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A planting of alfalfa.

Effects of Late Spring Frost on Alfalfa

Forage research indicates that, although alfalfa is considered to have good cold temperature tolerance, minor frost damage may occur when plants are exposed to air temperatures slightly below freezing for several hours, and more severe damage will be seen when temperatures drop below 25°F for four or more hours.

SDSU Extension Winter Wheat Variety trials. One plot is showing more yellowing and stress than other plots.

Low Temperature Effects on Winter Wheat

Low temperatures during the early morning hours of May 9–11, 2020 may have had detrimental effects on winter wheat in some areas of South Dakota. However, cooler spring temperatures that have slowed the winter wheat development this year may have actually been beneficial to S.D. producers, as later-maturing wheat is not as susceptible to injury from freezing temperatures.

a map showing the precipitation outlook for June 2020

Summer 2020 Climate & Drought Outlook

August 26, 2020

With alternating cool and warm weather patterns throughout the last few months and the summer season ahead, temperature continues to be a challenge for climate forecasters in South Dakota.

A field divided into two planting areas. The left area has young corn plants emerging from the soil. The right has no visible corn emergence yet.

2020 Corn Growing Degree Days Update

Spring planting progress of corn in 2020 has been much ahead of a typical year in South Dakota. Crop development, however, seems slow.

a map of the United States with different colors showing the precipitation outlook variations.

Fall Frost and September Climate Outlook for 2019

September 2019 has been pleasantly warmer than usual, and our crops need every bit of that warmth to reach maturity before our first frost arrives. Fortunately, temperatures have cooled slightly this week but just to near average for this time of year.

A heavily tilled field showing signs of severe topsoil loss due to erosion. Next to it, there is a no-till field with no noticeable signs of erosion.

Multiple Rounds of Severe Weather Bring Heavy Rainfall, High Winds, and Soil Erosion

A combination of tillage, no residue, and lack of crop canopy can lead to severe erosion and topsoil loss in the face of extreme weather patterns in the spring. The most effective strategy for producers to adapt to these extreme events is to improve soil health.

Corn plants with recently emerged tassel and ear in a field.

Flowering in Corn

Corn is at or near the most critical growth condition. Successful flowering and pollination are very important in determining the fate of the kernel setting and development. This article summarizes the pollination process and the effects of dry, hot conditions on pollination.

NOAA climate map with preciptation outlook as of July 12, 2020. Most of South Dakota is predicted to have average to above average precipitation.

Late Summer 2020 Climate Outlook

Drought concerns in South Dakota may be relieved later this summer, according to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seasonal outlook released this week.

A producer loading a planter with fungicide-treated soybean seeds.

Pre-Plant Disease Management Considerations

If the forecast holds true, it looks like it is going to be another year of excessive soil moisture and possible flooding come this spring. The increased level of soil moisture has implications with regards to plant stand establishment as well as root rot and nematode infestations.

A blue coat placed atop a medium-sized evergreen tree in a snowy clearing

It's Cold! How Can Our Plants Trees and Shrubs Withstand It?

The Northern Great Plains have experienced colder than normal weather over first few weeks of December. Cold temperatures certainly do affect our plants but there are some important differences.