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.
Cover crops have been gaining a reemerging acceptance over the last decade, with very few producers disagreeing about the potential soil health benefits of adding cover crops to their farming operation.
Hay that contains sweet clover can be an excellent feed as long as the dicoumarol level is known and feeding management is used to prevent poisoning.
Feeding damaged wheat to livestock is one way to salvage value from the crop. Wheat can work well in cattle diets with some limitations.
Cool, damp weather followed by warmer temperatures favors grasses becoming infected with ergot bodies, which can cause a certain kind of poisoning that can affect cattle on pasture.
In last few years, interest in using cover crops has been increasing tremendously among crop and livestock producers in South Dakota. Growing cover crops following small grain is gaining more attention due to feasibility in cover crops species selection and also the time of the year where cover crops receive longer growing and establishing time than following row crops.
As South Dakota emerges from the wettest 12-month period in 124 years of climate recordkeeping (June 2018-May 2019), June has started warmer and drier than average. The outlook, however, turns towards cooler and wetter than average again for the middle of the month.
During the past couple of weeks, reports of aphid populations in wheat fields have slowly been increasing. Typically, the initial aphid populations are observed earlier in the season, but the 2019 spring may have delayed infestations.
This year’s seasonal pattern of wetter than average conditions is projected to continue through July and the rest of the summer season. The latest climate outlook, released June 20, 2019, shows an increased chance of wetter than average conditions in the next one to three months for the state of South Dakota.