Fact sheet discussing conservation of round bale storage.
Recent USDA data shows that during the past 3 years acres devoted to wheat production continue declining in both South Dakota and North Dakota (USDA, 2018). South Dakota wheat acres experienced a remarkable decrease of 31.5% during the past 3 years, compared with a relatively mild drop of 16.4% by North Dakota.
Two crops in one year may sound tempting, and for some crop species is possible, but before doing so, producers should consider possible crops and compare the potential benefits with the drawbacks.
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.
Feeding damaged wheat to livestock is one way to salvage value from the crop. Wheat can work well in cattle diets with some limitations.
Cool, damp weather followed by warmer temperatures favors grasses becoming infected with ergot bodies, which can cause a certain kind of poisoning that can affect cattle on pasture.
Given the widespread wet conditions present this spring, there are many areas in winter wheat fields with both ponding and saturated (or waterlogged) soils. Producers may want to consider soil conditions and evaluate extended weather forecasts when deciding whether or not to retain a winter wheat this spring.
Crop insurance late plant dates are fast approaching for planting small grains in South Dakota. Late plant dates for corn, soybean, and sunflower are nearing as well. Producers will want to work with their crop insurance agent to explore planting options and reporting of prevent plant areas.
In last few years, interest in using cover crops has been increasing tremendously among crop and livestock producers in South Dakota. Growing cover crops following small grain is gaining more attention due to feasibility in cover crops species selection and also the time of the year where cover crops receive longer growing and establishing time than following row crops.
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.