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The Small Grains Disease Forecasting System Could Save Producers Money

The South Dakota State University Small Grains Plant Pathology program has partnered with the Small Grains Plant Pathology program at North Dakota State University to deploy a small grains disease forecasting system for South Dakota. The system uses weather variables including rainfall, temperature, and relative humidity to predict the likelihood of disease development. This new tool has the potential to save growers money by helping them avoid unnecessary fungicide applications, or knowing when to apply a rescue fungicide treatment.

Wheat, Oats, Crop Management

A diagram with two winter wheat plots side-by-side.

The Difficulty in Winter Wheat Stand Assessments

From freak snow storms to sub-zero temperatures and on to a recent lack of moisture and a cool spring, the climate in South Dakota has left many winter wheat growers and agronomists wondering about the health of their stands.

Wheat, Crop Management

A sprawling, planted field with young crops emerging

Crop Rotation in Farm Management 

Crop rotation has long been considered an important farm practice. In 2013 producers had to stray from their well thought out crop rotations when the winter wheat crop in South Dakota failed.

Crop Management, Wheat, Corn, Soybean, Sunflower, Field Pea, Cover Crops

Wheat heads with extreme white-yellow bleaching.

Updated National Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) Prediction Center

The new Fusarium (Scab) Head Blight Prediction Center is now up and running. The purpose of this Assessment Tool is to provide producers and crop consultants with a Fusarium Head Blight (FHB/scab) risk assessment tool which leads up to and includes flowering (anthesis).

Wheat, Crop Management

a black and white photo or Edgar McFadden

McFadden and Borlaug: Pioneering Rust-Resistant Wheat

During a brief period of time in the Dakota Territory in the late 1800’s, wheat acreage increased from just over 100,000 acres to well over a million acres. During one year in the height of this heyday, 1897, it has been stated that two-thirds of the world’s wheat was shipped from present-day Eureka, SD, and wagons bearing the crop rolled in from as far as 75 miles away.


Young wheat growing in a foggy field.

Dormant Seeding Wheat

Dormant seeding is when a crop is placed in a soil long before soil temperatures and/or moisture conditions are going to allow the seed to germinate and grow. This technique is commonly used for plants like native grasses and forbs. It is less common with grain crops.

Wheat, Crop Management

Blades of green wheat in a wheat field.

Wheat Seed Testing, Pure Live Seed, and Seeding Rates

To legally sell wheat seed in South Dakota, a standard test—following Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) seed testing protocols, for germination, purity, and noxious weeds—is required. This standard analysis, plus a seed count provides information needed to determine the seeding rate.

Wheat, Crop Management

wheat field

Looking Back: A History of Wheat Production in SD

In spite of the open winter and some of the worst drought conditions in history, South Dakota ended up with a very good wheat crop in terms of yield and quality in 2012. The winter wheat yields averaged 50 bushels to the acre; second highest average yield in SD recorded history.


A field of emerging winter wheat in early spring.

Winter Wheat Planting Date Is Important

A five year study conducted in southwestern South Dakota evaluating seven winter wheat varieties over four planting dates from September 15 to November 1 showed that delayed planting decreases yields. The results determined that planting mid September to the first of October consistently had the highest grain yield over the duration of the experiment.

Wheat, Crop Management

A pile of brown wheat seeds

Fungicide Seed Treatments for Winter Wheat

As producers are preparing to plant winter wheat, one of the decisions to make is whether to use a fungicide seed treatment, and if the answer is yes, which product to use.

Wheat, Crop Treatments