After oats have been harvested, options exist to keep a living root in the soil. This can be done through growing cover crops. In 2018 an on-farm trial was preformed near Salem, South Dakota to observe how cover crops grown after oats would germinate after common herbicides had been applied.
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.
Producers across South Dakota are harvesting small grains. These crops provide an excellent window for adding a cover crop into your rotation.
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.
It’s time to begin scouting pasture and wheat for the presence of black grass bugs. Last year, we saw the highest populations in areas of Central and Southwestern South Dakota. If left untreated, black grass bug populations tend to increase year after year.
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.
Significant education efforts for natural resource conservation have occurred in South Dakota during the last five years. Many stakeholder groups have brought awareness for soil health and water quality to the forefront.
It is evident that there are high chances of planting into wet soils this spring. This is not a good decision when normal soil conditions appear to be attainable, but this year we may not have a choice.
How does spring flooding impact weed seed movement and dispersal? The flooding that is occurring from spring snow melt may cause weed seeds that are on the soil surface or eroded soil to move, and possibly long distances.
This year’s struggles with weather and climate are continuing this fall. Late planting of corn and soybeans in the spring have now combined with near average or cooler than average summertime temperatures. This combination has led to slow crop growth and the need for an extended frost-free season to ensure these crops reach maturity.