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Spring wheat emerging from a field of corn stubble.

Planting Spring Wheat Into Corn or Milo Residue: Considerations for Scab

Due to current grain prices and other reasons, growers may be considering planting spring wheat into fields that were planted to corn or milo last season. While this type of crop rotation is not generally recommended, economic and logistical challenges sometimes may dictate otherwise.

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 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.

Spring wheat growing in a no-till field. Courtesy: USDA NRCS South Dakota, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Chloride Fertilizers May Be Beneficial in Spring Wheat Production

Chloride, the ionic form of chlorine, although not considered an essential nutrient, has long been observed to be highly beneficial to field crops. Chloride is known to play an essential role in plant development and osmoregulation.

Wheat plants exhibiting symptoms of tan spot and powdery mildew.

Does Early Fungicide at Tillering Result in a Profitable Yield?

Tan spot and powdery mildew pathogens are two residue-borne pathogens that can infect wheat early in the season. These diseases can lead to poor tillering, and their continued development can lead to yield loss.

A few wheat plants showing heavy yellowing mosaic symptoms due to Wheat streak mosaic virus.

Wheat Streak Mosaic Disease Developing in Winter Wheat

Although the majority of winter wheat in the state is rated good to excellent in the recent USDA-NASS report, a few winter wheat fields in Central South Dakota have been diagnosed with wheat streak mosaic disease (WSMD) caused by wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV).

Winter wheat emerging from a dry stand in early spring.

Assessing Winter Wheat Stand In the Spring

Overwintering of winter wheat starts in the late fall and is completed during spring regrowth. Factors, such as genetics, amount of snow cover and winter temperatures, can all play a significant role in winter survival of wheat crops.

Top: Army cutworm caterpillar. Bottom: Pale western cutworm caterpillar.

Monitor Wheat for Early-Season Cutworm Activity

It's finally warming up in South Dakota, and insect activity in wheat fields will be increasing. For wheat, a couple of early-season pests that may already be active are the army cutworm and the pale western cutworm.

Grain bin fan with a plywood cover installed on the exterior.

Check Your Bins This Spring

As it warms up this spring, don’t forget to check the bins. Grain bins work as solar heat collectors, and the grain inside of them may be much warmer than expected.

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.