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A red tractor and seed drill planting in a no-till field.

Project to Study Soil Health Economics in South Dakota

Soil degradation has become one of the most pressing global issues, because of its adverse effects on world food security, environment and quality of life.

Cover crops growing in a field of harvested corn.

Utilizing Cover Crops for Grazing: An Assessment on Economic Benefits

Grazing cover crops by cattle provides an option to offset cover crop seed costs and increase farm revenue. To facilitate farmers’ decision making, this article will evaluate the economic profitability from grazing cattle on cover crops using a partial budgeting approach.

Young rancher taking a flock inventory outside a sheep pen.

CFAP Deadline Extended and Sheep Category Added

As part of the CARES Act, many agricultural producers were introduced to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Due to the number of commodities that filed additional information, many commodities were added to the list of eligible products, including the addition of a sheep classification “all other sheep.”

A healthy, growing soybean field. Farmyard in the background.

Soybean Growers Sought for On-Farm Research Program

We want you! SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council are seeking South Dakota Soybean Growers willing to participate in a farmer-led on-farm research program.

Diagram showing increasing harvested acres of corn and soybeans and decreasing harvested acres of wheat in South Dakota. Other crops remain steady, while hay decreased and then slightly increased.

Crop Diversity Reduced in South Dakota

The recently released 2017 Census of Agriculture data shows that South Dakota has experienced a considerable increase in acreage harvested of two major crops, corn and soybeans over the past decade.

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.

Cover Crop Adoption: Farmers’ perceived benefits & barriers

Cover crops are generally defined as crops planted between cash crops to cover and protect the soil. Some demonstrated benefits of cover crops include: reduced soil erosion, increased soil organic matter, increased biological diversity, increased nitrogen supply, and weed control. Depending on the farmers’ objectives, different species of cover crops can be planted. For example, if a farmer’s main objective is to increase nitrogen supply, then legume cover crops best suited to the farm area should be selected.

green tractor next to a machine shed with farm equipment inside it

Overproducing us Out of Business

There seems to be a misconception nowadays in much of the public that in order for agriculture to be sustainable in the future, there is a need to go organic. Organic agriculture can be sustainable, but so can traditional agriculture.

A lush field with corn, soybean, and forage rotation.

Crop Diversification Potential: Improving Soil Health & Farm Profitability

Two-year corn-soybean rotation coupled with heavy chemical inputs has become the routine practice of agricultural production in the Midwestern United States. According to USDA/NASS data, corn and soybean prices received by producers in South Dakota both reached the peak levels of $7.39 and $16.00 per bushel, respectively, in August, 2012.

A pile of sheep fleeces ready for sorting.

Considerations for Increasing Wool Value

The wool market continually rewards those who emphasize high-quality production. Efforts to increase wool clip value can be made through regular management practices and proper wool clip preparation at shearing.