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Woody looking zucchini plant.

What’s Killing My Zucchini and Squash Plants?

For many of us, this time of year is tough for our zucchini, squash and pumpkin plants. A close inspection of wilting plants may reveal a sawdust-like substance around the soil surface or on the base of the stem. When pushed, the plants typically break and reveal clear evidence of insect feeding through the stem.

Brown beetle with hairy body with black mottled pattern.

What are Those Large Beetles in My Garden?

One of the insects that starts to attract attention this time of year is the bumble flower beetle.

Black beetles with orange or yellow spots feeding on a ripe tomato.

Insects are Invading My Produce!

Ripe fruit that has been injured as well as ground fall fruits often attract undesirable insects into an area.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: April 14, 2020

The alfalfa weevil is a major spring insect pest of South Dakota alfalfa. Before 2018, this insect was reported as having large populations throughout much of South Dakota. However, during 2018 and 2019, we received fewer reports of alfalfa weevils, which may have been a result of the cooler and wetter spring conditions that were observed.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: April 20, 2020

During the last week, the colder weather that we experienced across South Dakota resulted in very little degree day accumulation. However, in some areas enough degree days have accumulated to potentially lead to adult activity within alfalfa fields.

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.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: April 27, 2020

It is finally warming up across much of South Dakota and that means the degree days are beginning to accumulate more rapidly. Alfalfa weevil activity is likely in areas around Rapid City, Hot Springs, Cottonwood, Mission, Pierre, Winner and Vermillion.

Two adult wasps side-by-side. The left is black and yellow and is resting on a green leaf. The right is black, yellow and burnt orange in color and is resting on a piece of wood.

Wasp Activity Is Ramping Up

With their distinctive black and yellow stripes and tendency to hang out in groups, wasps receive attention no matter the time of year. As the weather warms up and spring progresses, you may notice more wasp activity in your yard or around your house.

A red, tractor-mounted sprayer with its tank being flushed by a hose connected to a large truck.

Preparing Spray Solutions: Mixing Order

Before mixing any pesticide always check the pesticide label for instructions on compatibility of two or more pesticides. Some herbicides and carriers require a compatibility agent, some are not compatible with a compatibility agent.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: May 4, 2020

Temperatures continue to increase across South Dakota and the degree days are rapidly accumulating. With the exception of areas around Selby, Sisseton and Brookings, alfalfa weevil activity is likely in South Dakota.