The 2013 season brought some welcome relief from the drought of the previous year. Our yields were much improved, averaging 175 bushel per acre for corn and 50 bu/ac for soybeans . Several new developments were undertaken at the farm in the 2013 season. We established an area for research where grazing is integrated with crop production – so we now have some scope to conduct research looking at the effects of how grazing crop residues, cover crops and annual forages impacts crop productivity and soil health. Working with Chris Hay from the Ag. and Biological Systems Engineering Dept. at SDSU, a series of 0.75 acre plots with controlled tile drainage were set up on the farm – this gives the Southeast Farm a platform on which to study the effects of tile drainage on crop yield, and to look at ways to maintain water quality under tile drainage. The board approved putting most of the farm into a no-till production system in 2013. This is important looking towards the future where the climatologists tell us we can expect to see more extreme weather – severe storms and drought are both more likely to be part of the landscape and no-till is probably about the best way to try and cope with that. Finally, working with Raven Industries and Pioneer Hi-bred, the Southeast Farm participated in the development of a proto-type planter with the ability to switch between lines on-the-go in a production environment. This is a one of a kind unit which we think has already helped pave the way for some major changes in planter technology and for precision farming in the future. This annual report contains information ranging from soybean and corn variety evaluations and research on grazing, to research on winter rye cover crops and P fertilizer for soybeans. In all these projects, the work would not have gone forward without the goodwill and efforts of the farm staff: Garold Williamson, Ruth Stevens, Brad Rops, Doug Johnson, and Colton Buus. Molly Hansen helped over the summer. Their good work has kept the research farm going forward. This year we had a lot of help from Raven Industry technicians Brian Grode and Ray Munk in our field operations with the new multihybrid planter in the spring, and also the crew from the Sustainable Cropping Systems program in Brookings – Jesse Hall, Cory Smith, David Karki, and Ben Arlt - were called on at times to lend their efforts to farm operations, so we would like to recognize these folks for their help as well. In the coming year, we hope to capitalize on the new initiatives started in 2013, and perhaps venture into a new area of vegetable or fruit production in high-tunnels as a way to support younger families who may want to get a start in agriculture but don’t have much of a land base to work with. One day at a time. We try to lay our plans, but what the future holds is, of course, uncertain. I hope this annual report is of value for your operation. We are always open to new ideas – so please feel free to share suggestions and comments about our research - we are all ears and would be glad to hear what you have to say. We plan to have our summer field day on July 9, and a fall one on Sept. 9, God willing. We hope that you can make it to Beresford for both events. As for the future, all I can think of is what my Mom says, “pray, hope, don’t worry”, and then think about how to diversify. This document also contains three 2012 reports not published in the previous year’s report.
Number of Pages
Agrlcultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University
Experiment Station, Agricultural, "Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm Annual Progress Report: 2013" (2013). Agricultural Experiment Station and Research Farm Annual Reports. 48.