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A color-coded precipitation probability map of the United States. The majority of South Dakota is predicted to have wetter than average precipitation, with the highest likelihood being in the southwest corner of the state. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.

May 2020 Climate Outlook

On April 16, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their climate outlook for May and the coming three-month period of May through July. There is a lot of uncertainty in the temperature outlook for the next one-to-three months in the Northern Plains Region.

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.

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.

A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a grass seed head.

Drought Conditions Magnifying Impact of Black Grass Bugs

With much of South Dakota continuing to experience moderate-to-extreme drought conditions, black grass bugs could become a concern in some areas. Large populations of black grass bugs can cause severe damage to pasture.

A farmer watching the sun rise in a bare, unplanted field.

Crop Tolerance to Soil Herbicide Residual

Some herbicides can persist in soil, especially dry soil. Herbicide carryover could be an issue in 2021 across the state depending upon last year’s moisture levels and field conditions.

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.

hereford beef cattle drinking at dam during drought.

Hot Days Ahead and the Need for Water

Hot summer days are still ahead, and we need to account for water. The amount of water a cow requires varies depending on a variety of factors, including environmental temperature, lactation status and weight.

Winter wheat field with extreme soil erosion due to drought.

Impacts of Drought on Soil, Water, Forage and Livestock Grazing Systems

Grazing systems are complex, because soil, water, forage and livestock components are interconnected and affect each other. Producers can put themselves back in the driver’s seat by developing annual systems-level grazing plans for favorable and unfavorable situations.