Planting cover crops and returning crop residues (stover) to the soil both adds nutrients and improves overall soil quality. These practices are common with producers across South Dakota and have been recently studied by researchers to identify how they impact the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a tall, native, prairie grass that is often seeded on marginal lands in South Dakota. It has gained growing popularity over the past decade not only as a source of biofuel and feed, but also as a method to improve soil properties.
Implementing diverse crop rotations and no-till practices are common suggestions to reduce erosion, control pests, and improve yields. These practices can also improve soil health through an increase in soil carbon levels.
For decades scientists have known that a handful of soil contained more micro-biological organisms than the number of humans on earth. Science is just beginning to discover these organisms and learn about their functions and contribution to their soil ecosystem.
Guide for the identification and management of Palmer Amaranth in South Dakota
There are 24 million acres of native and tame pasture and range as well as 1.4 million acres of grass hayland in South Dakota.
With the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds, the use of an adjuvants is also on the rise and may be necessary to help control resistant weeds.
Noxious Weed Recommendations: Herbicides for pasture, range, and non-crop areas, including roadside and other right-of-way that may be harvested for hay or grazed, are given a priority.
Producers need to plan in advance on how to deal with bare fields that contain an overabundance of weeds. Weeds in these fields have deposited significant amount of seeds on the soil surface, which can easily germinate when adequate moisture and temperature are available.
There are currently millions acres across South Dakota impacted by saline and sodic conditions. Research has shown that salt-tolerant perennial grasses are a possible way to bring land back into production.