OUR AMAZING GRASSLANDS

Rich and Sara Grim, Bonesteel, SD

Many of the native plants on the prairie respond favorably to fire. Fire can also reduce the amount of invasive plans such as cedar. Prescribed fire does a lot of really good things.” — Rich and Sara Grim


Schell Family, Wall, SD

Generations of raising cattle and providing for their families from the land


Hamann Family, Blue Bell Ranch, Clear Lake, SD

Recipients of the 2017 Leopold Conservation Award

“I think the main thing is not to over graze because in this county, some think if you have grassland left over it seems like you’re wasting all that grass. I just never looked at it that way.” — Herb Hamann


The SD Grassland Coalition partnered with the organizations listed below to enhance the grassland planner with releases of short video stories promoting healthy soils, grasslands, and ecosystems.

2017 Grassland Stewardship Communications Project Partners: The Nature Conservancy, Pheasants Forever, American Bird Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Audubon Dakota, Ducks Unlimited, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, SD Game, Fish and Parks, SD Soil Health Coalition, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and SD Grassland Coalition.

PROFILES IN SOIL HEALTH

“Benefits of Cover Cropping Systems” With Trevor and Kristy Zantow, Leola, SD

“Cover Crops allowed us to graze the cattle more months of the year, our feed needs were diminished, and the work load dropped to just a fraction of what it was in the past. We also needed a lot less equipment with this plan. So for us, it allowed a better quality of life for me and my family, and as it turned out it is a better quality of life for the soil.”

-Trevor Zantow 


Women In Agriculture With Jamie Johnson, Frankfort, SD

Jamie Johnson describes the changing role of the female farmer and how rewarding the lifestyle is for her and her family.


“Benefits of Perennial Grass Systems” With Scott Kolousek, Wessington Springs, SD

Scott Kolousek shares some of the soil health benefits of incorporating perennial grass systems and the effect it has had on his family’s operation.


These Soil Health Stories are part of the video series produced during 2017 through an agreement of the SD Soil Health Coalition
with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and South Dakota’s Conservation Districts.

EXCESS TREE SALE!

We’re selling our excess trees!

Thursday, June 14 from 8am – 6pm

Friday, June 15 from 8am – 1:30pm

District shed — 1120 E 72nd St N, Sioux Falls

Cost will be $2/tree or $45/bundle of 25 of the same species, plus tax

THERE WILL BE NO EARLY SALES

CUSTOMER FOCUS GROUP MEETING

You are invited to a meeting of the Customer Focus Group of the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, South Dakota. The meeting will be held at the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 beginning at approximately 1:00 p.m., following the annual Field Day.

This meeting is especially critical, and I hope you will be able to attend. The President’s Budget for FY2019 decreases funding for USDA and its in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The FY2019 budget request for ARS is $143 million, or 12.3% below the current FY2018 level. To meet this target, ARS proposes to close 20 laboratories / locations / work sites. The USDA-ARS-North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (NCARL) in Brookings, SD is one of the locations slated for closure if the President’s Budget is enacted.

As you know, the NCARL is part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and is funded through the Federal government. Despite declining budgets, the NCARL remains uniquely suited to conduct unbiased research that addresses many important long-term and emerging issues that South Dakota farmers are facing. We need to continue to work together to protect Federally-funded agricultural research in South Dakota.

At the meeting, we will have a brief update on the ARS budget and what direction to take to assure future funding for NCARL. We will also discuss opportunities to strengthen NCARL’s research program. In recent years, we have supported increased funding for NCARL to expand their work in soil biology and pollinators.

The NCARL is the only ARS location in South Dakota and has been in operation since 1961. Their FY2018 budget appropriated by Congress is $3.0 million plus $300,000 in extramural funds. Current employees include 8 permanent PhD-level scientists (2 vacant), 13 full-time (5 vacant) and 5 part-time employees supporting the work of the scientists, plus 11 seasonal employees.

In addition to an estimated loss of $4.2 million from the local economy, closure of the NCARL would stop critical research to increase crop and pest management options to growers, reduce production costs, and improve conservation. The NCARL has reported and transferred innovative research documenting how no-tillage, plant-incorporated protectants, cover crops, crop rotations, and other management options influence resource use efficiency, pest control, long-term productivity, economic viability, and environmental quality. Their current research program addresses critical aspects of crop production in the region:

  • Better soil health to sustain food production, reduce fertilizer needs, and protect the environment
  • Resilient cropping systems that can perform well under drought and other poor growing conditions
  • Efficient management of weeds and insect pests, especially corn rootworm and soybean aphid that have large economic implications each year in South Dakota
  • Protection and promotion of beneficial insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of pests

I hope that you will attend the June 19th Field Day and the Customer Focus Group meeting to discuss how we can work together to support the USDA-ARS North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory.

Sincerely,

Joan Crooks, General Secretary
E. SD Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc.

TO PRINT THIS LETTER, AS WELL AS A FLYER AND MAP FOR THE FIELD DAY, PLEASE CLICK HERE

WE ARE BEHIND SO TODAY IS CATCHING-UP DAY!

We have lots of snippets we think you’ll enjoy!

 





Creating Resilient Soil: Integrating Cover Crops and Livestock Grazing


Now Available: 2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health Presentations


A Focus On Soil Health Could Boost Yields In The Field and In The Garden


USDA, Private Sector To Help Producers In Four States Protect and Restore Soils


FIRE / DROUGHT POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
FOR ALL OF SOUTH DAKOTA

We are excited to be able to offer you this excellent resource for fire and drought potential outlook across the state. There is a TON of good information here. Please share it with other interested parties!

FOUR OPPORTUNITIES TO HEAR EXCELLENT SPEAKERS ON SOIL HEALTH THROUGHOUT SOUTH DAKOTA

Moody County Soil Health Tour
June 12, 2018 at 9:00 am
23718 474th Avenue, Dell Rapids, SD


Ray Archuleta Soil Health Event
June 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Spink County 4-H Facility, Redfield, SD


Soil Health Field Tour
June 13, 2018 at 8:30 am
Dakota Lakes Research Farm, Pierre, SD


Ray Archuleta Soil Health Event
June 13, 2018 at 6:00 pm
St. Mary’s Hall, Winner, SD