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A map of South Dakota with several colored boxes indicating areas of increased flood risk. For a complete description, visit the National Weather Service website at: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/long_range.php?wfo=fsd

Get to Know Your Local Emergency Management Director

The warmer weather and spring migration this March have us all thinking of better days ahead. Unfortunately, it also has us thinking about flooding again this spring.

A newly planted vineyard on a rural property.

Grape Production Resources

Quality wine grapes can be grown in South Dakota with careful attention to growing site, cultivar selection and production techniques. View selected information available from SDSU Extension and other sources that will help you in deciding whether grape growing is for you, and to grow quality fruit.

A man in a pickup truck picking up a bag of farmers market food at a pickup table being serviced by two women in personal protective gear.

Farmers Markets and COVID-19

Farmers markets are a very important sector in South Dakota. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a great deal of concern on trying to keep these markets open, while providing a safe environment for consumers to shop. This article is a guide to help farmers markets set up their operation in a manner that will best protect consumers and allow for continuation of operations.

A heavily tilled field showing signs of severe topsoil loss due to erosion. Next to it, there is a no-till field with no noticeable signs of erosion.

Multiple Rounds of Severe Weather Bring Heavy Rainfall, High Winds, and Soil Erosion

A combination of tillage, no residue, and lack of crop canopy can lead to severe erosion and topsoil loss in the face of extreme weather patterns in the spring. The most effective strategy for producers to adapt to these extreme events is to improve soil health.

A sprawling, planted field with young crops emerging

Fall Cover Crops Boost Soil Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Which Can Lead To Reduced Inputs

Fall cover crops provide multiple benefits to producers. These benefits include pathogen and pest protection, drought protection, weed control, reduced soil erosion, nutrient acquisition and retention, increased soil organic matter, and conservation of soil water by improvement of soil structure that increases infiltration and water holding capacity.

A young girl with a snail-shaped watering can.

Ages & Stages in the Garden: Ages 6-8

A garden can be used to teach many concepts to a board range of ages. When working with early elementary youth you will want to consider characteristics of their development when planning lessons and activities.

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 community garden plot with several tomato plants growing.

Community Gardens: Garden Rules - Operational Guidelines

When developing garden rules or participate guidelines it is important to address activities related to the operations of the garden. Clearly state that gardeners are expected to maintain their plot for the entire season and list the dates of the season during which they are responsible.

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.