FLOODING COULD AFFECT MIDWEST FARMERS FOR YEARS

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) published an interesting article about flooding in the Midwest and how this could affect crops for years. We wanted to share it with you.

“As devastating images of the 2019 Midwest floods fade from view, an insidious and longer-term problem is emerging across its vast plains: The loss of topsoil that much of the nation’s food supply relies on.

Today, Midwest farmers are facing millions of bushels of damaged  such as soybean and corn. This spring’s heavy rains have already caused record flooding, which could continue into May and June, and some government officials have said it could take farmers years to recover …

SUPERVISORY POSITION OPENING

Minnehaha Conservation District is seeking personnel that may have interest in becoming involved with the district, either as one of the elected positions or an appointed advisor.

We currently have a vacant elected board position (three years left of a four-year term). We also have advisory position openings. These people are appointed by the elected board members.

To qualify you need to be a resident and taxpayer in Minnehaha County. An interest in natural resources and conservation is also a must.

If interested and for more information, contact John Parker, District Manager, by calling 605-370-3480 or emailing John.d.parker@sd.nacdnet.net.

MANAGING STRESS ON THE FARM
Monday, April 15, 2019
6:30 – 8:00 PM
2001 East 8th Street, Sioux Falls, SD

Farming and ranching is stressful, and we know that numerous factors may cause stress for you and your families. SDSU Extension invites you to attend a 1.5 hour workshop designed to help you and your family understand the signs and symptoms of chronic stress, and how to handle stress for a more productive mindset on the farm. The workshop is free, and includes an evening meal. We encourage you to bring your families as SDSU Extension 4-H Team Members will be on-site to provide youth programming. For more details on workshop locations and registration, PLEASE CLICK HERE. Registration ends Sunday, April 14, 2019.

 

USDA ANNOUNCES SIGN-UP PERIOD FOR UPDATED CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM

The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2019 is May 10, 2019. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level.

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Jeff Zimprich, South Dakota State Conservationist, Huron, “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”

While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by May 10, 2019, to ensure their applications are considered for 2019 funding.

Changes to the Program

The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, and it makes some important improvements to the program. These updates include:

  • NRCS now enrolls eligible, high ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. For fiscal 2019, NRCS can spend up to $700 million in the program, which covers part of the cost for producers implementing new conservation activities and maintaining their existing activities.
  • Higher payment rates are now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations.
  • CSP now provides specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres.

About the Program

CSP is offered in South Dakota through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements, and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.

More Information

For additional information about CSP, contact your local USDA service center.

FLOODING RESOURCES

South Dakota has experienced record-setting snowfall and flooding. We’ve all seen the stories about the ranchers dealing with flood waters during calving season, the homes and farms that are surrounded by water, if not totally under water. We found a great resource for helping you know where to turn as you deal with the after-effects of flooding. South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension has a whole page on their website dedicated to flooding resources. Here are some that we thought may be particularly helpful:

Managing Flooded Alfalfa

Fire Hazard in Wet Bales

Resources to Explore Options When Feed is Short

Septic Systems and Flooding

Stored Grains and Flooding

Livestock Loss Assistance

All of the SDSU Extension articles pertaining to flooding resources CAN BE FOUND HERE. Please note that there are five pages of articles that can help you.

 

 

LESSONS FROM THE SOUTH DAKOTA DUST BOWL
Saturday, April 13, 2019
10:00 – 11:00 am
Downtown Library
(200 North Dakota Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD)

Please join Siouxland Libraries for a panel discussion recounting the South Dakota Dust Bowl. They have three presenters coming to speak about crops and farming (Thandi Nleya), soil conservation (Peter Kovacs), and weather (Todd Heitkamp).

The panel discussion is a part of the library’s One Book Siouxland 2019 program.  All are invited to read Prairie Firesthe American Dream of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser.  Siouxland Libraries have been hosting programs on topics within the book and, as you might know, agriculture, soil, dust bowl, and weather were new topics to those coming to the Midwest to settle.

If you have questions, please feel free to email asingh@siouxfalls.org or call Alice Singh at 605-367-8720.

We received our copy of Soil Visions and it’s so full of good information that we thought you should read it too! Soil Visions is the monthly newsletter from the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. They are doing a LOT of work in South Dakota to make you aware of our amazing resources and provide help, if you ever need it. The Coalition sponsors educational events and provide videos, technical resources, and lots of just plain good information. Give them a look at https://www.sdsoilhealthcoalition.org!

Here’s their most recent edition of Soil Vision. Enjoy!