Skip to main content


All Grassland Content

A color-coded map of the united states indicating temperature outlook for August 2019. South Dakota is mostly covered in blue.

August 2019 Climate Outlook: Cool and Wet

According to the latest climate outlook update, odds are favoring that August 2019 will be cooler than average. The update was released by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on July 31, 2019.

A field of yellow sweet clover in bloom.

Yellow Sweet Clover: Information and Management

Sweet clover is an opportunistic plant that is going to be abundant in pastures and hay fields when growing conditions are favorable, ideally for two consecutive years. Although it can cause problems, it is valuable to wildlife and pollinators and is a nutritious forage source.

Two flies side-by-side. The left fly is a Western horse fly. The right fly is a deer fly.

Horse Flies and Deer Flies Becoming Abundant

The above-average precipitation this year has led to increased numbers of horse flies and deer flies across South Dakota. Widespread flooding and an overall abundance of available water has made conditions perfect for these flies.

A color-coded map of the United Statees showing the precipitation outlook for August through October 2019. All of South Dakota is light green. Parts of Western South Dakota are a darker green.

Wet Conditions Likely Into Fall Season

Many locations in South Dakota have already received as much precipitation this year as they do in an entire average year. The latest climate outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shows increased chances of wetter than average conditions to continue into the fall season.

A thick patch of yellow, flowering leafy spurge plants growing in a pasture.

Spot Treatment Options for State Noxious Plants

When controlling grassland weeds, the mindset of row crop weed control may be put into practice too often. In most cases, broadcast control of weeds in grasslands is rarely necessary. Most often, spot treatment can be used more effectively to manage the noxious and invading weeds.

Color-coded map of the United States indicating predicted precipitation for July 2019. South Dakota is set to experience above normal precipitation.

July 2019 Climate Outlook: Challenges Continue

This year’s seasonal pattern of wetter than average conditions is projected to continue through July and the rest of the summer season. The latest climate outlook, released June 20, 2019, shows an increased chance of wetter than average conditions in the next one to three months for the state of South Dakota.

Black caterpillars with white stripes feeding on green Canada thistle.

Thistle Caterpillars Showing Up on Canada Thistle

This week we received reports of caterpillars feeding on Canada thistle. After taking a look at the caterpillars, we determined that they are thistle caterpillars. However, we typically don’t see thistle caterpillar activity in S.D. until July or August. So why are they showing up so early this year?