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A patch of western wheatgrass with ergot fungus growing throughout.

Ergot in Western Wheatgrass and the Potential Effects for Winter Grazing

2019 has been a year fraught with challenges for ranchers across South Dakota. Abundant precipitation is usually a blessing, however, wet conditions coupled with a cool spring followed by warmer temperatures has caused another problem across the rangelands of South Dakota: ergot poisoning.

Several jars of canned salmon filets stacked neatly on top of each other.

Canning Fish

Canning is a great method to preserve and extend shelf life for many types of foods, including fish and seafood products. Using safe preparation and storage practices allows for anyone to store nutritious, high-quality protein.

Three children washing their hands together in a bathroom sink.

How to Talk to Your Kids About COVID-19

Parents, it is important to talk to your children about what COVID-19 is and why it is a pandemic so they understand the cancellations and changes in their daily routines. Here are some tips from the CDC to help you talk to your children and how much information to expose them to.

Assorted medical equipment for at-home diabetes testing and care.

Diabetes and COVID-19

If you are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, it is important to take actions to reduce your chance of getting sick. Those at higher risk, including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, are encouraged to get ready now!

A stand of field peas mixed with small grains being grown for forage.

Peas Offer Options in 2020

Current events have made decisions around crop options very difficult this spring. Field peas are an option that may have a fit for some producers.

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 green tractor pulling a fertilizer wagon through a field of alfalfa.

Fertilizing Forages in South Dakota

Spring is a busy time for South Dakota farmers and ranchers with planting, calving, and other field preparations. Soil sampling and fertilizing pastures, alfalfa, or other forages might be overlooked.

An alfalfa field with noticeable dead patches due to winter kill.

Dealing With Alfalfa Winter Kill

Winter kill and general stand loss of alfalfa has specifically been of concern in many parts of South Dakota the last two years. Most observed alfalfa winter kill is due to low, wet or flooded areas where plants were suffocated and died over the winter.

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.