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A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a blade of grass that is green with white spots.

Black Grass Bug Activity Expected in Coming Weeks

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.

A field of no-till soybeans and corn.

Crop Residue, Cover Crops Impact on Soil Health Parameters

Interest in no-till and cover crops has been on the rise among South Dakota crop producers. In 2019, half of South Dakota crop ground was under no-till management and about 900,000 acres were planted to cover crops.

A map of South Dakota illustrating soil temperatures on April 21, 2020. Temperatures throughout the state range from 41 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information, visit: https://climate.sdstate.edu/archive/maps/

Soil Temperature for Planting Spring Crops

Soil temperature is an important consideration for deciding when to begin planting spring crops. If producers in South Dakota would like a quick reference for soil temperatures in their area, the SD Mesonet network measures soil temperature at several weather stations throughout the state.

SDSU Extension Develops Perennial Plant Mixtures for Alkali Areas

April 24, 2020

The Every Acre Counts program through SDSU Extension has developed perennial plant mixture suggestions suited for various types of marginal land situations, including saline, sodic and wet soil areas. 

man holding a small pile of soil in his hands

Transitioning to Soil Health Systems in Eastern South Dakota Intended for beginners: Where do I start?

Fact sheet for beginners on where to start transitioning to soil health systems in eastern South Dakota.

A farmer watching the sun rise in a bare, unplanted field.

Crop Tolerance to Soil Herbicide Residual

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.

Aerial photo of erosion control demonstration project on the campus of South Dakota Mines.

West Dakota Water Development District Looks To Improve Rapid Creek Water Quality Through Stormwater Mitigation and Erosion Control Projects

Two pilot projects initiated by the West Dakota Water Development District are intended to improve water quality in Rapid Creek by reducing suspended sediment loading over time.

Rancher standing in a vast, rolling grassland.

Grassland Fertilization: Terminology and Economics

This article is the first in a series of six focused on helping producers understand the pros and cons of grassland fertilization. We begin by learning some of the basic terminology and information related to fertilization.

A native pasture community with noticable invasive plant issues.

Grassland Fertilization: Native Pasture Case Study - Hamlin County

Whether fertilization pays or not depends on the species present, the past management history and the type of grazing strategy. This study compares two very different plant communities that represent typical pastures and management schemes in this area.

Cattle grazing a high-diversity, native pasture.

Grassland Fertilization: Native Grass Planting Case Study - Codington County

Management goals of planted grasslands are an important driver in the consideration of whether fertilizer applications will be beneficial or harmful. Here, we will discuss various plant communities and the impact of fertilization on each.