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Two groups of cover crops. Left: Oats. Right: Radish.

Herbicide Interactions With Cover Crops After Oats

After oats have been harvested, options exist to keep a living root in the soil. This can be done through growing cover crops. In 2018 an on-farm trial was preformed near Salem, South Dakota to observe how cover crops grown after oats would germinate after common herbicides had been applied.

Oat plants exhibiting crown rust symptoms.

Does Crown Rust in Oats Cause Problems for Livestock?

The weather conditions during the spring and summer of 2019 contributed to many challenges for farmers and livestock producers. For crop producers, one of those issues is crown rust in oats. The abundance of this crop disease has raised questions for livestock producers.

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.

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.

Cover crops planted in a harvested oat field.

Cover Crops After Small Grains

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.

Two, dark green aphids on a bright green leaf.

Aphid Populations Being Observed in Wheat

During the past couple of weeks, reports of aphid populations in wheat fields have slowly been increasing. Typically, the initial aphid populations are observed earlier in the season, but the 2019 spring may have delayed infestations.

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.

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.

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.

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.