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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.

bunches of Aronia berries still on a bush

What is This Fruit… And is it Edible?

In mid- to late-summer, we often get the questions: “What kind of fruit is this?” and “Is it edible?” To identify a fruit, it is helpful to know both plant and fruit characteristics: Woody or herbaceous plant? Vining or upright? Do the leaves attach to the stem opposite each other (i.e., paired), or do they alternate from one side of the stem to the other? What size and color are the fruit? Is each fruit’s stem attached directly to the twig, or are they in a cluster that attaches to the twig? And, one question I find often helpful in distinguishing among smaller fruits, does it have a single pit, or are there several seed in each fruit?

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 lush, green cluster of garden peas with several pods developed.

Peas: How to Grow It

The most common type of pea in American gardens is the shelling pea, also called the “garden pea” or “English pea.” Tender, sweet peas are removed from thin, tough pods before eating.

Green beans growing a garden.

Green Beans: How to Grow It

Snap beans, also called “green beans” or “string beans” (although most modern varieties do not have strings) are harvested when the pods contain immature seeds, and the pods are still succulent.

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.

a map showing the precipitation outlook for June 2020

Summer 2020 Climate & Drought Outlook

August 26, 2020

With alternating cool and warm weather patterns throughout the last few months and the summer season ahead, temperature continues to be a challenge for climate forecasters in South Dakota.

Two dandelions side by side. The left has a bee foraging on it. The right has a hover fly foraging on it..

Why Those Dandelions in Your Yard Aren’t So Bad

While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.

A field divided into two planting areas. The left area has young corn plants emerging from the soil. The right has no visible corn emergence yet.

2020 Corn Growing Degree Days Update

Spring planting progress of corn in 2020 has been much ahead of a typical year in South Dakota. Crop development, however, seems slow.

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.