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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.

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.

A field of flowering alfalfa.

Precautions for Grazing Weevil-Infested Alfalfa

Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.

A heavily tilled field showing signs of severe topsoil loss due to erosion. Next to it, there is a no-till field with no noticeable signs of erosion.

Multiple Rounds of Severe Weather Bring Heavy Rainfall, High Winds, and Soil Erosion

A combination of tillage, no residue, and lack of crop canopy can lead to severe erosion and topsoil loss in the face of extreme weather patterns in the spring. The most effective strategy for producers to adapt to these extreme events is to improve soil health.

A blue coat placed atop a medium-sized evergreen tree in a snowy clearing

It's Cold! How Can Our Plants Trees and Shrubs Withstand It?

The Northern Great Plains have experienced colder than normal weather over first few weeks of December. Cold temperatures certainly do affect our plants but there are some important differences.

Are your farm employees ready for low temperatures?

Winter is here and snow and icy roads will increase the risk for accidents. Getting ready to leave the house and going to work on the snow and ice might be a problem for inexperienced people.

A snowy farmyard with sunlight breaking through the clouds.

2018 Annual Climate Summary

In 2018, South Dakota saw the typical weather extremes of all kinds. New Year’s Day 2018 started out with record cold temperatures and wind chills; the year ended with a blizzard on December 31, with a lot of extremes in between.

A group of people observing flats of microgreens in a greenhouse.

Growing Micro-Greens

As the name implies, micro-greens are grown only for a short time before they are harvested, usually only for about three weeks!