Skip to main content

Search

Three, four-wheel drive John Deere tractors, pushing up chopped corn silage into a drive over pile on a dairy farm.

Harvesting Silage on a Wet Year: Moisture is Critical

Fall is on its way in South Dakota. However, with many flooded and saturated fields, some producers are growing concerned that there will be little opportunity to harvest silage before corn dries down past desired moisture levels or frost occurs.

a map of the United States with different colors showing the precipitation outlook variations.

Fall Frost and September Climate Outlook for 2019

September 2019 has been pleasantly warmer than usual, and our crops need every bit of that warmth to reach maturity before our first frost arrives. Fortunately, temperatures have cooled slightly this week but just to near average for this time of year.

Three, four-wheel drive John Deere tractors, pushing up chopped corn silage into a drive over pile on a dairy farm.

Maximizing Silage Value

October 09, 2019

Significant losses happen every year in silage bunkers and piles across the United States.

High-moisture corn being stored in a bunker for use as cattle feed.

Harvesting High-Moisture Corn and Earlage

Producers who raise both corn and cattle have the option of harvesting some or all of their corn acres as a high-moisture grain crop to be marketed through cattle. There are several advantages to harvesting corn earlier at a high-moisture content.

Kochia growth spreading amongst a patch of soil.

The Fall Advantage of Kochia Control

Kochia is a problem in row crops in North Central South Dakota. New Post-emergent options in corn and soybean have helped alleviate Kochia competition from many fields, but these herbicide options shouldn’t be completely relied upon for a long-term plan for control.

Canada thistle growing in a pasture.

Fall Noxious Weed Control

September 30, 2019

Fall is the time to control tough perennial broadleaf lawn weeds. Good moisture in most places in August will have set up good fall growth of perennial weeds.

A soybean field in early fall. Plants are nearing maturity.

Low Temperatures During Soybean Maturity

This year, we had a slow soybean planting due to high rainfall in spring. This was followed by below normal temperatures for most of the growing season, which delayed soybean growth and development. This brings up a question about what these low temperatures will do to soybeans that are in the field.

The edge of a corn field with plants nearing harvest maturity.

Estimating Corn Yield in the Field

As a result of late planting and inconsistent weather, both in-field and across-field variations have been significant this year in South Dakota. Even on highly productive land, it is expected for corn yields to vary significantly. Estimating corn grain yield prior to harvest can help growers make management decisions, especially storage and marketing.

Group of calves grazing in a fenced-in area.

Weaning Calves on Cover Crops

What do we do if it is time to wean calves, but the pen isn’t ready? That can be a real concern during wet fall seasons, such as 2019. Putting calves into muddy pen conditions is far from desirable, but holding calves on the cows deep into fall increases the risk of adverse winter weather and tends to pull body condition off the cows.

A corn field with several plants showing symptoms of stalk rot.

Assess for Corn Stalk Rots

Several corn fields are beginning to show stalk rot and top dieback symptoms. Stalk rots cause the entire plant to die prematurely, which can lead to plants lodging under windy conditions making harvesting problematic.