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A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a blade of grass that is green with white spots.

Black Grass Bug Activity Expected in Coming Weeks

Spring green-up is the time to be watching for black grass bug activity. Large populations of this early-season pest can cause severe damage to pasture (up to 90% forage reduction) and infest the edges of wheat fields.

A field of no-till soybeans and corn.

Crop Residue, Cover Crops Impact on Soil Health Parameters

Interest in no-till and cover crops has been on the rise among South Dakota crop producers. In 2019, half of South Dakota crop ground was under no-till management and about 900,000 acres were planted to cover crops.

A map of South Dakota illustrating soil temperatures on April 21, 2020. Temperatures throughout the state range from 41 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information, visit: https://climate.sdstate.edu/archive/maps/

Soil Temperature for Planting Spring Crops

Soil temperature is an important consideration for deciding when to begin planting spring crops. If producers in South Dakota would like a quick reference for soil temperatures in their area, the SD Mesonet network measures soil temperature at several weather stations throughout the state.

SDSU Extension Develops Perennial Plant Mixtures for Alkali Areas

April 24, 2020

The Every Acre Counts program through SDSU Extension has developed perennial plant mixture suggestions suited for various types of marginal land situations, including saline, sodic and wet soil areas. 

A patch of soil with kochia weeds growing throughout.

Temperature and Herbicide Performance

In South Dakota, the spring can come with a wide range of temperature fluctuations. This will affect the performance of burndown herbicides. Depending upon the target weed, type of herbicide and application rate, there will likely be decreased weed control in cooler temperatures.

A red sprayer in a green field with a cloudy sky in the background.

How to Stop Drift

The goals of applying any crop protection products include: increasing effectiveness, mitigating drift, and maximizing profits. We will focus on mitigating drift, even though all three interact with each other.

Color-coded drought monitor map of South Dakota. As of April 29, Northwest South Dakota is facing extreme drought, while the rest of the state is under abnormally dry to severe drought conditions.

SDSU Extension to Resume Drought Hour in May

April 29, 2021

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 95% of South Dakota is in some level of drought, including 19.42% that is classified as Extreme Drought (D3) in the north central region.

Herd of black-beef cattle being moved in drought-stressed rangeland.

Trigger Dates: Critical Decisions for Drought Management

Having a drought plan in place ensures that you can overcome the inhibitions surrounding a drought response, the basis of which is figuring out trigger dates.

Round hay bales loaded on transport trailers.

Haul the Feed or the Cows

Reduction in pasture forage availability may require producers to decide between hauling feed or hauling cows. Learn how to decide which option is best for your operation.

Prescribed burn taking place in a pasture.

Fire as a Management Tool

When planned for and implemented appropriately fire is a tool that can have tremendous benefits to your grassland community.