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Crop production was moderate to poor this season. Our climate was mild in terms of temperatures but precipitation was quite erratic. In fact the growing season was both extremely wet and dry. During the first half of the growing season we received 5 inches of rain above normal, and the last half was 4.5 inches below normal. Some fields in our area were too wet to plant or drowned out after planting. Strong wind and hail caused moderate to severe crop damage on July 2. Our last significant precipitation occurred on July 20. After that the rains stopped completely and monthly precipitation the rest of the year was only 0.3 of an inch or less. Fieldwork began in late March and we planted small grains in early April. Some corn was planted early but rainy weather prevented planting soybean and the remaining corn until late May. At least 75 acres (nearly 15%) on station were lost to hail and water damage (see Land Use Map on page iv). As a result several crop research projects were not established. Most projects received some damage but the worst occurred toward the north and east part of the farm. Soil moisture was excessive in the spring and early summer but was very dry by harvest. The long, warm fall allowed corn to dry down very well even though frost came in late September. Fall tillage was difficult, left large clods, and was often hard on equipment. Small grain and soybean yields of 10 to 15 bu/ac, corn yields of 90 to 100 bu/ac, and hay yields of 3 ton/ac were common in places, although some fields did better. Corn borer activity was a little lighter than in recent years but still caused damage in some fields. Crop prices were extremely low and livestock prices for cattle and swine seemed to be rebounding a little by the end of the year. This year’s beef cattle reports evaluated the use of yeast and field peas in high concentrate feedlot finishing rations as well as how well calves performed in the feedlot from different calving and weaning strategies. Swine research tested feeding high-oil corn (HOC), documented reduced levels of dust using with HOC, and compared the performance and economics of raising pigs in our hoop structure verses our confinement building. Crop reports highlight variety test results for alfalfa, corn, and soybean (including Roundup Ready germplasm for row crops). Our tillage and crop rotation project is now in its ninth year and is featured along with evaluations of specialty crops like HOC, BT, and white corn, and soybean that provide protection against phytophthora root rot. Soybean cyst nematodes and other plant pathogens continue to be a problem in our region and work in these areas is also presented. Soil fertility research and site-specific farming using global positioning technology were also continued. A major concern this season was the loss of much of our weed control research and demonstration work because of the wet weather this spring.

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Agrlcultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University


39th Annual Progress Report


South Dakota State University



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