Spring green-up is the time to be watching for black grass bug activity. Large populations of this early-season pest can cause severe damage to pasture (up to 90% forage reduction) and infest the edges of wheat fields.
Some herbicides can persist in soil, especially dry soil. Herbicide carryover could be an issue in 2021 across the state depending upon last year’s moisture levels and field conditions.
Fact sheet about herbicide residual effect on cover crops after wheat.
In 2020, proso millet trials were conducted in 1 location in South Dakota.
A number of field trials were implemented in the 2020 growing season with the general objective of assessing various disease management practices suitable for South Dakota growers and the Great Plains.
Cover crops have been gaining a reemerging acceptance over the last decade, with very few producers disagreeing about the potential soil health benefits of adding cover crops to their farming operation.
As South Dakota emerges from the wettest 12-month period in 124 years of climate recordkeeping (June 2018-May 2019), June has started warmer and drier than average. The outlook, however, turns towards cooler and wetter than average again for the middle of the month.
Significant education efforts for natural resource conservation have occurred in South Dakota during the last five years. Many stakeholder groups have brought awareness for soil health and water quality to the forefront.
Nitrogen (N) additives to control N losses through volatilization, denitrification, and leaching are widely used in the Midwest. Slowing the conversion of nitrogen fertilizers to nitrate may lessen leaching and denitrification losses if precipitation or soil becomes saturated.
It’s time to begin scouting pasture and wheat for the presence of black grass bugs. Last year, we saw the highest populations in areas of Central and Southwestern South Dakota. If left untreated, black grass bug populations tend to increase year after year.