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A color-coded precipitation probability map of the United States. The majority of South Dakota is predicted to have wetter than average precipitation, with the highest likelihood being in the southwest corner of the state. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.

May 2020 Climate Outlook

On April 16, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their climate outlook for May and the coming three-month period of May through July. There is a lot of uncertainty in the temperature outlook for the next one-to-three months in the Northern Plains Region.

A patch of soil with kochia weeds growing throughout.

Temperature and Herbicide Performance

In South Dakota, the spring can come with a wide range of temperature fluctuations. This will affect the performance of burndown herbicides. Depending upon the target weed, type of herbicide and application rate, there will likely be decreased weed control in cooler temperatures.

A red sprayer in a green field with a cloudy sky in the background.

How to Stop Drift

The goals of applying any crop protection products include: increasing effectiveness, mitigating drift, and maximizing profits. We will focus on mitigating drift, even though all three interact with each other.

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.

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.

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.

a group of people in a meeting room

SDSU Extension’s Approach to the 2017 Drought

Most of the Great Plains, of which Western South Dakota is part of, have always been considered a semi-arid area of the U.S. This region is characterized by hot, relatively short summers, and usually cold, dry winters.

A field of soybeans with leaves flipping upward.

Drought Stress Symptoms in Soybean

Soybeans in South Dakota are in their moisture-critical reproductive stage. Drought stress during this growth stage can significantly impact yield, so here are some things to look for.

Are your farm employees ready for low temperatures?

Winter is here and snow and icy roads will increase the risk for accidents. Getting ready to leave the house and going to work on the snow and ice might be a problem for inexperienced people.

A snowy farmyard with sunlight breaking through the clouds.

2018 Annual Climate Summary

In 2018, South Dakota saw the typical weather extremes of all kinds. New Year’s Day 2018 started out with record cold temperatures and wind chills; the year ended with a blizzard on December 31, with a lot of extremes in between.