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.
As a challenging 2019 row crop planting season wraps up in South Dakota, many producers are looking to plant cover crops on unplanted acres. One popular cool-season grass cover crop is oats. Most oats in South Dakota are grown as certified varieties, and it is important to be aware of the legal ramifications behind purchasing oat seed for use as a cover crop.
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.
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.
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.
The wheat disease management field experiments conducted in the 2018 growing season evaluated several experimental and commercially available fungicides for managing foliar, head or root diseases of spring wheat. Foliar and spike/head diseases incidence and severity were assessed. The field experiments were implemented at Volga Research Farm and Northeast Research Farm (NERF) near South Shore, SD. Results of the same experiment may vary between Volga and Northeast due to environmental differences between the two locations.
Nitrogen (N) additives to control N losses through volatilization, denitrification, and leaching are widely used in the Midwest. Slowing the conversion of nitrogen fertilizers to nitrate may lessen leaching and denitrification losses if precipitation or soil becomes saturated.
The tight production margins currently present in agriculture have increased interest in growing organic oats.