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A map of South Dakota with several colored boxes indicating areas of increased flood risk. For a complete description, visit the National Weather Service website at: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/long_range.php?wfo=fsd

Get to Know Your Local Emergency Management Director

The warmer weather and spring migration this March have us all thinking of better days ahead. Unfortunately, it also has us thinking about flooding again this spring.

A sump pump and emergency backup battery set up in a basement. Courtesy: Jeff Covey (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Flooding and Sump Pumps

For many homes with a basement or crawl space, a sump pump and drainage system can help reduce the risk of a basement flooding from high water table situations. Here are a few tips for making sure your sump pump is working as it should, and you are not causing problems for your neighbors downstream.

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 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.

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.

Several small green insects on a plant leaf.

Cool, Wet Weather Affects Insect Populations

Spring and early summer can been cool and wet in South Dakota. The extra moisture combined with cooler temperatures can sometimes encourage rapid growth of some insects.