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Crop Management

All Crop Management Content

A corn field in South Dakota looking very wet due to flooding from spring rains and melted snow.

Delayed Planting Challenges: Cover Crop Considerations

High waters and saturated soils across many counties in South Dakota have producers worried about getting their crops planted in a timely manner this spring. In many areas, typical cash crops will not be a possibility. Producers may need to develop alternative plans.

A grass forage blend grows in a central SD field as Red cattle graze.

Delayed Planting Challenges: Alternative Forages

With the excessively wet planting conditions much of South Dakota is now experiencing, many producers are looking for “Plan B” to meet forage needs for their livestock, or as a commodity that can be marketed to livestock producers.

Soybean plants with wilting, cupped leaves as the result of dicamba herbicide damage.

South Dakota Herbicide Damage

As the spray season starts, it is always good to be aware of resources and testing facilities where you can send in possible herbicide-affected plant samples. SDSU Extension offers suggestions on how to handle possible herbicide damage situations as well as recommended labs that receive plant matter samples to test for herbicide residues.

Green corn leaf with common stalk borer caterpillar within.

2019 Common Stalk Borer Activity Estimate

The hatching and movement of common stalk borer caterpillars can be estimated by using degree days with a developmental threshold of 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Common stalk borer eggs typically begin to hatch at 575 degree days.

South Dakota soybean late plant date map. View pdf map:  View text in Excel:

Multi-Peril Crop Insurance: Delayed and Prevent Plant Choices

Crop insurance late plant dates are fast approaching for planting crops in South Dakota. The weather and soil conditions this spring will likely lead to some prevent plant situations for farm producers.

Yellow seed hoppers being filled with pink-colored corn hybrid seeds.

Switching Corn Hybrid Maturities

The decision to change maturities is ultimately up to each individual producer and is based on unique situations such as risk tolerance and harvest capabilities, such as drying capacity.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

2019 Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction

One of the major insect pests of alfalfa in South Dakota is the alfalfa weevil. In 2018, we received fewer reports of alfalfa weevils, which may have been a result of the cooler and wetter spring conditions. It’s possible that populations may also be lower in 2019 due to the similar spring conditions that we are currently experiencing.

Winter wheat blades with lesions with a dark brown center and yellow margin surrounding the lesion.

Diagnosing Early Diseases in Winter Wheat

Winter wheat progress is relatively behind the five-year average given the long winter season and low spring temperatures. However, it is important to scout and diagnose early-season diseases in winter wheat to determine the need for an early season fungicide.

Purple-brown caterpillar with orange head on a green corn leaf.

How to Identify Common Stalk Borers and Thresholds

As corn is being planted, it is important to remember that there are insect pests capable of injuring young, vegetative corn. One such pest is the common stalk borer. Although common stalk borer outbreaks are sporadic, when present in high numbers they can cause significant yield loss.


2017-2018 Multi-State Organic Oat Variety Trial Results

The tight production margins currently present in agriculture have increased interest in growing organic oats.