the project and testing. The prototype or proof of concept at the end of the semester completes the course and is shown at the Expo. Collaboration with sponsors is key to projects with many of the students meeting weekly with them. 

“It’s like sending the students out with training wheels,” Prairie said. “Sometimes they need to be propped up a little. We try to not let them fall and hurt themselves when they run into roadblocks. We guide them. Sometimes they have to wobble before they get going to full speed.”

The Ag & Biosystems Engineering (ABE) major prepares students to work with the development and design of systems that impact food sources. The Ag Systems Technology (AST) major teaches students the practical application of new innovations in the agricultural market. 

Testing and Validation 

Students Matt Fritzke of Watertown, Minn., and Chandler Jansen of Emery, S.D., partnered with Raven Industries Applied Technology Division to improve the performance and accuracy of Raven’s direct injection pump system. Raven, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., manufactures precision agriculture and flow control technologies. 

The students designed a test bench to check the system and researched the needed parts. This semester they put together the system and have started measuring actual flow. Repetitions check the accuracy of the data. This work will improve the accuracy of applying chemicals to fields and help minimize crop damage or increased weed survival.

Expanding feedlot

As cattle operations have grown larger, the regulations and concern for environmental factors has expanded. The skills to plan for a new or to expand an existing animal feeding operation are in demand. 

Techniques to design a plan to expand a 1,000-head feedlot to a 2,000-head feedlot were developed by a third group. Christopher Waibel of Saint Augusta, Minn., and Lindsay Wallace, Maple Plain, Minn., worked with Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a model that meets needed criteria. The group also followed regulations from the South Dakota Department Environment and Natural Resources. 

Planning the settling basin provided the biggest challenge, Wallace said. The site dictates a lot of what the design will be. What they developed is a theoretical design; from their plans, they had to figure out the pros and cons of each design by analyzing the information.  In a real-life situation, a farmer would incorporate his preferences. 

“We evaluated the plan considering the most effective and most economical way.” Waibel said.
 
“It was a good introduction to this type of work and provided exposure to alternative viewpoints, design concepts and regulations.”

Waibel said, “We printed a 3D model of the site design which we’ll present to our sponsor and showcase at the design expo. We had a big learning curve, attempting to handle all the bits and pieces and apply it to real-life situations. This was great experience.”   

“Ag engineering encompasses more than electrical, civil or mechanical,” Prairie said. “These students possess a broad base of knowledge. Collaboration with business entities takes the students into the working world to come up with designs for challenges faced by the business. It’s more than an academic exercise. By reaching the stated goal, the project will potentially be something that the business will use.”

About the SDSU Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering focuses on preparing students to improve the world’s food chain and available natural resources. The department gives students and scientists the resources necessary to generate innovative ideas and build rewarding careers through teaching, research, and Extension efforts. The Department offers degrees in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), which prepares students to work with the development and design of systems that impact food sources, and in Ag Systems Technology (AST), which teaches students the practical application of new innovations in the agricultural market. A partnership between the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department and the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science offers the first-in-the-nation Precision Agriculture major.

For more information about the SDSU Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, contact Dr. Van Kelley, Department Head, at 605.688.5143.

SDSU Raven student project- SDSU students Chandler Jansen, Emery, S.D., left, and Matt Fritzke, Watertown, Minn., partnered with Raven Industries Applied Technology Division on a direct injection pump system as part of their senior agricultural and biosystems engineering design project at SDSU.

SDSU Netwrap students- SDSU students Cody Myers, Columbus, Neb., left, Grant Bose, Slayton, Minn., and Colin LeBrun, Dell Rapids, S.D., worked on a project for POET-DSM investigating netwrap and twine in the cellulosic ethanol process as part of their senior agricultural and biosystems engineering project.

SDSU Feedlot students – SDSU agricultural engineering students Christopher Waibel, Saint Augusta, Minn., left, and Lindsay Wallace, Maple Plain, Minn., worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service on an animal feeding operation model taking into account regulations and environmental factors as part of their senior agricultural and biosystems engineering project. 

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SD 4-H Sends Youth to National 4-H Conference

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Five South Dakota youth recently attended the National 4-H Conference held in Chevy Chase, Maryland March 25 to March 30, 2017.

"National 4-H Conference represents the premier opportunity for South Dakota 4-H members to get involved at the National level," said Matthew Olson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Pennington County and one of two chaperones who accompanied the South Dakota youth on the trip.

Kaycee Jones, Haakon/Jackson/Jones/Mellette Counties SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor also served as a chaperone.

Youth who attended the conference included: Matthew Bogue, Lincoln County; Matthew Sperry, Brown County; Jace Woodward, Custer County; Kelsey Frost, Minnehaha County and Emily Rolfes, Clay County.

"The experience I will never forget," Sperry said. "National 4-H Conference is a productive collaboration with other delegates (together we) created a presentation for a Federal Department. Through our close teamwork, I now have 4-H friends from across the nation."

The National 4-H Conference is a premier professional and leadership development event for 4-H members, ages 16 - 19, 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.

While attending the conference, youth participated in roundtable discussions including: Ag Challenges; House Agriculture Committee; Science of Music; Smithsonian Institute; Emergency Readiness; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Wind Decisions; Department of Energy; Social Equity; Federal Bureau of Investigations and Working my Future; Department of Labor.

They also took part in workshops that focused on conflict resolution through cooperation; exploring power, influence and authority as well as advocacy.

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

"I recommend that everyone who is interested has the chance attend the National 4-H Conference," Frost said. "I had an amazing time meeting new friends, learning, exploring D.C. and presenting along with my roundtable.  It has been an experience that I will treasure for a lifetime."

Rolfes added, "The National 4-H Conference is a great opportunity to meet new people, learn about 4-H and your roundtable, sightsee, meet your congressmen, and make life memories. I had mass amounts of fun and would go again if I could."

To learn how you can attend the National 4-H Conference or become involved in 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 on the Our Experts page

Learn more about the 4-H National Conference online.

Courtesy of iGrow. Five South Dakota youth recently attended the National 4-H Conference held in Chevy Chase, Maryland March 25 to March 30, 2017. Pictured here on the Capitol steps, (bottom to top): Matthew Olson, Kaycee Jones, Kelsey Frost, Emily Rolfes, Jace Woodward, Matthew Bogue and Matthew Sperry.

Courtesy of iGrow. Five South Dakota youth recently attended the National 4-H Conference held in Chevy Chase, Maryland March 25 to March 30, 2017. Pictured here in front of the Supreme Court: (bottom left to right): Kelsey Frost, Emily Rolfes; (top left to right): Matthew Sperry, Jace Woodward and Matthew Bogue. 

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Genetic Training at King Ranch Institute

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

Using genetic technology to improve cattle herds with an improved payday captivates cattle producers. Those willing to learn will have a unique opportunity to acquire the latest in this specialized technology via a program offered in Rapid City by the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management in May.

Sessions on “Application of Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle” will be offered May 11-12 at the Rushmore Inn and Suites in Rapid City. The South Dakota State University West River Ag Center is co-hosting the lectureships.

“This is exactly the information that many producers are looking for,” Kristi Cammack, director of the West River Ag Center in Rapid City said. “We hear many of our producers are beginning or wanting to use genetic technology to improve their herds. Some question if they are using it correctly; some feel it is information overload.”

As the technology develops, those in the industry have gone from reluctance to acceptance. Many have observed others who are using it and are eager to implement the practices. Keeping up with genetic selection and evaluation innovations can be challenging. Cammack sees two groups of cattle people who will learn from the sessions. There are the early adopters who have been trying the technology and the second group are those who are interested but don’t know where to start.

The sessions are meant to strengthen the understanding of the genetic principles and help attendees build on the information. Faculty contracted by the King Institute will share how to apply advanced genetic technologies in the real world of seedstock and commercial cattle production.

Instructors will be Bob Weaber, Ph.D., Extension Specialist Animal Sciences and Industry from Kansas State University and Matt Spangler, Ph.D., Beef Genetics Extension Specialist in the Animal Science Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Along with the basics, they will look at the application of advanced genetic tools including genomically enhanced Expected Progeny Differences and marker assisted management in genetic advancement.

Cammack expects that the sessions will appeal to both commercial and seed stock producers from across the state, region, and throughout the country. Many in the cattle industry know and respect the King Ranch and the expertise provided by SDSU and its staff.  

Information will focus on developing breeding objectives for the herd and determining the economics relative for each operation as that may vary within a region. Owners want to know what will work for them at their location, taking into consideration different feedstuffs and different markets.

The tools have advanced so they are producer friendly. Cammack said the speakers will share knowledge that producers can apply and use in their operation, including an applied understanding of how to use genomic selection tools. Cattle producers will get a lot out of the 1 ½-day program. Learning will come from Interactive Sire Selection Scenarios where attendees will break out into groups and practice how to pick sires.

“We hope the result is that cattle producers will learn to use advanced genetics. Applying these tools, in the correct way, will pay off with improved genetics. Producers will find it advancing herd genetics really pays it forward,” Cammack said.

Contact Cammack at 605.394.2236, or email. View the agenda and make a reservation online.

Reservations for rooms: Rushmore Inn and Suites, 605.646.4690 (Group Rate: $79/night for reservations made by April 18; Event name: “Beef Cattle”).

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New Professor Completes First Year with SDSU Dairy & Food Science Department

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy, Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Facilitating students’ development of critical thinking and problem solving skills using practical and real-world examples is how Dr. Srinivas Janaswamy describes his role as a new member of the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Dairy & Food Science Department faculty.

Janaswamy brings more than 17 years of professional experience in food science research, with emphasis on polysaccharides used in food. 

“I grew up around education, as my father was a teacher in our small village in India,” says Janaswamy. 

“I have a passion for teaching and this role with SDSU offers both teaching and research components.”

Two classes have been getting first-hand experience with Janaswamy’s zeal for teaching: Introduction to Food Science and Food Chemistry. His research/scholarship responsibilities primarily focus on polysaccharides and starches and using them in applications such as thickenings, gels and carriers of health-promoting and disease-preventing compounds.

“I’m fascinated by the functional behaviors of polysaccharides and starches and studying how these biopolymers can be better utilized in food, pharmaceutical and medical applications,” says Janaswamy. “I want to research how polysaccharides interact with flavors, nutraceuticals and vitamins and how to use them to make functional foods. I’m also focusing on non-food applications of polysaccharides, such as packaging films.”

Janaswamy most recently served as a research assistant professor at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. He is also serving as a visiting professor to two Chinese universities. 

More than 20 graduate and undergraduate students have received research guidance from Janaswamy. He has co-authored 51 peer-reviewed journal publications. Janaswamy is an editorial board member of Carbohydrate Polymers, and also serves as a consultant.

Vikram Mistry, Professor and Head of the Dairy and Food Science Department, states that Dr. Janaswamy brings important expertise to the new Food Science program, which will help enhance undergraduate and graduate programs.

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 Department website.


        

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Pasture Bugs N’ Grubs Road Show

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Grassland Coalition is sponsoring the 2017 Pasture Bugs N' Grubs Road Show in conjunction with SDSU Extension, NRCS and other partner organizations.

The Road show is scheduled to make stops in Watertown April 25; Chamberlain/Oacoma April 26; and Rapid City April 27.

"Spring is arriving throughout South Dakota and it signals the return of insects to the landscape. The road show is designed to allow producers from across the state to hear experts present on key insect-related issues affecting farms and ranches," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

Road show topics include:

  • Dung beetles and manure decomposition;
  • White grub concerns;
  • The role of pollinators in pastures;
  • Status of South Dakota biological control programs;
  • Livestock parasites; and
  • Alternatives tools in animal and range health.

Insect Communities & Rangeland Health

Insects, in general, may offer more indication of rangeland health than any other type of organism, explained Bauman.

"They serve as key building blocks that other organisms depend on," he said. "The insect community present in rangelands can be complex and most people find identification of most insects difficult. Consequently, other species are generally utilized to help interpret the condition of rangelands. For example, changes in grassland bird abundance or diversity are often used as a general indicator of rangeland health."

Bauman explained that because birds are relatively easy to see and count, observing grassland birds has become a powerful tool for many ranchers to gauge their range condition. However, for most grassland birds to raise a successful clutch they must provide their hatchlings with insects or the young themselves must forage for insects on their own to meet their nutritional and developmental needs.

"This reality points to the critical role of insects in overall grassland ecology," Bauman said. "Beneficial insect communities that are present in rangeland are dependent on healthy and diverse functioning plant communities."

Bauman shared the example of pollinating insects.

"Pollinating insects, such as honey bees, butterflies, native bees and flies rely on the presence of flowering plants for nectar," he said.

Healthy and vigorous plant communities are maintained in rangeland primarily through healthy grazing programs that consider whole-systems health.

"Healthy rangelands that offer the greatest profit potential are maintained through a holistic or integrated approach that considers all natural resources, including vegetation, insects, birds, soils, water, etc. and utilizes more than one approach at reducing pest populations," Bauman said.

Registration and location details

To register for the Bugs N' Grubs Road Show contact, Jan Rounds by April 20th by email or 605.882.5140. Event is Free to current Coalition members, $30 registration for non members (includes membership).  Lunch provided at all locations.

Watertown April 25 (CST) held at the SDSU Regional Extension Center (5140 W. Kemp) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST).

Oacoma April 26 held at Al's Oasis Restaurant (1000 E. Hwy 16) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST).

Rapid City April 27 held at the SDSU Regional Extension Center (711 N. Creek Dr.) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MST).

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1. White Grub in pasture sod.  

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2. Dung beetles on manure pat

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 3. Dakota Skipper butterfly

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Time to Revisit Drought Plans for the Ranch

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - In light of the dry range conditions forecast for much of central and western South Dakota, cattle producers are encouraged to review their drought management plans.

"Recently released grass production estimates show dry conditions spreading across areas of central and western South Dakota," said Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist.

The maps Kelly references are updated each month by the South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (Figures 1 and 2).

"The next three months are a critical period for precipitation and grassland production," Kelly explained. "Areas in central South Dakota that were not in drought conditions last year, are experiencing dry conditions right now. Producers depending on grass and forage in those regions, need to pay close attention to precipitation and grass conditions and make sure a drought plan with management actions is in place to reduce stocking rates if dry conditions persist."

Kelly encouraged those cattle and forage producers entering their second season of drought conditions to continue with management actions taken last season and make necessary adjustments to this year's drought plan if dry conditions persist.

To help with developing a drought management plan for the 2017 grazing season, Kelly outlines tools cattle producers and range managers can reference.

South Dakota Drought Tool

This is an excellent place to start if your ranch does not have a drought plan in place (Figure 3).

The drought tool is an easy-to-use tool that Kelly said gives a ranch manager an estimate of precipitation records and projected forage production for the area of South Dakota their ranch lies on.

"If a ranch has its own precipitation records, a manager can input them into the drought tool for a more accurate assessment for their ranch," Kelly said.

Trigger Dates

Trigger dates are also vitally important for an effective drought plan (Figure 4).

The first trigger date is based on growing conditions from the previous year.

"For example, much of western South Dakota was experiencing drought conditions last year (Figure 5), therefore average precipitation will not be enough to recharge soil moisture this year," Kelly explained. "Above normal rainfall will be needed to bring that soil moisture back to normal. So many ranchers affected by drought last year are already implementing management actions for this year such as adjusting stocking rates and culling cows."

Kelly added that cattle producers in central South Dakota who had normal precipitation last year need to keep a very close eye on precipitation and grass conditions for the rest of this spring. "Producers in these areas need to have a drought management action plan in place if dry conditions persist and a reduction in livestock numbers is needed," Kelly said.

April 15 is second trigger date

"The second important trigger date is around April 15," Kelly said. "Up to this date we can assess how much dormant season moisture we received from October thru March and we can assess the precipitation forecast estimates for the rest of the spring."

To further explain this point, Kelly quotes Roger Gates, former SDSU Extension Rangeland Management Specialist. "In the Northern Plains, where rangelands are dominated by cool-season grasses, spring precipitation - April, May and June - the best single predictor of vegetation production for the entire growing season," Gates said. "By mid-April climate prediction models for spring rainfall are correct more often than not. If rainfall forecast predictions are below normal for the next three months reductions in livestock numbers should be made."

"This reinforces the fact that cattle operations in areas with normal precipitation last year, do need to start thinking about how they can reduce their livestock numbers and have a plan in place, if the precipitation outlook for the rest of this spring is below normal," Kelly said.

May 15 is third trigger date: Roughly May 15 is another trigger date Kelly encouraged cattle and forage producers to be aware of. "If conditions are still dry by May 15, it becomes increasingly difficult to get enough precipitation to maintain average soil moisture for the remainder of the growing season. Further reduction in livestock numbers may need to happen," he said.

Precipitation Reassessment: Research shows that by July 1, 75 percent to 90 percent of vegetation growth is complete - making reassessment of precipitation and moisture conditions should be done again around June 15.

"If dry conditions persist, more management actions will need to be implemented," Kelly said.

Figure 1. South Dakota Grasslands Current Projected Production for March 15, 2017.

Figure 2. South Dakota Grasslands Projected Peak Production by July 1, 2017.

Figure 3. South Dakota Drought Tool from NRCS.

Figure 4. Critical date and action flow plan.

Figure 5. South Dakota Drought Tool Evaluation for Meade County, Maurine weather station on 3/29/2017.

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Sunflower Research Nets Award

Categorized: Agronomy, Other Crops

Assistant Professor and Field Crops Pathologist at South Dakota State University, Dr. Febina Mathew has been chosen for the Schroth Faces of the Future Award in Host Resistance and Host/Pathogen Interactions from the American Phytopathological Society.

Mathew’s research on Phomopsis stem canker of sunflower will be the focus of her talk at the Schroth Faces of the Future Symposium at the organization’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas in August. This group is a community of scientists who dedicate themselves to managing crop diseases to ensure safe and sustainable food, feed, fiber, and fuel.

Mathew’s research on Phomopsis stem canker is vital to producers of sunflowers not only in South Dakota but also in the other sunflower producing states of the U.S. such as Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

“I am honored to be able to share my research at the meeting,” Mathew said. “I see the research as a service to farmers to identify the yield-limiting disease and to develop a way to offer solutions. It is important for farmers to know we are looking at the problem and seeking solutions. Sharing this information at a national meeting will help focus research efforts.”

Mathew began her research on the issue at North Dakota State University in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. Sam Markell, Extension Plant Pathologist at NDSU, when the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota faced an epidemic of Phomopsis stem canker impacting sunflowers. The work continued once she joined the staff at SDSU.

David Wright, Department Head for Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, praised her by saying, “We are delighted the APS Foundation has chosen Dr. Febina Mathew for this prestigious award. It recognizes what the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences has seen in Dr. Mathew from the beginning, a highly visionary scientist focused on solving problems that limit farmer productivity and profitability.”

More than 75 percent of the nation’s sunflowers are grown in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. Mathew has worked with the National Sunflower Association and the South Dakota Oilseed Council to seek solutions to limit the damage that reduces yields by 40 to 50 percent in those affected fields.

John Sandbakken, Executive Director of the National Sunflower Association in Madan, N.D., knows how important the research is to producers. He said, “Phomopsis stem canker is an economically threatening disease to sunflower production in the United States. The research that Dr. Febina Mathew is conducting is critically important. The work will be used to provide sunflower producers with management recommendations and breeding breakthroughs that will help in the control of Phomopsis stem canker. It will reduce the production risk this disease poses to sunflower producers’ profitability and make sunflower a viable crop in the United States.”

Research directed by Mathew showed that two pathogens, Phomopsis helianthi and Phomopsis gulyae, were causing the disease. With no fungicide treatment labelled for managing Phomopsis stem canker, crop rotation and resistant hybrids offer the best tools for producers. Researchers found sunflower genotypes that confer resistance to the Phomopsis stem canker pathogens. This is the research that she used to apply for the award.

Screening of genotypes began in 2015. In November of 2016, research identified two resistant genotypes, one exhibiting resistance to Phomopsis helianthi and the other to Phomopsis gulyae. With this knowledge, the next steps will include working with plant breeders and molecular biologists to eventually breed the resistant gene into a commercial hybrid. It will need to maintain quality and yield.

The symptoms seen in the field are a large tan to light brown lesion or canker on the stem that usually surrounds a leaf petiole. The lesion is larger than that associated with Phoma and is lighter in color. There is usually more pith damage with Phomopsis compared to Phoma. This is responsible for the plant being prone to lodging.

Rick Vallery, executive director of the South Dakota Oilseeds Council, described Mathew as a real gem who does things right in her research. Through her work, she has developed a good working relationship with producers and reports to them what she finds.

“For the last two years, we have helped fund her research which found varieties of sunflowers that have a high potential to be resistant to Phomopsis stem canker,” Vallery said. “South Dakota producers are looking at planting 650,000 acres this spring. The disease is very prevalent in South Dakota so finding varieties that are resistant is very important. Her research, using DNA technology, is an immense help to farmers as she narrows down the choices.”

“We have a long-term commitment to find a solution with continued research,” Mathew said. “The discovery of these resistance materials will begin a new direction for future research in to this disease.”

Dr. Febina Mathew, Assistant Professor and Field Crops Pathologist, South Dakota State University.

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Helping Teens Build Their Financial Literacy

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Throughout the month of April, you may see high school students snapping photos to compete in the Money Smart Scavenger Hunt challenge. The activity celebrates National Financial Literacy month.

"The goal of the month is to highlight the importance of developing financial knowledge and skills for consumer of all ages and to raise awareness about the value of financial literacy," said Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist. "They will be flexing their creativity while they build their knowledge of wise financial practices and behaviors."

This free program, hosted by Money Smart Week® encourages teens to compete in a series of financial education tasks recorded with photos. More information about the challenge can be found online.

"SDSU Extension is promoting this activity because we see this as a great tool to help consumers increase their financial capability," said Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist. "Financial capability is the combination of attitude, knowledge, skills and self-efficacy needed to make money management decisions that will increase financial security."

High school students who participate in the Money Smart Scavenger Hunt by submitting photos of themselves completing this series of tasks are entered into a national competition for prizes. Two lucky contestants will win gift cards of $1,000 or $500 provided by The HQ Companies, Inc.

"The tasks are specifically geared to engage young people," Saboe-Wounded Head said. "Teens have fun while they learn about finances and money management." 

Money Smart Scavenger Hunt runs from April 3 through April 30, 2017. It is hosted by Money Smart Week®, a week of free, educational events for everyone - with no sales pitches - designed to help kids, teens and adults better manage their money.

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2017 Weed Control Guide for Pulse Crops

Categorized: Agronomy, Other Crops

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 2017 Weed Control in Pulse Crops guide is available online as free PDF download at iGrow or as hard copies at SDSU Extension regional centers, offices and at events.

Developed by SDSU Extension, the downloadable guides provide recommendations for herbicides that are available in South Dakota to control weeds in Pulse Crops (Dry Edible Beans, Field Peas, Chickpeas, and Lentils).

"The publication was updated for 2017 to include new products, new product names and the corresponding changes to the labels including application rates, rotation restrictions, and additive rates," explained Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Cost estimates are included for the herbicide products.

The guides are free of charge this year thanks to the support of SDSU Extension IPM Program and the SDSU Extension WEED Project. To learn more visit, the iGrow Agronomy Community page. Guides can be downloaded on iGrow.

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2017 SDSU Little I Honored Agriculturalists

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

“Teachers. Mentors. Doers. Dedicated. Hardworking. Driven.” These are all words that current and past students and employees use to describe Mike and Betty Brink. The couple took their place in the spotlight in the South Dakota State University Animal Science Arena on April 1, when they were recognized as the 2017 SDSU Little International Honored Agriculturalists. The Brinks live and farm near Redfield, S.D., where they raise registered Hampshire sheep, cattle, and a broad variety of crops.

Mike attended South Dakota State University from 1972 to 1976 and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Education. Betty attended Northern State University from 1977 to 1981, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in English Education before later returning to Northern in 1994 to complete a Master of Art’s degree in teaching. The couple married July 30, 1989.

While attending SDSU, Mike was heavily involved on campus in activities including the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, Little International, and Agricultural Education Club. Mike also participated in meats, dairy, and wool judging while attending SDSU. He attained success participating in the SDSU International, winning the title of dairy showmanship champion. He later went on to be both the Little I sheep and dairy superintendent.

During Betty’s time at NSU in Aberdeen, she was involved in Sigma Tau Delta, Northern's English honor fraternity, was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, a national education society, and the Order of Maroon and Gold. These two outstanding individuals were extremely dedicated and involved in clubs and organizations during their collegiate careers, and still take pride in them today.

After earning his degree in Agricultural Education, Mike began teaching at Tulare, S.D., in 1977 and immediately started cultivating the minds of his students. During his forty years of teaching, Mike has run one of the most successful FFA chapters in South Dakota. Earning approximately 25 first-place South Dakota state-winning teams, and multiple contending national teams, Mike’s program has shown its worth. Though his students note that his high expectations and intense teaching style can, at times, seem daunting, his approach proves to be effective time and time again.

Betty spent 13 years teaching English at Tulare High School before she returned back to the farm full-time. She now devotes a majority of her time tending to the cattle and sheep, as well as sharing her love for agriculture by allowing kids to come out to the farm and see the animals.

Aside from teaching, Mike and Betty also own a diversified livestock and crop operation. For the past 46 years the Brink Farm has had continuous production of registered Hampshire sheep. Mike and Betty are also lifelong members of the Hereford Association and the American Hampshire Sheep Association. In 2005, Mike and Betty were named the Friends of Conservation and in 2015 were awarded the South Dakota Master Lamb Producer Award for their elite skills, practices, and production outcomes.

Mike said that attending SDSU gave him the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities that he was interested in, and as a result, encouraged him to participate in Agricultural Education and make that a lifelong career. He enjoys working with students and seeing them advance in their dreams. His advice to students is to get involved with as many activities that interest them as possible because the amount of knowledge they will gain is tremendous.

Mike and Betty Brink were recently named the 2017 SDSU Little International Honored Agriculturalists.

SDSU Little International Assistant Manager Kendrah Schafer and Manager Dalen Zuidema presented Mike and Betty Brink with the 2017 SDSU Little International Honored Agriculturalist Award April 1.

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4-H’s Project Based Learning and Homeschool

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Since she was 3, Jordyn Hersrud has wanted to become a veterinarian. "I always loved animals and want to help animals," said the 12-year-old Rapid City seventh grader.

To help Jordyn explore her dream career, Jordyn's mom and homeschool teacher, Dani began looking for animal science curriculum. The web-search led Dani to South Dakota 4-H.

Impressed by the project-based focus of the youth organization, Dani together with another homeschool mom, Leisa James, chartered the Black Hills Home Educators 4-H Club in 2015. Today, the club boasts 102 members and 16 volunteers who oversee numerous project areas - from animal science, photography, cooking, arts and crafts to robotics and archery.

"As a homeschool parent, I believe in project-based learning. 4-H gives us, as homeschool parents, the tools to focus on one topic and guide our children to learn as much as they can about that topic - building upon the knowledge from year-to-year," Dani said.

James echoes Dani's comments.

"4-H compliments how we already teach at home, while allowing our children to explore a broad range of different project areas that they might not have considered before," said James, whose oldest daughter, Arora, 6 is a Cloverbud. "Involvement in 4-H will give her so many opportunities and will allow her to customize her own education."

Because of the flexible schedule homeschooling allows, the Black Hills Home Educators 4-H Club meets during the day every other Friday.

Project area volunteers lead sessions for members from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During a recent animal science project area meeting, Jordyn and her 4-H friends used playdough to gain a hands-on understanding of cells, tissues and organs. This month, they will participate in their first dissection.

"I am looking forward to dissection day," Jordyn said. "It will help me learn about the organs, where they are and give me hands-on experience."

During the 2016 Central States Fair, Jordyn entered a poster board, diorama and booklet she developed on Bengal Tigers.

"It was a lot of work but it's worth it because I got to visit with judges and I got a purple ribbon," Jordyn said.

In addition to seeing her daughters knowledge of animal science expand, Dani says Jordyn's self-confidence has also grown through 4-H.

"When Jordyn is working on her 4-H project, she is in her element," Dani explained. "She is vice president of our club, so she has also learned how to become comfortable with leading a meeting using parliamentary procedure and getting up in front of the group to give a public presentation. And, with 102 members in our club, this is a big group to present in front of."

Jordyn's experience is not unique among 4-H members, explains Matthew Olson, the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Pennington County. "While youth are focused on their project area, they are also developing leadership skills as well as citizenship skills," Olson said.

To make the best better

Along with delving into project areas youth are interested in, service is also a focus of the Black Hills Home Educators 4-H Club. During the Central States Fair, the club opened a pie and ice cream concession to drive more foot traffic to the 4-H building.

It worked.

"We sold so much pie and ice cream, we ran out," James said of the 938 slices of pie and more than 1,600 scoops of ice cream sold.

Of the over 700 homeschool youth registered in Pennington County school districts, 102 are members of the Black Hills Home Educator 4-H Club. Olson said that although homeschool families have always been a part of South Dakota 4-H, this club introduced 33 families to the organization.

To learn more about 4-H and how you can become involved, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. For a complete listing, visit the Field Staff Listing.

Courtesy photo. Since she was 3, Jordyn Hersrud has wanted to become a veterinarian. "I always loved animals and want to help animals," said the 12-year-old Rapid City seventh grade home school student and member of the Black Hills Home Educators 4-H Club.

During a recent 4-H Animal Science project area meeting, Hersrud and her 4-H friends used playdough to gain a hands-on understanding of cells, tissues and organs. This month, they will participate in their first dissection.

Courtesy photo, Since she was 3, Jordyn Hersrud has wanted to become a veterinarian. "I always loved animals and want to help animals," said the 12-year-old Rapid City seventh grade home school student and member of the Black Hills Home Educators 4-H Club.

During the 2016 Central States Fair in Rapid City, Hersrud entered a poster board, diorama and booklet she developed on Bengal Tigers.

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Rodeo Team Seniors Reflect Before Graduation

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Livestock, Horse, Agronomy, Drought

BROOKINGS, S.D. - On the eve of the 2017 Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo, ten graduating senior members of the South Dakota State University Rodeo Team will be recognized as part of the seventh annual Buckles and Bling Fundraiser, Thursday, April 6, at the Swiftel Center in Brookings, S.D.

The Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo will take place on April 7 at 7:00 p.m., and April 8 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at the Swiftel Center.

SDSU Rodeo Team Coach Ron Skovly says, “This is a very strong group of seniors that have a combined six College National Finals Rodeo qualifications. We will miss them next year for sure.”

The senior Rodeo Team members share some thoughts about their experiences below.

Ryan Knutson:

Knutson is a Range Science major from Toronto, S.D. He competes in bull riding on the SDSU Rodeo Team. Knutson’s favorite part of being on the team has been meeting friends and getting to travel with them. The best experience so far was making college finals short round his sophomore year. Overall, the main thing he says he has learned from being on the team is how to be consistent and keep the same approach. After graduation, he says is going to miss practices and travelling with his friends the most.

Pearson Wientjes:

Wientjes competes in calf roping and team roping, but notes that team roping is his favorite because it is something his dad taught him. From Mound City, S.D., he is double majoring in Agricultural Business and Economics. His favorite part of being a on the SDSU Rodeo Team is the friends he has made and the places he has been able to visit. The main lesson he says he has learned from rodeo is that a person can never be too mentally prepared. After graduation, he will most miss the opportunity to represent SDSU in something he loves.

Jacob Stark:

Stark is a Business Economics major from Oakland, Minn. He competes in bull riding on the Rodeo Team. His favorite memory was getting left behind in Valentine, Neb., at a gas station when the coach left with the other rough stock members of the team. He says one of the main things he has learned while being on the Rodeo Team is that a lot of mental preparation is involved in rodeo competition. He reflects that he will miss his team members.

Danielle Aus:

A Sociology major from Granite Falls, Minn., Aus competes in breakaway roping and goat tying on the rodeo team. Goat tying is her favorite event. Aus’ favorite part of being on the team is being a part of a competitive girls’ team. Through her years of college rodeo, she has learned that teamwork is everything and nothing would be accomplished without the team joining together. When she graduates, she will miss her rodeo family the most.

Trey Richter:

From Quinn, S.D., Richter is pursuing a degree in Agricultural Business while competing in calf roping and team roping on the rodeo team. His favorite event is team roping because his dad and brothers also team rope so it is something that they could do together. Richter has most enjoyed all the people he has met during his career in college rodeo. Coming into college as a freshman, he didn’t know many people, and rodeo helped him connect with people right away. His best memory was winning the region as a freshman. “One thing college rodeo has taught me is that you have to take the successes with the failures, because anything can happen in rodeo,” he says. Richter notes that he tries to keep a positive mindset no matter the outcome.

Matt Nelson:

Nelson is an Agriculture Science major from Colman, S.D. He competes in calf roping and team roping. To Nelson, the best part of college rodeo has been the friends he has developed. Some of his favorite memories were made going on long road trips with his best friends. He states that in his experience in the rodeo world, everyone is a big family.  “Although everyone is competing against each other, many people are still willing to jump in and help one another,” he says. The part of college rodeo that he will miss most is being around all his friends at practice every day. He says he is a competitive person, so he enjoys the aspect of having a bunch of teammates there having competitions during practice which help everyone improve.

Savanna Glaus:

Glaus competes in team roping and breakaway roping. From Chamberlain, S.D., she is pursuing a degree in Animal Science. Her favorite part of being on the team is travelling to different places while competing and meeting new people along the way. One thing she has learned is how to manage her time wisely while balancing college and rodeo. The aspect of college rodeo that she will miss most is seeing all of her Rodeo Team friends on a daily basis.

Hope Petry:

Petry is an Animal Science major from Hudson, Iowa. She competes in barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying on the team. Practicing with her friends and teammates every day is Petry’s favorite part of being on the rodeo team. Her best memory was winning the region in breakaway roping and competing at the College National Finals Rodeo for two years. “Practice takes up a lot of time and we miss some school, so learning good time management skills has been a big takeaway from being on the team for me,” she says. Petry will miss seeing her Rodeo Team friends.  

Braelee Aus:

Aus competes in breakaway roping and goat tying. She is a Sociology major from Granite Falls, Minn. Aus’ favorite memory from college rodeo is winning the breakaway roping competition at the 2016 Jackrabbit Stampede. From being on the Rodeo Team she has learned many lessons, but says the biggest lesson is that teamwork pays off. She reflects, “It is important to win rodeos, but without the team, practices wouldn’t even be possible. The part I will miss most about college rodeo is seeing and spending time with my teammates.”

Annaliese Favorite:

Favorite is an Animal Science major from Eagan, Minn. She competes in barrel racing. Participating in the Jackrabbit Stampede has been a highlight of her Rodeo Team experience. One of her best memories was visiting Sioux Valley Elementary School in Volga, S.D. last year and telling students about rodeo. The elementary students were also able to try out different rodeo events. “One thing I have learned is that South Dakota weather doesn’t care if there is a rodeo coming up, so going to practice and keeping horses in shape is important even when it’s cold,” she says. When she’s done with the team, she is going to miss both the people on her team, and travelling with them.

SDSU Rodeo Team

The SDSU Rodeo Club was established in 1952. Though Rodeo Team members are part of the club, not all club members are competing members of the Rodeo Team. The Rodeo Club helps set up and take down equipment for practices and provides behind-the-scenes support for the Jackrabbit Stampede.

The SDSU Rodeo Team has 45 competing members who compete in 9 rodeos in addition to the Jackrabbit Stampede each year. More than 1,200 SDSU alumni have been Rodeo Club and Rodeo Team members since the Club began. Members of the 2016-17 Rodeo Team are from Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Florida, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Learn more about the SDSU Rodeo Team by contacting Ron Skovly, SDSU Rodeo Coach, for more information at 605.690.1359, or email.

Photo: South Dakota State University Rodeo Team Seniors include, top row from left, Savanna Glause, Braelee Aus, Hope Petry, Dani Aus, Annaliese Favorite.

Bottom row: Rodeo Club Advisor and SDSU Animal Science Department Head Dr. Joe Cassady, Ryan Knutson, Pearson Wientjes, Trey Richter, Matt Nelson, Jake Stark, and Rodeo Team Coach Ron Skovly.

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Local 4-H Leader & Volunteer Training April 18

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension and the State 4-H Office invite 4-H leaders and volunteers to attend the third Quarterly Leader Training April 18, 2017 from 7 to 9 p.m. CST (6 to 8 p.m. MT).

The trainings will be held across the state at the West River Ag Center and seven SDSU Extension Regional Centers and on the campus of South Dakota State University in Brookings.

"This session will give you lots of resources and will focus on getting ready for the busy 4-H spring and summer," said Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist. "These trainings are open to all 4-H members, leaders, volunteers and parents and will focus on a variety of training topics and keep everyone informed throughout the 4-H year."  

No registration is required for this drop-in event.

Location details

The SDSU Extension Regional Centers locations are Pierre, Winner, Lemmon, Aberdeen, Mitchell, Watertown, Sioux Falls, the Rapid City location is at the West River Ag Center and the Brookings location is SDSU Pugsley 2nd floor (1057 8th Street Brookings). For specific addresses/location visit the Our Experts Page.

Training focus

The third quarterly meeting will provide 4-H leaders and volunteers with an opportunity to learn more about the following:

  • 4-H mission
  • Intro to spring and summer events
  • Release of the State fair book and the adaptions
  • Q & A with 4-H administration

This will be the last training before the busy 4-H summer season starts up. To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found on iGrow under the Our Experts Page.

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