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A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a blade of grass that is green with white spots.

Black Grass Bug Activity Expected in Coming Weeks

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.

Field of mixed cover crops containing oats.

Cover Crop Considerations for 2020

Producers across South Dakota are harvesting small grains. These crops provide an excellent window for adding a cover crop into your rotation.

Several wrapped bales of hay lined up near a barn.

Round Bale Storage Conservation

Fact sheet discussing conservation of round bale storage.

A wheat field at sunset.

Water Use by Plant Stage

Over the growing season, solar radiation, air temperature and plant size are the dominant factors in determining evaporative demand and the rate of water use by wheat. Water use can vary dramatically on a day-to day basis, depending on climate and wheat health.

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.

group of cattle at feedbunk

Feeding Damaged Wheat to Cattle

Feeding damaged wheat to livestock is one way to salvage value from the crop. Wheat can work well in cattle diets with some limitations.

blades of brome grass with a brown to black, thumbnail-shaped growth on one of the blades.

Ergot: A Potential Livestock Poisoning Problem

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.

bottom part of a corn plant in soil with half of the roots exposed to show the seed trench (side-wall) compaction.

Planting Into Wet Soils

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.

A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a blade of grass that is green with white spots.

Be on the Lookout for Black Grass Bugs

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.

A map of South Dakota with yellow and green circles indicating iverson risks at various locations throughout the state.

Use the SD Spray Tool for Inversion Detection and Weather for Pesticide Application

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.