Skip to main content

Drought: Crops

All Drought: Crops Content

harvester chopping corn silage, depositing silage into green wagon.

Silage: Minimizing Losses and Maximizing Value

Optimizing silage value starts by harvesting at the right moisture content.

Drought-stressed cornfield.

Valuing Drought-Stressed Corn Silage

Salvaging failed crops as silage for livestock can be a “win-win” for both crop growers and livestock owners. Learn how you can use data to improve the odds of finding a value that is fair to both parties.

A small black bug with tan margins on its wings resting on a grass seed head.

Black Grass Bugs May Cause Issues if Drought Persists

In western South Dakota, black grass bugs are a common spring forage pest that can cause considerable damage during periods of drought. Learn how to monitor and manage this pest to protect your forages this spring.

Map of South Dakota with green (zero to three grasshoppers), orange (four to seven grasshoppers), and red (8 or more grasshoppers) dots indicating grasshopper populations that were sampled in 2021. The north central region, west of the Missouri River, has the highest concentration of red and orange dots.

South Dakota Grasshopper Prediction for 2022

Data from the 2021 USDA Adult Grasshopper Survey of South Dakota suggests that grasshopper populations may continue to be problem in parts of central and western South Dakota during the spring of 2022.

Producers inspecting soil in a harvested wheat field.

Managing Cover Crops in Moisture Deficits

Planting cover crops after small grain harvest can be risky in central South Dakota. The decision to incorporate them into an annual cropping system should consider historical precipitation, soil water holding capacity, and soil moisture at time of planting.

an image of outdoor weather monitoring equipment in a field

Climate and Weather

View resources to predict, prepare and recover from weather-related events year-round, including the latest drought and flood information.

A tall, grassy warm-season cover crop blend grown in South Dakota.

Alternative Forage Options During Drought

While there are many factors to take into consideration, annual forages and cover crops can be an excellent tool to boost forage production, reduce fallow acres, and enhance soil health during periods of drought.

Mottled brown grasshopper nymph sitting on a green leaf. Wing pads are easily observed in the image.

Grasshoppers Continue to Be an Issue During 2023

We have received numerous reports of very large populations of grasshopper nymphs in June. Before management action is taken, it is important to determine what stage observed grasshoppers are at.

Young wheat plants showing early symptoms of drought stress.

Salvaging Drought-Stressed Small Grains

South Dakota producers often must consider whether to abandon plans to harvest small grain as a cash crop and pivot to harvesting as forage. Learn some factors to keep in mind when evaluating salvage options.

Tan grasshopper with light colored stripes on its back sitting on the soil surface.

South Dakota Grasshopper Prediction for 2023

Grasshoppers can cause serious defoliation in forage, soybeans and corn throughout much of the growing season. See our activity predictions for the 2023 growing season based on the 2022 U.S. Department of Agriculture Adult Grasshopper Survey.