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