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A field with patches of soil exhibiting poor water infiltration.

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Cover Crops and Crop Residues

Planting cover crops and returning crop residues (stover) to the soil both adds nutrients and improves overall soil quality. These practices are common with producers across South Dakota and have been recently studied by researchers to identify how they impact the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

A patch of switchgrass growing at the edge of a field.

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Planting Switchgrass on Marginal Lands

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a tall, native, prairie grass that is often seeded on marginal lands in South Dakota. It has gained growing popularity over the past decade not only as a source of biofuel and feed, but also as a method to improve soil properties.

A green tractor planting seeds in a no-till field. Courtesy: United Soybean Board [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Crop Rotations and No-Till

Implementing diverse crop rotations and no-till practices are common suggestions to reduce erosion, control pests, and improve yields. These practices can also improve soil health through an increase in soil carbon levels.

A hand grabbing a loaf of bread from a shelf labeled "gluten-free"

Gluten Free Product Claim Guidance

While “gluten-free” is a voluntary claim that manufacturers may choose to use in the labeling of their foods, FDA’s gluten-free food labeling rule specifies what the claim actually means on a food label.

Left: Soil from long-term no-till field, exhibiting good soil aggregation through clumping and smaller pieces of soil. Right: Soil from conventionally managed field that included tillage and crop residue removal. Notice the soil is lighter brown, indicating lower organic matter, and the pieces of soil are in larger chunks with no visible indication of clumping or structure.

Organic Agronomy Starting to Impact

For decades scientists have known that a handful of soil contained more micro-biological organisms than the number of humans on earth. Science is just beginning to discover these organisms and learn about their functions and contribution to their soil ecosystem.

a mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables

Double Up Bucks Program Launches in Grocery Stores across South Dakota and North Dakota

January 21, 2020

The launch of the Double Up Dakota Bucks in grocery stores is the first of its kind in both North and South Dakota.

A family planting vegetables in a raised bed garden.

Building Your Farm to School Team

One of the first steps to take when starting with farm to school is developing your farm to school team. Putting together a farm to school team should include a core group of individuals and agencies who are dedicated to the farm to school mission.

A variety of fresh, garden vegetables sitting on a wooden fence.

School Purchasing Guide and Menu Planning

Getting started with implementing farm to school can be challenging and can bring on many questions. A big question that many schools have is: Why local?

A group of tribal educators and wellness coalition members visiting a geothermal greenhouse growing and selling citrus fruits in cold Northern Nebraska in January.

Producer Farm to School Guide

Producers have an avenue to provide their products that they might not have known about or may have question on how they can access this opportunity. Local schools are an excellent source for local producers to provide healthy options for students in their communities.

Two side-by-side fields. The left field is planted with perennial grass. The right field is bare with salty soil exposed.

Managing Weeds While Transforming Marginal Land Into Perennial Forages Production

There are currently millions acres across South Dakota impacted by saline and sodic conditions. Research has shown that salt-tolerant perennial grasses are a possible way to bring land back into production.