Spring is a busy time for South Dakota farmers and ranchers with planting, calving, and other field preparations. Soil sampling and fertilizing pastures, alfalfa, or other forages might be overlooked.
Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.
If you are growing oats this year for grain, be sure to scout and plan a fungicide application to protect the oats from crown rust.
With growers’ interest emerging, SDSU Extension and research faculty teamed up and initiated a study in 2016 in Northeast SD to evaluate the effects of plant growth regulator. The study was conducted at the SDSU Northeast Research Farm (NERF) near South Shore, SD.
Two crops in one year may sound tempting, and for some crop species is possible, but before doing so, producers should consider possible crops and compare the potential benefits with the drawbacks.
As the name implies, micro-greens are grown only for a short time before they are harvested, usually only for about three weeks!
Crown rust is the most important fungal disease of oats in South Dakota. In years with heavy disease pressure, susceptible cultivars can have over 80% yield loss due to crown rust. The presence of crown rust inoculum on buckthorns can be an indication of the likely risk for crown rust to develop during the growing season. Buckthorns scouted recently were loaded with crown rust inoculum.
Oats scouted in a few fields in the Eastern and South Central parts of the state were found with bacterial blight developing on the lower leaves. Plants infected have leaves with water-soaked brown longitudinal lesions in the top-half of the leaf. Severe symptoms can lead to premature leaf death.
As a challenging 2019 row crop planting season wraps up in South Dakota, many producers are looking to plant cover crops on unplanted acres. One popular cool-season grass cover crop is oats. Most oats in South Dakota are grown as certified varieties, and it is important to be aware of the legal ramifications behind purchasing oat seed for use as a cover crop.
After oats have been harvested, options exist to keep a living root in the soil. This can be done through growing cover crops. In 2018 an on-farm trial was preformed near Salem, South Dakota to observe how cover crops grown after oats would germinate after common herbicides had been applied.