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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 small group of black angus cattle in a feedlot.

Bigger Cattle. Warmer Weather. What Can Go Wrong?

The disruptions in the beef processing sector caused by COVID-19 continue to interfere with the orderly marketing of finished cattle. While we all hope that the situation is resolved quickly, the reality is that because the shipment of so many harvest-ready cattle has been delayed, there will be increased numbers of heavier cattle on feed for the foreseeable future.

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.

A loader depositing soil into a trailer being pulled behind a tractor.

Summer Maintenance in Outside Yards

Spring mud and poor drainage are two of the biggest production drags associated with feeding cattle outside. Summer months represent an opportunity to address and correct any problems that might be present in open lots.

A black angus cow walking through pasture being followed by two calves.

Lessons From Alternative Calving Workshops

Recently, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension held workshops across the State focused on sharing information from experienced livestock producers who have switched to a calving date more in sync with nature.

A black angus bull standing in a hilly pasture.

How Many Bulls Do You Need When Synchronizing With Natural Service?

The use of estrous synchronization with natural service provides an opportunity to utilize the benefits of synchronization. However, the first question producers ask is, “How many more bulls do I need?”

A small herd of cattle gathered around a pond on an open range.

Financial Considerations With Livestock Grazing Distribution

With spring turnout to grass here for some ranchers and just around the corner for others, proper livestock grazing distribution is a key aspect of a comprehensive grazing management plan.

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.