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A planting of alfalfa.

Effects of Late Spring Frost on Alfalfa

Forage research indicates that, although alfalfa is considered to have good cold temperature tolerance, minor frost damage may occur when plants are exposed to air temperatures slightly below freezing for several hours, and more severe damage will be seen when temperatures drop below 25°F for four or more hours.

SDSU Extension Grain Basis Tool output displaying a Corn Spot Basis Map for May 12, 2020.

South Dakota Grain Basis Tools

South Dakota farmers can monitor South Dakota basis for corn, soybeans, spring wheat and hard red winter wheat in their region relative to export bids and historical basis ranges using the SDSU Extension Grain Basis Tool.

SDSU Extension Winter Wheat Variety trials. One plot is showing more yellowing and stress than other plots.

Low Temperature Effects on Winter Wheat

Low temperatures during the early morning hours of May 9–11, 2020 may have had detrimental effects on winter wheat in some areas of South Dakota. However, cooler spring temperatures that have slowed the winter wheat development this year may have actually been beneficial to S.D. producers, as later-maturing wheat is not as susceptible to injury from freezing temperatures.

a map showing the precipitation outlook for June 2020

Summer 2020 Climate & Drought Outlook

August 26, 2020

With alternating cool and warm weather patterns throughout the last few months and the summer season ahead, temperature continues to be a challenge for climate forecasters in South Dakota.

aerial view of South Dakota farm and surrounding land

Barley Variety Trial Results

In 2019, Barley trial was planted at one location in South Dakota.

Three wheat plants exhibiting disease symptoms. From left: Tan spot, powdery mildew, and Barley yellow dwarf.

Winter Wheat Diseases Update: Fungal Diseases and Barley Yellow Dwarf Developing

Tan spot and powdery mildew as well as barley yellow dwarf were found developing at low levels in winter wheat fields scouted the week of May 24, 2020.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: June 1, 2020

Activity of alfalfa weevils has been documented in many areas of South Dakota during the last week. At this time, the entire state has accumulated enough degree days for alfalfa weevils to be active.

Two photos of alfalfa weevils during different lifecycle stages. The left is the larva stage and has a longate, green larvae that looks like a caterpillar with white stripe running down the body and brown h

It’s Time to Scout for Alfalfa Weevils

The 2018 and 2019 alfalfa weevil populations were relatively low, and as a result, we didn’t receive very many calls regarding this pest during those years. However, 2020 has been quite a bit different, and alfalfa weevil populations seem to be much higher.

Map showing the risk of Fusarium head blight with green equaling no risk, yellow equaling moderate risk, and red equaling high risk. Much of the eastern half of South Dakota is red.

The Fusarium Head Blight Prediction Tool Indicates High Risk

Winter wheat is starting to flower. It is important to monitor weather conditions from when wheat is heading until flowering to decide the need for fungicide application to manage Fusarium head blight.

A large square bale of Alfalfa hay that has been put up for storage.

Understanding Hay Inoculants and Preservatives on ‘Dry’ Hay

As haying season approaches, producers across South Dakota will begin preparing to get out the baler. In recent years, it has been quite difficult for many producers to put up quality, dry hay. This often results in growers considering using inoculants and hay preservatives.