Over the next few weeks SDSU Extension will be hosting several Field Tours at research farms across South Dakota.  

June 27 Dakota Lakes Research Station Field Tour: Event begins at 4 p.m. (CDT). The tour will be led by Farm Manager, Dwayne Beck and Ruth Beck SDSU Extension agronomy field specialist. Directions to Dakota Lakes Research Farm: 17 miles east of Pierre along SD Highway 34. Tours will run until dusk on the 27. A light meal will be served.

Dakota Lakes Research Station consists of three quarters of land at the Main Station and 360 acres of land located at the North Unit. This land is along the east side of Canning Road approximately 4 miles north of the Main Station. The North Unit was purchased in 2000 to provide "west river" soils (Opal and Promise) for research purposes. During the 1990's this was done by renting land west of the Missouri River from a private landowner. This parcel was known as the Wheat Commission Rotation Study site. All of this land is and has been farmed without tillage since 1990. The main station is about evenly split between irrigated and dryland while the off-station site(s) are dryland.  

The station hosts numerous small plot studies by scientists from SDSU. These trials allow testing of large numbers of treatments. The best of these treatments often receive another level of scrutiny when they are evaluated on a "production scale". This means that field size equipment is utilized with all harvest results being weighed in a 300-bushel weigh cart. Two tractors, one drill, one row crop planter, one sprayer, and one combine are used for all field work. The tractors are 135 and 105 horsepower. This equipment could farm at least 2,500 acres if all of our land was in the production enterprise (no research), and we maintained our present crop mix.

SDSU Extension and Plant Science upcoming field days and tours through on-farm tours at research stations and at farms of cooperating producers, SDSU Extension and the Department of Plant Science provide growers with the latest updates on research in a variety of disciplines including crop production and management, variety trials, entomology, disease, soil fertility, and weed management. Upcoming events include:

Variety Trial Tours Begin July 1

Variety selection is a very important management decision in a sound crop production system. Variety Trial Tours will look at current growth and pest issues, along with discussing the potential for yield, grain protein, bushel weight, lodging, disease resistance, and other factors that will be fully evaluated as the growing season continues and the crop is harvested. Regular updates to the progress of variety trials can be found on the SDSU Extension Crop Testing Facebook site.

July 1, Winter Wheat Variety Trials near Ideal: This event begins at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) at the farm of cooperating producer , Bryan Jorgenson. Speakers include SDSU Research Associate Steve Kalsbeck; and Bob Fanning, SDSU Extension plant pathology field specialist. Directions to tour: From Winner, 8.5 miles north on N County Road, 2.5 miles west, 4 miles north and 0.5 miles west. Or 1 mile east, 1 mile north and 0.5 miles west of the Ideal, SD Post Office.

July 2, Winter Wheat Variety Trials tour in Martin: The tour begins at 5 p.m. (MDT). This tour is led by Nathan Mueller, SDSU Extension agronomy specialist and Bob Fanning, plant pathology field specialist. Directions to tour: The plot is located 5 miles east of the stoplight in Martin; on the south side of Hwy 18.

July 8, Faulk County Crop Improvement Association Spring Wheat Variety Trials: The tour beings at9:30 a.m. (CDT). Speakers include Nathan Mueller, SDSU Extension agronomy specialist; Emmanuel Byamukama, plant pathology specialist; and Mark Rosenberg, SDSU Extension agronomy/weeds field specialist. Directions to plot: From Faulkton go east to the Hwy 212/Hwy 45 junction, go ½ mile north, then 1 ½ miles east.

July 8, Walworth County Crop Improvement Assn. Spring Wheat Variety Trial: Tour will begin at 6 p.m.(CDT) at the Fiedlers Farm with a meal. Directions to farm: travel 2 miles east of Selby on SD Hwy 130 and 0.5 miles south to reach the farm.

July 8 Winter Cereals -Sustainability in Action at the Laird Larson farm near Clark: This tour begins at 5 p.m. (CDT). This tour is organized in partnership with Ducks Unlimited and will include Mark Rosenberg, SDSU Extension agronomy/weeds field specialist; Nathan Mueller, SDSU Extension agronomy specialist; Ada Szczepaniec, SDSU Extension entomology specialist; Emmanuel Byamukama, plant pathology specialist, and Blake VandeVoorst, Ducks Unlimited agronomy programs manager. This tour will look at the inclusion of winter wheat in various crop rotations, including wheat after various varieties of soybeans. Supper will be served following the tour. Directions to farm: 8 miles East of Clark on U.S. 212, North 0.6 miles on County Road 5 (Garden City Road), West side of road.

July 9, Southeast Farm Tour in Beresford: This tour runs from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (CDT) and is led by Farm Manager Peter Sexton. The program will have presentations by SDSU Extension and NRCS staff and will include a trade show with equipment from John Deere, International, and Raven Industries. NRCS and SDSU Extension will also have displays. Directions to plot: 29974 University Road, Beresford, which is six miles west of Beresford (I-29 Exit 47) on Highway 46 and three miles south on University Road.

Plot tours and indoor presentations will cover numerous topics including: “Building Soil Quality” led by Jeff Hemenway, NRCS soil quality specialist; “Multi-Hybrid Corn Planter” led by Peter Sexton, associate professor/Southeast Farm supervisor and Doug Prairie, product manager with Raven Industries; “Weed Control” led by Darrell Deneke, SDSU Extension IPM coordinator; “Soybean Date of Planting” led by Graig Reicks, SDSU Plant Science research associate; “Grazing Annual Forages” led by Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension cow/calf field specialist; “Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybeans” led by Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension plant pathology field specialist; “Manure Application Effects on Soil” led by Ron Gelderman SDSU Extension soils specialist/plant science professor; “Micronutrients led by Nathan Mueller,” SDSU Extension agronomist/assistant professor assistant professor; “Flame Weeder” led by Ben Arlt SDSU Plant Science graduate student; “Drainage and Tiling” led by Chris Hay, SDSU Extension water management specialist/assistant professor; “Crop Pest Management” led by Ada Szczepaniec, SDSU Extension entomologist/assistant professor.

The research day is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information call 605-563-2989 or email se.farms@sdstate.edu.  

July 9, Sully County Crop Improvement Association, Spring Wheat Variety Trial tour near Onida: This tour begins at 6:30 p.m. (CDT), and includes a meal. Speakers include Karl Glover, SDSU Plant Science associate professor and Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension agronomy field specialist. Directions to the plot: Turn east off SD HWY # 83 on to 185th St. (Onida junction), travel 6.5 miles on 185th St. Plot is on the north side.  

July 10, Northeast Farm Tour (South Shore): This tour begins at 4 p.m. (CDT) and runs till dusk. It includes presentations covering the following topics: Spring Wheat variety trials, weed demo plots, plant pathology, more. Speakers may include: Nathan Mueller, SDSU Extension agronomy specialist; Ada Szczepaniec, SDSU Extension entomology specialist; Emmanuel Byamukama, SDSU Extension plant pathology specialist; Paul Johnson, Extension Agronomy Field Specialist; Mark Rosenberg, SDSU Extension Agronomy - Weeds Field Specialist; Ron Gelderman, SDSU Extension Soils Specialist. Directions to farm: 1 ½ miles west of I-29, exit 193 (South Shore/Stockholm exit, or approximately 15 miles north of Watertown at the junction of Highway 20 and old Hwy 81.)

July 16, Bison Crop Variety Trials: This tour will include variety trials of oats, spring wheat, winter wheat, field peas, sunflowers and safflowers, and begins at at 10 a.m. (MST). The tour is led by Nathan Mueller SDSU agronomy specialist; and speakers may include Ada Szczepaniec, SDSU Extension entomology specialist; Emmanuel Byamukama, plant pathology specialist; Kathy Grady SDSU Extension oilseeds specialist, and Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension agronomy field specialist. Directions to tour: The winter wheat plot is 4 miles west of Bison on Hwy 20 to Bixby Road, then south 4 miles, then east ¼ mile. It is on Duane Shea's farm. The sunflower plots are 3 miles south on Bixby Road, then ¼ mile east.

August 13: Volga Farm Tour: This tour begins at 8:30 a.m. (CDT) and will include many topics on corn and soybean production. Directions to farm: approximately 3 miles south of Volga on Samara/464th Avenue and on the east side of the road.    

For more information, contact the nearest SDSU Extension Regional Center, and contact information is available at iGrow.org.