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Crop Management

All Crop Management Content

Color-coded map showing the October precipitation outlook for the United States.

2019 October Climate Outlook and Missouri River Forecast

The chances of a wet October increased with the latest climate outlook update, released on September 30, 2019. In the first few days of the month, rain or snow has scattered across much of the state. There hasn’t been a heavy rain or snow event this month. The outlook shows odds leaning towards much of the same pattern in the weeks ahead.

sun rising over a cornfield. several grain bins are in the background.

Corn Grain Moisture Discount: Why and How Much?

Corn marketed at the standard moisture content of 15.5% and 56 pounds per bushel typically contains 47.3 pounds of dry matter and 8.7 pounds of water. At harvest, a producer has to decide whether to sell (or even store) his corn at ‘as is’ moisture content or mechanically dry it before taking it to the buyer.

A corn field with several plants showing symptoms of stalk rot.

Assess for Corn Stalk Rots

Several corn fields are beginning to show stalk rot and top dieback symptoms. Stalk rots cause the entire plant to die prematurely, which can lead to plants lodging under windy conditions making harvesting problematic.

The edge of a corn field with plants nearing harvest maturity.

Estimating Corn Yield in the Field

As a result of late planting and inconsistent weather, both in-field and across-field variations have been significant this year in South Dakota. Even on highly productive land, it is expected for corn yields to vary significantly. Estimating corn grain yield prior to harvest can help growers make management decisions, especially storage and marketing.

A soybean field in early fall. Plants are nearing maturity.

Low Temperatures During Soybean Maturity

This year, we had a slow soybean planting due to high rainfall in spring. This was followed by below normal temperatures for most of the growing season, which delayed soybean growth and development. This brings up a question about what these low temperatures will do to soybeans that are in the field.

Left: Marestail growing in a field. Right: Young marestail plants emerging from soil. A dime is placed near the plant to demonstrate its scale.

Marestail Fall Control

No-till crop production in South Dakota is on the rise. Marestail is a native plant to the United States and is considered either a winter annual or biennial species that is often difficult to identify at the rosette stage. In the Dakota’s, the Marestail population will germinate in the fall and bolt in the spring.

Kochia growth spreading amongst a patch of soil.

The Fall Advantage of Kochia Control

Kochia is a problem in row crops in North Central South Dakota. New Post-emergent options in corn and soybean have helped alleviate Kochia competition from many fields, but these herbicide options shouldn’t be completely relied upon for a long-term plan for control.

Canada thistle growing in a pasture.

Fall Noxious Weed Control

September 30, 2019

Fall is the time to control tough perennial broadleaf lawn weeds. Good moisture in most places in August will have set up good fall growth of perennial weeds.

Forage, Range, Grassland, Pasture, Crop Management, Crop Treatments

Corn earlobe being stored in a bunker for later use as cattle feed.

Valuing High-Moisture Corn and Earlage

A key advantage to using commodities that meet standard specifications and are frequently traded is that it is very easy to establish an economic value that is accepted by most users. The marketplace sets the value of corn, and other feedstuffs on a daily basis, provided those products meet some set of standard specifications.

High-moisture corn being stored in a bunker for use as cattle feed.

Harvesting High-Moisture Corn and Earlage

Producers who raise both corn and cattle have the option of harvesting some or all of their corn acres as a high-moisture grain crop to be marketed through cattle. There are several advantages to harvesting corn earlier at a high-moisture content.