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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.