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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.

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 thick patch of yellow, flowering leafy spurge plants growing in a pasture.

SDSU Extension Provides Leafy Spurge and Noxious Weed Management Recommendations

May 22, 2020

One of the many challenges producers face each year is weed control. Leafy spurge, in particular, can be difficult to manage.

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 close up of buckthorn berries

Woody Weeds: Common Buckthorn

When considering weed control in tree plantings, the focus is generally placed on the control of herbaceous vegetation (grasses and forbs), particularly during the establishment phase. This focus is appropriate since control of herbaceous weeds is generally critical to establish a successful planting. As these plantings mature, providing perching sites for birds, another weed problem develops – the establishment of competing woody vegetation. These woody weeds are often left unchecked for many years because they look “natural” in a windbreak or other area of trees.

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

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: June 1, 2020

Activity of alfalfa weevils has been documented in many areas of South Dakota during the last week. At this time, the entire state has accumulated enough degree days for alfalfa weevils to be active.

Two photos of alfalfa weevils during different lifecycle stages. The left is the larva stage and has a longate, green larvae that looks like a caterpillar with white stripe running down the body and brown h

It’s Time to Scout for Alfalfa Weevils

The 2018 and 2019 alfalfa weevil populations were relatively low, and as a result, we didn’t receive very many calls regarding this pest during those years. However, 2020 has been quite a bit different, and alfalfa weevil populations seem to be much higher.

What's That Vine?

One of the most frequently asked questions that I have gotten recently refers to a vining plant that looks like it is going to take over the world, or at least a few trees in the yard or a section of a shelterbelt.