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bunches of Aronia berries still on a bush

Soil Testing for Vineyards in South Dakota

Not all soils are conducive to growing quality grapes, so prospective vineyard sites should be tested before a decision is made to plant grapes. Tests can identify soils that are either too high in pH, salts, or salinity, or that are “too rich” (too high in organic matter and nitrogen) for grapes. In addition, testing before planting allows for the incorporation of nutrients—such as phosphorus—that do not move easily through the soil to plant roots.

tall trees in the Black Hills

Junior Arborist Activity Guide

The Junior Arborist Activity Guide provides objectives, content, equipment and supplies needed to complete 8 modules of arboriculture instruction, helping schools and other educational programs to create a youth arboriculture program of their own.

spruce tree seedling with weeds beneath it

Weeds Around Spruce Seedlings?

I have many producers call wanting a control for the broadleaf weeds coming up around their young Colorado and Black Hills spruce seedlings. At this time of year we are looking at post-emergence herbicides to control weeds that have become established.

an orange lady beetle with nine black spots

Lady Beetles of South Dakota

Lady beetles are one of the most familiar groups of beneficial insects. Farmers and gardeners appreciate them for devouring insect pests. Both adult lady beetles and caterpillar-like juveniles eat pests.

a downy woodpecker resting on a wooden pole

Woodpeckers Attacking Bur Oaks

Woodpeckers have been seen across the region chipping away at the bark of young bur oak. The woodpeckers can shred most of the bark from young trees, enough that the trees are killed by this injury.

several medium-size cedar trees growing along a fence

Woody Weeds: Eastern Red Cedar

While eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is native to South Dakota, and has many positive qualities, it has become a problem species over large areas of the Great Plains.

A hand holding a soil sample taken from a soybean field.

Soil Testing Labs

This page contains a list of nearby state or private laboratories that can be used for crop production fields, gardens and lawns.

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.

Tick that is dark brown to black in color with a reddish-orange abdomen.

Protecting Yourself From Ticks

During wet springs, tick populations tend to thrive in South Dakota. These parasitic arthropods require blood to fulfill their nutritional needs and commonly use humans as a host. Some ticks can also carry bacterial diseases that are a threat to human health.

Farmer sitting inside the cab of a green tractor parked inside a machine shed.

SDSU Extension Dakotafest 2019 Forums Feature Crop Outlook, Weather Outlook & Ash Borer Update

August 12, 2019

SDSU Extension staff will be hosting several forums during Dakotafest 2019 held August 20-22 on the Schlaffman Farm near Mitchell, S.D., (2300 E Spruce Street) inside booth #600.