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Crop Management

All Crop Management Content

Young winter wheat plants with light yellowish green leaves, a symptom of nutrient deficiency.

SDSU Extension Seeks Grower Input for South Dakota Nutrient Management Survey

June 12, 2019

SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Nutrient Research and Education Council and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU are interested in learning more about the nutrient management practices you use on your farm through a survey.

Corn, Soil Fertility, Cover Crops, Forage, Field Pea, Flax, Oats, Oilseed, Pulse Crops, Sorghum, Soybean, Sunflower, Wheat, Crop Management, Crop Treatments, Conservation

 Green beetle larvae with white stripe and brown head.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity: June 7, 2019

Quite a few degree days were accumulated over the course of the last week. Alfalfa fields should be closely monitored for alfalfa weevil activity for the next couple of weeks, even in areas where degree days indicate the alfalfa weevils are pupating.

A field of green winter wheat.

Planning for Quality in Wheat

Excess moisture and limited field days have made it difficult for producers to add nitrogen to wheat fields this year. This could be a concern, as nitrogen contributes to both yield and protein. This year, it may pay off to take tissue and soil tests from questionable wheat fields to help with nitrogen application decisions.

Yellow and black beetle on green soybean leaf.

Watch for Bean Leaf Beetles

Some soybean in South Dakota has emerged and it is already being attacked by early-season bean leaf beetles. So far, observations of adult bean leaf beetles emerging from fields and defoliation of soybean have been in Southeastern South Dakota.

Green corn leaf with common stalk borer caterpillar within.

Common Stalk Borer Activity: June 7, 2019

It finally warmed up and the insects have definitely become more active. However, our calculations indicate that not enough degree days have been accumulated for common stalk borer activity to warrant any scouting, but spraying field edges should be avoided through most of South Dakota in the next week.

Young corn plant with three circular feeding holes in a leaf.

Black Cutworm Caterpillars Are Actively Feeding in South Dakota

We received numerous reports this week of small holes in V1-V2 corn plants. The holes are the result of early instar cutworm caterpillar feeding and, more specifically, black cutworm caterpillars. After hatching, black cutworm caterpillars initially feed on the leaves. As they develop and become larger, they pose a clipping or cutting threat to corn.

A color-coded map of the United States indicating precipitation outlook for June 2019.

June 2019 Climate Outlook for South Dakota

As South Dakota emerges from the wettest 12-month period in 124 years of climate recordkeeping (June 2018-May 2019), June has started warmer and drier than average. The outlook, however, turns towards cooler and wetter than average again for the middle of the month.

Color-coded map of South Dakota and other Midwestern states. Colors indicate a higher risk of unplanted areas in Eastern and Northeastern South Dakota.

Stretching Corn Silage Supplies

During the 2002 drought there was a need to stretch corn silage supplies as a result of the drought that affected the U.S. Now we deal with the opposite scenario, where excessive spring rains have not allowed farmers to get to the fields. In both situations livestock producers face challenges.

Teardrop shaped green insect with long legs and antennae on a lighter green leaf.

Pea Aphid Populations Increasing in Alfalfa

While scouting alfalfa this week, we noticed pea aphid populations are starting to increase. The forecast is looking favorable for this pest, so it will be important to continue monitoring populations prior to and after the first cutting.

Tractor preparing a soybean field for planting at twilight.

Soybean Rolling: Yield Effects

Land rolling soybeans has become a common management practice in many areas of South Dakota. The main reason for using a land roller on soybean fields is to push down rocks and level the soil surface for harvest, in theory reducing the amount of rocks and other debris that can potentially damage a combine header.