Recent News View all Recent News »

2017 Eastern SD Water Conference November 8

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Registration is now open for the 2017 Eastern South Dakota Water Conference to be held November 8 in the Student Union's Volstorff Ballroom on the campus of South Dakota State University. This year's conference focus is "South Dakota's Water Resources: Where Are We Headed and How Will We Get There?"

"The framework will be unlike past meetings as the South Dakota Water Resources Institute at SDSU will host its first stakeholder working conference," explained David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist.

Conference details

The morning session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and consist of a comprehensive review of the current state of water quality in eastern South Dakota.

This session will include information on what is assessed and monitored, how the data is gathered, how it is reported and any long term trends that may be evident.

Both surface and groundwater resources will be discussed.

Attendees will learn about the South Dakota Integrated Report for Surface Water Quality Assessment, the National Rivers & Streams Assessment, the National Water Quality Initiative, the South Dakota Statewide Ground Water Quality Monitoring Network and more.

A poster presentation session will also be held during the morning break. Lunch is provided.

The afternoon session will consist of moderated roundtable discussions designed to engage attendees impacted by the information presented during the morning session.

Topics will include satisfaction with current monitoring strategies employed in South Dakota, future priorities and specific actions that may be taken as a result of the discussions.

It is the intent of the South Dakota Water Resources Institute at SDSU to compose a white paper summarizing the conference and the roundtable discussions.

Feedback from attendees will be used to help draft an action plan.

"This action plan will help guide the direction of future research opportunities as well as actions that can be taken as a group to sustain and improve our water resources in South Dakota," Kringen said.

The South Dakota Water Resources Institute at SDSU encourages all stakeholders concerned with water quality in eastern South Dakota to attend the 2017 conference.

If you would like your voice to be heard concerning the future of South Dakota's water resources, register online.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Celebrate National 4-H Week October 1 - 7, 2017

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota's more than 9,400 4-H members and thousands of alumni and volunteers will join with millions across the U.S. in celebrating the 75th consecutive National 4-H Week October 1-7, 2017.

"South Dakota 4-H joins in the celebration recognizing the positive youth development experiences that the 4-H program offers youth across the state," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

Youth Science Day

One of the most anticipated events of National 4-H Week every year is 4-H National Youth Science Day, October 4. The theme of this year's Science Day is Incredible Wearables. During the month of October, youth across South Dakota will join 4-H members nationwide in using the engineering design process to build a prototype wearable technology that will gather data to help solve a real-world problem.

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 9,400 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more about 4-H and how you or someone you know can become involved in 4-H, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete list can be found  at the Our Experts page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Deadline for Calf Value Discovery Program is October 1

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The SDSU Calf Value Discovery program allows cow/calf operators to gain valuable feedback to help them improve management decisions that impact the financial bottom-line.

The registration deadline is October 1, 2017.

"Post-weaning performance influences the price received when calves are marketed at or near weaning," Julie Walker, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist. "Obtaining post-weaning animal and carcass performance data through the SDSU Calf Value Discovery Program provides producers with additional information to make the best financial and management decisions for their operations."

What is the SDSU Calf Value Discovery Program

The SDSU Calf Value Discovery program is designed to allow producers to consign a minimum of five steer calves (500 to 800 pounds).

New this year, cattle will be fed in an accelerated finishing program at two locations this year. These locations are the South Dakota State University Southeast Research Station, Beresford and Vander Wal Yards, Bruce.

SDSU and SDSU Extension personnel will weigh cattle periodically and cattle owners will be sent performance updates. Cattle will be sold in truckload lots beginning approximately May 15, 2018.

All cattle will be sold on a grid price system.

For specific details on the program, visit the SDSU Calf Value Discovery Program.

Registration deadline is Oct. 1, 2017

Calves will be received at South Dakota State University Southeast Research Station, Beresford October 17 and 18, 2017.

Delivery dates for Vander Wal Yards, Bruce are November 7 and 8, 2017.

To assist western South Dakota producers, calves can be delivered to the South Dakota State University Cottonwood Range and Livestock Field Station November 6, 2017.

For additional information regarding the program please contact Julie Walker, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist at 605.688.5458 or Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate at 605.688.5452.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Grassland Management Workshops Coming in October

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Grassland Coalition, SDSU Extension and partner organizations are cooperating to improve landowner understanding of grassland establishment and maintenance through a series of October workshops.

"As one of the team members working on this project, I'm excited about the willingness of the agency staff to share what they have learned over the years in relation to putting grass on the ground," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist, of the group that also plans to offer a Grassland Management School for July of 2018.

Organizations and agencies working alongside SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition include: the Nature Conservancy, Game, Fish, and Parks, Pheasants Forever, NRCS, US Fish and Wildlife Service, SD Soil Health Coalition and Audubon Dakota.

Initial workshops will focus on grassland establishment and management in eastern South Dakota. "There is definitely a statewide need," said Bauman. "But the eastern counties have many recent and new projects that landowners are seeking advice on."

Workshops will begin with a short presentation on critical issues, and will quickly move toward more of an open discussion format between agency staff and landowner attendees. The intent of this format, explained Bauman, is to allow for individuals to ask specific questions related to their projects so that all can hear the answers.

"There is no doubt, that if one person has a question or concern about a grassland project, several others in the room will have the same issue with the same question," Bauman explained.  

In addition to providing advice on projects, the group wants to get feedback from producers on the critical issues they are facing to better serve their needs.

"We are also hoping that those landowners who have experimented with tools and techniques can share what they have learned with others.

From this information, the team will develop curriculum and offer future schools that will focus on the needs of producers in various locations across the state.

October Grassland Management Workshops

There is no cost to attend the workshops. All workshops will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until 12:30 p.m. There is no registration.

Oct. 10 Workshop will be held in Pierre at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (412 W. Missouri Ave)

Oct. 11 Workshop will be held in Mitchell at the  SDSU Extension Regional Center (1800 E. Spruce St)

Oct. 12 Workshop will be held in  Watertown at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1910 W. Kemp Ave.)

blog comments powered by Disqus

2017 CashCourse Financial Educator of the Year Honorable Mention

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - CashCourse, a financial education resource for college students funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education, recognized SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist, Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head with the 2017 CashCourse Financial Educator of the Year honorable mention.

In her work with SDSU Extension, Saboe-Wounded Head works with consumers to improve their resource management knowledge and skills.

"I am passionate about teaching financial literacy and have learned that one size does not fit all concerning the best approach to managing finances," she said. "Through teaching and programming, I work to help consumers become financially capable and financially secure no matter their income level or net worth."

Her work focuses on managing financial resources. In 2016 Saboe-Wounded Head developed a financial wellness program called WorkWi$e at the Worksite. This program focuses on basic financial management concepts that can help employees reduce financial stress and increase workplace productivity. She also conducts financial wellness sessions at South Dakota State University.

"I have often heard college students say that information taught is a class is never going to be used in real life," she said. "I actually had a student who took my course contact me two years later to share how the financial wellness course he took from me helped him accumulate a savings account in a short amount of time and taking advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans."

Prior to working with SDSU Extension, Saboe-Wounded Head worked as an assistant professor in the Consumer Affairs program at SDSU. She also taught Family and Consumer Sciences to middle and high school students for 10 years.

Her research interests are family resource management, financial well-being, financial literacy and capability, and food security.

Lorna earned a Doctorate in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from Iowa State University, a Master's in Adult Education from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor's in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from South Dakota State University.

She is an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC©), and a Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences (CFCS) and Certified Personal and Family Financial Educator (CPFFE) through the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Read more about her work at the SDSU Extension at the iGrow Healthy Families community.

Courtesy of iGrow. Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist, was recently recognized by the National Endowment for Financial Education with the 2017 CashCourse Financial Educator of the Year honorable mention.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Apply to be an SDSU Extension AmeriCorps VISTA Member TODAY!

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 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 to be used for tuition and/or student loans;
  • Build your resume with program design, development and implementation;
  • Receive preferential hiring post-service with federal agencies and hundreds of employers of national service across the country;
  • Experience top-notch professional development training;
  • Engage in national networking opportunities;
  • Be a preferred hire for federal and private employment. 

Position Openings
Applicants must be 18 years old or older to apply. Some college is preferred for most position openings. Applications are due September 21st for a start date of November 6th.
 
A variety of positions are available to meet a diversity of professional interests and skills including:

For position descriptions and application information, click the position links above. If you have any questions, contact Aimee Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist at 605.782.3290.

blog comments powered by Disqus

National Volunteer E-forums via 9 DDN Locations

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. -SDSU Extension will host the National Volunteer e-forum on October 5, 2017 November 2, 2017 and December 7, 2017 from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Digital Data Network (DDN) centers throughout South Dakota.

"Join us and get energized as you network with volunteers, county-based staff and SDSU Extension staff from across the country," said Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

Session details

October 5, 2017
Topic: Cultivating an Environment for Growing True Leaders
Time: 6 -7:30 p.m. (CT)
Focus: Creating an environment where 4-H members feel safe as they grow and develop leadership skills means having volunteers who understand the basics of positive youth development.
This session will feature ideas and activities that help foster life skill development by focusing on strategies for more effective club interactions. Participants will learn about the Essential Elements of 4-H and the 5 C's of positive youth development.

November 2, 2017 
Topic: STEMming into Animal Science, Growing True Leaders
Time: 6-7:30 p.m. (CT)
Focus: Build on the roots of 4-H as we STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) our way into agriculture and animal science for experienced and new 4-H'ers.
Gain resources to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) leaders through traditional animal sciences project areas in communities. Volunteers will gain ideas for planning and organizing fun, educational sessions for youth.

December 7, 2017
Topic: Helping 4-H'ers Grow in Life & Work
Time: 6-7:30 p.m. (CT)
Focus: In 4-H, all youth can explore their future. Club meetings, events, camps and after-school programs are places to develop life skills and expand their interests through 4-H.
During this session volunteers will share ideas, receive resources, and see a variety of successful programs that help youth focus on life-long learning, workforce readiness, and career exploration. Caring adults can help all young people make decisions and create their own positive future.

To register:

Online registration is free and open until the dates listed for each event. To register, visit iGrow.org/events. At least five people must be registered at a location for the e-forum to be hosted at that site. Contact Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist, for more information by email.

Locations for all sessions:

  • SDSU Campus, Pugsley DDN room: 1057 8th St., Brookings, SD 57006
  • SDSU Extension Aberdeen Regional Center: 13 Second Ave. SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401
  • SDSU Extension Lemmon Regional Center: 408 Eighth St. W., Lemmon, SD 57638
  • SDSU Extension Mitchell Regional Center: 1800 E. Spruce St., Mitchell, SD 57301
  • SDSU Extension Pierre Regional Center: 412 W. Missouri Ave.,  Pierre, SD 57501
  • SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center: 2001 E. Eighth St., Sioux Falls, SD 57103
  • SDSU Extension Watertown Regional Center: 1910 W. Kemp Ave., Watertown, SD 57201
  • SDSU Extension Winner Regional Center: 325 S. Monroe St., P.O. Box 270, Winner, SD 57580
  • SDSU West River Ag Center: 1905 Plaza Blvd., Rapid City, SD 57702

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Fifteen Leaders Join the S. D. Change Network Cohort

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. -Fifteen emerging leaders from across South Dakota have been selected to participate in the first cohort of the South Dakota Change Network, a program created by the Bush Foundation and executed through a partnership of National Arts Strategies, SDSU Extension Community Vitality and Vision Maker Media, the Change Network Cohort, will provide a supportive environment to assist participants in leading change in a more equitable and inclusive manner.

"The cohort experience will offer forward-thinking South Dakotans an opportunity to build their self-awareness, leadership abilities, and systems-change skill sets," said Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.  

Individuals selected, their locations and their career and interest fields include: Jill Baker, Sioux Falls, human services with a focus on veterans; Stacey Berry, Madison, English professor at Dakota State University with interests in student equality; Amy Hofer, Doland, finance manager interested in rural community involvement and volunteerism; Jared Hybertson, Centerville, economic developer focused on rural community inclusion; Kelsea Kenzy Sutton, Burke, attorney with interests in food security and public health; Patti Martinson, Rapid City, focusing on social change through the arts; Billy Mawhiney, Sioux Falls, youth director working on nonprofit connections; Carla Miller, Sioux Falls, serving families and individuals with disabilities and chronic health issues; Alli Moran, Eagle Butte, interested in secondary education for tribal youth; Andrea Powers, Hot Springs, economic developer focused on bringing young people to rural areas; Traci Smith, Sioux Falls, interests in changes in the judicial system as a public defender; Adam Strenge, Sioux Falls, Southeast Technical Institute work on increasing student success in post-secondary education; Peter Strong, Rapid City, gallery owner with interests in the arts and Native American culture; Viola Waln, Parmelee, journalist interested in affecting people through writing; and Ernest Weston, Porcupine, assisting first-year Native American students in colleges.

All Change Network participants will have access to a $5000 grant to implement an action plan they develop during the one-year program.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about the members of the South Dakota Change Network, visit the National Art Strategies website. Applications for the upcoming South Dakota Change Network will open April 2018.

To learn more about the South Dakota Change Network contact Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension at 605.685.6972 or by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Wait to Treat Ash Trees for Emerald Ash Borer

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - It's too early for South Dakotans to begin treating their ash trees for emerald ash borer said John Ball, Professor & SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist.

"Our recommendation, consistent with other states, is not to begin treatments until the insect has been confirmed within 15 miles of your trees" Ball said. "There are companies already going around communities in eastern South Dakota telling people to start treatments now, but this is premature."

The reason? Ball explained that emerald ash borer was recently confirmed near Welcome, Minnesota and this confirmation, along with the confirmation in Alta, Iowa  earlier this summer, mean the insect is still 100 miles from South Dakota.

The emerald ash borer was accidentally introduced from Asia into Michigan in the late 1990s. It is responsible for the loss of more than 50 million ash trees in this country. None of our native ash species; black, blue, green or white; have shown resistance to this insect.

"Treatments are now so effective that you can even save trees that have been infested for a few years so there is no need start pesticide treatments now," Ball said.

Ball recommends waiting until emerald ash borer is found in your area and then decide based on cost which ash to treat.

The average cost of treatment is around $80 to $120 a tree. Treatments are done every other year.

"These treatments do work," Ball said. "Today, the only ash trees left in more eastern communities impacted by emerald ash borer epidemics are those that have been treated." 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Six Individuals Inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Six individuals were inducted into the 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame September 3, 2017 during the South Dakota State Fair.

These six individuals have all put in at least 25-plus years of service to the 4-H youth of South Dakota.

"It was an honor to inductee these people into the hall of fame. All the inductees are all still actively involved in their county 4-H programs and are great supporters of South Dakota 4-H," said Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

The six inductees include; Marsha Howard, Hand County; Elaine Kanable, Campbell County; Gerald (Jerry) and Carmen Grace, Minnehaha County; Dianne Thyen, Hamlin County and Dale Curtis, Edmunds County (posthumously.)

More about the inductees

Marsha Howard has been actively volunteering in Hand County 4-H for the past 46 years.

Howard started as a 4-H club leader in 1971 when she reinstated the Hand-E-Hands 4-H Club with an 8-year-old club president and several new members.

She has been the club's leader for the past 46 years and is very proud of all the community service projects, judging, demonstrations, fashion revue and all of the completed 4-H record books her club has been involved in.

The Hand-E-Hands 4-H Club has excelled over the past four decades.

Not only is Howard a club leader, but she is active in the Hand County 4-H Leaders Association, helping organize the County Achievement Days, the Special Foods Contests and the Fashion Revue judging and style show.

Howard has also held many officer positions within the Leaders Association. She has served as a judge for 4-H youth exhibits in other counties and at the State Fair. She has judged Special Foods and static exhibits in Faulk, Hand, Hyde, Spink Counties and Foods and Nutrition posters at the State Fair.

Howard and her family had a large garden for many years and sold some of the produce to the local community. This spurred the inspiration for Howard to help coordinate the start of the Miller Community Farmers Market held Friday afternoons throughout summer as one location where local producers and vendors can sell goods to the local community.

Howard is a farm wife and mother. She has been married to her husband, Terry, for 47 years. They have three children, Lorelle, Rachelle and Chris.

Howard is active in the Master Gardeners Club and the Miller United Methodist Church.

Elaine Kanable is a very active Campbell County 4-H volunteer.

She and her husband, Jim, raised five children who were also very involved with 4-H. Kanable was a club leader and involved with the Leader's Association.

Even after her children graduated, she remained dedicated to 4-H. She helped organize Achievement Days, was involved in the set up/take down and helped and supply lunch.

She volunteered to take county exhibits to the State Fair and to set up the booth to display the exhibits.

Kanable has helped judge locally as well as served as a judge in other counties. She is still involved.

Kanable is the current treasurer for the Leaders Association and workers with the Extension homemakers to make pillow case dresses for Haiti children.  

"Elaine is a huge advocate of 4-H. She has attended many county commission meetings championing 4-H and its importance to the youth of South Dakota. Elaine is the backbone of our Campbell County 4-H. Without her, 4-H would not have survived in our community," said one Campbell County 4-H supporter.

When asked to share a special 4-H memory, Kanable said, "All the 4-Hers and their families are the special memories."

Gerald (Jerry) and Carmen Grace have been an instrumental help in the 4-H program of Minnehaha County over the last several decades. Sharing both their time and talents, the Minnehaha County 4-H program has depended on them as a cornerstone in many areas.

Jerry and Carmen have always been willing to volunteer to ensure that the 4-H program in the county is always running with its best foot forward.

Jerry grew up in the county and was involved in the 4-H program. Over the years he transitioned from being a member to serving as a club leader. For many decades, Jerry has assisted with running events in the county; from serving as a livestock superintendent, to announcing shows, servings on various committees and volunteering for various activities.  

The couple have served as Club Leaders to the Minnehaha Hot Rods 4-H Club since the club was established.

Carmen also has been instrumental in the success of the 4-H program in Minnehaha County. She has served as the Roping Event Coordinator in the county.

Under her watchful eye, the roping event has become one that is very well run and a highlight to all youth involved.

"Jerry and Carmen have been a wonderful part of our 4-H program," said Amanda Healy, a Minnehaha County 4-H volunteer and parent. "When I was younger, Jerry helped out with the cattle show and over the years, he has gotten more involved."

Jerry broadened his commitment to the program by also helping with rodeo events. He is a positive influence for the youth involved.

Currently, the couple shows no signs of slowing down. They continue to assist with 4-H programming and plan to continue as their 13 grandchildren are involved in 4-H as well.

Dianne Thyen has been a 4-H Leader in Hamlin County for 29 years. Before that, she helped her husband, Ronald, with the Oxford Korner 4-H Club as a volunteer for eight years.

Thyen has served as a judge at many County 4-H Achievement Days and at the State Fair.

Thyen is willing to put on workshops for posters, foods and other project areas in Hamlin County and in surrounding Counties.

Their 4-H Club has made bibs for veterans at the Veterans Hospital along with other community service projects.

Thyen volunteered as the lunch stand manager in 2016 and helped plan Achievement Day meals in Hamlin County.

She has volunteered at many 4-H barbecues and chaperoned dances at the State Fair. She has served as President of the Hamlin County 4-H Leaders Association and has also served as the South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association President.

Thyen has helped judge 4-H record books on the County and State level for many years. She is a strong advocate for 4-H not only in Hamlin County, but for the whole State of South Dakota.

A special 4-H memory Thyen shared includes chaperoning 90 4-H members in two bus loads to and around Washington D.C. for the Citizen Washington Focus trip.

Dale Curtis started his career in SDSU Extension in 1977.

His first week of work was spent at North Central 4-H Camp leading young 4-H members.

After his retirement in 2006, Curtis continued to support and lead 4-H members until he lost his hard fought battle with cancer in 2011.

Curtis was a one-of-a kind man who helped start many programs within 4-H such as the State Sport Fishing program. Within Edmunds County, Curtis along with his wife Carole, started the County Shooting Sports Program which has grown to over 50 members.

He was also very involved in photography judging and livestock judging with oral reasons. He was the coordinator for state livestock and horse judging.

In the community, he was very active in the Development Corporation. He also taught the hunter safety course for many years. Curtis was a behind-the-scenes man who was willing to help anyone or do anything that was needed without recognition.  

4-H members remember Curtis as a person of love and devotion. He supported every 4-H member and wanted them to have endless opportunities. He made every child feel special in any project area they chose.  

"My children had a first-hand experience with his generosity," said Scott Kilber, a 4-H parent and leader. "When we moved back home to Ipswich my two girls wanted to join 4-H and show sheep. They had mentioned this to Dale and soon after, Dale was overjoyed to offer his farm space to them to raise their 4-H livestock."

Curtis' wife, Carole Curtis received the award in his honor.

More about South Dakota 4-H

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

Courtesy of iGrow. Dale Curtis, Edmunds County was one of six South Dakotans inducted into the South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame during the South Dakota State Fair (posthumously.) His family, pictured here, accepted the honor.

Courtesy of iGrow. Dianne Thyen, Hamlin County was one of six South Dakotans inducted into the South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame during the South Dakota State Fair. She is pictured with her family.

Courtesy of iGrow. Elaine Kanable, Campbell County, was one of six South Dakotans inducted into the South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame during the South Dakota State Fair. She is pictured with her family.

Courtesy of iGrow. Gerald (Jerry) and Carmen Grace, Minnehaha County, were two of six South Dakotans inducted into the South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame during the South Dakota State Fair. They are pictured with their family.

Courtesy of iGrow. Marsha Howard, Hand County, was one of six South Dakotans inducted into the South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame during the South Dakota State Fair. She is pictured with her family.

blog comments powered by Disqus

4-H Special Needs Rodeo Shares Fun & Inspires Spirit of Service

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

by Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension & iGrow

Typically, when Mason Moody is in the arena, his focus is on winning. But, during this year's South Dakota 4-H Finals Rodeo, the 14-year-old junior bull rider took a break from the competition and turned his attention to Jordan and making sure that the young man with disabilities had fun during the South Dakota 4-H Finals Rodeo first Special Needs Rodeo.

"When I saw his face light up and could see that he was having fun - that made me feel good on the inside," explains Mason, who helped Jordan enjoy a number of modified rodeo activities like stick-horse barrel racing, goat tail untying and roping.

Held in conjunction with the South Dakota 4-H Finals Rodeo hosted in Ft. Pierre August 18-20, 2017, the Special Needs Rodeo was designed by 4-H volunteers as a way to serve the special needs community of Pierre and Ft. Pierre.

"Service to others is a large focus of 4-H. "Hands for Larger Service," is right there in our pledge,'" explains Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor. "This was a fun activity for participants, but I think it had even more value for the volunteers. Helping with this service project gave 4-H rodeo athletes an opportunity to see firsthand what it's like to live with disabilities. This event helped us remember not to take our abilities for granted."

Mason's mom, Tracy Moody would agree. A 4-H alumnus, Tracy was first introduced to a special needs rodeo through her daughter, Bailey, who volunteered during the National High School Finals Rodeo held in Rock Springs, Wyoming when she was a high school freshman.

"Helping people with disabilities during that rodeo made such a large impact on her life. Bailey is in college now and is going into special education," Tracy explained. "This activity is good for kids. It opens their eyes to things in life that they may not always be exposed to."

Along with service to others, John Keimig, SDSU Extension 4-H Associate, said 4-H Rodeo instills perseverance in youth and creates an environment where healthy competition thrives. "Rodeo is a sport where strong friendships are formed. It's a sport where it's not just about the athlete and how well the athlete did in a specific event but it's about how well other athletes do," Keimig said. "There have been many cases when if a horse is injured and cannot compete, a 4-H member will actually share their horse with their competitor."

For Tracy and her family, rodeo also provides an opportunity to spend time together. "We practice together and on the weekends, we travel to rodeos together," she said.

And, like the special needs rodeo service opportunity, 4-H rodeo is an activity that also teaches her children life lessons.

"We live in an era where kids are given so much. Rodeo teaches them that they need to work for things. It teaches them responsibility. They learn that they will lose sometimes," Tracy said.

To learn more about 4-H and how you or someone you know can become involved, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete list can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing.

More about South Dakota 4-H

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

Courtesy of iGrow. 4-H rodeo athlete, Mason Moody (left) was one of several volunteers helping host the South Dakota 4-H Finals Rodeo Special Needs Rodeo.

blog comments powered by Disqus

SDSU Extension Staff Recognized with National Award

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Two SDSU Extension staff were recognized by the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) during the organization's national conference held in Utah, July 9-13, 2017.

Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist received the 2017 Achievement Award and Connie L Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award.

"The SDSU Extension team works every day to serve South Dakotans and fulfill the Land Grant mission. I am proud of Anthony and Connie for the national recognition they have received," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

Learn more about SDSU Extension award winners

The 2017 Achievement Award, which was presented to Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, recently received, is given to Agents with 10 years or less of service in Cooperative Extension. It is awarded to those who have exhibited excellence in the field of Extension Education.

This award is only presented to 2 percent of the SDSU Extension staff in South Dakota each year.

Bly has served four years as an SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist. He previously served three years as an SDSU Extension Soils Associate.

His programming areas include soil health and cover crops as well as soil fertility and crop nutrition.

Bly is a native of South Dakota. He currently lives on his family's century farm near Garretson giving him a special connection to managing and improving agriculture's most important natural resource, the soil.

The 2017 Distinguished Service Award, which was presented to Connie L. Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist, is given to Agents with more than 10 years of service in Cooperative Extension. It recognizes those who have exhibited excellence in the field of Extension Education.

This award is only presented to 2 percent of the SDSU Extension staff in South Dakota each year.

As an SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist, Strunk focuses on plant disease identification and management.

Strunk's programming highlights include; the SDSU Integrated Pest Management Field School for Agronomy Professionals, Private & Commercial Applicator Trainings and Certifications/Recertification, SDSU Wheat Walks, hands-on scouting schools, row crop clinics, trainings and workshops for adults and youth.

Strunk has also lead an introduction to agriculture program for elementary students called Field-to-Table and actively promotes women in science.

Strunk has been an active member of the South Dakota Association of Agricultural Professionals since 2006.

She has also served as the NACAA National Committee Chair for the Teaching and Educational Technologies Committee. She currently is serving as the NACAA North Central Region District Director.

Photo courtesy of iGrow. The 2017 Achievement Award, which was presented to Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, recently received, is given to Agents with 10 years or less of service in Cooperative Extension. It is awarded to those who have exhibited excellence in the field of Extension Education.

Photo courtesy of iGrow. The 2017 Distinguished Service Award, which was presented to Connie L. Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist, is given to Agents with more than 10 years of service in Cooperative Extension. It recognizes those who have exhibited excellence in the field of Extension Education.

blog comments powered by Disqus

John McMaine New Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Promoting management practices that improve South Dakota's water quality and are economically sustainable is a focus for John McMaine who was recently hired to serve as a South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer.

"Growing up on a farm in rural Kentucky, I understand the realities of the modern American farmer and am cognizant of what it takes to succeed," McMaine said. "When it comes to water quality, the solutions I present need to be not only environmentally sustainable but economically sustainable."

In his role with SDSU Extension, McMaine will develop educational and research programming and activities which address minimizing environmental impacts of agricultural production systems. To accomplish this, McMaine will work closely with SDSU faculty and researchers, SDSU Extension staff, municipalities, producers and numerous other stakeholders throughout South Dakota.

McMaine will also spend time developing research to address water quality challenges faced by South Dakota's citizens and municipalities.

"John brings with him extensive knowledge he has gained from research and education as well as on-farm water management experience," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

More about John McMaine

As a youth, John McMaine developed an interest in water management. His family raises vegetables on a farmland bordering a small river. His dad also works off the farm as a civil engineer designing water treatment facilities.

"It seemed like every vacation we took growing up involved a tour of a water treatment plant," said McMaine, who has a PhD in Biosystems Agricultural Engineering from Oklahoma State University - Stillwater.

He said that because he had hands-on experience with irrigation and the several natural streams that run through his family's farm, he was able to make applicable connections from what he learned in textbooks and the classroom to his family's operation.

Most of his graduate and doctoral research focused on developing and evaluating tools that address water quality and water quantity issues in agricultural and urban settings.

"I'm looking forward to working with agriculture producers to help them develop management practices that will help them prevent erosion, improve stream bank stability and improve overall water quality," McMaine said.

He added that he also looks forward to teaming up with South Dakota's communities to improve urban water quality. To contact McMaine,he can be e-mailed.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Megan Kludt 4-H Youth Program Advisor Lincoln County

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Megan Kludt recently joined SDSU Extension to serve along with Katherine Linnemanstons Jaeger as one of two SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisors for Lincoln County.

"As a 4-H alumnus, Megan brings hands-on experience as well as enthusiasm to work with the SDSU Extension 4-H team to enhance 4-H programming for youth, volunteers, and families throughout Lincoln County," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

In her role, Kludt will manage local 4-H operational elements, develop and deliver educational programs, establish working relationships and coalitions with other youth-serving groups and provide leadership for volunteers.

"I had a really good 4-H Program Advisor when I was growing up. She was a great role model to me and helped bring me out of my shell. I was really shy when I was little," Kludt said. "I look forward to working with volunteers and serving as a role model to Lincoln County youth."

More about Megan Kludt

Megan Kludt grew up near Pipestone, Minnesota on her family's more than a century-old dairy farm. She says that her dad, Steve Viland, encouraged her to show dairy cattle in 4-H and her passion for agriculture grew from there.

"My passion for agriculture began when I started showing dairy cows in 4-H. I really enjoyed working with the cows and gained confidence through showing them," explained Kludt, who went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Dairy Production and Agricultural Education from South Dakota State University.

"I have always enjoyed working with agriculture and kids - my degree says it all - I am excited about this position because I will be able to give back to the agriculture community and 4-H by helping kids go out and discover their best selves."

To learn more about how you can become involved in South Dakota 4-H, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found under the Field Staff Listing icon.

South Dakota 4-H

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Annie’s Project in McIntosh Beginning Oct. 16, 2017

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, then Annie's Project may be the program for you.

Have you ever asked a farm/ranch management question and not understood the answer? Have you ever signed papers at the bank or FSA and not really understood what they were for? Have you been thinking about if you have enough insurance or an estate plan? Have you wished you knew more about marketing your cattle or crops?

If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions then you are a perfect candidate for Annie's Project.

Hosted by SDSU Extension, Annie's Project is designed to empower women by providing detailed farm/ranch management information and build networks between women.

Over a six-week period women will learn how to develop financial records, learn key communication skills, ask questions about retirement and estate planning, expand marketing knowledge - all while having fun in a supportive learning environment.

Registration deadline is Oct. 10, 2017

Classes meet once a week beginning October 16, 2017 at the McIntosh City Hall. The classes continue October 23, 30, November 6, 13, and 20. Each session will run from 5:30 to 8:45 p.m.

The cost is $130 per person and meals will be served at each session.

For more information contact, Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Lemmon, 605.374.4177. Pre-registration is due by October 10. Registration is on-line at the iGrow Events page, select McIntosh Annie's Project. Class space is limited.  

blog comments powered by Disqus

2017 Range Beef Cow Symposium Nov. 28-30

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Range Beef Cow Symposium will be held Nov. 28-30, 2017 at the Little America Resort and Convention Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

More than 25 speakers will address beef production topics such as nutrition, marketing, health, reproduction, consumer demand and current industry issues.

"The Range Beef Cow Symposium is a great opportunity to learn from nationally recognized beef experts on a wide variety of topics," said Julie Walker, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist and a member of the planning committee for this year's event.

Launched in 1969 in Chadron, Nebraska and held every other year, the Range Beef Cow Symposium is organized by the animal science departments of South Dakota State University, Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Wyoming. SDSU Extension staff also help with planning and facilitating this event.

The event rotates between Colorado, western Nebraska, western South Dakota and Wyoming. The event focuses on beef production issues in the western states.

The Range Beef Cow Symposium regularly attracts attendees from across the region and more than 80 agribusiness booth vendors for the three-day event.

Nightly Bull Pen Sessions are one of the most popular aspects of the event. Speakers from the day's sessions are brought back as panelists and are made available for informal question-and-answer sessions.

The symposium begins at 9 a.m. Nov. 28 and concludes Nov. 30 with a half-day cattle-handling workshop.

For a complete agenda and to register visit, the Range Beef Cow Symposium website.

For more information, contact Steve Paisley, University of Wyoming Extension beef cattle specialist, at 307.837.2000 at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle or by email. Contacts within South Dakota are: Ken Olson, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist, 605.394.2236 or by email or Julie Walker, 605.688.5458 or by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Visit iGrow for 2017 State Fair Results

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - It's almost time for the South Dakota State Fair!

Keep up with 4-H'ers from your county and across the state during the 2017 South Dakota State Fair at iGrow.org where results and photos will be posted daily.

This year more than 3,000+ 4-H members from across South Dakota are expected to enter more than 17,000+ exhibits during the fair held Aug. 31-Sept. 4, 2017 in Huron.

"State Fair showcases the best of what our 4-H youth have gained in the form of project-based learning, leadership skills and public speaking," said Peter Nielson, SDSU Extension Director of Youth Development Operations. "Youth are our future. I encourage the public to visit the Nordby Exhibit Hall to meet the best and brightest and show their support for them, their parents and the volunteers who make up South Dakota's 4-H family."

New in 2016, the expansive Nordby Exhibit Hall will feature much more than static exhibits. It will host several 4-H events like Special Foods demonstrations, public speaking presentations, Fashion Review and Performing Arts.

"4-H is as diverse as the youth we serve," explained Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director. "4-H has a long history of evolving with the needs of its members. If you haven't checked out 4-H livestock shows or visited member exhibits in a while, you'll be amazed at all the new opportunities4-H offers its members."

Bittiker added that State Fair is an excellent place to see 4-Hers, as young as 8,  polishing their public speaking skills.

"Through judging, demonstrations and presentations 4-H members are developing public speaking and communication skills they will use well into their adult lives and future careers," Bittiker said.

To view photos, results and to learn more, visit the iGrow 4-H & Youth Community page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Oct. 15 Deadline for Riparian Buffer Classification Program

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - To participate in the buffer strip incentive program signed into law during the 2017 South Dakota Legislative Session, landowners need to submit applications by October 15, 2017.

"South Dakota Senate Bill 66 provides an incentive for landowners to plant perennial vegetation on land adjoining qualified lakes, rivers or streams via a property tax adjustment in order to improve water quality," explained David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist.

Riparian Buffer Classification Program Land Criteria

Under South Dakota Senate Bill 66, a separate land classification was created for eligible land consisting of existing or newly-planted perennial vegetation and will be assessed at 60 percent of the land's agricultural income value.

The vegetative buffer must be a minimum of 50 feet in width up to a maximum of 120 feet. Enrolled vegetative acres cannot be harvested or mowed before July 10. A 4-inch minimum must be maintained at all times.

Grazing is prohibited from May 1 through September 30.

Application deadline is Oct. 15, 2017

Applications for the Riparian Buffer Strip Classification Program are to be submitted to the Director of Equalization in the county where the property is located, and must be must be filed with the Director on or before October 15, 2017 for consideration for the 2018 assessment.

The link below provides an explanation of the law by the South Dakota Department of Revenue. Maps of all the qualified lakes and streams for every county, an application form and director contact information for each county.

In order to qualify for the tax reassessment each year, landowners must apply annually on or before October 15 to verify that the program criteria have been met.

Contact your county Director of Equalization for more information.

For more information and program details, visit the South Dakota Buffer Strip website.

Photo courtesy of iGrow. To participate in the buffer strip incentive program signed into law during the 2017 South Dakota Legislative Session, landowners need to submit applications by October 15, 2017.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Estate Planning & Farm Transition Conference Sept. 14

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Profit Tips, Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host Sustaining the Legacy Conference Sept. 14, 2017. This estate planning and farm transition conference will be held in Sioux Falls, at the SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center (2001 E. Eighth St., Sioux Falls, SD 57103).

The conference begins at 8 a.m. with registration and breakfast and runs until 5 p.m.

The 2017 Sustaining the Legacy conference will cover a variety of topics specialized for agricultural producers in three categories:

  1. Those with children/heirs returning to the operation;
  2. Those with no heirs returning to the operation; and
  3. Those that do not know if they will have heirs returning.

"There are a lot of tools available to the agriculture community to accomplish their estate planning goals," said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. "The goals you have for your operation will direct which tools you use and how they are implemented."

Registration deadline is Sept. 7, 2017

The conference includes two general sessions and four breakout sessions. Contact Heather Gessner or the SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center (605.782.3290) for registration information.

To cover expenses registration is $50 per family, up to five family members. Registration includes breakfast.

Seating is limited and late registration of $100 will be charged after September 7, 2017.

"There are many components to estate planning that all family members need to be aware of, however, there are differences between the tools that might be used if you know an heir is returning compared to those that know they will not have an heir taking over the operation. The breakout sessions are designed to address those differences," Gessner said.

Breakout topics will include:

  1. Land rental rates and fair rent determination;
  2. Trusts, business structures (LLC, Corporations, etc.);
  3. Taxes;
  4. Powers of attorney, funeral planning, life insurance considerations, long term care insurance;
  5. Retirement planning with and without heir returning;
  6. Wills and probate; and
  7. Titling property.

All family members are encouraged to attend as there are multiple breakout sessions and information for all involved with the family business.

Sponsor booths will also be available for attendees to talk to industry professionals that can help develop the estate plan or provide the tools needed.

Consider this opportunity as an low-cost opportunity to consult with attorneys, life insurance and long term care insurance providers, financial planning agents and others.

For questions regarding the Sustaining the Legacy conference, contact Heather Gessner, 605.782.3290 or email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Jodi Thompson 4-H Youth Program Advisor

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Jodi Thompson recently joined SDSU Extension to serve as the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Bon Homme and Douglas Counties.

"We are excited to welcome Jodi to the team of 4-H Youth Program Advisors who serve South Dakota's youth and communities," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

In her role, Thompson will manage local 4-H operational elements, develop and deliver educational programs, establish working relationships and coalitions with other youth-serving groups and provide leadership for volunteers.

A 4-H alumnus, Thompson understands the impact 4-H's project-based learning can have on youth.

"I am the third-generation in my family to show horses. Before qualifying for our 4-H horse show, our 4-H leader would ask me to give a speech or public presentation that would help younger club members prepare for the show. These talks really developed my public speaking skills," Thompson explained. "Talking about something you're passionate about makes it easier to be comfortable speaking in front of people."

More about Jodi Thompson

Thompson grew up in Renner. When she turned 8 her grandpa, Gene Carr, who was a retired 4-H leader, encouraged her to turn her interest in horses into a 4-H project.

As she gained experience and became more involved in 4-H, Thompson began helping out, mentoring younger members. Even after she graduated high school, Thompson would return home to help out her 4-H club.

"Because of my 4-H experience, I always knew I wanted to help others in my future career," says the South Dakota State University graduate trained horses throughout her college career.

In 2013 Thompson received a Bachelor of Science majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a Specialization in Human Resources and in 2016 she received her Master of Science in School Counseling.

Prior to joining the SDSU Extension team, Thompson worked for Human Services Center as a youth counselor. She is eager to put her education and experience to work serving youth and families in Bon Homme and Douglas Counties.

"I am looking forward to working with the youth, families and communities within Douglas and Bon Homme Counties, so that together, we can build a 4-H program which provides youth with experiences and opportunities that prepare them for a more successful future," Thompson said.

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

Photo courtesy of iGrow. Jodi Thompson recently joined SDSU Extension to serve as the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Bon Homme and Douglas Counties.

blog comments powered by Disqus

4-H Recognizes Volunteers during 2017 State Fair

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Five South Dakotans will be inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame Sept. 3 during the 2017 South Dakota State Fair held in Huron.

The 2017 4-H Hall of Fame inductees include: Elaine Kanable, Mound City; Dianne Thyen, Hayti; Jerry and Carmen Grace, Hartford; Dale Curtis, Ipswich and Marsha Howard, Miller.

The ceremony will be held in the Nordby Exhibit Hall (1060 3rd St. SW, Huron, SD 57350) on the State Fair Grounds in Huron at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony.

"The South Dakota State Fair is the perfect event to honor and recognize 4-H volunteers who have put in years of service to the 4-H members and families in South Dakota," said Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

The 4-H Hall of Fame commemorates the 4-H Centennial, which occurred in 2002. Each summer individuals who have made significant contributions to county or state 4-H Programming are honored through the 4-H Hall of Fame.

"The 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame is intended to honor the many volunteers who contribute to the 4-H Program," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director. "The individuals honored have given unselfish service through their talent, time and leadership to the 4-H program. They have been an advocate on behalf of 4-H. These volunteers are an outstanding example of the impact a caring adult can have in the lives of children."

The 2017 4-H Hall of Fame inductees have volunteered anywhere from 35 to 50 years.

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

How will Soybeans with Dicamba Drift or Contamination Impact Yields

Categorized: Agronomy, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - During 2017 Dakotafest, the most frequently asked question Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator received from growers was: "How will soybean fields affected by dicamba drift or sprayer contamination yield?"

"It would be nice if there was a formula that could be used to determine that answer but unfortunately, that is wishful thinking," Johnson said. "Trying to predict soybean yield response to observed short-term plant injury symptoms caused by dicamba injury is nearly impossible."

However, Johnson added there are some things growers should consider which may be useful in answering the question.

First, examine the growing point of the soybean plant.

"Continued development of new leaves is a positive sign," he said. "Historically, when dicamba injury was noted on soybean before June 15, and if the growing point remained healthy, it was very likely no yield reduction would be noted."

If the growing point was damaged, Johnson said, based on historical data, a yield reduction was likely.

"Throughout most of the fields I have scouted this year, the growing point is still intact," he said. "However, many dicamba applications occurred this year after June 15. And, no credible information exists on the potential yield reduction to soybean when dicamba injury happens after June 15."

Dicamba injury can also delay soybean maturity, which can place the crop at risk if there is an early frost.

Past research conducted at SDSU, in the late 1970s, by Auch looked at the yield impact of dicamba injury to soybean.

"In many cases, soybean yield was decreased. In other situations, a yield increase was recorded from dicamba-damaged soybean," Johnson said. "However, soybean response to dicamba injury was highly rate-specific and environmentally dependent."

At harvest, Johnson encourages soybean growers to consider documenting areas of the field that appear to have low, medium, and high foliar injury symptoms.

"Today's yield monitor technology will show a possible answer to the question of yield impact," he said. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

You Need a Financial Counselor or Coach, Here’s How to Choose One

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - No matter where you are in your financial life, chances are you could benefit from financial education and support.

"Even in today's environment of instant access to information, people often have trouble knowing what information to trust and who to turn to for financial advice," said Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist.

For individuals and families who don't know where to begin, Saboe-Wounded Head encouraged them to look for a professional accredited with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®).

"AFCPE® is one of the most respected organizations offering certifications in the field of financial counseling, coaching, and education," Saboe-Wounded Head said.

She explained that AFCPE® is unique because it works to ensure that individuals and families can navigate the "alphabet soup" and have access to the highest standard of financial advice, at any stage of life.

Either Accredited Financial Counselors® or Financial Fitness Coaches™ are great resources. "Both types of professionals can help you get your financial bearings, tackle an immediate financial crisis, overcome debt, grow your savings, manage student loans, build a sound financial foundation and even refer you to a different type of trusted financial professional when your needs change," she said.

She added. "By becoming an informed consumer, you can choose a financial counselor or coach who is the best possible fit for your financial situation and your life."

Whether it be an Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®), a Financial Fitness Coach™ (FFC™) or another reputable certified financial professional, asking questions is a necessary first step to making the best choice to meet your needs and goals.

Before selecting a financial professional, here are some important questions to ask:

  • What experience do you have? Ask for a brief description of financial professionals' work experience and how it relates to their current practice. Do they have strong experience helping people in a situation that is similar to your own?
  • Is there an oversight body requiring ongoing education and ethics? Ask about the credentials your professional holds and learn how he or she stays up to date with current changes and developments in the personal finance field.
  • What services do you offer? Credentials, Licenses, and areas of expertise are all factors that determine the services a financial professional can offer. Financial counselors and coaches do not sell insurance or securities products, such as mutual funds or stocks. They also do not typically offer investment advice unless registered with state or federal authorities.
  • What is your approach? Make sure the professional's philosophy and approach align with your needs and values. You also may consider your financial professional's personality and communication style. Standard wisdom on seeking the advice of financial professionals often overlooks the importance of personal compatibility. 
  • What types of clients do you typically work with? Some financial professionals prefer to work with clients whose assets fall within a particular range, so it's important to make sure that the counselor or coach is a good fit for your individual financial situation.
  • How much do you charge? The financial counselor or coach should be able to provide you with an estimate of possible costs based on the work to be performed.
  • How will I pay for your services? Financial professionals can be paid in several ways. As part of your written agreement, your financial counselor should make it clear how they will be paid for the services to be provided.
  • Do others stand to gain from the financial advice you give me? Ask the professional to provide you with a description of any conflicts of interest in writing.
  • Ask for more background. Consider requesting a referral. Also, consider asking whether the professional has ever been disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions.

For more information or questions, contact Saboe-Wounded Head by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Now is the time to Scout for Palmer Amaranth

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension staff encourages farmers, ranchers and other landowners to scout for Palmer Amaranth, a weed that has been rapidly spreading north in the U.S. and is likely to be Glyphosate resistant.

"Now is the time to scout for Palmer Amaranth," said Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator. "In most cases, Palmer Amaranth should be about fully grown which is when it is easiest to Identify."

It's been about three years since the first Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmen) was found in South Dakota since that time, the weed has been confirmed in 12 sites throughout the state.

Palmer Amaranth is in the pigweed family. Johnson said the weed has a lot of close relatives in the pigweed family which can easily be confused for Palmer Amaranth.

"Common waterhemp is the pigweed cousin most commonly confused with Palmer Amarant," he said, adding that spiny pigweed, tumble pigweed, smooth pigweed and redroot pigweed can also be confused with Palmer Amaranth.

What to look for when scouting

When scouting for Palmer Amaranth, Johnson says the key indicators that a weed is Palmer Amaranth are as follows:

  • Some of the petioles (the short stem from the main stem to the leaf) will be a lot longer than the leaf length;
  • The area where the stem connects to the petioles will have spines on it;
  • On Palmer Amaranth, the leaf is more cordate (heart shaped) than waterhemp which is more elliptic (oblong); and
  • The Palmer Amaranth head will be long and if it is female, the plant will also be spiny.

"There is no one thing to look for that is a sure sign in all cases the plant is Palmer Amaranth," Johnson said. "It seems like we are more likely to find it in areas that have stress periods."

So far, the weed has been found in the central South Dakota. Usually found in sunflower or soybean fields.

If you suspect to have Palmer Amaranth, Johnson urges you to take photos of the entire plant, the leaf and petiole area, the stem and petiole area, as well as a picture of the seed head.

E-mail photos to Johnson by email. Send them in high resolution. Please include your best contact information so that identification results can be shared as well as more questions asked if necessary. For more information, feel free to also call Johnson at 605.688.4591.

Photo courtesy of iGrow. Palmer Amaranth, pictured here, have a longer petiole than leaf. Waterhemp is just the opposite.

Photo courtesy of iGrow. Palmer has this spiny growth between stem and petiole. Waterhemp does not. 

Photo courtesy of iGrow. Small Palmer plant in sunflower field.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Attend Oct. 7, 2017 SDSU Football Game & Support S.D. 4-H

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University is hosting South Dakota 4-H night Saturday, October 7, 2017 as the Jackrabbit football team hosts Southern Illinois.

All 4-H members, volunteers, family and friends are invited to take part in this fundraising opportunity by attending the SDSU Football game.

With your purchase of a ticket, SDSU Extension's South Dakota 4-H program will receive $10 per ticket. Funds will help grow the organization as a whole.

Ticket deadline is 5 p.m. Oct. 5, 2017.

Details:

The football game will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, October 7, 2017 in the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium on the campus of South Dakota State University.

To reserve tickets call 605.688.5422. Mention 4-H Night and $10 will go to support South Dakota 4-H. To reserve your tickets on-line following the directions below:

  • Log on to the Jackrabbit ticket office page;
  • Click on the Jackrabbit Football tab and then "Purchase Jackrabbit Single Event Tickets" tab;
  •  Select the game "FB1703 -Football v Southern Illinois";
  • Click on "Specials and Students" tab; and;
  • Enter the promo code "4H" on that page.

This offer is not available the day of the game. Tickets are available for friends and family - there is no ticket limit.

Any questions regarding 4-H Night can be directed to the Jackrabbit ticket office at 605.688.5422.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Understanding the Acronyms of Financial Professionals

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you've ever looked for a financial professional, you've probably encountered unfamiliar acronyms, also known as designations or credentials, following the candidates' names.

"CPA, CFP®, CFA®, ChFC®: What do these letters mean and why are they important?" asks Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist. "Anyone can call themselves a financial counselor, coach, advisor or planner, but a credential often demonstrates a higher level of education, specialty or commitment."

She explained that in many cases, the credentialing process is like going to school for a specialized program.

"That said, all credentials are not created equal," Saboe-Wounded Head said.

A reputable certification program requires rigorous education and examination, field experience, an ongoing commitment to continuing education and abidance by a high code of ethics.

"Some programs raise this standard by demonstrating compliance with an accrediting body," she said.

For instance, in the field of financial counseling, coaching, and education, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) is one of the most respected organizations offering certifications. Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education®also connects financial professionals across the continuum to ensure that individuals and families, like yours, can navigate the "alphabet soup" and have access to the highest standard of financial advice,at any stage of life.

There are many financial designations, but the following are some of the most common and cover a range of services to meet the needs of most Americans:

  • AFC®-An Accredited Financial Counselor® has expertise across the client's entire financial life-cycle, so they are able to counsel clients at any point in their lives. An AFC® can help individuals and families successfully navigate a financial crisis, overcome debt, modify ineffective money management behaviors, build an effective spending plan and provide a strong financial education foundation to meet both short-term needs and long-term goals. 
  • CFA® - A Chartered Financial Analyst® provides advanced investment analysis and portfolio management. Their studies include the mastery of investment tools and analytical methods in a variety of applications for effective portfolio management and wealth planning.
  • CFP® - The Certified Financial PlannerTM certification indicates that someone has in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of personal financial planning, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management, and insurance and risk management. The CFP® requires field experience and successful completion of a comprehensive exam and is regulated by an oversight body, the CFP Board.
  • ChFC® - A Chartered Financial Consultant® covers the fundamentals of financial planning like a CFP®, but a ChFC is an advanced planning designation that also covers real-world, practical planning applications for special circumstances, including in-depth coverage of planning for business owners, single-parent and blended families, LGBT families and special-needs situations.
  • CPA - A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accounting professional who has passed the Uniform CPA examination, administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and also has met additional state certification and experience requirements. CPAs can work in any area of finance, including tax preparation, consulting, and of course, general accounting.
  • FFC™ - A Financial Fitness Coach™ has a strong financial knowledge base, coupled with the coaching skills and techniques that allow their client to be an active participant in creating solutions and a personalized financial plan. This certification may stand alone or be acquired as an enhanced skillset to a financial counseling or planning certification.
  • RICP® - A Retirement Income Certified Professional®offers focused expertise in retirement income planning, including structuring effective retirement income plans, mitigating risk to the plan and creating a sustainable stream of income to last throughout your retirement years.

If you come across an unfamiliar designation, you can search its meaning and requirements through the look-up tool offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

"When working with financial representatives, don't be afraid to ask questions about their credentials, including who issued them, what training and continuing education was required and how to verify their standing through an accrediting organization," Saboe-Wounded Head said. "A trustworthy financial professional will be glad to share more about his or her credentials."

Understand the "menu." By familiarizing yourself with the "alphabet soup" of designations, you can find the perfect advocate to help you achieve your financial goals.

If you have questions, contact Saboe-Wounded Head by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

South Dakota Soybean On-Farm Research Program is Research at Your Fingertips

Categorized: Agronomy, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Today, hundreds of South Dakota soybean growers double as citizen scientists, testing various products and farming practices in their own fields with the intent to increase yields, ward off pests and disease and improve overall profits.

Now, thanks to the South Dakota Soybean On-Farm Research Program website, farmers can easily share on-farm research data and navigate local test results. The website is supported by a collaborative effort between SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (SDSRPC) and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

"The South Dakota soybean checkoff is excited to launch the On-Farm Research Program tool," said Matt Bainbridge, an Ethan farmer and SDSRPC Chairman. "We have a lot of innovative farmers across the state completing a number of interesting research trials on their farms. This website brings the results to all South Dakota farmers and will help us identify trends and strategies to increase soybean yields."

Farmer-driven research

For more than a century, SDSU faculty, researchers and SDSU Extension staff have worked with South Dakota farmers to conduct on-farm research. What sets this program apart is the easy access to results and the farmer-driven nature of the research.

"Essentially, farmers get to choose what treatment or practice they want to test and our team will work with them to set up the protocol, collect the data, analyze the data and share the results on the website," explained David Clay, SDSU Professor of Plant Science.

Once results are available, they will be posted anonymously for all to see on the website. The website is designed for easy navigating. Soybean growers can search by research trial and location.

"Farmers are inundated with product information that will allegedly boost yields. The best way to know if it will work on their farm is to test it there. Or, visit this website, where they can see if a test has already been conducted on a field near them and review results," Clay said.

This collaborative project is funded by SDSRPC, the South Dakota soybean checkoff organization.

"This project fits perfectly within the research and outreach mission of our land grant university," said David Wright, Department Head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. "Our team is eager to work with South Dakota's soybean farmers to expand knowledge and improve on-farm profits."

To learn more or begin your own on-farm field test, visit the On The Farm Research page or contact David Clay by email or Graig Reicks by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

WorkWise at the Worksite

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - WorkWise at the Worksite is an employee financial wellness program developed by SDSU Extension that can be tailored to fit the needs of your employees.

"Even though a steady income is a measure of financial security, many employees may still experience financial stress," said Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist.

She cites the 2016 Financial industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation's National Financial Capability Study which found that 21 percent of Americans - more than one in five - have unpaid medical debt, almost one-third or 29 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds have been late with a mortgage payment and half of study respondents reported not having an emergency fund that could cover expenses for three months.

"These statistics provide insight into personal stresses that employees may bring to the workplace, which could affect their productivity," Saboe-Wounded Head said. "Research has shown that providing financial educating in the workplace improved employees' financial well-being."

WorkWise at the Worksite

Saboe-Wounded Head developed the WorkWise at the Worksite financial wellness program for the workplace. A 2017 pilot of this program was put on in two South Dakota organizations.

"Because of the program, employees reported an increase in financial knowledge and intention to develop or revise an existing budget, start an emergency savings account, and make a plan for their tax refund," said Saboe-Wounded Head, quoting survey results.

The program includes online webinars presented to employees which covered the following topics:

  • Budgeting
  • Planning for irregular expenses
  • Tax planning
  • Predatory lending
  • Credit reports and scores.

WorkWise at the Worksite programs can be presented online or face-to-face. SDSU Extension will work with worksites to ensure employees can attend a scheduled session or view recordings on their own.

The cost of the program will be determined by the number of sessions, method of programming and number of participants.

To learn more, contact Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Ribbon Cutting Aug. 31 for SDSU Plant Science Research Support Facility

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Plant Science Research Support Facility grand opening will be held on Aug. 31, 2017.  The program and ribbon cutting will begin at 2 p.m. at the site west of the motor pool near 1601 Stadium Road in Brookings. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is scheduled to speak at the event as well as South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn.

Due to an expansion in the Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department at South Dakota State University, SDSU officials recognized a significant need for more modern seed processing and storage facilities. Keeping the vision of SDSU President Barry Dunn in mind, this facility will allow for an increase in research and hands-on learning opportunities for students at South Dakota State University.

“This building provides modern space for our wheat, oat and forage breeders, to enhance their ability to release competitive varieties, targeted for South Dakota farmers,” said Dr. David Wright, head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. “SDSU wheat and oat varieties are grown and tested globally. Those programs access new germplasm from around the world and this germplasm is used to strengthen the agronomic and yield performance that producers enjoy.”

Wright said the original seed house was built in 1947. The design of the new building encompasses modern work and office space, keeping employee safety top of mind.  It provides much-needed expanded space for plant breeding research, which coupled with current research labs, will allow the release of novel crop varieties for production in the region. 

The 17,000 sq.-foot facility includes refrigerated units for long-term storage of germplasm and pure seed stock; project workrooms for processing, handling, sorting, and storage of seed stock to be used for research projects; grinding areas for separation of the seed from chaff; drying rooms, and a drive-through unloading alley which can accommodate small combines unloading grain and research material in a secure environment.  

About the SDSU Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department

The SDSU Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department is a multidisciplinary department with the size and breadth to address today’s complex teaching, research and outreach needs in agriculture and horticulture. The department offers educational opportunities through B.S. degrees in agronomy, horticulture, and precision agriculture that span a range of careers in the plant sciences such as agronomy, crop production, entomology, genetics, genomics, horticulture, plant breeding, plant pathology, soil science, and weed science.

For more information about the SDSU Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department please contact Dr. David L. Wright, Department Head and Professor, SDSU Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, SAG 244, Box 2107A, Berg Agricultural Hall, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, Telephone: 605.688.5123 or by email

“This building provides modern space for our wheat, oat and forage breeders, to enhance their ability to release competitive varieties, targeted for South Dakota farmers,” said Dr. David Wright, head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.

The 17,000 sq.-foot facility includes refrigerated units for long-term storage of germplasm and pure seed stock; project workrooms for processing, handling, sorting, and storage of seed stock to be used for research projects; grinding areas for separation of the seed from chaff; drying rooms, and a drive-through unloading alley which can accommodate small combines unloading grain and research material in a secure environment.

blog comments powered by Disqus

West Nile in South Dakota: Expect Cases Into the Early Fall

Categorized: Healthy Families, Aging, Families, Health & Wellness, Community Development, Communities, Gardens, Home & Garden Pests

BROOKINGS, S.D. - As a mosquito-transmitted virus, West Nile Virus is usually thought of as a summertime problem. However, data shows that a significant number  of human cases occur after August 31.

"This fall, South Dakotans should not relax their protection efforts," said Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian. "While it's true that in South Dakota, most West Nile Virus cases occur during August, in most years, new human infections are detected well into September," Daly said.

Daly quotes a retrospective of South Dakota West Nile Virus epidemiology which revealed 17 percent of cases from 2001-2011 occurred after August 31. In recent years, cases have even been observed in October.

"West Nile Virus is a fact of life during South Dakota summers. However, realizing the threat also persists into the early fall will mean people can take steps to prevent these later infections," Daly said.

Human cases of West Nile Virus have been detected in all 66 counties in South Dakota, over all age groups and ethnicities.

Seasonal Pattern

The seasonal pattern of West Nile Virus infection in South Dakota reflects the presence and activity of its carrier, the Culex tarsalis mosquito species.

This mosquito species, Daly explained, is prevalent throughout South Dakota, preferring to feed on birds and people.

"As the summer progresses, their feeding preference shifts more towards people, making late-summer barbecues and football games a prime focus for them," Daly said.

Symptoms

Most people exposed to West Nile Virus show no signs of illness, as evidenced by serologic studies that find people have developed antibody responses in the absence of sickness. However, one in five people infected develop West Nile Fever, and one in 100 go on to a more severe neuroinvasive disease - of those cases 10 percent are fatal.

Symptoms of illness occur two to 15 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.

"This makes it possible for people to develop symptoms even after mosquito activity has stopped in the fall," Daly said.

West Nile Fever is characterized by fever, body aches, headache, rashes and swollen glands - symptoms that could be caused by a number of illnesses. People with those symptoms should see their healthcare provider.

While there are no specific cures for West Nile Virus infections, supportive care may be necessary in some cases.

Prevention

More importantly, people should still be vigilant against mosquitoes right up until the first killing frost.

Perhaps the best line of prevention is to use insect repellents when it's necessary to be out at night, in addition to wearing long pants and long sleeved-shirts.

While many communities have mosquito-spraying programs in place through the summer and early fall, property owners can do their part to reduce mosquito habitat by getting rid of sources of standing water.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Managing Through the Drought

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Drought, Profit Tips

Column by Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist

As drought conditions continue to expand and worsen through the Dakotas and Montana, ranchers are faced with the stress and challenges of making the best decisions for their operations.

There are multiple factors that play into the decision-making process, with some being more challenging than others.

One of the factors that makes this process more difficult at times, is being able to separate the emotion from the business.

Oftentimes we see the ranch as more than a business but focusing on the basics of making decisions on what is best for the business will help persevere through tough times.

Tools & Resources

To make the best management decisions, it is important to utilize your resources and contacts to gather information and make the most informed decisions.

There are multiple people who can help provide information, including fellow ranchers, ag lenders, veterinarians, and extension professionals, to name and few.

SDSU Extension offers multiple tools and resources to provide information. Below is a listing of just a few that can be used in making the best drought management decisions for your operation.

Drought Management Publication

Drought Management Tips for Ranchers is an SDSU Extension publication that compiles multiple resources on management decisions focusing on supply management, including: feed resources, rotational grazing, water quantity and quality.

This publication also addresses demand management and decisions that can affect or decrease the demand for feed resources, such as early weaning, shortening the breeding season to only keep the most fertile females, and culling practices.

Be willing to think outside the box to determine what will work best for your ranch and have a plan in place before drought happens again, so that you are ready and prepared to make those hard decisions.

Decision-Making Tools

On the SDSU Economics website, there are multiple spreadsheets available for download that can assist in decision making. These include a Haul the Cattle Worksheet that allows livestock producers to compare hauling the cattle to feed versus hauling the feed to the cattle.

Additionally, there is a Feed Nutrient Comparison Calculator that allows users to put the price, distance for trucking and feed analysis information in for various feeds and determine which is the cheapest option while meeting nutrient needs.

There are also Livestock Budget templates to assist in determining what you can afford to pay for the other items in the spreadsheets.

Feed Testing Laboratories

During drought years, it is vitally important to send forage samples to a lab for analysis. Many livestock producers may be using different feeds than normal and being able to determine what additional feed or supplement needs to be added to the mix will be key for meeting nutrient requirements as well as making the smartest economic decisions.

The iGrow publication, Feed Testing Laboratories contains information about where samples can be sent for analysis.

SDSU Extension Experts

As you are working through these decisions, don't hesitate to contact one of the SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists, State Beef Specialists, Livestock Business Management Field Specialists or Beef Feedlot Management Associate.

Our experts would be happy to visit about your situation and help work through any problems you are having.

blog comments powered by Disqus

A Look at Cover Crops: Winter Rye

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Winter rye is a cover crop that is consistently performing in South Dakota fields hosting corn-soybean rotations.

"Growers with strict corn-soybean rotations are limited in their options for cover crop species, since there is not enough growing degree days left for cover crops to grow after primary grain crop has been harvested," said David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

Karki explained that when cover crops are integrated into small grain crop rotations there are many more options because the earlier harvest allows for an adequate seasonal window for a variety of cover crops to establish.

Benefits of winter rye

Winter rye is known for its winter hardiness, allowing late fall planting and rapid growth the following spring.

"Furthermore, adding a cool season small grain component into a corn-soybean rotation not only adds diversity to the cropping system but also helps break pest pressures in the field," Karki said.

Winter rye is also known for its inherent ability to suppress weeds because of its allelopathic characteristics. "Basically, winter rye produces biochemical compounds that inhibits germination, growth and reproduction of other plants," Karki explained.

Over the long term, incorporating cover crops also improves soil health and provides supplemental forage.

Fitting winter rye into the rotation

Considering growing habits of all three crops is essential when determining the order of winter rye within the cropping sequence.

"Planting rye after corn and ahead of soybeans, seems to be a better fit than to grow rye before corn," Karki said.

He explained that by planting the cover crop before soybeans, the corn residue provides protection to rye seedlings. "In addition, soybeans can tolerate later planting in the spring better than corn which allows rye to accumulate more spring growth."

Rye biomass in the spring can be terminated as cover or utilized as forage depending on the grower's need.

Research conducted in various Southeast South Dakota in recent years has shown no negative impact on soybean yields when grown on rye cover crop residue.

On the other hand, Karki said corn yield tends to suffer following a rye cover crop.

"This could be due to allelopathic effects of growing rye cover crop or the micro climate created by the rye residue on the soil surface at the time of corn seeding," he said.

It is suggested to terminate rye two to three weeks prior to corn planting to avoid any negative impact on corn plant health and grain yield.

Planting suggestions
 

  • Seeding rate is about 40 pounds-per-acre as a cover crop, however, it can be increased to 75 pounds-per-acre if weed suppression is the primary objective.
  • Aerial seeding can be done during mid to late corn seed-filling stage (early September). Research results show that aerial seeded (or broadcast method) rye produces about 80 percent of the spring biomass of drill-seeded following grain harvest.

Potential risk

  • Producers of small grains, such as wheat, oat, barley, etc. are suggested not to use winter rye as a cover crop because it may act as significant contaminant or weed in small grain crops.
  • As winter rye accumulate rapid growth in the spring, it is a good practice to look out for short or medium term spring weather so that rye can be terminated early when conditions are drier than usual.

To learn more about implementing cover crops into your rotation, contact David Karki.


Figure 1. Rye cover crop growth in spring in field near Sioux Falls, SD.
Courtesy: iGrow

blog comments powered by Disqus

SDSU Extension and American Indian Tribes Join Forces to Help Buffalo

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Community Development, Communities

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

An adequate balance between healthy grasslands and well managed agricultural cropland is critical for the long-term sustainability of the Great Plains. This vast area was once the habitat of 50 to 75 million head of buffalo, which roamed freely resulting in yearly cycles of partial plant defoliation and fertilization that helped maintain a stable and healthy ecosystem.

SDSU Extension recently brought together a group of interested individuals to meet at South Dakota State University to discuss the future of the American Bison. The group included delegates from the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association, University of Saskatchewan, Canadian Bison Association, SDSU Faculty, SDSU Extension staff and allied industry representatives.

During this meeting, Jimmy Doyle, SDSU Extension Natural Resource Management Field Specialist, along with myself and faculty members from the SDSU Natural Resource Management Department discussed how we are working with South Dakota Tribes to raise buffalo.

SDSU Extension continues to support American Indian tribes in their effort to bring back the buffalo to their natural grassland habitat. The buffalo has not only been revered by the American Indians since ancient times, but it also constitutes an important source of beef and revenue for tribal members.

Read on to learn more about two specific projects.

Sinte Gleska University

Faculty from SDSU and SDSU Extension staff are currently working with Sinte Gleska University to transition what was previously a 22,000-acre Todd County cattle ranch to raise buffalo.

Sinte Gleska is a four-year, private, American Indian tribal college, located in Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. This is a Brulé Lakota Indian Reservation home to the Sicangu.

Plans are also underway for SDSU Extension to help with the ranch inventory and range management plan.

At the present time pastures are being identified and fences and wells repaired with the goal to introduce 150-200 buffalo in the fall.

Yankton Sioux Tribe

SDSU Extension is also working to help the Yankton Sioux Tribe.

In August 2017 Sandy Smart, Professor & SDSU Extension Rangeland Management Specialist, Doyle and I visited the tribe's buffalo herd which is located south of Marty.

We met with tribal members Perry Little, Herd Manager and Sonny Hill, Yankton Sioux Tribe Economic Development Director. Together we evaluated pasture conditions, the buffalo herd and facilities.

We then put together a report to address the constraints to future development of the herd and how to overcome them.

The overall objective is to improve pasture utilization and ultimately expand the herd, which is a local food source for the Yankton Sioux Tribe.

blog comments powered by Disqus

2017 SDSU Southeast Farm Fall Field Day Sept. 7

Categorized: Agronomy, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU's Southeast Research Farm will host its annual Fall Field Day on September 7, 2017 at the farm (29974 University Road, Beresford).

The farm is located six miles west of Beresford on Highway 46 and 2.75 south on University Road. Alternate routes are available due to road construction on University Road.

The Fall Field Day will have a field tour and presentations from SDSU Extension Personnel including; Tying It All Together: No-Till - Cover Crops - Grazing; Managing Forage under Drought; Calf Value Discovery at Beresford and Volga; Grain Market Overview; and Nitrogen Management in Oats.

Fall Field Day is free of charge and open to the public. No pre-registration is necessary.

Tentative Agenda

9:30 a.m. Registration and Coffee

10 a.m. Tying It All Together: No-Till - Cover Crops - Grazing: Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Farm Supervisor, Brad Rops, SDSU Southeast Farm Operations Manager and Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist;

10:40 a.m. Plot Tour - Cover Crops & Grazing: Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Farm Supervisor and Brad Rops, Southeast Farm Operations Manager;

11:45 a.m. Lunch provided by Southeast South Dakota  Experiment Farm Corporation

12:45 p.m. Grain Market Overview: Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist;

1:15 p.m. Managing Feed and Forage under Drought Conditions: Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate;

1:45 p.m. Calf Value Discovery at Beresford and Volga: Julie Walker, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist;

2:15 p.m. Nitrogen Management in Oats: First year results; David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist  and Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Farm Supervisor;

2:40 p.m. Program concludes

The tour is presented collaboratively by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU, SDSU Extension, College of Agricultural & Biological Sciences and the SESD Experiment Farm Corporation.

For more information on the Fall Field Day please call 605.563.2989 or email Ruth or Peter.

Due to road construction on University Road please 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 go three miles south, turn west (right) go three miles on 300th and turn north (right)  on University Road 0.25 mile.

From west: 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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sheep & Wool Activities during Annual Convention

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 80th Annual South Dakota Sheep Growers Association (SDSGA) Convention will be held in Brookings September 29 through October 1, 2017.

The convention will be held at the Days Inn & Convention Center (2500 6th St., Brookings). Pre-registration is strongly encouraged for planning purposes, but on-site registration is available. Registration forms indicating event costs, convention information, along with special event details can all be found at the SD Sheepgrowers Association website.

"This convention brings together our state's producers, industry experts and friends of the sheep industry," says Jeff Held, Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist, of the event that is organized by a committee of SDSGA members and SDSU Extension sheep specialists. The event is sponsored in part by a grant from the South Dakota State University College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

The convention agenda includes:

Friday, September 29

6:30 a.m. Registration & bus tour check-in - Tour of Faribault Woolen Mill in Minnesota
5:30 p.m. Night at the Museum & Lamb Social - Held at the S.D. Agricultural Heritage Museum (977 11th St.)

Saturday, September 30

8 a.m. Registration open
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fleece to Shawl contest
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Kid's hands-on activities with the fiber guilds
9 a.m. Welcome & opening remarks
9:15 a.m. SDSU sheep research & SDSU Extension updates - led by Jeff Held, Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist & Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist
9:30 a.m. American Sheep Industry Association & American Lamb Board updates - led by Peter Orwick, American Sheep Industry Association & Dale Thorne, American Lamb Board
10:30 a.m. History, importance, effect of the ethnic market on the sheep industry - Benny Cox, Vice President of the American Sheep Industry Board of Directors
11:15 a.m. Direct marketing lamb products - From farm to table - led by Lisa Webster, North Star Sheep Farm
Noon S.D. Master Lamb Producer Luncheon
1:30 p.m. Integrating RFID (radio frequency identification) into your flock management - led by Dan Persons, Shearwell Data Ltd.
2:15 p.m. Build your legacy - Estate & transition planning - led by Danci Baker, First Dakota National Bank
3:15 p.m. Annual SDSGA business meeting
5 p.m. Social hour
6 p.m. SDSGA auction
7 p.m. Make It With Wool & SDSGA awards banquet featuring Fresh American Lamb

Saturday Off-site Activities

6  6:45 a.m. Final registration for Shepherd's Shuffle - held at the SDSU Research Park (2301 Research Park Way)
7 a.m. Shepherd's Shuffle start
9 a.m. Make It With Wool State Contest judging - held at the First Lutheran Church & Mission Coffeehouse (337 8th St.)
Noon Make It With Wool Luncheon - held at the First Lutheran Church & Mission Coffeehouse (337 8th St.)
1 p.m. Designer Joi Mahon workshop - held at the First Lutheran Church & Mission Coffeehouse (337 8th St.)

Sunday, October 1

8:30 a.m. Shearwell Data system demonstration held at Larry & Susan Holler's farm - (47387 201st St, White, SD) (transportation on your own)

New this year

The Shepherd's Shuffle has something for all levels of athletes from walkers to avid runners; choose from a 1 mile fun run/walk, 3 mile relay or a 5K.

The course goes through beautiful McCrory Gardens arboretum with all proceeds benefiting "The Shepherd's Gift: GM1 for HD" Huntington's disease research.

Check out the All Sport Central website to register for the events. Shepherd Shuffle participants will all receive wool running socks complementary of Farm to Feet and a t-shirt. First place male and female in the 5K event will each receive a sock drawer make-over valued at over $200.

A special afternoon event with Designer Joi Mahon "Wool ~ A Touch of Style" will be held at the Mission Coffeehouse at First Lutheran Church (Main Ave at 8th St) in Brookings.

This event is open to the public, but will be limited to the first 50 participants.

Activities include Designer Joi's own trunk show, tips on working with wool fabric and a hands-on workshop with pattern fitting. Registration for the event also includes lunch and a bag with goodies. One lucky participant will have the opportunity to go home with a door prize valued over $400.

"We look forward to seeing South Dakota sheep producers, industry affiliates, 4-H'ers, and community members at the convention events," said Rufus DeZeeuw, SDSGA President.

This year's convention has even more exciting events and activities, so please go to the SDSGA website to verify all the details for events of interest to you. For more information regarding the convention, please contact Patty DeZeeuw or Mary Held, convention co-chairs by email.

Speaker highlights

Benny Cox from San Angelo, Texas, is the ASI Board of Directors Vice President. Cox will be highlighting the U.S. trends of changing demographics and the effect on the American lamb and wool industry. As the Sheep and Goat Sales Manager at Producer's Livestock Company, Cox will provide South Dakota producers with insight on the challenges and opportunities within the industry.

Lisa Webster, owner of North Star Sheep Farm in Maine, will talk about promotion of sheep from farm to table in their operation. Come hear what has worked in their business plan and see what tips you can take home to your farm or ranch.

Dan Persons, U.S. Sales and Support Representative with Shearwell Data Ltd., will introduce the Shearwell Data system for improving individual animal records. The Shearwell Data system includes visual and electronic tags approved for federal disease reporting and allows producers improved decision-making opportunity through electronic data management. Persons will also be demonstrating the functionality of the Shearwell Data system at the Holler's farm on Sunday morning.

Danci Baker, Legacy Consultant with First Dakota National Bank, will share the tools available to determine your estate and transition plan. Baker welcomes the opportunity to challenge producers with thought-provoking questions to start the conversation with their family.

Jeff Held, Professor and SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist, and Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist, will be recapping the year's research and extension activities. Come hear what activities and projects have been going on in your state and learn what opportunities are coming next year.

blog comments powered by Disqus

WEED Project at the South Dakota State Fair

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans, Wheat, Gardens, Home & Garden Pests

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The SDSU Extension WEED (Weed Evaluation Extension Demonstration) Project will be at the 2017 South Dakota State Fair held in Huron Aug. 31-Sept. 4.

"This project is designed to answer South Dakota grower's questions," explained Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

The SDSU Extension WEED Project is South Dakota's source for unbiased information for weed control practices, controls and concern's. During the State Fair the SDSU Extension WEED Project will focus on weed control in soybeans.

"There is a lot of concern on control of weeds in soybeans. Farmers want to know what worked and what did not," Johnson said. "Waterhemp, related pigweed species and kochia are of major concern to a lot of our farmers around the state we will be there to talk about them and help to look at control options."

The research-based information shared with growers and gardeners through SDSU Extension WEED Project comes from data gleaned from the WEED Project's 100-plus test plots as well as data from other Upper Midwest Agricultural Universities like South Dakota State University.

"This is your one stop location to get your questions answered by the experts," Johnson said.

The SDSU Extension WEED Project display at the State Fair will answer questions on crop and pasture weeds along with lawn and garden weeds.

The display will again have several publications that fairgoers can take home to learn more. The new iGrow South Dakota Weeds 2017 publication will also be available at no cost. Most of the information included in this guide can be at iGrow.

blog comments powered by Disqus

SD ADRDL Groundbreaking August 31, 2017

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

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL) in Brookings will be at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2017. Officials say the facility will both serve as the front line of defense in protecting South Dakota’s $7.3 billion livestock industry against diseases and provide important diagnostic information for the state’s wildlife and companion animals. 

“I’m very excited to see this project moving forward,” South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said. “The expansion and renovation of the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory is critical to animal health, public health, and food safety.  This facility will protect the dedicated and talented people who work in the laboratory, and will give them the tools to do the best work possible.  Expert veterinary laboratory diagnostic and research capacity is important for the timely identification of emerging and zoonotic diseases, and for the continuity of business when animal health events occur.”

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on the south lawn of the South Dakota State University Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences/SD ADRDL Building. The new facility will include an attached addition to the north of the current building along with renovation on the existing building on the SDSU campus.

Dr. Jane Christopher-Hennings, the head of the SDSU Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and director of the South Dakota ADRDL explains the importance of the lab to the people of South Dakota and the country.

”The ADRDL is a key component in protecting both human and animal health in South Dakota,” Christopher-Hennings said. “The lab promotes human health in dealing with food safety issues and zoonotic diseases; and animal health, by detecting diseases and finding methods to control them.”

The renovation of the new building is important for continuing operations since many of the mechanical systems of the current building need to be replaced or updated to current standards (e.g., plumbing, HVAC, electrical). A drive up window for dropping off samples will provide easy access to the lab  which is located off of Medary Avenue in close proximity to the U.S. Highway 14 bypass.  A small Biosecurity Level 3 (BSL3) laboratory will be included for isolation of infectious agents.

Christopher-Hennings said the current lab has seen an increase in “same day” testing of samples. The new lab allows for better worker safety, biosecurity and biocontainment.  In the new building, staff and faculty will be able to perform additional diagnostics and research needed to help control animal health issues.

The plan to upgrade and expand the ADRDL is supported by commodity and farm organizations represented through South Dakota’s Ag Unity (SDAC), the state veterinarian, the SD Animal Industry Board, SD Veterinary Medical Association (SDVMA), legislative leaders and the governor’s office to develop a funding package for the $58 million project. The South Dakota Legislature approved the project in 2017.

Final construction plans are in progress, with some ground work expected to start this fall, followed by the majority of the building beginning in the spring of 2018.  The proposed completion date is in 2020.

The current ADRDL was built in 1967 with an addition in 1993.

For more information please contact Dr. Jane Christopher-Hennings at 605/688-5171, or email Jane.Hennings@sdstate.edu.

Dr. Jane Christopher-Hennings, head of the SDSU Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and director of the South Dakota ADRDL 

blog comments powered by Disqus

SDSU Extension Fall Beef Field Day is August 22 in Mitchell

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Innovation and planning for the future are the themes of the 2017 SDSU Extension Fall Beef Field Day held August 22, in Mitchell beginning at the Stillwater Cattle Company (25969 436th Ave, Bridgewater, SD). The event begins at 9 a.m.

To help cover lunch costs, registration for the event is $5 at the door. Preregistration is not required.

"With the current drought and tough economic situation, producers need to look for alternative management strategies which may increase income and save valuable feedstuffs on the operation," Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Grussing and the SDSU Extension team designed the Fall Beef Field Day with drought and economics in mind. The field day includes a tour of two different beef systems.

"We have received many questions on cattle performance in these new facilities," Grussing said.

By touring Stillwater Cattle Company cattle producers have an opportunity to see firsthand how drylot and hoop systems work.

With silage harvest just around the corner, the one-day Field Day will also cover the importance of harvesting and storing high quality silage.

Following the morning tour, lunch will be served at the Davison County Fairgrounds (3200 W. Havens Ave. Mitchell, SD).

Presentations will be held after lunch.

The presentation lineup includes the following:

Prepping Calves at Weaning: Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate will discuss the importance of prepping calves for weaning. "Not only does the health of calves at weaning directly impact your profitability, but it also pays to get calves off to a good start because whoever is buying your calves needs them to be profitable too," Rusche said.

Feedlot Manager Panel Discussion: A panel of feedlot managers will discuss what they are looking for when buying weaned calves and how the cow/calf producer can work with the feedlot on how to best prepare these weaned calves.

Market Outlook & Marketing Options Available for Weaned Calves: Presented by from Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist, this talk will focus on what marketing options are available for weaned calves. She will also provide a market outlook.

"It's always a good idea to have a plan when marketing calves every year. However, with dry conditions prompting early weaning and potentially extra culling this fall, marketing plans may need to be different this year than in the past to breakeven."

Pregnancy Diagnosis: Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist will present on the importance of early pregnancy diagnosis. She will lead a discussion on ways producers can identify pregnant versus open cows earlier so they can begin making culling decisions. She will also discuss fall management of herd replacement females.

"Grass is getting short in supply; therefore, it should be saved for the cows that become bred early in the year and will return a calf come spring," said Grussing. "Early pregnancy diagnosis can be done in variety of ways and at a relatively low cost compared to feeding an open cow through the winter."

Questions about the event can be directed Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist, 605.782.3290; Taylor Grussing, 605.995.7378; or Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate, 605.688.5452.

Sponsors for the field day include: South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, Zoetis, Dakotaland Feeds, LLC., Cattle Business Weekly, MultiMin USA, Creekside Veterinary Clinic, Hoop Beef and Farmers State Bank.

Driving directions

Driving directions to Stillwater Cattle Company: 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. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Extension Staff Attend National Ag Finance Conference

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension staff recently attended the National Conference of the Farm Financial Standards Council which was held recently in Syracuse, New York.

"This conference provided us with an opportunity to meet professional colleagues from across the country and representing every type of agriculture you can imagine. We will use the industry contacts and information gathered to help us serve South Dakotans," said Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist.

Davis was joined by SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialists Heather Gessner and Shannon Sand. All three serve as members of the Farm Financial Standards Council.

Topics covered during the convention included; assisting in farm and ranch generational transition planning and tax issues involved with farm or ranch transitions.

During the conference, SDSU Extension staff and other attendees were involved in the adoption of a new implementation guide titled: Financial Guidelines for Agriculture.

"As members of the Farm Financial Standards Council, we provide the tools necessary for farmers, ranchers, their lenders and their financial and tax advisors to be able to make sound production and management decisions based on solid financial records," Davis explained.

The Farm Financial Standards Council has two products, the Financial Guidelines for Agriculture and the Management Accounting Guidelines for Agriculture.

To learn more about transitioning your farm or ranch operation, contact Davis by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Science & Traditional Camping Activities Engage Campers

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - More than 200 youth from 23 South Dakota Counties attended the 2017 4-H Camp hosted by the South Dakota 4-H Program held at Camp Bob Marshall in Custer.

"Camping programs offered through South Dakota 4-H provide youth the opportunity to gain valuable life skills in a safe environment," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director. "The youth choose to attend camp because they want to have fun, which they do, but typically camp attendees don't realize until they are much older the lifelong value of their youth camping experience."

This camp was open to both 4-H members and non-members ages 8-12.

The theme, Imagination Station, encouraged youth to explore several activities including areas of science. Activities included: solar ovens, electrical circuits, tie dying, soap carving, a nature hike, drone discovery and much more.

"4-H exposes youth to a multitude of topic areas, which allows them a hands-on approach to career exploration," said Hilary Risner, Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor.

Youth also had the opportunity to partake in recreational activities in Bismark Lake, such as canoeing, swimming and fishing.

"Camp gives youth an opportunity to broaden their horizons," Bittiker said. "Youth learn valuable skills, such as making new friends, sharing personal space with others, managing personal items and exploring new adventures that may be outside of their comfort zone."

Following camp, youth were surveyed. Campers indicated that through 4-H Camp, they had a high ability to make new friends, a willingness to try new things and an ability to share their ideas respectfully.

"These are three components of personal development that 4-H strives to accomplish with youth through hands-on experiences such as camp," Risner said.

For more information on how you or your child can get involved with 4-H or attend 4-H Camp, contact the South Dakota 4-H State Office at 605.688.4167. Visit the 4-H & Youth Community to learn about more 4-H opportunities.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 200 youth from 23 South Dakota Counties attended the 2017 4-H Camp hosted by the South Dakota 4-H Program held at Camp Bob Marshall in Custer.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 200 youth from 23 South Dakota Counties attended the 2017 4-H Camp hosted by the South Dakota 4-H Program held at Camp Bob Marshall in Custer.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 200 youth from 23 South Dakota Counties attended the 2017 4-H Camp hosted by the South Dakota 4-H Program held at Camp Bob Marshall in Custer.

Link to high resolution copy of this image here.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Prizes for Dakotafest first 100 Attendees Who Register on iGrow.org

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Aging, Food Safety, Family & Personal Finance, Health & Wellness, Community Development, Communities, Local Foods, Gardens, Home & Garden Pests, Trees & Forests, Gardening, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will be giving away 100 BBQ spatulas to the first 100 individuals who register on iGrow.org/events.

To win, simply fill out the online entry form and bring your printed ticket to Dakotafest with you. Be one of the first 100 to show your ticket when you stop by the SDSU Extension booth #600 and go home with a BBQ spatula.

The SDSU Extension booth will have staff on hand to help answer your agronomy or livestock questions, informational booths to visit and SDSU ice cream at noon.

There are also 20 minute presentations on a variety of topics throughout the day. Visit the iGrow Events page for more information.

Water & forage testing available

For livestock safety, attendees are encouraged to bring water and/or standing forages such as corn, millet, sudangrass and sorghum for testing (exceptions to the forage nitrate quick test include: baled forages, such as, grass and alfalfa. These forages should be sampled via bale core method and sent directly to a lab for best results.)

Bring full plants and water samples to the test for initial testing.

blog comments powered by Disqus

2017 Eminent Farmers/Ranchers & Homemakers

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Colleges of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and Education and Human Sciences will recognize four individuals with the Eminent Famer/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 by September 1. The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with social hour, followed by the banquet at 6:30 p.m.

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 by a committee of SDSU faculty members, administrators and SDSU Extension personnel and 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.

To learn more about each of the honorees, please read their profiles below.

John Moes is 2017 Eminent Farmer/Rancher, Codington County

South Dakota State University, John Moes, is the 2017 Eminent Farmer/Rancher honoree, Codington County.

By Lura Roti for SDSU Colleges of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and Education & Human Sciences

In his father's day, the harder you worked, the better off you were. John Moes learned quickly that this mantra did not ring true for him.

"In the late '70s those of us getting our start farming realized that you had to work smarter, not necessarily harder, to make it," explains the Codington County cattle and crop producer and 2017 Eminent Farmer/Rancher.

A self-described "micro-manager," Moes keeps meticulous production records on his Angus herd; beyond the basics, he documents the number of illnesses, ability to achieve and maintain pregnancy and carcass data from their offspring. In the feedlot, Moes tracks every head with an electronic identification (EID) tag and pays for carcass data.

"If we work by the details then we can see what is working and profitable and what is not," he says.

Moes implements an intensive synchronization program where he AIs (artificially inseminates) his entire herd of cows and heifers within 48 hours - resulting in a 10-day calving season.

"Uniformity pays," Moes says. "We have this technology available to us that allows us to do this. When it comes to technology I say, 'use it or lose it.'"

He explains, "If they are all born within 10 days instead of 21 days, you have 20 days of gain - that's about 40 pounds per calf - that adds up quickly. Sixty animals - that's 2,400 more pounds to sell."

To keep up with new research and technology, Moes is always educating himself. An avid reader, he consumes industry magazines and attends workshops put on by South Dakota State University and others. In 2003, he volunteered to participate in a synchronization study led by George Perry, Professor and SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist.

"It's not what I know, it's what I learn," Moes explains.

His willingness to learn and try new things has served him well. Today, Moes, 60, together with his son, Bryan, and nephew, Lee Tol, operate a 300-head cow/calf herd; a 1999-head Concentrated Animal Operation, which primarily feeds and finishes Holstein steer calves; and farm 1,000-acres of grain and forage crops near Watertown.

However, when he started out, he only had a twelfth-grade education and work experience from growing up on his family's dairy farm.

Moes slowly began building his cow/calf herd while working for an area farmer. When he and his wife, Donita, purchased a small farm in 1987, he began working in town full-time until the cattle herd expanded to the point it needed his full-time attention. He says land prices kept him focused on expanding his cattle operation and the local ethanol industry helped with feed supplies.

"We feed 50-ton of modified distillers grain each week. It's a consistent feed and protein source," he says.

Looking at his operation today, it's obvious that Moes practices what he learns. And, he's not afraid to share his knowledge.

Each year, the farm hosts tours for SDSU and Lake Area Technical Institute students, as well as producers from across the nation and world. Moes continues to participate in research projects. And, each year, he employs at least one intern.

His advocacy for the beef industry extends outside the industry as well. Throughout the year he invites grade-school children and area business owners to learn about life on the farm.

"We open our farm up because people today are so removed from what we do here," he says.

Much of his public education focuses on the investment he makes to raise healthy and comfortable animals while improving natural resources at the same time.

"To do this and do it well, you gotta have passion for cattle. And I do."

Gwenn Vallery, 2017 Eminent Homemaker, Butte County

South Dakota State University, Gwenn Vallery, is the 2017 Eminent Homemaker, Butte County.

By Lura Roti for SDSU Colleges of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and Education & Human Sciences

Gwenn "Earles" Vallery began her teaching career in a rural, one-room schoolhouse. She wanted to end her teaching career in one too.

"I felt like I still had something to give to the children," says Vallery, 88, of her last teaching assignment in Alzada, Montana.

She was 80.

"I like adventures," Vallery explains.

At 88, the 2017 Eminent Homemaker has had quite a few - most motivated by her passion to educate and belief in lifelong learning.

Vallery was 19 when the opportunity to leave her hometown of Mitchell, South Dakota and teach led her to a remote, mountain logging community in Northern California. For two years she taught all eight grades in a one-room school.

"The first day of school the boys came (into the school yard) riding their bikes with their shoes in the baskets of their bikes. I thought, 'What have I gotten myself into?'" recalls Vallery. "They did put their shoes on before coming into the school."

She had earned her teaching certificate in one year and was young when she began teaching the first time, but Vallery said it went well. "I had the kids' respect and even though I was young, they looked up to me," she says of the experience, which launched her teaching career.

Her career spanned 40-plus years. Many of those years were spent teaching in the Newell School District. Vallery also spent a year teaching on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and has helped many GED students achieve their dreams.

"I love working with children and seeing the light bulb go on when they finally get something they have been struggling with," Vallery explains.

Vallery moved to the western South Dakota ranching community when she married Thornton in 1950 (now deceased). Thornton was a fourth-generation Butte County farmer/rancher. Even though Vallery grew up in town, ranch life agreed with her. She continues to reside on the ranch today where her son, Randy, and daughter-in-law, Rhonda, grow crops, raise cattle and operate a hunting preserve.

Vallery met Thornton while she was pursuing her teaching certificate at Dakota Wesleyan University. She left California to marry him.

A people-person from the beginning, Vallery became involved in the Nisland community. Upon the urging of the County Extension Agent, she helped start Tot-n-Twenty Extension Club.

"We were all in our 20s and there were a lot of tots," Vallery says. "Extension night was the girls' night out and our guys took care of the kids."

Sixty years later, the club continues to meet monthly and enter projects in the Butte/Lawrence County Fair.

Extension Club introduced Vallery to 4-H. When her children were young she started the Eager Beaver 4-H Club and became an active volunteer at the Butte/Lawrence County Fair.

In 2016, SDSU Extension recognized Vallery for her years of service with the Spirit of Community and Family Extension Leaders award.

Vallery took a brief break from teaching to raise her three children: Rick, Randy and Rene. A life-long student, she completed her bachelor's and Master's in Elementary Education by taking summer-school classes through Black Hills State University. She is also a Master Gardener.

"It took perseverance," she says. "There was an incident when my older sister said, 'Just quit.' I said, 'No. Daddy told us, if we start a job we finish it.'"

Even in retirement, Vallery is not one to sit idle. She has traveled to 49 of the 50 states. Through involvement with Butte County Historical Society, she helped preserve the historic one-room Hillside Schoolhouse and move it to Belle Fourche where it serves as a museum.

Today, she enjoys teaching her 3-year-old, great-granddaughter, Kimber.

"I still feel like I have something to give. I tell people, 'There better be a little red schoolhouse in Heaven, because I'm not through teaching yet.'"

Tom Varilek is 2017 Eminent Farmer/Rancher, Charles Mix County

South Dakota State University, Tom Varilek is the 2017 Eminent Farmer/Rancher, Charles Mix County.

By Lura Roti for SDSU Colleges of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and Education & Human Sciences

Tom Varilek's passion for raising purebred Black Angus is innate.

"It's in my blood," explains the third-generation Geddes cattleman. "Every day, I get up and get to go look at cows. If I'm away, I miss chores. I always want to get back home to my cows."

At 68, only a few life experiences - college and Vietnam - kept the 2017 Eminent Farmer/Rancher from cattle chores.

"Like they say, 'If you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life.' Even after all these years, bringing new life into the world at calving still gives me a warm feeling."

Upon his dad, Elvern's urging, Varilek began building his own cattle herd at a young age.

"In seventh grade, Dad said, 'If you will be showing 4-H calves, then you need to buy some of your own.' I went to the bank, borrowed the money and bought some."

4-H was also the motivation behind his decision to pursue an Animal Science degree at South Dakota State University. "During my 4-H days I used to go up to SDSU for judging and 4-H events. I liked SDSU and really saw no other reason to go anywhere else."

College life was a good fit for Varilek. "I am one of these guys who always wants to learn more. I want to know why."

He judged on collegiate livestock and meats teams and in 1971, shortly before he was drafted into the service, he was elected to serve as Little International Manager for the annual agricultural exposition put on entirely by students. "I like working with people," he says.

"Back in my day, there were 110 staff."

Throughout his career, Varilek has continued to put his leadership skills to good use serving South Dakota's agriculture industry. He has served on many boards and is current chairman of the Council on Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching. "If you reap the benefits of an organization or industry, you need to be involved."

Varilek planned to go on to veterinary school after graduation. Two schools had accepted him. But neither were willing to hold his slot when he was drafted into the Army.

So, instead of vet school, when he was discharged, Varilek returned to Geddes and together with his first wife, Carol Meurer (now deceased), partnered with his brother, Mick and dad, to raise registered Black Angus cattle and irrigated wheat, row crops and dryland hay. "Cattle are our main interest. Most of the crops we raise are sold through our cattle."

In 1985, Varilek and his brother decided to go independent. "I couldn't imagine a better life. There were days we put in long hours, but our kids were with us all the time. There was no daycare; we did everything together as a family."

From the beginning, Varilek CT Angus continued the family legacy to raise bulls who would work well for commercial cattle producers. Unlike many registered operations, Varilek CT Angus does not sell any bull younger than two years of age. The bulls are raised on the open range - conditioned to perform.

"Waiting until they are 2 increases their longevity. I feel sorry for a young bull that gets pushed so hard it falls apart. If you let them grow up naturally, they seem to do well for us."

The result is happy customers. About 90 percent of buyers are repeat.

Today, Varilek's daughter, Tess, and her husband, Duke Starr, farm and ranch with Varilek and his wife, Bev. "I have always been one of these guys that on this operation it's we or us, there is no "I" in what we do here. Just like a coach, I hope they do better than I have done."

June L. James, 2017 Eminent Homemaker, Hamlin County

South Dakota State University, June L. James is the 2017 Eminent Homemaker, Hamlin County

By Lura Roti for SDSU Colleges of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and Education & Human Sciences

Not long after her second daughter was born, June L. "Holzwarth" James needed to find a job. Times were tough on the family's Hazel farm and they needed a second income.

"Some were critical of my decision to work outside the home; 'How could I take a job and leave my babies,'" recalls James of the decision she made to work as a Hamlin County Extension Agent when the farm couldn't support the young family of four.

It was the early 1960s and most mothers did not work outside the home.

To make it in her new role as a working mom, James says it took a strong support group made up of her parents, a babysitter and her husband, Keith. "I worked very hard to balance - to be a good wife and mom and be good at my job. I had to build a support team."

Throughout her 30-year career serving as an Extension Educator, the 2017 Eminent Homemaker would share this valuable advice with many mothers she mentored through the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. "I had many young farm mothers ask me, 'I have to go back to work. How do you do it?' I think it helped that I could relate," says James, who spent most of her Extension career serving as the Codington County Extension Educator.

James' belief in team building extended to her professional life. "You don't do this job alone. Let me tell you. I worked to recognize the talents and skills of community members and volunteers and asked them to help out," she says.

Whether it was asking someone to serve as a 4-H leader, help her develop leadership programming for the Watertown Farm Show, or start a Senior Citizen Club - James enjoyed mentoring and encouraging. Recognized for her strength as a leader, late in her career, James was elected to serve as President of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educators. In 2007, she was recognized with the Spirit of Dakota Award.

"It's just amazing to have those around me who are willing to do things that I didn't know how to do or things that were not part of my skillset."

When James initially applied for the Extension Educator position in Hamlin County, she was in the midst of becoming certified to teach in South Dakota. She began her career in the classroom teaching home economics to high school students -- first in rural Montana, then in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

After growing up on a farm near Hazel, James enjoyed city life and had no intention of returning to her rural roots...that is, until she met Keith James.

"I was home on summer vacation and my brother, worried that I'd become an Old Maid, set me up on a blind date with a new farmer who recently moved to town. We clicked," she says.

Although she never dreamed of returning to Hazel, she did consider a career as an Extension Agent to be her dream job. "I was a 4-H member and had seen what my County Agent did and how she worked with us kids. I always thought 'wouldn't it be great to have a job like that.'"

James retired in 1995. She continues to volunteer as an Achievement Days judge and  remains an active community volunteer and columnist, writing for The Best of Times and Cattle Business Weekly. She continues to live and work on the farm where she and Keith raised their daughters, Linda and Robin. Today, her nephew farms the land.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Incorporating Corn Into Rations Can Save Forage

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Agronomy, Corn

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Drought-induced forage shortages across some areas of South Dakota has livestock producers looking for different ways meet forage needs left when pastures and hay ground are no longer an option. Corn is one such option, said Julie Walker, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist.

"Research has shown that a variety of feedstuffs can be utilized to meet the cows' nutrient requirements with similar performance to a forage based diet. "At current feed prices, substituting corn for forage is a viable option to feed beef cows," Walker said. "Corn or corn-based by-products can be used to substitute for forages and save on daily feed costs. For operations with the right facilities and management ability, replacing forage with corn can stretch forage supplies and potentially reduce feed costs."

Meeting Nutritional Needs

Research at The Ohio State University reported pregnant beef cows can be fed as little as 3 pounds of hay plus corn and supplements to meet nutrient requirements.

Purdue University research has also shown that late gestation cows could be successfully fed diets where hay was limited to 0.5 or 1.0 percent of bodyweight (dry matter basis).

"Rations were balanced to meet nutrient requirements, and performance (weight gain) was equal or greater compared to cows receiving hay at 2 percent of body weight," Walker said.

In both of these research projects, corn plus a protein supplement were used to balance the ration.

Table 1 shows a couple of examples of rations that meet the nutritional needs for a 1,300 pound dry cows. Limit feeding corn reduces forage requirements by 50 percent compared to a full-feed hay diet. In the two examples using corn, cows are allocated 0.5 percent of their body weight in forage dry matter (1,300 x 0.005 = 6.5 pounds DM; 6.5/.88 (88 percent DM of forage = 7.4 pounds as-fed).

Based on the prices used, incorporation of high amounts of corn reduced the feed cost/day and stretched the forage supply. It is very important to note that although nutritional requirements of these cows are met, her appetite is not.

Management Considerations

Switching from a forage-based system to a concentrate-based ration creates some management considerations.

  • Facilities must provide enough bunk space for all the cows to eat at once to prevent dominant animals from overeating. When limit feeding, cows should have at least 30 inches per head of bunk space.
  • Strong fences are a must. Because the cattle's appetite won't be satisfied, they will put pressure on the fence seeking additional forage.
  • Pens should provide at least 500 square feet per head. If cattle are fed in a pasture setting, cattle will continue to graze (overgraze) because their nutrient requirements are met before dry matter intake hits 100 percent.
  • Proper bunk management is critical to avoid digestive upsets, especially when high-starch feedstuffs are fed.
  • Conducting feed tests on forages and drought harvested feeds allows purchasing of the right supplements to meet the animal's requirements.
  • Minerals and vitamins may be consumed in excess if offered free choice when animals are limit fed. These can be included in the mixed ration or consumption can be controlled by using white salt in the mineral-vitamin supplement.

blog comments powered by Disqus

2017 Draper Winter Wheat Meeting Aug. 24

Categorized: Agronomy, Profit Tips, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Jones County Crop Improvement Association and SDSU Extension will host the 29th Annual Winter Wheat meeting at Draper, August 24, 2017.

The event will be held in the Draper City Auditorium and will begin at 6 p.m. (CDT).

Registration is not required. A meal is served prior to the program and is sponsored by numerous area businesses.

"This meeting is a long standing tradition among winter wheat producers," said Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist of the meeting which provides producers with the most recent wheat variety trial results and information on winter wheat production in South Dakota.

Speakers for the 2017 event include; Chris Graham, SDSU Extension Agronomist from Rapid City, who will discuss the 2017 SDSU Winter Wheat Variety Trial results and other ongoing wheat research in South Dakota.

Stan Boltz, Soil Health Specialist with the NRCS in Huron, who will share tips on how to best manage saline affected areas.

The South Dakota Wheat Commission and S.D. Wheat Inc. will also be represented at this event.

For more information call the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Pierre at 605.773.8120 or email Beck.

Courtesy of iGrow. The Jones County Crop Improvement Association and SDSU Extension will host the 29th Annual Winter Wheat meeting at Draper, August 24, 2017. The event will be held in the Draper City Auditorium and will begin at 6 p.m. (CDT).

blog comments powered by Disqus

SDSU Extension Drought Meeting in Wall Aug. 23

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will hold the seventh drought meeting in Wall August 23, 2017 at the Wall Community Center (501 Main St.).

The meeting will run from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. This meeting is free and there is no registration is necessary.

For livestock safety, attendees are encouraged to bring water and/or standing forages such as corn, millet, sudangrass and sorghum for testing (exceptions to the forage nitrate quick test include: baled forages, such as, grass and alfalfa. These forages should be sampled via bale core method and sent directly to a lab for best results).

Presenters include: Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist; Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist; Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist; Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist and Chris Graham, SDSU Extension Agronomist.

SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist, Robin Salverson will be available for quick nitrate testing for forages/feed and livestock suitability water testing.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff will also be available to discuss drought disaster programs.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Testing of Dial Pressure Canner Gauges

Categorized: Healthy Families, Food Safety

BROOKINGS, S.D. - With canning season just around the corner, for accuracy before use, SDSU Extension recommends that dial pressure canner gauges get tested each year.

"Dial gauge pressure canners use dial gauges to indicate if the correct pressure is being maintained. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause under-processing," said  Curtis Braun, SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist.

Braun explained that pressure adjustments can be made if the gauge reads up to 2 pounds high or low. Replace gauges that differ by more than 2 pounds.

Owners of pressure canners can have the gauges checked by mailing them in to be checked or by taking them into a Nyberg's Ace Hardware location in Sioux Falls. Nyberg's Ace Hardware, 330 W 41st St., Sioux Falls, SD 57105, Phone: 605-336-6467. Nyber's Ace will test free of charge.

Not all gauges need to be tested

Two types of pressure canners exist, weighted gauge pressure canners and dial gauge pressure canners. Weighted gauges do not require testing.

"Weighted gauge canners will either keep rocking gently or make a frequent jiggling noise to indicate if the correct pressure is being maintained," Braun said.

To know how a particular weighted gauge should rock or jiggle, Braun encourages owners to read the manufacturer's instructions.

Dial gauges do require annual testing.

Presto, a manufacturer of dial gauge pressure canners, will test gauges at no charge. The manufacturer will only test gauges from these brands:

  • Magic Seal
  • National
  • Maid of Honor
  • Kook-Kwick
  • Presto

For specifics on other models of pressure canner gauges, please check with the manufacturer. All American for example, has been selling their pressure canners with both a dial and weighted gauge for each unit. Weighted gauges do not need to be tested.

Steps to send in your pressure gauge:

  1. Carefully remove dial gauge from canner and package in foam, bubble wrap or newspaper to avoid shipping damage.
  2. Ship gauge only. If you cannot remove the gauge from the canner lid, send canner lid with the gauge attached.
  3. Gauges are checked within three working days of receipt and shipped for return.

Send to:
National Presto Industries Inc
3925 North Hastings Way
Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54703-3703

For more information, phone Presto Customer Service: 1.715.839.2121 or 1.800.877.0441. For more information visit the Presto website.

NOTE: Replacement gauges and other parts (e.g. gasket, safety plugs) for canners are often found at stores that sell food preservation equipment or from canner manufacturers. When ordering parts, be sure to provide your canner model number and describe the parts you need. Here are additional resources where you can find replacement gauges and other parts:

  1. Prestocanner Outlet
  2. Mirro Replacement Parts

For other canning related questions, contact AnswerLine at 1.888.393.6336, or contact your local SDSU Extension Regional Center. A complete listing can be found at iGrow, under the Field Staff Listing tab.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Bring Forage and Water for Testing at 2017 Dakotafest

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Agronomy, Corn

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will be offering on-site nitrate and water testing in booth #600 during Dakotafest 2017 held Aug. 15-17 in Mitchell at the Schlaffman Farm (2300 Spruce Street, Mitchell, SD 57301).

"Due to the ongoing drought across the state, checking the quality and safety of forages and water before allowing livestock to consume them is an essential step to prevent health or general productivity issues in the cowherd," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Drought mitigation services will be available each day of Dakotafest from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in booth #600.

Grussing, along with Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist will be on site to conduct nitrate testing on forages, as well as test livestock water for total dissolved salts.

Nitrate Testing

A Nitrate Quick Test will be available to be performed on standing forages such as corn, millet, sudangrass and sorghum.

Exceptions include: baled forages, such as, grass and alfalfa. These forages should be sampled via bale core method and sent directly to a lab for best results.

"Nitrates accumulate in the lower portion of the plant and continue to increase in the upper portions of the plant as drought conditions worsen," Grussing explained.

To test standing forages for nitrates, producers are encouraged to bring a representative sample of the field (10 to 15 samples from multiple locations). Cut the sample at ground level, making sure the lowest node is available.

The Nitrate Quick Test can be accomplished in a matter of minutes to establish if nitrates are present or not present in the plant.

Water Testing

Livestock water from dugouts, wells, artesian water and other water sources can also be brought in for quality testing (Booth #600).

A quick test will be performed with an electro-conductivity (EC) meter to provide an estimate of total dissolved salts in the sample.

Water samples can be taken to booth #600 in a clean plastic or glass container such as water or pop bottles or pint canning jars.

Based on the EC meter reading, recommendations will be made suggesting water safety for livestock consumption.

Results

Based on individual results, SDSU Extension Specialists will be on hand to consult with producers to determine if further laboratory testing is necessary. Instructional materials on further testing will be available.

"By offering these Nitrate Quick Test and Water suitability tests, SDSU Extension hopes to minimize the risk of feeding drought stressed feedstuffs to livestock and overall maintain a safe, and productive livestock system," Grussing said.

For additional information on forage nitrate testing or livestock water quality contact Grussing at 605.995.7378 or Salverson at 605.374.4177.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Worksite Wellness Grant Applications Due August 21

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Grant opportunities are available to all South Dakota worksites interested in creating healthier work environments.

Steps to Wellness Workplace Physical Activity and Healthier Vending and Snack Bar grants are offered through the South Dakota Department of Health's Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

"The Steps to Wellness grants are designed to assist worksites in implementing physical activity policy and environmental changes," said Nikki Prosch, SDSU Extension Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist.

"These grant funds will be used to enhance sustainable physical activity policy change and provide additional opportunities for physical activity within the workplace," she said of the funds.

"The Healthier Vending and Snack Bar Policy grants assist worksites in providing and promoting healthier food options in worksite vending machines and/or snack bars," said Megan Hlavacek, Healthy Foods Coordinator for the SD Department of Health.

The project uses a traffic light system to identify foods to choose often (green), foods to choose occasionally (yellow) and foods to avoid (red).

More information about Munch Code Health Vending can be found on their website.

Grant deadline is August 21, 2017

The deadline to apply for both grant opportunities is August 21, 2017.

The Steps to Wellness grant will award up to $2,000 to 10 eligible worksites, and 10 worksites will receive up to $1,000 for the Healthier Vending and Snack Bar grant.

"Funding for both grant opportunities will be awarded to applicants that strategically address environmental and policy change related to promotion of worksite wellness," Hlavacek said.

Example projects for the Steps to Wellness grant opportunity include dedicating an open office or unused space for engagement in physical activity, installing bike racks on worksite property, developing policy to allow stairwell use during work hours and creating an aesthetically pleasing environment in stairwells.

Worksites selected for the Healthier Vending and Snack Bar grant will receive one-on-one training, healthy vending and snack bar toolkits, professionally formatted promotional signage and technical assistance.

Project ideas include purchasing a refrigerated cooler for healthier vending machine options or displays like racks and stands to showcase healthy items in snack bars and cafeterias.

Visit the Healthy SD website to access the grant applications. To learn more, contact Prosch by email.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Green Cloverworm, Soybean Looper and Alfalfa Caterpillars

Categorized: Agronomy, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Small green caterpillars are being seen in soybean fields throughout South Dakota.

"Currently, these caterpillars aren't causing too much defoliation due to their small size, but as they grow their feeding may become more noticeable," said Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

Green, cabbage/soybean looper or alfalfa caterpillars?

The three most commonly observed green caterpillars in soybean are the green cloverworm (Figure 1), cabbage/ soybean looper (Figure 2 and Figure 3) and alfalfa caterpillars (Figure 4).

"In some fields, two or three of these species may be observed simultaneously," Varenhorst said.

Although these caterpillars are generally not severe pests to South Dakota soybeans, Varenhorst said their presence is important when other defoliators may also be present within the field.

"If only one defoliator species is present in high populations it may be possible to determine thresholds for it, however, when multiple defoliator species occur in a field we recommend looking at the average cumulative defoliation within the field," he said.

How to ID the caterpillars

The three caterpillar species are all very similar in appearance. "That is, all three species are green and have white stripes that run the length of their bodies," Varenhorst said.

He explained that the easiest way to discern the green cloverworm, soybean/cabbage looper and alfalfa caterpillars from one another is to look at the number of abdominal prolegs they have.

Not familiar with abdominal prolegs? Varenhorst explained that all caterpillars will have three pairs of true legs, which are present near their heads.

In addition, caterpillars have one pair of legs at the end of their bodies, which are referred to as the anal prolegs.

The remaining legs in the middle of their bodies are the abdominal prolegs (Figure 5).

"The number of pairs of abdominal prolegs differs depending on the species of caterpillar," he said.

The green cloverworm caterpillars have three pairs of abdominal prolegs. The soybean looper and cabbage looper caterpillars each have two pairs of abdominal prolegs. The alfalfa caterpillars have four pairs of abdominal prolegs.

"Of the three species, the green cloverworms have the greatest potential for being serious defoliators in South Dakota, but all three species may be present and will feed on leaf tissue," Varenhorst said.

Thresholds & management

Because there is the potential for numerous defoliators to be present in soybean in the late summer, SDSU Extension staff recommend looking at the average cumulative defoliation that is present within a field.

To obtain an average, look at 10 plants on each leg of a "Z" walking pattern.

"Remember, the total defoliation of the plant should be recorded and not individual trifoliates," Varenhorst said.

For soybean during the reproductive stages (i.e., after flowering) 20 percent defoliation is the recommended threshold.

Defoliation that exceeds this will result in a 3 to 7 percent yield loss per acre.

For reference of defoliation caused by caterpillars and the recommended threshold please refer to Figure 6.

If the 20 percent threshold is exceeded please refer to the current edition of South Dakota Pest Management Guide: Soybean for a list of insecticides that are labeled for caterpillar pests. This guide can be found on iGrow here.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1. Green cloverworm caterpillar. Notice the three pairs of abdominal prolegs present in the middle of the body.

Courtesy of www.forestryimages. Fig. 2. Cabbage looper caterpillar. Notice the two pairs of abdominal prolegs present in the middle of the body. Courtesy: A. M. Sparks, Bugwood.org

Courtesy of R. Ottens, Bugwood. Fig. 3. Soybean looper caterpillar. Notice the two pairs of legs present in the middle of the body.

Courtesy of iGrow. Fig. 4. Alfalfa caterpillar. Notice the four pairs of abdominal prolegs present in the middle of the body.

Courtesy of K. Zumach. Figure 5. Caterpillar body diagram.

Courtesy of M. E. Rice. Figure 6. Soybean defoliation chart.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Socioeconomic Viability of Management Intensive Grazing

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension recently launched a research project funded by National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, titled "Saving Grassland of the Great Plains: Is Management Intensive Grazing a Socioeconomically Viable Option?"

This project aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of Management Intensive Grazing benefits across different regions.

"The research project is designed to determine whether Management Intensive Grazing is a win-win solution for both ranchers and society, to better understand factors that affect adoption decisions and the proper incentives government may provide," said Tong Wang, SDSU Extension Advanced Production Specialist.

Grasslands in the U.S. are threatened by overgrazing, increasingly frequent and severe drought and land use change. Depending on the management strategy they select, South Dakota's grassland managers can maintain resilient ecosystems while optimizing long-term economic returns.

"Appropriate grazing management practices enable maintenance of forage productivity, combat invasion by less palatable grasses and weeds and sustain higher stocking rates, which in turn increases maximum long-term economic profit compared to other agricultural production options," said Wang.

This project will cover North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas, which are located on the Northern and Southern extremes of the Great Plains (Figure 1), a region with 19 percent of the cow inventory and nearly one third of the total grazing land in the nation.

"The overall goal of this multi-disciplinary effort is to investigate the economic, environmental and land use consequences of Management Intensive Grazing practice in the Northern and Southern Great Plains of U.S., as well as barriers for non-adoption and incentives to overcome such barriers, to help ranchers to increase profit from rangeland and pasture, while decreasing surface runoff and increasing soil infiltration," said Wang.

Management Intensive Grazing is an intensive form of rotational grazing, which generally utilizes at least 20 paddocks with very short grazing periods of one to seven days followed by a grass recovery period of 60 to 90 days depending on the weather conditions.

Why rotational grazing vs. continuous grazing?

On pasture and rangelands of the Great Plains, continuous grazing is the conventional practice for domesticated livestock production.

Under continuous grazing, livestock have unrestricted access to the entire pasture/rangeland throughout the grazing season.

"According to research, rangeland degradation is common under continuous grazing, due to the regularly used practices such as pesticide usage and supplemental feeding," Wang said.

In contrast to continuous grazing, rotational grazing rotates livestock through several paddocks, with only one paddock grazed at a time while other paddocks rest.

In practice, rotational grazing management has various levels of intensity (Figure 2).

Intensive Rotational Grazing: Resilience towards drought and other benefits

Unlike continuous grazing, intensive rotational grazing usually allows sufficient time for defoliated grass to regrow and hence sustains long-term grassland resilience.

Based on a recent article from NRCS, a well-managed rotational grazing system fared well during drought and provides better drought recovery due to a better mix of grass and more water holding capacity.

"Anecdotal evidences show intensive rotational grazing practice or Management Intensive Grazing helped ranchers extended their grazing season and reduced purchased forage cost," Wang said.

Research results also indicate increased profitability under Management Intensive Grazing compared to extensive rotational grazing.

"In addition, extensive rotational grazing practitioners generally showed more interest in increasing the paddock numbers compared to the continuous grazing practitioners", Wang said.

Low Adoption Rates of Rotational Grazing Practice

Despite anecdotal evidence and support from consultants and government, adoption of rotational grazing practice remains low.

According to the 2012 USDA agricultural census, 288,719 farms practiced some forms of rotational grazing, accounting for less than 30 percent of all ranching farms in the United States.

"Most farms adopting rotational grazing are under extensive rotational grazing, instead of intensive rotational grazing, or Management Intensive Grazing (MIG)," Wang said. "The low uptake likely indicates unfavorable perceptions about MIG among a majority of producers."

To have a better understanding of the relatively low adoption rate, one of the key inquiries of this NIFA project is to identify factors that inhibit MIG adoption among beef producers. A survey will be conducted in Northern and Southern Great Plains that inquires on ranch operators' perception on profit change due to MIG adoption. In addition, the roles of producers' perception, behavior, and regional differences on adoption decisions will be investigated.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1. Project Region

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2. Illustration of grazing management: continuous grazing (left), extensive rotational grazing (middle) and management intensive rotational grazing (right).

blog comments powered by Disqus

Forage Fiesta Field Day Aug. 24

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

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 will run till approximately 3:30 p.m.

This event is hosted by SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU. During the Forage Fiesta Field Day topics will include alfalfa, cover crops, grass and more.

"This field 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 consists 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. The Southeast Research Farm's address is 29974 University Road, Beresford.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Producers Encouraged to Share Drought Information on Drought Impact Reporter Website

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Drought, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Drought, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota producers are encouraged to share drought impact information through the National Drought Mitigation Center website.

Droughtreporter.unl.edu is home to the Drought Impact Reporter, a reporting feature that allows producers to report local drought impacts and conditions. The tool was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

"The current drought has had a devastating impact on many South Dakota farmers and ranchers. We need individuals to share information on the conditions they see on their farms and ranches through the proper channels so all information can be reviewed and valuable information is not lost," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

As State Climatologist, Edwards provides recommendations which are utilized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration when developing the U.S. Drought Monitor Map and assigning drought designations.

"Much of the recommendation is based on water and climate data which we as a team pull from weather stations, satellites, stream gauges and other tools. However, we also use information from impact reports, provided by landowners," Edwards said.

These impact reports are pulled from the Drought Impact Reporter website.

"It is so important that South Dakota's farmers and ranchers share information of the impact this drought is having on their land and livestock through this website," said Mike Jaspers, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture. "The Drought Monitor can only be as accurate as the data used to write it. The more people sending in reports, the more data points the authors have to get a clear and complete picture of conditions on the ground."

For those not familiar with drought designations and why a specific designation matters to South Dakota's agriculture producers - it comes down to disaster relief funding.

A few disaster relief programs, provided through the USDA, Farm Service Agency (FSA) base eligibility on the drought designation assigned to specific counties.

"FSA does not report information to the authors of the U.S. Drought Monitor, we simply rely on the information for program purposes," explained Jamie White, Acting State Executive Director, Executive Officer, USDA-FSA, South Dakota. "For producers concerned about the integrity of the U.S. Drought Monitor, the best thing they can do is provide a complete report of weather conditions through the reporting tool designated for producers. The Drought Impact Reporter streamlines the information provided to the authors of the U.S. Drought Monitor."

More about Drought Impact Reporter

The U.S. Drought Monitor reporting tool can be found at droughtreporter.unl.edu under the Submit Report tab. This report allows producers to:

  • Provide a written description of drought impacts on livelihood, activities, etc.;
  • Select categories to show losses and gains as a result of the drought;
  • Report on the duration of drought event;
  • Select Affected Places - geographic areas ranging from an entire state to a small area within a state;
  • Submit images that document the drought and its impact;
  • Provide contact information (includes an option to keep information confidential).

For more information, including state-specific drought impact maps, visit the U. S. Drought Monitor homepage.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Protect Livestock During Drought With Water Testing

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension offers an on-site livestock water testing service at all SDSU Extension Regional Extension Centers and several SDSU Extension County Offices throughout the state.

"It is critical to monitor livestock water quality, because poor quality water can have a negative effect on growth, reproduction, and general productivity of the animal.  In some cases, death could occur within days or hours after consumption of contaminated waters or water deprivation," said Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Water samples can be taken to one of the sites listed below in a clean plastic or glass container including water or pop bottles, jelly jars etc.

A quick test is conducted free of charge with an electro-conductivity (EC) meter to determine total salts in the water. After consultation with an SDSU Extension field or state specialists, Salverson said additional laboratory testing may be suggested.

"The appearance of water can be deceiving and the clearest of water can be the worse," she said. "Additionally, some water sources regardless if it has been dry or wet can be high in total salts. Therefore, continuous monitoring of water quality and quantity are important to maintain a productive livestock program."

Sites for Livestock Water Testing

Below is a complete list of SDSU Extension locations where testing is offered and staff to contact.

SDSU Extension County Offices and Regional Centers

County Offices Staff Phone #
Aurora Tina Kieffer 942-7754
Beadle Jane Ondricek 353-8436
Bennett County Mary Kay Sells 685-6972
Butte/Lawrence Cindy Riley 892-3371
Charles Mix Stephanie Chambliss 487-7666
Clark Josie Michalski 532-3681
Corson Dawne Donner 273-4368
Dewey Marty Hintz 865-3652
Douglas Annie Rankin 724-2719
Haakon/Jackson Sheryl Hansen 859-2840
Hamlin Deb Goebel 783-3656
Hanson Shannon Tegethoff 239-4542
Harding Tonja Montgomery Hansen 375-3412
Jones Angie Kinsley 669-7101
McPherson Jackie Rau 439-3331
Miner Maria Feldhaus 772-4661
Potter Amy Wager 765-9414
Roberts Jill Pistorius 698-7627
Spink Amy Herman 472-5006
Walworth Brenda DeToy 649-7607
Mellette County Kaycee Jones 259-3385
Will be a drop off location    
Regional Extension Centers Phone Number  
Aberdeen Regional Center 626-2870  
Lemmon Regional Center 374-4177  
Mitchell Regional Center 995-7378  
Pierre Regional Center 773-8120  
Rapid City Regional Center 394-1722  
Sioux Falls Regional Center 782-3290  
Watertown Regional Center 882-5140  
Winner Regional Center 842-1267  
     

 
Additional information on livestock water quality can be found at the Livestock community page or by contacting Robin Salverson at 605.374.4177 or by email

blog comments powered by Disqus

SDSU Extension 2017 Dakotafest Line-Up

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Reports to Partners, Livestock, Beef, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Reports to Partners, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Reports to Partners, Healthy Families, Aging, Food Safety, Family & Personal Finance, Health & Wellness, Reports to Partners, Community Development, Communities, Local Foods, Reports to Partners, Gardens, Home & Garden Pests, Trees & Forests, Gardening, Master Gardeners, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension staff will be presenting timely, research-based information to 2017 Dakotafest attendees in booth #600. Dakotafest is held Aug. 15-17 in Mitchell at the Schlaffman Farm (2300 Spruce Street, Mitchell, SD 57301).

"Dakotafest is a great opportunity to fulfill our land grant mission of providing research-based, unbiased information to South Dakotans," explains Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director. "Our staff looks forward to the opportunity to share presentations, demonstrate new recommendations and answer questions one-on-one."

Throughout the summer, the SDSU Extension team has focused on providing information and resources to help South Dakotans manage through the current drought.

"South Dakotans have a lot on their minds with the current drought. We are here to help them manage through this challenge," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor. "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."

Agriculture producers are encouraged to bring water samples and forage samples with them to test for water quality and forage nitrate levels.

A drought does not just impact those South Dakotan's working in agriculture, as Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director explains. "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.

Stluka encourages Dakotafest attendees to bring their fitness, nutrition and other food and families' questions and concerns to Dakotafest and stop in to visit with a SDSU Extension Food and Families team member.

Presentation Schedule

All presentations will be held in the SDSU Extension tent, Booth #600.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

9 a.m. Show Opens
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Forage and Water Testing available
10 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Rainfall Simulator and Range Health Monitoring: Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist; Jimmy Doyle, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist and Stan Boltz, NRCS State Range Conservationist
11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. Emerald Ash Borer Update: John Ball, Professor & SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist
Noon Free SDSU Ice Cream (served until gone)
1 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. Cereal Rye as a Cover Crop: Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist
2 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. Mesonet at SD State: Statewide network of weather stations and tools for agriculture: Nathan Edwards, SDSU South Dakota Mesonet Manager

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

9 a.m. Show Opens
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Forage and Water Testing available
10 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Farm + : Adding Value through Value-Added Ag and Agritourism Panel Presentation: SDSU Extension Community Vitality, SD Dept. of Tourism and SD Value-Added Agriculture Development Center
11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. Insect Pests: Identify and manage current pest problems: Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist
Noon  Free SDSU Ice Cream (served until gone)
1 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. Crop Market Update: Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist
2 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. Rainfall Simulator and Range Health Monitoring: Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist; Jimmy Doyle, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist and Stan Boltz, NRCS State Range Conservationist

Thursday, August 17, 2017

9 a.m. Show Opens
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Forage and Water Testing available
10  a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Climate Outlook for End of the Growing Season/Fall: Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist
11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. Rainfall Simulator and Range Health Monitoring: Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist; Jimmy Doyle, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist and Stan Boltz, NRCS State Range Conservationist
Noon  Free SDSU Ice Cream (served until gone)
1 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. Agronomy Drought Topics

For more information on sample preparation for water testing as well as forage nitrate testing contact your local SDSU Extension Regional Center prior to Dakotafest. A complete listing can be found at the iGrow Our Experts page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Applying a Fungicide to Hail Damaged Crops

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The recent storms in eastern South Dakota left some fields damaged by hail (Figure 1) and growers wondering if a fungicide application is needed to protect their hail damaged crops.

According to research conducted in Illinois and Wisconsin fields treated with numerous fungicides did not show significant yield increases explained Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist.

"These studies indicate no yield response as a result of fungicide application on hail damaged crops," she said.

The research conducted in Illinois used simulated hail damage and did not show significant yield increases from fungicide applications of Headline, Quadris, or Quilt. Similarly, research conducted in Wisconsin, under natural hail events, showed that Headline on corn (at R2 stage of growth) and Headline, Quilt and Stratego on soybeans (at R3 stage of growth) also did not result in increased yield.

What diseases should you watch for?

Following a hail event, growers should scout their fields for bacterial diseases, said Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

"Bacterial diseases mainly infect plants through wounds and may be elevated due to hail damage," Byamukama said. "These include bacterial pustule and bacterial blight on soybean and Goss's wilt on corn. Fungicides do not offer protection against these bacterial diseases."

When are fungicides warranted?

Applying fungicides on hail damaged plants should only be warranted if there are significant fungal diseases developing on these plants.

"Fungicides protect the yield potential of plants if significant diseases are present but do not improve the yield potential of crops," Strunk said.

She explained that both corn and soybeans should grow out of slight hail injury, unless the growing point was damaged.

Scout and apply a fungicide when soybean is between R1 and R3 and corn between VT and R1 and when significant disease pressure is developing and weather is favorable for disease development.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1. A soybean field west of White damaged by hail on July, 11, 2017

blog comments powered by Disqus

New 4-H Youth Program Advisor Lake & Moody Counties

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Allyssa Sims recently joined SDSU Extension to serve as the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Lake and Moody Counties.

A 4-H alumnus, Sims brings experience, energy and fresh ideas to the counties she will serve.

"We are excited to welcome Allyssa to the team of 4-H Youth Program Advisors who serve South Dakota's youth and communities," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

In her role, Sims will manage local 4-H operational elements, develop and deliver educational programs, establish working relationships and coalitions with other youth-serving groups and provide leadership for volunteers.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity this role gives me to help the youth of Lake and Moody Counties develop life and leadership skills through 4-H programming and hands-on project learning," Sims said.

More about Allyssa Sims

Growing up, Allyssa Sims was actively involved in 4-H. "I started out in the 4-H horse program, then I learned about the dog project and then I explored static exhibits. One experience led to another," said the Hutchinson, Minnesota native. "The number one leadership skill I gained through 4-H was public speaking."

A South Dakota State University Agriculture Education/Animal Science graduate, Sims' love of 4-H and working with youth, led her to work summers for her home state as a 4-H intern. "I got to experience the other side of 4-H - from a program advisor's perspective - and realized that this was how I wanted to use my degrees," Sims explained. "In this role, I get to work with youth but outside the classroom. I also appreciate how this role allows me to develop programming based on the counties' wants and needs."

Sims is eager to get to know the youth and volunteers in the communities she will serve and hopes to launch a 4-H Junior Leaders program for teens in the area.

"Junior Leaders is one of many programs 4-H provides for teens to put their leadership skills into practice," she says.

To contact Sims, contact her by e-mail or call 605.256.7603.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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)

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.). 

blog comments powered by Disqus

2017 Volga Farm Summer Tour

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.   

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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).

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

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. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

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".

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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
blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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."  

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus