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A field with patches of soil exhibiting poor water infiltration.

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Cover Crops and Crop Residues

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.

A patch of switchgrass growing at the edge of a field.

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Planting Switchgrass on Marginal Lands

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.

A green tractor planting seeds in a no-till field. Courtesy: United Soybean Board [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Crop Rotations and No-Till

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.

Group of adults and children playing doubleball game in a field

Dakota & Lakota Traditional Games Resource

Play these games to promote the development of physical endurance, coordination, dexterity, quickness and strength.

A roasted turkey in a tinfoil roasting pan.

Preparing Turkey for the Holidays

The holidays often involve preparing turkey. Planning ahead to safely prepare and roast a turkey will relieve some of the cooking stress associated with the holidays. Safe food handling is important for the health of you and your family.

An instant pot pressure cooker with chicken, butter, vegetables, and seasoning inside.

Instant Pot 101

Pressure cooking is a popular cooking option as it cooks and tenderizes food quickly. The Instant Pot works by quickly heating contents of the sealed pot, resulting in a buildup of steam and pressure.

Left: Soil from long-term no-till field, exhibiting good soil aggregation through clumping and smaller pieces of soil. Right: Soil from conventionally managed field that included tillage and crop residue removal. Notice the soil is lighter brown, indicating lower organic matter, and the pieces of soil are in larger chunks with no visible indication of clumping or structure.

Organic Agronomy Starting to Impact

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.

Two side-by-side fields. The left field is planted with perennial grass. The right field is bare with salty soil exposed.

Managing Weeds While Transforming Marginal Land Into Perennial Forages Production

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.

Hands holding a notebook with a meal planning grid drawn out. The grid has sections for breakfast, lunch and dinner across several days.

Reduce Stress With Meal Planning

We all experience a variety of stress in everyday life. One way to reduce unnecessary stress is the plan meals in advance.

A woman washing her hands in the kitchen sink.

Food Safety Helps You Stay Healthy

Staying healthy includes eating a variety of foods to give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. Food safety is also part of staying healthy.