Archive for May, 2018

News of the Day — 5/30/18


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

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News of the Day — 5/21/18


In Season 1 of Merit or Myth, we discussed the issue of no-till in the context of residue management, soil water (mainly infiltration), soil temperature, weeds and economics. In reality, a companion between no-till an conventional till system is very difficult to compare is one only looks at one factor (e.g., residue). When we spoke to Dr. Randy Anderson (ARS, Brookins), he spoke of the systems synergy effect where if one stacked one practice on another (e.g., no-till, diverse rotations, cover crops), the sum of the good effects were actually greater than the individual parts.

In our second Merit or Myth season we will try to look at whole systems, first by speaking to practitioners (e.g., NRCS’s Jeff Hemenway) and researchers (e.g., Dr. Mike Lehman from Brookings ARS) who will apply the science and demonstrate that soils are living dynamic ecosystems (as opposed to a medium to grow plants). We will also be speaking to farmers who mimic nature though multiple tools that include no-till, cover crops, diverse rotations, and the use of animals in the system – we’ll tap into their knowledge and experience based on what they see and how they have been able to innovate.

In our previous video, Research Microbiologist Dr. Mike Lehman described soil microbes in healthy soils as a “division of labor.” This “division of labor” is extensive and, when cultivated through regenerative practices, works alongside the farmer. 

In our third and final video, Dr. Lehman takes it a step further and shows us that these microbes aren’t just laborers, but are actually an active community that interact, communicate, and recycle plant nutrients. The end result? You guessed it: HEALTHY CROPS!


Merit or Myth‘s mission is to engage with SD farmers, researchers, and conservationists to gain a better understanding of healthy, functioning soils.

Learn more about managing soil at or visit the Soil Health Information Center at    or SD Soil Health Coalition Website

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News of the Day — 5/9/18



Friday 5/11/18 — 8am to 6pm
Monday 5/14/18 — 4pm to 6pm
Tuesday 5/15/18 — 4pm to 6pm

Pick-up is available at the shed — 1120 E 72nd St N, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 (two miles south of the Renner corner, or 3/4 mile north of I-90 and Cliff on the west side of the road)


PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) has confirmed that an infestation of emerald ash borer (EAB) has been discovered in northern Sioux Falls. This is the first confirmed infestation in South Dakota. Emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in at least 32 states.

On May 9, 2018, Secretary Mike Jaspers implemented an Emergency Plant Pest Quarantine in order to prevent or reduce the spread of the EAB. This emergency quarantine is effective immediately.

The quarantine restricts the movement of ash materials in all of Minnehaha County, in areas north of Highway 18 in Lincoln County and north of Highway 18 and east of Highway 19 in Turner County, unless accompanied by the appropriate authorization from the SDDA. These regulated ash materials include: ash nursery stock; ash logs, lumber, wood chips or mulch, including trimmed ash tree branches; and pallets made out of ash. Movement of firewood from any hardwood species, whether intended for commercial or private use, is also restricted within the quarantine area.

Ash trees within the quarantine area should not be pruned or removed unless absolutely necessary until after Labor Day to prevent spread of EAB. As a precautionary measure, people with ash trees in good condition within the quarantine area who want to save those trees should consider treating them now. Treatment information, as well as more information on EAB and response efforts, can be found by visiting the SDDA’s dedicated EAB webpage.

The SDDA is hosting EAB information forums on Thursday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. at the Game, Fish and Parks Outdoor Campus located at 4500 South Oxbow Avenue in Sioux Falls. These forums will provide important information for residents in the quarantine area on EAB and current efforts to limit its spread. Dr. John Ball, Forest Health Specialist for the SDDA and SDSU Extension Forester, as well as officials from the SDDA and the City of Sioux Falls, will present information and answer questions.

Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect and preserve South Dakota agriculture for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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