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A green tractor pulling a fertilizer wagon through a field of alfalfa.

Fertilizing Forages in South Dakota

Spring is a busy time for South Dakota farmers and ranchers with planting, calving, and other field preparations. Soil sampling and fertilizing pastures, alfalfa, or other forages might be overlooked.

A side-by-side comparison of two oat varietes. The one on the right has crown rust developing on it.

Utilize a Fungicide For Crown Rust Prevention in Oats

If you are growing oats this year for grain, be sure to scout and plan a fungicide application to protect the oats from crown rust.

a strand of oats in a field

Using Plant Growth Regulator in Oats Grown for Grain

With growers’ interest emerging, SDSU Extension and research faculty teamed up and initiated a study in 2016 in Northeast SD to evaluate the effects of plant growth regulator. The study was conducted at the SDSU Northeast Research Farm (NERF) near South Shore, SD.

Winter wheat emerging from a planted field.

Double-Crop after Wheat?

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.

Sunish Sehgal combining a field of wheat

Growth Stages of Wheat

Management decisions in wheat production are almost always based on growth stages of the crop. So it is important for wheat producers to be familiar with these growth stages.

A sprawling sorghum field ready for harvest

Sorghum Weed Control

Early competition, especially from grass, is critical for successfully controlling weeds in sorghum. There are preemergence as well as postemergence herbicides available for this crop. Early treatment provides the best control of broadleaved weeds with crop stage also being a critical factor for some postemergence treatments.

Green leaves on a buckthorn tree covered with crusty spots of bright orange crown rust inoculum.

Oats Crown Rust Inoculum Abundant This Year

Crown rust is the most important fungal disease of oats in South Dakota. In years with heavy disease pressure, susceptible cultivars can have over 80% yield loss due to crown rust. The presence of crown rust inoculum on buckthorns can be an indication of the likely risk for crown rust to develop during the growing season. Buckthorns scouted recently were loaded with crown rust inoculum.

Oat leaf with water-soaked, brown longitudinal lesions on the top-half of the leaf blade.

Bacterial Blight Developing in Oats

Oats scouted in a few fields in the Eastern and South Central parts of the state were found with bacterial blight developing on the lower leaves. Plants infected have leaves with water-soaked brown longitudinal lesions in the top-half of the leaf. Severe symptoms can lead to premature leaf death.

A green cover crop mixture grows on a calm day; mainly consisting of oats and peas.

Buying or Selling Oats for a Cover Crop? Be Sure to Follow the Rules

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.

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.