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Teardrop shaped tick with a dark brown body and legs and an elongate white patch behind its head.

Ticks Becoming Active in South Dakota

The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.

Two adult wasps side-by-side. The left is black and yellow and is resting on a green leaf. The right is black, yellow and burnt orange in color and is resting on a piece of wood.

Wasp Activity Is Ramping Up

With their distinctive black and yellow stripes and tendency to hang out in groups, wasps receive attention no matter the time of year. As the weather warms up and spring progresses, you may notice more wasp activity in your yard or around your house.

Two insects. The left is a wasp with a dark head, reddish brown thorax (the segment behind the head), and a black and yellow banded abdomen. The right is a hornet with a yellow head, dark brown thorax (the segment behind the head), and a brown and yellow banded abdomen.

No, It’s Not a Murder Hornet.

By now, you’ve probably read headlines about the Asian giant hornets (aka “murder hornets”) that were spotted in Washington state and across the border in Canada. It is important to note that Asian giant hornets have only been confirmed in a small area of Washington and Canada. These wasps have not been observed in South Dakota or our neighboring states.

Two dandelions side by side. The left has a bee foraging on it. The right has a hover fly foraging on it..

Why Those Dandelions in Your Yard Aren’t So Bad

While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.

Black insect with a white spot on the back and orange tipped legs and antennae.

A fly? A hornet? Nope, it’s a sawfly!

This spring, there have been multiple reports of people seeing large fly-like insects in their yards. These insects are sawflies, and all reports thus far have been the elm sawfly (Cimbex americana).

A young, freckled girl eating small, red tomatoes inside a greenhouse.

Agritourism

When a producer has decided to sell a product directly from the farm, entertainment or tourism-based activities could be incorporated to create larger appeal. Agritourism could add value to the farm visit though education, entertainment, outdoor recreation, dining, relaxation or other avenues, potentially drawing more customers in.

A lush, green spinach patch growing in a community garden

Community Gardens: Liability Insurance

Groups organizing a community garden often ask about liability insurance. They will typically consider getting a policy if they have an organization to protect, or as coverage for the landowner in case a participant is injured and elects to sue.

A row of CSA subscription boxes with the words Green Market printed on them.

CSA Models

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) marketing is an outlet that allows a farmer to sell subscriptions or shares to consumers prior to the growing season. When the produce or food product is harvested it is then delivered on a scheduled basis to the customer.

a hand pick an onion from a box of vegetables

CSA Benefits: A Consumer Perspective

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs can offer a wide variety of benefits to consumers.

Three bees on a wooden box.

Backyard Biodiversity: Nest boxes for native bees

Many of our native bee species are solitary. In order to ensure that these kinds of bees spend more time in our yards and gardens, it is important to make sure we include places for them to nest.