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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 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.

small group of cattle grazing on cover crops

Cover Crops & Livestock Integration: A Profit Opportunity for S.D. Farms

Cover crops have been gaining a reemerging acceptance over the last decade, with very few producers disagreeing about the potential soil health benefits of adding cover crops to their farming operation.

A color-coded map of the United States indicating precipitation outlook for June 2019.

June 2019 Climate Outlook for South Dakota

As South Dakota emerges from the wettest 12-month period in 124 years of climate recordkeeping (June 2018-May 2019), June has started warmer and drier than average. The outlook, however, turns towards cooler and wetter than average again for the middle of the month.

Picture shows a dense and diverse cover crop mix grown after cereal grain.  The cover crop is very green with many brassica and grass plants growing. The top third of the picture is the sky with some gray clouds.

South Dakota Land Use Trends (2012-2017)

Significant education efforts for natural resource conservation have occurred in South Dakota during the last five years. Many stakeholder groups have brought awareness for soil health and water quality to the forefront.

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.

Be on the Lookout for Black Grass Bugs

It’s time to begin scouting pasture and wheat for the presence of black grass bugs. Last year, we saw the highest populations in areas of Central and Southwestern South Dakota. If left untreated, black grass bug populations tend to increase year after year.

A map of South Dakota with yellow and green circles indicating iverson risks at various locations throughout the state.

Use the SD Spray Tool for Inversion Detection and Weather for Pesticide Application

The SD Mesonet Spray Tool provides real-time weather data for pesticide applicators. This dedicated website for pesticide applicators uses the SD Mesonet weather data, which is updated every five minutes.

abandoned barn surrounded by flood waters. Photo by Jeannie Mooney, FEMA

Effects of Spring Flooding on Weed Seed Movement

How does spring flooding impact weed seed movement and dispersal? The flooding that is occurring from spring snow melt may cause weed seeds that are on the soil surface or eroded soil to move, and possibly long distances.

bottom part of a corn plant in soil with half of the roots exposed to show the seed trench (side-wall) compaction.

Planting Into Wet Soils

It is evident that there are high chances of planting into wet soils this spring. This is not a good decision when normal soil conditions appear to be attainable, but this year we may not have a choice.

Field of mixed cover crops containing oats.

Cover Crop Considerations for 2020

Producers across South Dakota are harvesting small grains. These crops provide an excellent window for adding a cover crop into your rotation.