We wanted to share with you a great article from the iGrow August 2017 newsletter. If you have stressed corn this year, the article provides several ideas that may be helpful to you. PLEASE CLICK HERE to view the article.


Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters: Examining the Impact of Tile Drainage on South Dakota

We wanted to let you know of a great meeting coming up next Monday, July 31, at the Sioux Falls Downtown Library (200 North Dakota Avenue, Meeting Room A) at 6:30 pm. The Friends of the Big Sioux River will be hosting a talk about the impact of tile drainage in South Dakota. Jeff Zimprich and Al Miron will be featured speakers. This event is free and open to the public. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Use of tile drainage in farming
  • Increased tile drainage in South Dakota
  • Influences on yield and soil erosion
  • Intensified downstream flooding
  • High nitrate loads and contaminated runoff entering streams

For more information, please follow this link: http://mailchi.mp/0e377a86ebd0/join-friends-of-the-big-sioux-river-for-healthy-soils-healthy-waters?e=1cab97f92a

See you there!

Big Sioux River Watershed Partnership Awarded for Conservation Efforts

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS), Huron, SD, June 26, 2017— The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) South Dakota State Conservationist Jeff Zimprich, Huron, congratulated the Excellence in Cooperative Conservation Award winners Friday in Sioux Falls, SD. Zimprich spotlighted the conservation efforts of nine entities in the Big Sioux River Watershed (BSRWP): the City of Sioux Falls, the City of Brookings, East Dakota Water Development District, Brookings County Conservation District, Lake County Conservation District, Moody County Conservation District, Minnehaha Conservation District, Lincoln Conservation District, and the Union County Conservation District.


Left to Right: Jesse Nyens, City of Sioux Falls; Gene Thormodsgaard, Lincoln Conservation District; Bob Woerman, Minnehaha Conservation District; Richard Green, Union Conservation District; Carolyn Rudebusch, Lake Conservation District; Darrell DeBoer, Brookings Conservation District; Jack Majeres, Moody Conservation District; Jay Gilbertson, East Dakota Water Development District, and Jeff Zimprich, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.



The Cooperative Conservation Award honors those outside NRCS for their work in conservation.  The award is presented to an individual or group that best exemplifies dedication and leadership to natural resources conservation through cooperative conservation.  This stewardship efforts of this group has been happening for years however; they started concentrating their efforts in 2008 along the Big Sioux River below the northern Brookings County line and its tributaries.  Zimprich said, “What’s unique about the Big Sioux River Watershed Partnership (BSRWP) is their ability to communicate, ability to grow and see the big picture, but also their ability to stay focused on implementing conservation of natural resources.”

“The major water impairments in the Big Sioux River and many of its tributaries are bacteria and sediments,” explains Jack Majeres, Moody Conservation District, Dell Rapids, SD. “To date, much of our emphasis has been focused on the Skunk Creek because it was one of the most impaired tributaries.  Now,” Majeres says, “due to the concentrated efforts of this partnership and the ag producers in the Skunk Creek Watershed, the Skunk Creek is currently not impaired for sediments and has had the bacteria levels significantly reduced.”  “And that is great news for everyone,” says Zimprich.

At the award presentation, Zimprich outlined the conservation efforts by the nine entities to improve soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources, and emphasized the value, and importance of the Partnership as it helps local farmers and ranchers, but also how it provides benefits to society of clean air to breathe, quality drinking water, habitat for wildlife, and recreational opportunities. “The building of their relationship as they collaborate toward a common goal is what makes the BSRWP a shining example – not only an example to be proud of, but one that is a model for others to follow,” said Zimprich.


KELOLAND also covered the story. To see the news report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.


The Minnehaha Conservation District will be selling excess trees next Wednesday, June 14th, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the District shed, located at 1120 E. 72nd St. N., Sioux Falls.  The cost will be $2.25/tree or $50.00 for a bundle of 25 of the same species, plus tax.  There will be NO EARLY SALES!

Please CLICK HERE to see the list of trees that may be available.

Did you know that more than 250,000 buffer contracts with the USDA have been signed?

Did you know that buffers, when used with supporting practices, are eligible for incentive programs?

Did you know that citizen groups are providing funding for buffer programs?

HERE IS A VERY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE about buffers and other conservation practices that you can use to increase your income and benefit the environment. Give us a call — let’s work together!

Coming up on April 11, 2017, Augustana University will be hosting a discussion with bison rancher and author Dan O’Brien! Dan and his wife, Jill, are the owners of Wild Idea Buffalo Company, which began in 1997 with the mission of returning buffalo to their native habitat. The event is free and open to the public, and will start at 7:00 pm at Augustana University in the Froiland Science Complex 113.

There is more information as well as a video available on the Augustana University website. Click on the picture below for access.

Are you interested in becoming a Master Gardener
or know someone who may  be?

Please share this Training Flyer with friends and colleagues.  Also, here is a brochure that explains the Extension Master Gardener program.


Registration deadline is May 1st, 2017!



SDSU Extension Master Gardener Training is provided by SDSU faculty and includes access to online training materials, a resource manual, and hands-on classes. Hands-on classes will be held in three locations, over eight sessions.  Here is a wonderful opportunity!



Participants can select one of three training locations:

Sioux Falls: June 6, 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, August 1

Aberdeen: June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, August 2

Spearfish: June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 13, 20, 27, August 3

Each session begins at 8:30 am and ends at 4:30 pm local time.


Topics Include:

Basic botany and taxonomy; soils and fertilizers; turf and weed management; plant pathology/composting; tree and shrub care; pest management; planting and landscape use; pesticides; insects and pollinators, biodiversity; vegetables and season extension; herbaceous ornamentals, native plants, plant propagation and more!


Cost — There are two training options:

  • Training with Volunteer Commitment (Discount Rate $190): To take course at discounted rate, you must provide 50 hours of volunteer service over the next two years. The balance of the full course fee will be invoiced if service commitment is not completed.


  • Training WITHOUT Volunteer Commitment (Full Price $540): Participants will receive the same training, but will not be required to volunteer and will not become a certified Master Gardener. Instead, participants receive a horticulture training certificate upon successful completion of the course.


A little about the Extension Master Gardener program in SD:

  • Projects may include: assisting with school gardens, establishing pollinator habitat, putting on educational seminars, labeling native plants for educational purposes, hosting a tree pruning workshop, staffing informational booths at Farmers Markets, and conducting plant sales.
  • Benefits of becoming an Extension Master Gardener include tremendous knowledge gained, new friends with like-minded interests, fun activities such as trips to gardens and greenhouses, and being valued for one’s contributions.  They are the first to say they don’t ‘know it all’, but they have the resources in order to find the answers!


Register Today at iGrow.org


Having trouble registering? Contact us at sdsu.sdmg@sdstate.edu or call 605-782-3290