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Many South Dakotans are dealing with flood issues following recent blizzards and record-breaking rain.

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Wheat

All Wheat Content

large multi-row sprayer adding chemicals to a field

Early Season Insecticide Applications in Wheat

Many wheat producers in South Dakota have adopted more intensive management practices in the last few years, including an early season application of fungicide and, in some cases, insecticide.

small light green mites on a green stem

Which mite is it? Identifying the mites in wheat fields

In South Dakota, the most commonly encountered mites in wheat are wheat curl mite and brown wheat mite. In addition to feeding, wheat curl mites are vectors of Wheat streak mosaic virus. Brown wheat mites can build up large populations and injure wheat through feeding. There are other species of mites that may also be observed in wheat, but generally do not reach populations large enough to cause significant injury.

A wheat field with patchy brown areas.

Brown Wheat Mite Affecting South Dakota Wheat

Recently, there have been reports of brown wheat mites throughout central and western South Dakota. The brown wheat mite is generally more of an issue in the drier parts of the state, or in areas experiencing drought. The feeding injury caused by these mites leaves white or brown spots that are referred to as stippling.

A field of emerging winter wheat in early spring.

Winter Wheat Breaking Dormancy Early

A threshold indicator for winter wheat emergence is to consider average temperatures over a 14-day period. When that 14-day average temperature is equal to or above 5°C, or 41°F, then hard red winter wheat can break dormancy.

A lush field with corn, soybean, and forage rotation.

Crop Diversification Potential: Improving Soil Health & Farm Profitability

Two-year corn-soybean rotation coupled with heavy chemical inputs has become the routine practice of agricultural production in the Midwestern United States. According to USDA/NASS data, corn and soybean prices received by producers in South Dakota both reached the peak levels of $7.39 and $16.00 per bushel, respectively, in August, 2012.

Cover Crop Adoption: Farmers’ perceived benefits & barriers

Cover crops are generally defined as crops planted between cash crops to cover and protect the soil. Some demonstrated benefits of cover crops include: reduced soil erosion, increased soil organic matter, increased biological diversity, increased nitrogen supply, and weed control. Depending on the farmers’ objectives, different species of cover crops can be planted. For example, if a farmer’s main objective is to increase nitrogen supply, then legume cover crops best suited to the farm area should be selected.

a field of wheat starting to grow

What Makes Winter Wheat a “Winter Wheat”?

For most of us wheat is wheat; however there is a distinct difference between spring and winter wheat, even though the vegetative characteristics of these two wheat types are very similar. Winter wheat can withstand freezing temperatures for extended periods of time during the early vegetative stage and requires exposure to freezing or near freezing temperature to trigger reproductive stage. In other words, if winter wheat does not go through a period of cold temperatures, then it will not produce seed. Two things needed for winter wheat to perform at optimally and produce good yields are- cold acclimation and vernalization.

Small white mites crawling on a blade of wheat.

Managing Wheat Curl Mite

Wheat curl mite is one of the more difficult pests to manage in wheat. This is in part due to the limited options available for preventing populations from infesting a field and rapidly reproducing.

A hand examining a wheat plant in a wheat field

Improving Protein Content in Wheat

Wheat producers in South Dakota always strive to grow a premium product. Quality in wheat often depends on test weight and protein content.

A small brown insect on a green blade of wheat

Scouting Winter Wheat for Mite Pests

Winter wheat planting is underway in South Dakota. After wheat emergence, it is important to scout for brown wheat mite and wheat curl mite populations.