Farm Forum The Green Sheet: Where we grow. Thu, 25 May 2017 23:46:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jane Strommen joins SDSU Extension as gerontology specialist Thu, 25 May 2017 23:46:09 +0000 http://ffimp-17626184 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension welcomes Jane Strommen to the team. Strommen will serve as an SDSU Extension gerontology specialist.

“Jane brings to SDSU Extension decades of experience working in the field of gerontology. Her experience and qualifications make her a great fit to serve South Dakotans,” said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food and Families Program director.

In this position, Strommen will team up with Leacey Brown, who also serves as an SDSU Extension gerontology field specialist, to serve our state’s aging population and their support network.

“When you look at the population trend of South Dakota, we are becoming an aging state – as are many states,” Stluka said. “Our gerontology staff focuses on the challenges aging presents and uses research-based information to work with individuals and their communities to tackle those issues.”

Because Strommen’s position is shared with NDSU Extension, Stluka added that it allows for sharing of resources between two state extension groups.

“As our population ages, many wish to age in place, and we work to help them do so,” Stluka said. “This is a really good example of leveraging resources to provide the best services to our South Dakota stakeholders.”

More about Jane Strommen

As a young child, Jane Strommen developed many friendships with local nursing home residents. Her mom was the office manager, so she spent many hours visiting with residents.

“I got to form some really awesome relationships with residents,” explained Strommen, who has worked in the field of gerontology since 1987 when she began her career as a long term care administrator. “I have always been drawn to this population. They are a special group of people with great life stories and wisdom.”

In 2003, Strommen developed Community of Care, a nonprofit organization serving needs of older, rural adults. Since 2010, she has worked at North Dakota State University, first in the NDSU Department of Nursing, as project coordinator for North Dakota Partners in Nursing Gerontology Consortium Project and then as an NDSU Extension gerontology specialist. Today, she will split her time between NDSU and SDSU Extension.

“I really appreciate the community partnership piece of extension. That is where my heart has been – in the applied side of gerontology, where I get to work in the field helping people and community members,” Strommen said. “Because extension is connected to the research side of things, in our role as gerontology specialists, we are liaison between those who work in gerontology research, those who work in the field of gerontology and those who are aging and their families.”

Partnering with Brown, Strommen will assist with existing programming and work to launch new programs and connect South Dakotans with new resources to meet their needs.

Strommen has a Ph.D. from North Dakota State University in human development, gerontology track; a master’s in health services administration from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois, and she received her bachelor’s in business administration from North Dakota State University.

To contact Strommen, e-mail her at or call 701.231.5948.

BeefTalk: On the prairie, listen and walk, not run Thu, 25 May 2017 23:46:08 +0000 http://ffimp-17626054 By Kris Ringwall
NDSU Extension Service Beef Specialist

To truly appreciate the wonders of the prairie, one must stop, look and listen.

Believe it or not, the rough and tough rancher does that, perhaps discreetly, when moving cattle, parking trucks or checking the miles of fences.

The majesty and silence of the prairie and the surrounding lands rival the various majestic wonders of the world. The flight of the lone butterfly, to be heard by no one, is in itself a sight left to the lone rancher on a sunny, windless day.

The North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center welcomes visitors to the prairies. It’s an offer accepted by a local elementary school. For each of three days, approximately 100 sixth-graders eagerly exited the buses and were engulfed in the prairie space.

The excitement of the youngsters, sometimes portrayed as unruliness, just needed a focus. The focus for the students was to engage the space and actually meet Mother Nature. The experience was to see the integration of soil and examine the life that exists – and prospers – on the land.

Unfortunately, today’s life pace for many involves moving from one room to the next, one building to the next, one school to the next or one city to the next. The space in between has been upgraded from any historical soil to streamlined concrete or other material, seemingly creating the need to bus quickly past the “in between space” from one destination to the next.

If we are not careful, this lack of integration with our world becomes the norm, laying down more concrete to hide the impacts of too many feet.

In the cattle world, we call that overgrazing. Some would say that already has happened, but we always have hope. Because Mother Nature does not have a social media site, the result has been a disconnect, even in rural areas, from Mother Nature for many in the more trendy world of instant communication.

Sorry for being facetious, but many today experience wind, rain, snow, cold and heat electronically. The images require less preparation. Nothing compares with a quick dip in nature’s cold water to realize the effects that social media never allows, something our sixth-graders were reminded of on their walk.

On the second day, a good rain shower the evening before filled some well-grassed waterways not too deeply, but they certainly were wet. Despite warnings to walk, not run, the pack leaders of the sixth-graders went full speed, unknowingly, into the water. So much for staying dry. I reminded them that their chance of survival in the wild on a really cold day just went down.

I guess that, had the experience been through social media, they still would have been dry, but that is just not the same. The world offers so much that we need to experience, to feel and to be. Only when one enters Mother Nature’s space does one begin to appreciate the world around us.

The simple walk with sixth-graders brought such joy. Even if some still run, some complain, some whine and some scream as the mouse runs over their shoe, the trip is good. The emotion and interest are uplifting: the sudden “oooh” when the jack rabbit finally lunges from cover, the peasant hen leaves the nest totally surrounded by oblivious students or the amazing visual life under a “cow pie” left from last year is revealed.

The experiences of nature incite a need for more lessons. The cold from the wind on a spring day, experienced by all who did not listen to the well-seasoned teacher to dress well, was a reminder that Mother Nature means well but expects an understanding as well.

Then, after climbing what seemed to be a small butte, the vastness of the view always brings a moment of wonder. The sixth-graders’ chatter is spiked with a lot of comments, but that is all right. From the butte, we see a crop field being prepped for seeding, an oil pad producing oil and a herd of the center’s yearling steers grazing on pasture.

The steers are as curious as the students, lifting their tails and heading to the fence to see the student herd. Losing interest in the students, the steers go back to grazing.

Finally, the students are reminded that to truly appreciate the wonders of the prairie, one must stop, look and listen. Slowly, with some encouragement, everyone sits and becomes quiet. At first nothing happens, but soon a floating butterfly, a curious ant, an ever-roaming mouse appears as the prairie awakens to its guests.

Eventually, as the students sit quietly, the meadowlark sings, signaling it’s time to go. Only then do we start the walk down the butte, a little slower this time, maybe reflecting on the beauty of Mother Nature.

We are not alone. The steers again raise their tails and head to the south, and the herd of students jumps with joy, gains speed and heads to the bus.

The day continues and somewhere the butterfly still flies, and the meadowlark sings, even if no one hears. Someday, we will stop and listen.

May you find all your ear tags.

For more information, contact your local NDSU Extension Service agent ( or Ringwall at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, 1041 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601; 701-456-1103; or

SDFU supports nonmeandered water draft legislation Thu, 25 May 2017 23:46:06 +0000 http://ffimp-17625424 South Dakota Farmers Union

HURON — South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke says the organization supports 5 Open Compromise, the nonmeandered water draft legislation discussed by the Interim Committee for Regulation of Non-meandered Waters held May 24 in Pierre.

“Now that we have had time to review the proposed draft, our organization will endorse the legislation, as long as legislators understand that there are still some issues which need to be addressed,” said Sombke, a fourth-generation crop and livestock farmer from Conde.

Sombke explains that this draft is relevant to the South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers South Dakota Farmers Union represents because these waters cover land these agriculture producers own – land which they can no longer raise livestock or crops on.

In fact, nonmeandered waters impact South Dakota’s number one industry enough that the organization hired a natural resources attorney, David Ganje, to provide information to help draft language to be used in the a bill.

“Farmers and ranchers should not be tasked with the expense related to taking care of public water on land that they can no longer earn a profit from,” said Sombke. “Our organization would like to see landowners compensated for public water in similar way as those landowners who allow access on their land for hunting and other outdoor activities via CREP a state run public access program.”

Proposed Legislation 5 Open Compromise was released for review May 23, just one day before the public committee hearing held May 24. Sombke hopes that two more issues are addressed during the 2018 Legislative Session.

• Uniform taxation of nonmeandered Lands: “Each county taxes nonmeandered lands differently and they need to be taxed equally state-wide,” Sombke explained.

• Township and county roads maintenance: “This was not addressed and needs to be. Road maintenance from increased recreational traffic to and from nonmeandered waters or caused by the public waters, should not be the responsibility of the county or township – the state needs to provide compensation,” Sombke said.

Sombke was encouraged to see several of the ideas which were brought forward by Ganje, on behalf of South Dakota Farmers Union, are being addressed in this draft.

“I understand that taxation and road maintenance are not emergency issues that need to be addressed this summer, but they do need to be addressed before the end of the 2018 session,” Sombke said.

Below, Sombke lists eight sections which need to be included in the bill because it directly impacts South Dakota’s family farmers, ranchers and their rural communities.

Eight points that impact South Dakota farmers and ranchers

• A quiet zone based upon distance and times of the day.

• A setback rule based upon distance and type of weapon.

• Statute requiring adoption of rules by GF&P for recreational use.

• Statute excluding certain use of nonmeandered waters.

• Ramp lease matter — In prior, proposed bills there was discussion of state ramp and access agreements with landowners who border on or hold title to lake bottoms or surrounding lands on nonmeandered waters.

• Uniform taxation of nonmeandered Lands. This is not addressed in the current draft.

• Landowner liability matter.

• Township and county roads maintenance by deprivation to access water. This is not addressed in the current draft.

To become a part of the conversation on nonmeandered water and its impact on South Dakota farmers and ranchers, contact South Dakota Farmers Union Executive Director Karla Hofhenke at 605-352-6761 ext. 114.

NDAWN Network adds temperature inversion alerts Thu, 25 May 2017 23:46:05 +0000 http://ffimp-17624692 University of Minnesota Extension

The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) provides current weather data, climatological records, and is the backbone of growth and development models in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota. This, for example, includes the orange wheat blossom midge emergence model and the small grains disease development risk models. This summer a new tool is being added to the suite of NDAWN applications, namely a temperature inversion alert.

Inversions are areas of the atmosphere where temperature increases with height. This stable air mass results in low wind speeds and horizontal flow. When spray droplets are dispersed in this environment, the smallest drops may not make it to the ground and can end up floating for long distances before settling in an entirely different area, including someone else’s field.

This meteorological phenomenon can be a headache when applying pesticides. in particular herbicides. Even though many of you are aware of the existence of inversions, it is not that easy to determine if they are happening.

After nearly a year of testing, NDAWN has begun installing their inversion instrumentation across the NDAWN network. Currently the Fargo, Carrington and Langdon NDAWN sites are equipped to detect temperature inversions, with six more being added later this year. The instrumentation consist of tall pole with thermometers mounted at approximately ground level, 3 and 18 ft. The difference in temperatures will allow inversions to be recognized, and the corresponding data will then be instantly published on the NDAWN website.

To access, users should go to the “NDAWN Center” page and click on the “Show tower measurements” checkbox. Users will have access to the temperatures and be notified with a red number and “!” symbolizing that an inversion is in place and they should act appropriately. The network’s real-time data stream will allow users access to these updates every five minutes.

Although the system can identify an temperature inversions at the NDAWN station your conditions in your field may differ. This information is a decision-support tool and you need to evaluate local conditions in your field to ensure that you can apply the pesticides safely and according to the label directions.

From tree branch to drying rack to antique Thu, 25 May 2017 23:46:04 +0000 http://ffimp-17597870 BY TERRY AND KIM KOVEL
Kovels’ Antiques and Collecting

Our ancestors were clever and could make many tools, containers and cooking utensils from wood or iron. It was not until the mid-19th century that helpful gadgets like iron apple peelers with gears or other complicated tools were invented. Hundreds of patents were issued for improved household inventions. But during the 17th century and in rural areas, talented wood craftsmen created one-of-a-kind utensils for home use. Bowls, scoops, baskets, ladles and boxes were carved from wood harvested from nearby trees. The shape of the tree sometimes inspired the work. At a recent Skinner auction, a wooden drying rack was auctioned. It was made from a single large branch with five upright “rods” for holding the drying fabrics. The largest branch had a hole at the top where it could be hung from a nail on the wall. It was primitive, but useful. The drying rack, made in the 18th century, sold for $6,500, because it was such an unusual relic of the early days of do-it-yourself tools.

Q I would like to know what a set of silver teaspoons is worth. The set has been in my family for more than 140 years. My great-great-grandmother received it as a wedding present from family in the Netherlands, and it has been passed on from generation to generation. One teaspoon and the sugar spoon both have “EPNS” on the back.

A The initials “EPNS” stand for “electroplated nickel silver,” and mean your teaspoons are silver-plated, not sterling silver. Your set of teaspoons has great sentimental value, but not much monetary value. Silver-plated flatware is hard to sell, and it is not worth as much as sterling silver.

Q I have four Boehm porcelain birds given to me in 1972. Some have the horse’s head mark with “Boehm” and “Made in U.S.A.” Others have a feather with “Edward Marshall Boehm.” I have a cygnet swan on a lily pad, a black-capped chickadee on a holly branch, and male and female Canadian geese. Which are more valuable?

A Edward Marshall Boehm (1913-1969) was a veterinarian’s assistant until 1950, when he and his wife, Helen (1920-2010), opened a studio in Trenton, New Jersey. Edward designed and made porcelain sculptures while Helen promoted the business. In 1953, they bought the Osso China Co. in Trenton and renamed it Edward Marshall Boehm, Inc. At first dishes were made, but the company is best-known for its elaborate, lifelike bird figurines. After Edward died in 1969, Helen continued to run the business and a feather was added to the marks. In 1970, Helen opened a Boehm subsidiary in Malvern, England. She sold the company in 2003, but it’s still in business in Trenton under the name Boehm Porcelain. The 1950s and ’60s were the heyday of collecting Boehm wildlife and bird figures. Their value peaked in the 1970s, and they don’t show any sign of going that high again. Each of your figures is worth about $100 to $275, regardless of mark.

Q I have a Pairpoint pickle castor, but I don’t have the glass insert for it. Will this drastically reduce the price? Should I try to find a suitable piece of glassware and marry the piece or sell it as it is?

A Pickle castors were popular in about 1890. A silver or other metal frame held a glass jar, which usually had a silver or silver-plated top. The holder had a handle and a hook that held a pair of tongs. Replacement frames and glass jars have been made. You may be able to find a replacement glass jar online, or at antiques shows and shops. A replacement glass insert won’t add enough to the price to cover the cost of the glass and your time. Original pickle castors with colored glass insets sell from $100-$250.

Q I have an Edison GEM lightbulb from about 1905 with the sticker still on it. Can you tell me its approximate value and who would be interested in this?

A The letters GEM stand for General Electric Metallized. The GEM filament was invented by Willis Rodney Whitney, the director of the General Electric research lab in Schenectady, New York. GEM lightbulbs were made from 1905 to 1918, when production stopped to conserve fuel during World War I. There are collectors that want any unusual lightbulbs. Look for sources online that sell vintage lightbulbs. Most will also buy them. GEM bulbs sell online for $10 to $15.

Q My mother-in-law gave us a beautiful green Hull baking dish, and I’m trying to get some information about it. It looks like something I’d love to bake with, but I’m not sure if I can still use it and if so, what temperature would be safe. It reads “Oven-Proof Hull USA No. 28-8” on the bottom.

A Hull pottery was made in Crooksville, Ohio, from 1905 to 1986. Hull began making “oven-proof” pottery in the 1930s. This 8-inch baking dish, with its handle and lid marked “No. 28-8,” usually is described as a Dutch oven. It should be safe to use in the oven at normal baking temperatures, usually not higher than 400 degrees, if there are no cracks. It sells online for $19 to $24.

Tip: Clean your jewelry with jewelry cleaner or detergent suds and warm water. Brush the back to remove soap residue or other dirt from the back of the stones.

By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in any Kovel forum. For return of a photograph, include a stamped envelope. Write to Kovel, Farm Forum, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

CLA talks innovation, sustainability and policy in the current political climate Thu, 25 May 2017 23:46:02 +0000 http://ffimp-17597477 CropLife America

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – On May 23, CropLife America (CLA) President and CEO Jay Vroom and CLA Senior Vice President and General Counsel Rachel Lattimore spoke to an audience of representatives from around the agriculture community on agribusiness in the current political climate. The event, hosted by Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis, Indiana, took an in-depth look at emerging trends and opportunities in the agricultural and food industries.

During his presentation, Vroom spoke to the overall agricultural trends he has observed during the transition to a new administration and addressed the importance of continuing to support innovation in rural America. “Technological advancement drives farm productivity. Due largely to innovation in farming equipment and products, U.S. farmers have increased yields of corn by 380 percent and soybeans by 990 percent since 1960,” he stated. “The U.S. government’s focus on intellectual property protection and a science-based regulatory system ensures continued investment in new technology that enables farmers to grow robust crops on less land, promoting environmental sustainability.”

Farmers, the original conservationists, are increasingly leveraging new technologies — including variable rate control equipment, guidance systems, and soil testing and monitoring software — to better protect their land for future generations of farmers. “Sustainability is more than just a slogan for U.S. farmers,” Vroom said. “Thanks to highly advanced tools, farmers now have metrics to show U.S. farm production is the most protective of biodiversity and economically sustainable in the world.”

Vroom focused on a couple of important policy issues currently facing agribusiness. “U.S. agricultural exports are a major contributor to our country’s GDP and are essential to the success and survival of American farms. I am encouraged by the ag trade team that the Trump Administration has assembled,” he said. “The team is poised to make great new strides in increasing market access for the U.S. farmer.”

Vroom also addressed the need for a fix for the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “Requirements in ESA have greatly impeded the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to complete their missions. The current process makes it impossible for them to efficiently review new products and re-examine older products used by farmers,” he continued. “It’s time for government to resolve this conundrum and restore some sanity to the process of protecting endangered and threatened species.”

Lattimore spoke on similar themes saying, “The continuing conflict between the ESA and federal pesticide laws causes litigation, product approval delays and grower uncertainty. The courts will not solve this problem. We need a better approach.” On the issue of regulatory reform, she added, “Our members are supportive of EPA getting back on a science-based track and providing growers with more certainty about the tools they need. At the same time, CLA is taking a close look at proposals around regulatory reform. We don’t want the regulatory process to slow down to such a pace that reform itself causes market uncertainty.”

If you have ideas or concerns on how to move U.S. farming forward, get involved now with the conversation online with #FoodForward and #GiveaCrop. CLA actively engages with consumers, food bloggers, farmers, chefs, foodies, journalists and others interested in food production on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information on how farmers use crop protection technology to grow healthy food, visit

Perennial ground covers for South Dakota Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:18 +0000 http://ffimp-17627207 #td_uid_1_5927bbc0053d5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item1 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5927bbc0053d5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item2 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5927bbc0053d5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item3 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5927bbc0053d5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item4 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5927bbc0053d5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item5 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5927bbc0053d5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item6 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; }

By David Graper
SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist

Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’ (bishop’s goutweed) I need to mention is Aegopodium (bishop’s goutweed). This is one of the toughest ground covers you are going to find. The foliage grows up to about 10” tall and is usually green variegated with creamy white. In early summer it umbels of white flowers that may grow an additional 4 to 6” above the foliage. In moist shade and in good soil this plant can rapidly cover fairly large areas of the ground, making it a good alternative to poorly growing grass in some cases. But you had better be careful to keep it in bounds or you may be sorry you got it planted. In most cases however it grows much more slowly and works well for more out-of-the-way areas. If it gets too dry, the leaves may turn a bit brown. Just run the mower over them in mid-summer to see a fresh crop of new foliage spring up in the fall.

Ajuga reptans (Bugle Weed) is one of the easiest and reliable ground cover plants to grow. It readily spreads by stolons that grow along the surface of the ground producing new plantlets that root down and expand their colony of plants. The common name of bugle weed comes from the appearance of the blue tubular flowers that are borne around the nodes on the 6 to 8” stems in June. There are several cultivars that have foliage in plain green, burgundy green or variegated with white and pink.

Arabis caucasica (rockcress) is a good choice for a rock garden where it will receive full sun to part shade and have well-drained soils to grow in. Rockcress produces masses of white, four-petaled flowers in May on plants that grow only about 3 to 6” tall. Arabis creeps along the ground, forming roots as it grows so it can cover an ever-increasing area of a garden bed. Rockcress is heat and drought tolerant.

Armeria maritima (Sea Thrift) is a charming, small, clump-forming plant with grass-like leaves and rounded flower heads that come in bright pink or white. The primary flowering time is early summer but plants may rebloom off and on all summer and into the fall. When in bloom, plants typically grow about 6 to 8” tall. They will perform best in full sun to part shade. Since they have this clump-forming growth habit, it is best to plant them in groups or five or more. They can be used as an edging plant as well.

Asarum canadense (wild ginger) and Asarum europium (European wild ginger) are two very interesting ground cover plants with rounded, heart-shaped leaves and prostrate stems that creep along the ground. One of the easiest ways to tell these two species apart is that A. canadense has slightly hairy leaves and stems while A. europium has glossy leaves and stems. The flowers are tubular, about 3/4” in diameter with three pointed petals. They practically lie on the ground to facilitate pollination by ground dwelling insects. While the stems do have a distinctive gingery aroma, these are not considered to be edible plants.

Astilbe chinensis (Chinese astilbe, false spirea) is another plant best adapted to a partly sunny location with humus-rich soils and a fairly consistent supply of moisture. In early summer striking, fuzzy-looking flower spikes are produced in colors of white, pink to red. The ternately compound leaves are attractive all season long, even after the flowers have faded.

Bergenia cordifolia (pigsqueek) is a great plant for many different types of sites in the garden performing well in shady locations to full sun, if extra moisture is provided. It looks great as a single specimen plant or planted in groups of five or more. Bergenia is not invasive, spreading slowly as new basal shoots develop on the plant. Lovely magenta-pink flowers emerge in early spring at about the same time that new foliage unfurls. The flower color of other varieties can range from white to dark pink. Soon the leaves spread out to about a foot wide and develop a nice glossy texture. The common name of “Pig Squeak” is derived from the sound one can make by rubbing a leaf with your fingers which will make a sound similar to that of a pig.

When temperatures cool and days shorten in the fall, the leaves take on a burgundy color. The foliage is very freeze tolerant so it will look good all fall. It will persist through the winter, especially if given some mulch or snow cover. In the spring, simply cut back the old leaves to make room for the fresh foliage to emerge.

Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian bugloss) is another great shade garden plant. It grows to about 10” tall and a foot wide with broad, rounded leaves. The leaves are somewhat heart-shaped, may be plain green but more likely with speckles or mostly covered with silvery markings with only the small veins remaining green. Brunnera produces small blue flowers in late spring that are quite delicate and pretty. Its rounded leaves can make a nice contrast to those of hosta which are usually much more elongated and narrow.

Cerastium tomentosum (snow-in-summer) is a low-growing, wooly-leaved plant that prefers a sunny location and to grow in a well-drained soil but can also tolerate clay soil as long as it does not stay too wet for too long. Since it is drought and heat tolerant, it works well with other xeric plants that need little water. It has small white flowers in early to mid-summer that look great against its silvery foliage.

Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) has one of the most sweetly scented flowers of our perennial flowering plants. Each plant usually has only two or in some cases three fairly wide, strap-like leaves. A flower stalk grow up through the coiled leaves early in the spring to finally bloom usually in mid-May. Flowers are usually bright white but C. m. ‘Rosea’ has pink flowers. Convallaria is an aggressive spreader once established, increasing its territory through short rhizomes called pips that grow beneath the soil. Lily of the valley will tolerate full sun if it has adequate moisture, otherwise it may show signs of scorch during hot and dry summer weather. Therefore a partly shaded location is preferred but it will even tolerate shade.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar pink) is a lovely, finely textured type of pink or carnation. It forms a matt of small plants with opposite leaves that are only about 1/4” wide and 1 1/2” long. In early summer the flower stems grow to about 6 to 12” tall. Flowers have a nice, spicy scent as well. Flower color may range from white to vibrant pink as is the case with 2006 Perennial of the Year – ‘Firewitch’. Deadhead to encourage sporadic return bloom over the course of the summer and into the fall. Cheddar pinks grow best in full sun with well-drained soils. They are prone to rotting in overly wet locations.

Epimedium hybrid (barrenwort, bishop’s hat) is a little-used perennial that is best adapted to a woodsy, location, partial sun to shade and with a fairly consistent supply of moisture, but it will grow in dryer locations, just more slowly. In the early spring, often before leaves are fully developed, clusters of four-petaled flowers in white, lavender, pink or yellow emerge, slightly suspended above the foliage. The leaves are two or three times ternate and usually emerge with a maroon coloration along the edges. These Asian native plants are certainly an interesting plant worthy of trying in the landscape.

Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff) is another ground cover plant for the partly shaded garden. It has fine, palmately compound leaves and clusters of small star-shaped flowers in the spring. It spreads nicely in the garden, particularly with adequate moisture. Once flowering is complete, its foliage looks good the rest of the summer. The leaves emit a sweet fragrance when crushed.

Geranium macrorrhizum (big root geranium) is just one example of the different hardy geraniums that can be grown in our gardens. While many gardeners are very familiar with the common annual geraniums, actually Pelargonium that are sold as bedding plants, hardy geraniums work well in many locations and can provide a nice floral display, attractive foliage as well as fall color in some cases. One of the best spreaders, and therefore a good ground cover is the big root geranium. It has leaves similar to a Pelargonium with their general rounded shape and slightly scalloped edge, but stays relatively short, only about 8 to 15” tall. In early summer many flower spikes develop, usually in shades of white, pink or lavender. Each flower spike will usually only have about six to 8 florets, fewer than the typical Pelargonium.

Heuchera sanguinea (coral bells), Heucharella (foamy bells) and Tiarella (foam flower) are a group of closely related genera that all fit into about the same niche in the landscape – part shade with a fairly consistent supply of moisture. They are so closely related that they have been frequently used to create intergeneric and interspecific hybrids. While most of these plants are noted for their showy foliage, some have quite attractive flower spikes that range in color from white to pink and red. Generally, they are clump-forming plants that will generally increase in size so will look their best when planted in groups of at least five plants.

Lamium (Lamiastrum) galeobdolon (yellow archangel) is a good ground cover for shady locations. The species can be rather aggressive with its quickly growing stems and opposite medium green leaves with silvery markings along the margin. So, one must be careful where one chooses to plant it so its aggressive nature does not become a problem. A non-spreading cultivar ‘Herman’s Pride” only grows about 8 to 12” tall and wide and has similar yellow, tubular flowers to the species.

Lamium maculatum (spotted deadnettle) is an excellent ground cover plant that has attractive foliage and pretty flowers that appear in profusion in mid-spring then sporadically over the course of the summer and fall. The leaves are fairly small, about 1” in diameter. They may be plain green but are usually spotted or banded in silver-gray. Some varieties have leaves edged in gold-yellow. The flowers are borne in small spike about 6” tall and may be white, pink or lavender. Lamium spreads by creeping stems over the soil where they will root down and form new plants. It can make a fairly dense ground cover that will hold soil in place and compete fairly well with weeds.

Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort) is another aggressive ground cover plant that only grows about 2 to 4” tall when in bloom. It has small, round, 3/4” opposite leaves that form along its thin, prostrate stems. This plant will form a dense mat of foliage that will block out most weeds. It looks great creeping over the edge of a wall or rocks and puts on quite a show when the small, bright yellow flowers appear in summer in profusion. The most commonly sold cultivar, ‘Aurea’ also has golden-yellow foliage. This plant will grow well in full to part sun.

Opuntia macrorhiza (prickly-pear) is a tough plant for tough sites, particularly hot, sunny locations with poor soils that are rocky or gravely or even high in clay, as long as the site is not too wet. While many gardeners might avoid prickly-pear cactus because of the sharp spines the flowers are very attractive and might be a strong enough attraction to make them worth adding them to your garden. Typically, the flowers are yellow to peach in color but new hybrids are becoming available with flowers that range in color from white to lavender, pink and red. Some gardeners may have had problems with Opuntias as weeds in their yard, certainly not a plant that you would want to step on while barefoot or even wearing light shoes.

Phlox subulata (moss phlox) has short needle-like, nearly evergreen foliage on fine, somewhat wiry stems. It will form a mat of foliage 12 to 24” wide and later flowers that will grow 3 to 6” tall. It grows best in a part to full sun location. Its flowers range in color from white, to pink, red-purple to violet-purple and appear in early spring. The flowers attract butterflies. Plants are deer and drought tolerant. However they will perform best in humusy, well-drained soil with medium moisture.

Pulmonaria (lungwort or spotted dog) is a shade garden “must-have”. It is one of the best plants for shade, next to hostas. It has great looking foliage from spring to hard freeze and lovely white, pink or lavender flowers in the spring. Pulmonaria or lungwort got its name from some early plant geek that thought the leaves looked like diseased lungs. Perhaps it is better to remember the botanical name or the other, much more likable common name of spotted dog. The leaves of these plants usually have silvery, mottled spots. In some cases, the entire leaf is so covered with spots it just looks silvery-green. Pulmonaria is about a foot tall when in bloom with only small, narrow leaves present along the stem. Then those stems die down while fresh, larger leaves grow up to take their place. Lungworts spread slowly in the garden, eventually forming nice clumps of plants about 12 to 18” wide.

Sedum sp. (stonecrop) is one of the most varied types of ground cover plants you can find at the garden center. Various species will grow from only a few inches tall to over two feet tall. Foliage can range in size from tiny, needle like scales to large, succulent leaves several inches long and over an inch wide. Their common name of stonecrop is well-deserved in that they often grow their best in sandy, rocky, well-drained soils and will often have a better chance of surviving a cold winter if they are in a dry location. Most species and cultivars have an impressive floral display during mid to late-summer of small, star-shaped flowers that may range in color from white to yellow, pink, lavender, pink, red or purple. Foliage may range in color from plain green to chartreuse or burgundy to nearly black. They all grow best in full sun but can take some shade.

Sempervivum tectorum (hens and chicks, house leek) is an interesting group of succulent plants with an attractive rosette type growth habit. The foliage is generally evergreen but may show some wilting over the winter. They are known as hen and chicks because in the spring they will send out small runners from the base of the plant that will sprout new baby plants, often referred to as the chicks. There are several different types and dozens of different cultivars ranging in foliage color and size. The arachnoidium type have what looks like webbing between the individual leaves. Sempervivums are monocarpic meaning that when an individual plant matures, it sends up a rather a flower stalk that may tower a foot tall over the 1 to 3” tall plants. Once the flowers are mature, that individual plant dies with its space to be taken over by a few of the chicks.

This European native was commonly planted on the thatched roofs of homes where it was thought to bring good luck and also to help hold the thatch and later roof tiles together. Now it is mostly used in rock gardens or in containers. It has great drought tolerance and grows best in full sun.

Stachys byzantina (lamb’s ears) has soft furry leaves that give this hardy perennial its common name. Like other fuzzy-leaved plants it is best planted in a sunny location. Avoid spots that will receive frequent sprinkler irrigation or shade as this will encourage rotting of the leaves. This member of the Mint family produces flower stalks about 15 to 20” tall in mid-summer that bear lavender pink flowers in the axils of the small leaves along the flower spike. Some people will just cut off the flower spikes when they develop to help reduce the chances of the plant spreading by seed and also because some gardeners find that the flower spikes detract from the appearance of the plant.

Thymus serphyllum (mother of thyme) is a multi-purpose plant that makes an excellent and fairly aggressive ground cover that will out compete most weeds, provides pretty, delicate, lavender flowers that attract bees and other pollinators and the foliage has a nice fragrance when crushed. Thyme is often planted along walkways where the fragrant foliage may be brushed or stepped on while walking, to emit the fragrance. The stems and flowers may also be used as a flavoring for cooking or teas. Thy Tiarella cordata (foam flower) Thyme grows best in full sun to part shade and flowers mid-summer.

Veronica liwanensis (speedwell) is a low-growing counterpart compared to the other much taller species of Veronica. Growing only about 1 to 2” tall, it is easily overlooked in the garden but it certainly bears a much closer inspection, particularly when the small lavender flowers appear in early summer. It has tiny, glossy, oval leaves. It grows best in full sun in well-drained soils.

Vinca minor (common periwinkle) is a low-growing, twining, perennial plant with glossy, evergreen foliage. The smooth stems will often root down as they creep along the ground, making it an effective ground cover, particularly for stabilizing slopes. It produces tubular, lavender flowers in late spring and again intermittently over the course of the rest of the summer. It grows in average soils and performs best in full sun to part shade but it can also tolerate full shade.

Mark your calendars

Tree Pruning & Tree Health Workshop. Friday, June 2nd, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00p.m. (CST), Murdo City Park. Speaker: Josh Larson, Community Forester, SD Dept. of Agriculture Resource Conservation and Forestry Division. This is a hands-on training session so bring along your hand pruners or small folding hand saws if you have one. The event is sponsored by: Jones County Conservation District, South Central RC&D and Modern Woodmen.

Heifer Development Webinar Series available for streaming Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:17 +0000 http://ffimp-17626529 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — The live Heifer Development Webinar Series, Building Your Genetic Base, is available to beef producers. This three-part series is presented by SDSU Extension.

“I encourage cattle producers to stream this series if they are interested in receiving information and insight on the many steps which go into designing the genetic framework of the cowherd, starting with heifer development,” said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension cow/calf field specialist.

The cost to purchase the three-part seminar is $15. Webinar is available on in the download store.

Along with Grussing, the three-part series features Joseph Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department head and professor; Brandon Peterson, owner and operator of Peterson Angus and Troy Hadrick, commercial cow/calf producer.

The presenters focus on the following:

• How to use EPD’s (expected progeny difference) when making herd sire and genetic selection decisions.

• How genomic technology can be used to make faster genetic progress in cow/calf herds.

• How genetic selection can be managed differently based on heifer development and herd goals.

Contact information for each presenter is available in their respective webinar.

If you have any questions about this webinar series or annual heifer development programming, contact Grussing through e-mail at

More details

When purchasing this webinar series, allow 48 hours for payment to be processed. After payment has cleared, you will receive an email with instructions and links to watch the three webinars.

Webinar recording links will not expire and can be accessed on any device with browser settings. Webinar can be purchased at

Day County 4-H Land and Range Judging Team earns top honors at national contest Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:14 +0000 http://ffimp-17626501 #td_uid_2_5927bbc00a8a5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item1 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_2_5927bbc00a8a5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item2 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_2_5927bbc00a8a5 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item3 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; }

SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — The South Dakota 4-H Land and Range Judging Team from Day County was named the reserve national champions at the National Land and Range Judging Contest held May 4, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Day County 4-Hers who made up the Reserve National Champion 4-H Land and Range Judging Team are Sara Hemmingson, Sydney Swanson, Riley Johnson and Levi Johnson.

The team was coached by Fred Zenk, FFA advisor at Webster Area School in Day County and Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension sheep field specialist.

“They worked hard to be successful and set a goal to make it to the National Contest after winning the Region FFA contest last year,” Zenk said of the youth.

The Day County 4-H team qualified for the National Contest in June 2016 during the South Dakota Rangeland Days held in Wall.

Leading up to the national competition, the 4-H members spent many hours practicing for the one-day National Contest. In addition, the team departed for Oklahoma April 29 and spent four days practicing prior to the contest.

During the national contest, the team worked through three sites. The youth assessed the soil, identified the limiting factors of the site for sustaining quail and beef cattle and then made management recommendations for the production of quail and beef.

The team members were also required to identify 20 plants from a list of 130, providing numerous details about each plant.

“They were very excited to be named Reserve Champion team, and their hard work certainly paid off,” Zenk said.

In addition to their team title, two members placed individually. Levi Johnson placed third overall and Riley Johnson placed 10th overall.

Youth explored natural resources during 4-H Outdoor Day Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:11 +0000 http://ffimp-17626388 #td_uid_3_5927bbc00d35d .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item1 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_3_5927bbc00d35d .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item2 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_3_5927bbc00d35d .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item3 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; }

SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Newton Hills State Park welcomed 38 Minnehaha, Lincoln and Union County 4-H youth and friends for a sun-filled day of hands-on outdoor activities May 6, 2017.

“For many of the youth, it was their first time at the park,” said Katherine Linnemanstons, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program advisor – Lincoln County.

Throughout the day, 4-H members rotated among five stations where they learned about resources specific to the park, such as how to identify trees and how to measure the water quality of the Big Sioux River.

Participants were also taught outdoor survival skills, including fire starting and navigational skills. Additionally, they investigated the power of wind and how to harness it and were given the opportunity to analyze soil nutrients and health.

Newton Hills State Park is located six miles south of Canton along the Big Sioux River.

“This was also a great leadership development opportunity for Jr. Leaders who were on site to serve as day-camp counselors,” Linnemanstons said.

Jr. Leaders provided guidance and fostered a sense of community within their assigned groups throughout the day.

The event was co-hosted by SDSU Extension and South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks thanks to a grant to Lincoln and Union County 4-H from the South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association.

Additional assistance was provided by Alcester FFA, Friends of the Big Sioux River and South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks. SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program advisors involved included Lauren Hollenbeck (Clay, Union, and Yankton Counties), Katherine Linnemanstons (Lincoln County) and Nathan Skadsen (Minnehaha County).

SDSU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience leadership, health and wellness, science and ag-vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more about 4-H and how you can become involved, visit

Concentrated animal feeding operations training in Huron on June 21 Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:09 +0000 http://ffimp-17626238 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — An environmental training session for operators of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), is set for June 21 in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 Fourth St. S.W.).

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in Huron. To cover the cost of the event, registration is $50 and includes lunch, breaks and training materials.

The program begins at 8:50 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Specialists from SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are offering the training.

In the spring of 2017, the South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources reissued the General Water Pollution Control Permit for concentrated animal feeding operations. The new permit requires existing permitted operations to obtain coverage under the proposed permit between one to four years after the General Permit is issued. One of the proposed permit conditions for existing permitted operations is that an onsite representative attends an approved environmental training program within the last three years prior to obtaining a new permit. Also, if the person who attended training no longer works at the operation, another representative must attend training within one year.

This current training program meets the training requirement of the proposed permit as long as it is attended within three years of obtaining coverage under the new permit.

Manure applicators, producers and any other interested individuals who are not currently applying for a permit can also benefit from the information and are encouraged to attend. Certified Crop Advisor credits are available as well.

Speaker line-up and presentation details

Erin Cortus, associate professor and SDSU Extension environmental quality engineer will discuss water quality.

Bob Thaler, professor and SDSU Extension swine specialist will lead a session on livestock nutrition options for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus content of manure.

Jason Roggow, a natural resources engineer with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will give an overview of the South Dakota DENR Livestock Permit program.

Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension soils field specialist, will discuss managing nitrogen and phosphorus in land applications of manure.

Jason Gilb, Conservation agronomist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will go through nutrient management planning worksheets.

John Lentz, resource conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will cover implementing conservation practices to improve sustainability.

Stan Boltz, regional soil health specialist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will demonstrate soil erosion and infiltration.

Erin Cortus will conclude the day’s training with a session on air quality and odor.

“Past attendees of this program have come away with at least one new practice they consider adopting related to land application, livestock feeding, air quality or soil conservation,” Cortus said.

To register for the training, contact Erin Cortus at (605) 688-5144.

NDSA Feedlot Tour to feature western North Dakota Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:08 +0000 http://ffimp-17623753 North Dakota Stockmen’s Association

North Dakota beef producers interested in the state’s cattle feeding industry can take a closer look at several top-of-the-line feeding facilities during the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s (NDSA) 15th annual Feedlot Tour on June 20.

The tour will feature western North Dakota with stops at Rocky Valley Ranch near Center, N.D.; Price Farm and Ranch near Stanton, N.D.; the Wanner Feedlot near Hebron, N.D.; and Beaver Creek Ranch near Richardton, N.D.

Seats on the tour bus are filling up quickly, but those wishing to reserve their spot can still do so by contacting NDSA Environmental Services Director Scott Ressler at (701) 223-2522 or before June 15. Pre-registration is not a requirement, but it is appreciated for planning purposes. The bus will depart from the Bismarck K-Mart parking lot at 8 a.m. CT, and return at approximately 5:30 p.m. CT.

Rocky Valley Ranch near Center, N.D., is the tour’s first stop. Rob Schmidt and his family operate the facility. The custom backgrounding and heifer development feedlot was newly constructed and permitted in 2008 for 999 head. The Rocky Valley Ranch feedlot features continuous steel fence, trough-type water tanks, super steel windbreaks with guardrail bottoms and a cowboy alley exiting the back of the pens.

Price Farm and Ranch near Stanton, N.D., is the tour’s second stop. Steve and Linda Price and their son Cole operate the facility, updated in 2012. Prices primarily finish cattle in the 840-head permitted feedlot. The operation features cable feedlot fence, concrete heavy-use pads and a custom processing facility with an adjustable alleyway and roof.

The Wanner Feedlot near Hebron, N.D., is the third tour stop. Dave Wanner and son Greg operate the backgrounding operation. Permitted in 2012 for 999 head, the facility includes well-drained pens and a curbline feeding system with adjustable neck rails. The operation also houses a state-of-the-art processing facility utilizing the Bud Box concept and a double alleyway.

The final tour stop is Beaver Creek Ranch, N.D., owned and operated by the Phillip Messer family. Expanded in 2011, the backgrounding facility is permitted for 999 head. The operation features large, well-drained pens, curbline feeding systems and the ability to sort in several directions after processing.

The NDSA Feedlot Tour, a project of the NDSA Feeder Council, is free to attend and includes lunch at the Wanner Feedlot stop.

Does sleep evade you on some nights? Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:07 +0000 http://ffimp-17623665 By Julie Garden-Robinson
NDSU Extension Service Food and Nutrition Specialist

I opened the hotel room door and glanced around the room. I rolled my suitcase in and parked it by the window. Then I took some things out of the suitcase to bring to the bathroom.

On the way, I noticed an empty water bottle lying on the floor. Oh, the maid missed it, I thought. Then I noticed the bathroom sink was half full of soapy water and a used towel was on the counter. This was odd.

I walked out of the bathroom and noticed a key card on the dresser and the imprint of a person’s head on the pillow. My heart began beating quickly. Was someone hiding in my room? I opened the closet. Why on earth did I do that?

Fortunately, no one jumped out of the closet. Trust me, I didn’t check under the bed. I watched many scary movies in my youth, and I could almost hear the “Twilight Zone” theme song playing.

I repacked my suitcase very quickly, zipped out of the room and hopped on the elevator. When I told the woman at the desk I might have an unknown roommate, her eyes widened. A male guest had been upgraded to a suite and they hadn’t checked my room after transferring him.

My stoic, matter-of-fact “inner Norwegian” took over, and I found it a little amusing now that I was out of the room.

She apologized profusely and started handing me things: a gift card for the hotel gift shop, another bottle of water and a free dinner coupon. While I ate, the staff cleaned and re-keyed my room.

“Are you sure you changed the key, and no one else has the same key?” I asked. Needless to say, I slept even less well than I usually do in hotels.

When I am traveling, I usually am an insomniac the first night in a hotel, even in normal situations.

Sleep is a necessity. Sleep supports overall good health, brain function, everyday performance and physical health. A persistent lack of sleep can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Experiencing poor or not enough sleep is fairly common. One out of three people experiences sleep issues at least on occasion.

Many things can cause troubled sleep. Side effects of medications, excessive travel and shifting to different time zones, and a busy, stressful or irregular work schedule are among the issues that can affect sleep.

You probably are aware that beverage and food choices can affect sleep, too. Food choices that are low in fiber, high in saturated fat and high in sugar are linked with interrupted sleep. On the other hand, high-fiber, high-protein food choices with less saturated fat are linked with better sleep.

If you can’t sleep, should you grab a turkey sandwich and glass of milk? Turkey and milk are sources of tryptophan, an amino acid, or protein building block, found in many foods. Our bodies use this amino acid to make melatonin, a hormone that aids people in falling asleep. You also can buy melatonin in pill form.

Melatonin may help people fall asleep, especially when suffering from jet lag or when they do shift work with variable scheduling, but the research results are mixed. Some studies show that melatonin may help you fall asleep faster. Be sure to visit with your health-care provider before trying supplements or other over-the-counter sleep aids.

Practice good “sleep hygiene.” This doesn’t mean taking a shower before bed. The term refers to practices that may help you get to sleep and stay asleep. Be sure your bedroom is dark and at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold. Invest in a comfortable mattress. Follow the same bedtime routine, even on weekends.

Refrain from using computers, tablets and smartphones before bed because the light emitted may trick your brain into thinking that you should be awake. In fact, leave phones out of your room because incoming text messages can disturb your sleep.

Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeinated foods and beverages for several hours before bedtime. Have a light snack if needed, and remember, a glass of milk won’t hurt, either.

This recipe is a little heavy for a bedtime snack but fits the bill when looking for a recipe that is low in saturated fat, high in fiber and high in protein. Try it for an evening meal with fresh fruit and milk.

Lentil and Chickpea Burgers

1 c. lentils, dry (cooked according to package directions)

2 medium onions, sliced

2 tsp. curry powder

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 tsp. fresh ginger root, grated

1 egg

1/4 c. parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

2 1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs

Cook lentils. Drain well. Spray a pan with cooking spray or use a small amount of oil; add onions and cook until soft. Add curry powder; stir until fragrant. Cool mixture slightly. Place chickpeas, half the lentils, ginger, egg and onion mixture in food processor bowl. Process 20 seconds or until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, stir in remaining lentils, parsley, cilantro and bread crumbs; combine well. Divide mixture into 10 round patties. Note: If mixture is too soft, you can refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until you can handle the mixture. Place patties on hot, lightly greased grill. Cook three to four minutes on each side or until browned, turning once. Serve immediately or allow to cool, wrap with plastic, then foil, and freeze. To serve, remove packaging. Reheat in the oven, microwave or a pan on the stove until warm throughout. Serve with your favorite burger toppings.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 170 calories, 2.5 grams (g) fat, 8 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 530 milligrams sodium.

SDSU Extension 2017 West River Field School to be held at the West River Ag Center Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:06 +0000 http://ffimp-17623600 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — The third annual 2017 SDSU West River Field School is set for June 20 at The SDSU West River Ag Center, (1905 Plaza Boulevard, Rapid City).

“This event is intended to provide continuing education to crop advisors and others who work with farmers and ranchers in central and western South Dakota,” said Ruth Beck, event coordinator and SDSU Extension agronomy field specialist.

Attendees will have a chance to receive hands-on, in-field experience during this one-day event which begins at 8 a.m. with registration and ends at 4 p.m. (MDT).

Session details

Six educational sessions will be presented by SDSU Extension staff and other experts.

Presentations will include sprayer management, weed control, insects, crop diseases, weather outlook, soil fertility, cover crops and soil health.

“The information presented will focus on the diverse nature of agriculture in central and western South Dakota,” Beck said.

Crop advisor credits available

Five certified crop advisor educational credits are available during the day. Reference material will be provided to attendees.

To help cover expenses, this event will cost $50 if registration is turned in on or before June 9, 2017. After June 9, the cost increases to $60. Registration fee covers lunch and materials. Space is limited at this event so register soon.

To register, visit Online registration will be available beginning May 30. Or request that a registration flyer be mailed to you by calling the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Pierre at 605.773.8120. Registration and payment can be mailed to the SDSU Regional Extension Center at 412 West Missouri Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501.

For more information, call Beck at 605-773-8120 or Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist at 605-394-1722.

Park Prescription Project encourages activity in South Dakota State Parks Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:05 +0000 http://ffimp-17623209 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — South Dakota’s state parks can become your outdoor gym. Free 1-day park passes are now made available to healthcare providers to prescribe to patients as a way to encourage more physical activity among South Dakotans of all ages.

The passes are provided through the Park Prescription Project, a project organized through a partnership between SDSU Extension, South Dakota Department of Health and South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

“Many South Dakota adults and children fall short of meeting the recommended physical activity levels,” explained Nikki Prosch, SDSU Extension health and physical activity field specialist and a coordinator of the Park Prescription project.

Piloted by healthcare and mental health providers in 2015, the Park Prescription project aims to connect healthcare professionals with physical activity assessments and prescriptions to open the conversation about physical activity.

“When a healthcare provider prescribes a free 1-day pass to any South Dakota State Park, it’s our hope this encourages patients to engage in physical activity in the wonderful park system we have available in our state,” Prosch said.

To further encourage continued physical activity in South Dakota state parks the 1-day park pass can also be turned in for a discounted annual pass.

South Dakota’s state parks offer kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, winter sports, walking/running trails and many more options to be physically active.

Get outside and get active

Regular physical activity offers ample benefits.

“It can improve muscular fitness, help prevent falls, assist with weight management and improve cognitive function in older adults,” Prosch said, pointing to research that shows physical activity to be an effective behavior to both prevent certain chronic diseases, and in some cases, help treat or monitor others.

“For example, regular physical activity decreases an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease and may also serve as a disease management behavior for individuals already diagnosed with cardiovascular disease,” Prosch said.

Engaging in physical activity outdoors in parks or green spaces may further enhance the mental and health benefits associated with exercise as well, including reduced feelings of stress and improved attention.

“Exercising outdoors also provides the opportunity for increased social interactions which offers an array of health benefits,” Prosch said. “This project is also a fantastic motivator for anyone looking for another reason to get out and be more active while enjoying all the great state parks South Dakota has to offer.”

To learn more about the project, request a prescription pad (healthcare professionals only) or to request the we reach out to your healthcare provider to participate in the project, contact Prosch at or visit

More information on the Park Prescription Project can also be found at

Students receive scholarships to attend FFA Summer Leadership Retreats Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:04 +0000 http://ffimp-17623201 South Dakota FFA Foundation

BATH – Agriculture education teachers/FFA advisors make a world of difference for the students they teach. This spring students put into words, as part of an FFA Advisor Tribute Scholarship application, how their ag teachers/FFA advisors have impacted their lives. Thirteen outstanding examples of amazing teachers impacting their students have been chosen and winning students will each receive scholarships to attend a South Dakota FFA Leadership Retreat this summer. Molly Dye, Deuel; Madilyn Wright, Groton; Kaitlyn Graff, Madison; Marie Robbins, Brookings; Seth Petersen, Garreston; Emily Malsom, Garrseton; Nikki Peters Madison; Elizabeth DeBoer, Deuel; Jessica Colville, Lemmon; Randi Tivis, Sturgis; Shelby Ruland, Wall; Kade Wagner, Rapid City and Ash Grenstiner, Wall earned scholarships.

The students wrote essays about how their FFA advisors have made an impact on their lives. Each of these students thinks their advisor is one of the best, and is happy to say so!

• Kade Wagner, Rapid City junior, comments, “Ms. Genetie Hendrix pushes me to do my best in school, work and life. She encouraged me to be less quiet and not be in the back all the time. She doesn’t accept ‘I can’t’ as an answer, as she always believes we are capable of something impressive.”

• Madilyn Wright, Groton FFA junior shares, “My FFA Advisor, Adam Franken, has been one of the most influential people in my life. He always pushes me to try things, even though I do not want to do them at first. He does not push me to do them because he wants me to do them, but because he knows in the end it will make me a better person.”

• Ash Grenstiner, Wall freshman shares, “Ms. Dani Herring’s ambition rubs off on others around her. Even on the worst day ever she makes me smile. She goes the extra mile and has taught me and many other students to do the same.”

• Shelby Ruland, also from Wall adds, “Ms. Dani Herring always pushes us to try new things. She isn’t afraid to be herself and show students they can be whatever they aspire to be. As a freshman, I was shy and scared to try new things. Ms. Herring showed me new things lead to new stories, new friends, and new accomplishments I never thought I could achieve.”

• Marie Robbins, Elkton senior says, “The most important thing my advisor, Mr. Robbins, has taught me is how to be patient. Good things do not happen in the snap of a finger. I also learned from him to do a job right the first time. If you don’t, you will most likely have to do it over.”

• Seth Peterson, Garretson FFA freshman members says, “Ms. Alysha Kientopf, as a new teacher, taught me ‘You don’t get what you don’t work for’. She also has taught me the importance of agriculture. I can’t wait to learn more.”

• Emily Malsom, Garreston FFA junior shares, “Mr. Ed Mueller taught me the value of hard work through our chapter’s charity garden. Although not an expert in floriculture, his encouragement to have one more practice before a contest or to visit the greenhouse to see the plants up close again paid off. Winning state was a result of his consistency, encouragement, and practices. He was like a second dad.”

• Nikki Peters and Kaitlyn Graff, both Madison FFA juniors, express thanks to both their advisors. “Mr. Eric Fritz helped us become more outgoing and outspoken by reaching out and encouraging us to do things outside of our comfort zones we wouldn’t otherwise do. Mrs. Lori Christensen encourages and helps us strengthen skills and abilities in and out of the classroom. They both push us to do our best and try different FFA activities.”

• Molly Dye, Deuel FFA freshman shares, “Mrs. Marie Jaacks turned me into an advocate for agriculture and a leader I never dreamt of being. She is right beside me for all my hardships and successes. What I like most is she admits to not being perfect. She makes mistakes and forgets things, but teaches us how to learn from our mistakes by sharing personal experience, not as someone who never makes mistakes.”

• Elizabeth DeBoer, also from Deuel FFA, says thanks, “Mrs. Marie Jaacks has taught me to be more patient with myself and others; to see humor in life even when it’s hard; to accept things I can’t change; how to deal with things I have no power over and keep my cool in those situations; and how to push through struggles and uphold promises and responsibilities that were previously made. Because of Mrs. Jaacks I have become a better leader, student and person.”

• Jessica Colville, Lemmon FFA seniors comments, “Mrs. Etta Knuth, is a catalyst, by definition, a person that precipitates an event or change; or a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic. Mrs. Knuth embodies this with her amazing ability to get even the shyest students, like myself, to try new and amazing things.”

• Randi Tivis, Sturgis FFA junior expresses his thanks to advisor Mr. Brett Monson, “Mr. Monson is friendly, intelligent, hard-working, has a great sense of humor, and a passion for agriculture. He makes learning easy and fun! He encouraged me to be the best person I can possibly be and helped me discover a love of judging rangeland, which I plan to study in college. Naturally a shy, introverted person, Mr. Monson helped me break free from my shell and become involved in my school and chapter.

Scholarships are made possible through the South Dakota FFA Foundation by West River Electric Association, Sioux Valley Energy, and the Walt Johnson Memorial Fund; in memory of two past FFA advisors: Leonard DeBoer and Walt Johnson. Both men led by example and their advice was truly ripened with wisdom. Mr. DeBoer spent his life teaching young people about agriculture and the leadership skills that would make them successful in their career choice. He was the FFA advisor in Chamberlain for almost 40 years where he lived FFA’s mission by making a difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Mr. Johnson served as the South Dakota FFA Foundation President, as well as on the SD FFA Foundation board, in Newell as an ag teacher, community supporter and coach for FFA career development events. He was devoted to agriculture education and earned his Honorary American FFA Degree in 2007.

For more information about the South Dakota FFA Foundation and South Dakota’s FFA programs, visit

USDA Farm Service Agency county committee nomination period begins June 15 Thu, 25 May 2017 23:26:02 +0000 http://ffimp-17623069 U.S. Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on June 15.

“County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.”

County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide the delivery of farm programs at the local level. Committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA. Committees consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month or as needed to make important decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide there are over 7,700 farmer and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, and reside in the local administrative area where the election is being held.

After the nomination period, candidates will encourage the eligible producers in their local administrative area to vote. FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6, 2017. Ballots will be due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 4, 2017. Newly-elected committee members and alternates will take office on Jan. 1, 2018.

To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at All nomination forms for the 2017 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2017. Locate your local office at and visit to get more information.

Original SD BBQ Championships to be held during Wheel Jam Thu, 25 May 2017 22:56:06 +0000 http://ffimp-17623016 South Dakota Department of Agriculture

HURON, S.D. – Over $14,000 in prize money will be given away during the Original SD BBQ Championships June 2-3 on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds in Huron.

The Original SD BBQ Championships began in 2007 and is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. In 2016, 44 teams competed in the tenth year of KCBS competition. The grand champion of the contest receives $2,500 and an invite to compete at the prestigious American Royal in Kansas City, MO.

Teams are being sought for the Backyard BBQ People’s Choice Contest and the F.A.T. Friday Chili Challenge that are part of the Original SD BBQ Championships. The entry fee is $20 for each competition. In the Backyard BBQ, four different meats are provided to contestants by event sponsors. The meats are pork butt sponsored by South Dakota Pork Producers Council, turkey breast sponsored by Dakota Provisions/ Wyshbone Market, brisket sponsored by South Dakota Beef Industry Council and boneless leg of lamb roast sponsored by American Lamb Board, South Dakota Sheep Growers Association, Kingsbury Sheep Auxiliary, DeSmet Farm Mutual Insurance, Bill and Roxana Poppen and Lynn and Dianne Perry.

“The Backyard BBQ People’s Choice Contest has two methods of judging, people’s choice and blind judging with cash prizes ranging from $25 to $150 given in each division,” said assistant State Fair manager Candi Briley. “Businesses, individuals and groups are encouraged to participate in the F.A.T. Friday Chili Challenge. Awards are handed out to first through third places in both the people’s choice category and the judged category. New this year, the overall chili winner in the judged chili category will be an automatic qualifier to the World Open Chili Championship in Orange Beach, Alabama.”

People’s choice tasting for the chili challenge is on Friday, June 2, beginning at 5:30 p.m. People’s choice tasting for the Backyard BBQ is Saturday, June 3, beginning at 2 p.m. There is a small fee to participate in the tastings.

The event is held in conjunction with Wheel Jam, which features trucks, cars and motorcycles. For more information, call the State Fair Office at 605-353-7340 or go to

SDSU Extension fact sheet helps maximize success of natural service breeding programs Thu, 25 May 2017 22:56:05 +0000 http://ffimp-17622898 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — With 92 percent of beef operations in the United States solely relying upon natural service breeding, the use of reproductive technology is highly underutilized as many cattle producers may associate these programs with artificial insemination (AI), explained Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension cow/calf field specialist.

“Natural-service synchronization protocols can be utilized without AI if slightly different steps are implemented,” Grussing said.

She explained that natural-service synchronization protocols differ in that less injections are utilized because cattle producers do not want estrus grouped so tightly that bulls cannot cover all the cows.

SDSU Extension provides cattle producers with the Using Estrous Synchronization in Natural-Service Breeding Situations factsheet which is at the following link:

This fact sheet describes the benefits of estrous synchronization, how it works with the estrous cycle, which protocols to use and bull considerations for natural-service synchronization.

Three protocols which Grussing said are cost effective and minimally labor intensive include:

• 1-Shot Prostaglandin Protocol.

• 7-day CIDR Protocol.

• MGA Protocol (heifers only).

Why synchronize the cowherd?

Similar to synchronization with AI, the benefits associated with natural-service synchronization include; increasing the number of females bred during the first 21 days of the breeding season.

“By frontloading the breeding season and subsequent calving season, there will be better use of labor and resources,” Grussing said.

She added that there will still be some late-bred or open cows that will sort themselves off from the herd. “However, the economic ramifications realized from synchronizing the breeding season include; labor savings during a shorter calving season, more pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed and potential for receiving an increased price per head on sale day due to increased lot uniformity,” Grussing said. “These are benefits producers should consider before passing up potential dollars this year.”

Bull management

Bull management becomes very important when implementing a natural-service synchronization protocol.

Factors Grussing encouraged producers to consider when selecting bulls for a natural-service synch program include; experience of bulls (virgin vs. mature), pasture size and terrain.

“Mature bulls are better suited for natural-service synchronization protocols because they already have some experience and can service more cows (1 to 20 and 1 to 25 bull-to-cow ratio).

All bulls should pass an annual breeding soundness exam, health and body condition evaluation before turn out.

Grussing added that before a natural-service synchronization protocol is implemented, cattle producers need to first determine if necessary resources are available, such as facilities, labor, and number of bulls.

“Compliance is vital to the success of these systems,” she said. “Therefore, evaluate which protocol will work best with the resources that are available and consult herd advisors for assistance if other options need to be considered.”

For more information, contact Grussing at other SDSU Extension staff to contact on this topic include George Perry, professor & SDSU Extension beef reproductive management specialist at or Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension cow/calf field specialist at

POET founder to receive 2017 BIO George Washington Carver Award Thu, 25 May 2017 22:56:03 +0000 http://ffimp-17622844 Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Washington, D.C. – On May 25, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) announced that POET founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Broin will receive the 10th annual George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology. The award will be presented on July 24 during a morning plenary session of the 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. The world’s largest industrial biotechnology and partnering event will be held July 23-26, 2017 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

“It is an honor to receive this award. George Washington Carver was a true visionary, recognizing the enormous potential of agriculture to meet all of our world’s needs,” Broin said. “At POET we follow that vision, seeking new ways to produce biofuels from both starch and cellulose as well as developing additional products and bioprocesses to replace petroleum-based products. We believe that the agricultural potential of the world is virtually untapped. The world is beginning to learn that we need to return to the sun, the soil and the seed.”

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, added, “Jeff Broin is one of the great innovators and entrepreneurs in the industrial biotechnology sector. He ranks among the most influential leaders in agriculture as well. Biofuels have created new markets for agricultural products and rejuvenated rural America. Jeff Broin has positioned POET at the forefront of developing cellulosic ethanol and improving the economics of biofuel production.”

The George Washington Carver Award is also sponsored by the Iowa Biotechnology Association. Joe Hrdlicka, executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association, said, “Jeff Broin has created an environment at POET where new ideas thrive throughout the value chain of new economic opportunities for American agricultural producers and rural communities. His business model truly reflects the ideas and passion spawned by George Washington Carver a century ago.”

Jeff Broin led the growth of POET from a small 1-million-gallon facility 30 years ago to the current POET network of 28 biorefineries in 7 states with 1,800 team members. The network annually generates revenues of about $6.5 billion by producing:

• 1.8 billion gallons of ethanol.

• 10 billion pounds of distiller’s grain.

• 600 million pounds of corn oil.

Each biorefinery contributes an average of $200 million annually to its local community, and POET purchases over 600 million bushels of grain each year from more than 20,000 farmers. POET has achieved 800 percent growth since 2000.

POET’s contributions to the industrial biotechnology sector include:

• Patented BPX process. The process uses enzymes to reduce heat in the production process and drastically lowers the plant’s energy needs. POET worked with biotech partners to incorporate additional enzyme developments that enable greater process efficiencies.

• Branded distillers grain (DDGs). Broin’s focus on maintaining product consistency and his efforts in marketing POET’s Dakota Gold turned “by-products” into “co-products.” Today, these co-products improve economics at biofuel plants and improve nutrition for livestock producers everywhere.

• Cellulosic ethanol. POET researched for years in its labs and at a pilot-scale facility to develop a process that uses corn stover to produce ethanol. POET-DSM, a joint venture with the Dutch life and biosciences company Royal DSM, built their first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant and opened it in 2014.

The annual Carver award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the biobased economy by applying industrial biotechnology to create environmentally sustainable products. It serves as a lasting memorial to the original vision of George Washington Carver who, over a century ago, pioneered biobased products, materials and energy derived from renewable agricultural feedstock. Industrial biotechnology is the modern-day equivalent of Carver’s vision.

Broin becomes the 10th recipient honored with the award; past recipients include:

• Dr. J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder of Synthetic Genomics and Executive Chairman of Human Longevity in 2016.

• Jonathan S. Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme in 2015.

• Ellen Kullman, CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont in 2014.

• Dr. Jay Keasling, Hubbard Howe Jr., Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013.

• Steen Riisgaard, president and CEO of Novozymes in 2012.

• Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM in 2011.

• Gregory Stephanopoulos, the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010.

• Charles O. Holliday, Jr., chairman of the board of DuPont in 2009.

• Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo, Inc., in 2008.

All programs at the 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology are open to members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and reporters working full time for print, broadcast or web publications with valid press credentials.

For more information on the conference please visit For assistance, please contact

Court order saves 70 North Dakota horses from slaughter Thu, 25 May 2017 22:46:03 +0000 http://ffimp-17626774 FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A court order issued by a North Dakota judge has saved about 70 horses from slaughter.

KFGO radio reports that the Stark County Sheriff’s Office says it seized neglected and abused horses and some cattle from the ranch near Gladstone. At least 30 of the horses are ready to give birth.

Authorities began an investigation into the case last month. Officials say the animals were to be sold to a feed lot and then sent to slaughter in Canada. However, after negotiations, a judge decided the horses would be turned over to an animal rescue group.

Alison Smith, Founder of Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue in Mandan, says the deal was finalized on May 23.

The case remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.

House approves bill seeking to upend EPA pesticide rule Thu, 25 May 2017 22:46:02 +0000 http://ffimp-17622745 By MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on May 24 passed a Republican-backed measure reversing an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that those spraying pesticides on or near rivers and lakes file for a permit.

The chamber voted largely along party lines to approve the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. In the preceding floor debate, the bill’s supporters said the rule requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act before spraying pesticides is burdensome and duplicative. EPA already regulates pesticide safety under a different law that gives the agency authority to place restrictions on when and where spraying can occur.

The current EPA rule was put in place after a lawsuit was filed by environmentalists and commercial fishermen. They claimed the agency was failing to adequately prevent pesticide contamination in protected waters. A federal appeals court agreed in 2009, forcing EPA to start requiring the permits.

Bill sponsor Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said the permit requirement places an unnecessary burden on farmers and local health officials fighting mosquito-borne diseases.

The bill “eliminates a duplicative, expensive, unnecessary permitting process that helps free the resources for our states, counties and local governments better to combat the spread of Zika, West Nile virus and other diseases,” said Gibbs, a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

Gibbs cited the support of CropLife America, a pesticide-industry trade group that spent $2.4 million on federal lobbying last year. Records show the group also made more than $260,000 in political contributions in 2016, some of it going to House members who spoke on May 24 in support of the bill.

Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the bill, which they derided as political favor to the chemical industry.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said in a floor speech that pesticide-maker Dow Chemical wrote a $1 million check to help support President Donald Trump’s inaugural festivities. The company’s chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, has been a staunch Trump supporter who now heads a White House working group on aiding manufacturing.

Dow AgroSciences, the Dow subsidiary that makes pesticides, declined to comment.

Last month, the Associated Press reported that Dow was pushing the Trump administration to ignore the findings of federal scientists who concluded that a family of widely used pesticides is potentially harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. That came after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children’s brains.

“The Republicans are again bending over backward to help corporations and the wealthiest among us, while ignoring science and leaving hard-working families to suffer the consequences,” said McGovern, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee. “This administration’s decisions have placed special interests and their financial contributions ahead of the health and safety of our citizens.”

The bill now heads to the GOP-dominated Senate, where a similar version previously failed to pass under threat of a veto by then-President Barack Obama. Supporters now hope to send the measure to the desk of Trump, a Republican who has made rolling back government regulations a focus of his administration.

Beef producers capitalize on New York partnership Thu, 25 May 2017 22:16:02 +0000 http://ffimp-17611565 South Dakota Beef Industry Council

PIERRE — South Dakota beef producers are utilizing a long-standing partnership with the New York Beef Council to reach East Coast consumers with a positive beef message. Each year, the New York Farm Tour brings consumer influencers to rural areas. This year two South Dakota beef producers will help provide insight into modern beef production in the more wide-open spaces of the Midwest.

“The sheer size and scope of some of our beef operations in places like South Dakota can sometimes be difficult for consumers in more densely-populated areas to really grasp,” said Suzy Geppert, executive director, South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC). “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase how today’s family farmers and ranchers combine scientific advances with family tradition.”

Geppert says the SDBIC state-to-state partnerships relieve pressure on states like New York, with low cattle numbers compared to the population. South Dakota Checkoff investments provide opportunity for states in the Northeast to target consumer, influencer, culinary professionals and youth through educational events and activities.

Jean O’ Toole, executive director, New York Beef Council says having input from South Dakota beef producers will help increase understanding of beef production. “Our attendees always have questions about the big operations in the West. This allows us to bring the New York consumer a first-hand understanding of who those producers are, and how they run their operations.”

O’Toole and Kita Roberts, a popular New York blogger, will visit South Dakota in mid-June to share how they use social media in the Northeast to impact beef consumption. They will also tour various cattle operations and provide consumers a firsthand blogging experience of the South Dakota operations.

To learn more about the SDBIC’s state-to-state partnerships, visit

4-H animal projects: Paperwork reminders Thu, 25 May 2017 20:36:04 +0000 http://ffimp-17608978 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — The deadline for submitting Ownership Verification Affidavits (OVA), Horse Forms, Dog Forms, and YPQA+ Certification is June 1, 2017.

As this date approaches, the state 4-H office wants to remind 4-H members and volunteers of key points to keep in mind when completing these forms.

Form completion tips

• Be thorough.

• The entire individual animal identifier is needed on Ownership Verification Affidavits and on 4-H Online. The last few numbers of tags, tattoos and registration numbers are not acceptable.

• Please include the entire number/letter combination when completing forms and entering animals.

• Be accurate.

• Ensure all information entered for animals and exhibitors is accurate. Double check all identification numbers, birthdates, breeds, gender and registration numbers.

• Enter every participating animal.

• Enter every horse or dog that could be exhibited at the State Shows. If an animal becomes sick, injured or otherwise unable to show, the replacement animal needs to be on the respective form and in 4-H Online prior to June 1.

Registration reminders

Registration papers are due August 1, 2017 or the first day of your county’s Achievement Days for Breeding Beef, Market Beef, Dairy Cattle, Dairy Goats, Breeding Sheep, and Market Swine.

• Registration papers must show the exhibitor or exhibitor’s family as the owner.

• A lease agreement must be on file if registration papers do not show ownership by the exhibitor or exhibitor’s family.

• The complete registration number, matching tattoo or other permanent ID must match the registration papers and animal’s information on 4-H Online.

• If any of the above are not in compliance, the animal will not be eligible to show at the South Dakota State Fair.

Ownership verification affidavits breed listings

Animals must be exhibited at the State Fair in the corresponding breed lot indicated on the Ownership Verification Affidavits.

Registration papers must be on file and presented at the division’s check-in for breeding and market beef, breeding sheep, swine, dairy goats, and dairy cattle.

If registration papers cannot be produced for the breed listed on the Ownership Verification Affidavits, the animal will be ineligible to show. Only one breed may be entered on Ownership Verification Affidavits; this is the breed division the animal must show in.

Market sheep classification

Youth and their families are asked to make their best guesses for the breed classification of market sheep on Ownership Verification Affidavits.

Lambs will not be disqualified if they are classified differently than that listed on the Ownership Verification Affidavits.

Youth in action exhibits

August 20 is the last day to enter exhibits and Youth in Action contests at the State Fair. After this date, no changes may be made to entries.

Accuracy of animal identification, breed, gender, and birthdates is very important as any animal with missing or incorrect information will not be allowed to show at the State Fair.

If you have any questions or need more information, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at click on Field Staff Listing.

Alltech Young Scientist award winners unveiled Thu, 25 May 2017 20:26:05 +0000 http://ffimp-17608926 Alltech

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Two students accepted the top global awards for the 12th annual Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) program, the world’ most prestigious agriscience competition for university students. The AYS awards, recognizing pioneering research in the agriscience sector, were presented at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE17), an event dedicated to inspiring innovation in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, held May 21–24. Now in its 33rd year, the annual international conference is expected to draw approximately 4,000 attendees from nearly 80 countries to network and discuss disruptive ideas in business, technology, food and agriculture.

The global undergraduate winner was Joshua C. Gukowsky, who attends the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the U.S. Gukowsky was offered a fully funded Ph.D. position and $5,000. The global graduate winner was Jonas de Souza, who attends Michigan State University in the U.S. De Souza was offered a fully funded postdoctorate position and $10,000.

Dr. Aoife Lyons, director of educational initiatives and engagement at Alltech, and Victoria Liu, Alltech Young Scientist program manager, presented the awards in the famed Rupp Arena during ONE17.

“This year, we encouraged students to think about the ONE disruptive idea that will transform the way we think and work in agriculture in order for it to thrive and be sustainable,” said Lyons. “The international panel of judges, led by Irish professor Maurice Boland, was encouraged by this group of hugely talented students, all of whom place a huge emphasis on their scientific education.

“I speak for all of the judges on this year’s panel when I congratulate the 2017 winners,” continued Lyons. “The students not only exemplified great skill, but also aptitude and curiosity, which, in our minds, demonstrate their potential as the scientific leaders of tomorrow.”

This year, the program received more than 150 nominations from 134 professors, representing the world’s top 121 universities from 36 countries. To participate, students were nominated by their professors and submitted scientific papers on topics such as animal health and nutrition, agriculture analytical methods, food chain safety and traceability, human health and nutrition, and other agriscience-related sectors. Each student’s paper first competed within their own region of North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, or Europe and Africa. The first place regional winners, eight in total, were invited to an all-expenses-paid Alltech Discovery Week in Kentucky that culminated at ONE17, where a panel of leading judges selected the winners for the 2017 program.

“Thank you, everyone — this is a great honor to receive this prize,” said de Souza, the graduate winner. “Thank you to Dr. Aoife Lyons for putting this competition together to support new and young scientists. We are all winners in this program.”

De Souza’s research focused on altering the ratio of dietary palmitic, stearic and oleic acids, or fatty acids, in diets with or without whole cottonseed and the responses of dairy cows.

“Wow, thank you so much — I was really not expecting this,” said Gukowsky, the undergraduate winner. “First and foremost, I want to thank my parents and family.”

Gukowsky’s research featured detecting antibiotic residues in the foods we consume.

Entry for the 2018 program will open in September 2017.

For more information about ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, visit Join the conversation online with #ONE17.

Coccidiosis affecting young calves Thu, 25 May 2017 20:26:04 +0000 http://ffimp-17608831 NDSU Extension

Cattle producers in North Dakota have been losing young calves to coccidiosis this spring, according to Gerald Stokka, the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s veterinarian.

Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease that affects several animal species. In cattle, it may produce clinical symptoms in animals from 1 month to 1 year of age, but it can infect all age groups.

Coccidia is a protozoan parasite that has the ability to multiply rapidly and cause clinical disease.

“Coccidia are very host-specific; that is, only cattle coccidia will cause disease in cattle,” Stokka says. “Other species-specific coccidia will not cause disease in cattle.”

The major damage to calves is the result of the rapid multiplication of the parasite in the intestinal wall and the subsequent rupture of the cells of the intestinal lining.

Several stages of multiplication occur before the final stage, the oocyst (egg), is passed in the feces. Oocysts are extremely resistant to environmental stress and are difficult to remove from the environment completely. Oocysts must undergo a final process called sporulation before they are infective again.

Oocysts frequently contaminate feed and water. When the sporulated oocysts are ingested by other animals, they start their life cycle over in the new host.


In young (3 to 6 weeks of age), suckling calves, clinical signs of coccidiosis may develop following stressful events such as weather changes, or if the calves are in unsanitary conditions.

“Symptoms or signs of coccidiosis will depend on the stage of the disease at the time of observation,” says Karl Hoppe, the Extension area livestock systems specialist at NDSU’s Carrington Research Extension Center.

In general, coccidiosis affects the intestinal tract and creates symptoms associated with it. In mild cases, calves only have watery diarrhea, but in most cases, blood is present in the feces. Straining, along with rapid dehydration, weight loss and anorexia (off feed), may be evident.

Animals that survive for 10 to 14 days may recover; however, permanent damage may occur. The lesions associated with coccidiosis that are found after death generally are confined to the cecum, colon, ileum and rectum.

Laboratory findings should be correlated with clinical signs for a diagnosis because other infectious diseases such as salmonella and bovine viral diarrhea virus also may lead to blood in the stool, Stokka notes.

The susceptibility of animals to coccidiosis varies.

“Coccidiosis frequently is referred to as an opportunist, which is a disease that will develop when other stress factors are present or in the young calves when exposure to the oocysts is overwhelming,” Stokka says.

“The life cycle of coccidiosis in calves is approximately 21 days,” he adds. “This means that if a 3-week-old calf is showing signs and symptoms of coccidiosis, the calf was exposed to the oocysts at birth. The logical conclusion to young calf coccidiosis is that calving grounds are highly contaminated.”


Infected animals must be treated for the infection and to correct dehydration. Producers should select the proper drugs in consultation with their veterinarian. Sulfa drugs and a therapeutic dose of amprolium are available to treat coccidiosis. Antibiotics may be necessary if secondary bacterial infections are suspected,

Products also are available for treating the entire group of calves, but the logistics of medicating all the calves in beef herds is difficult, Stokka says. Treatment and prevention are most effective when started early.


Stokka and Hoppe suggest these steps to prevent coccidiosis:

• Move calving grounds to a clean area free of contamination.

• Increase the amount of space per cow during the calving season.

• Feed an additive that can reduce the presence of coccidia.

“Feeding a coccidiostat (decoquinate) or an ionophore (monensin or lasalocid) to the herd prior to and during calving may help,” Hoppe says. “Be sure to follow label claims because monensin and lasalocid have slightly different label claims.

“Feeding an ionophore to the cows for reducing the overall coccidia parasites present in the environment also has the benefit of improving feed efficiency,” he adds.

Where you grow what you grow Thu, 25 May 2017 20:26:03 +0000 http://ffimp-17608753 Crop Science Society of America

Camelina: Have you heard of it? It’s an emerging alternative oilseed crop in parts of the Great Plains.

A new study, led by Augustine Obour at Kansas State University, looks at how three varieties of camelina perform when grown in two different regions within the Great Plains.

The end goal is to find the camelina variety that performs best in each location or environment.

“It’s actually a challenge to identify alternative crops that are well adapted to semi-arid areas of the Great Plains,” says Obour. “Plus, these crops have to fit into existing crop rotations.”

That’s where camelina excels. It’s a short-season, cold-tolerant crop that grows well on marginal lands. It is also compatible with existing farm equipment used for grain crops.

Oil extracted from camelina seeds has several uses. It can be used for biodiesel and renewable jet fuel production. It is also a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor for other healthy fatty acids essential for human and animal health. Together with camelina meal, the oil can also be used to manufacture adhesives, coatings, gums, resins, and varnishes.

Most of the research on camelina cultivation has focused on the northern parts of the Great Plains – parts of Montana and Wyoming. But the Great Plains stretches over 500 miles east to west, and 2000 miles north to south. Environmental conditions can vary widely in different parts of the Plains.

“Conditions, such as rainfall and air temperature, can have significant effects on yield and oil content of camelina,” says Obour. For example, heat and moisture stress during flowering can reduce seed yield and alter oil composition.

How would camelina perform when grown in the central Great Plains?

To answer this question, the researchers picked two test sites. One of the test sites was in Hays, Kansas, in the central Great Plains. Hays has relatively early springs and warmer summer air temperatures. The other test site was in Moccasin, Montana, in the northern Great Plains, with relatively cooler spring and summer temperatures. Moccasin also has lower average annual rainfall than that of Hays.

“These two sites provided us with an opportunity to test the effects of environmental conditions on camelina growth, yield, and oil composition,” says Obour.

But environmental conditions aren’t alone in affecting how crops perform. Differences in the genetic makeup of crop varieties also influence which ones thrive in specific environments. “Different varieties of camelina respond to environmental stresses differently,” says Obour. “That ultimately affects yield and oil content.”

Over the course of three years, Obour and his colleagues grew three different camelina varieties in the two test sites. This way, the researchers could test how camelina genetics and environmental conditions together affected yield and oil content.

All three camelina varieties performed similarly at Moccasin, despite their genetic differences. At Hays, however, one variety, called Blaine Creek, had 42 percent higher seed yields than the other two. “This highlights the importance of looking at both crop genetics and environmental conditions,” says Obour.

Overall, camelina seed yields were 54 percent lower at Hays than at Moccasin. The researchers also found that camelina oil content was lower at Hays. However, seed protein content was significantly higher at Hays.

Oil composition was different between the two test sites as well. Monounsaturated and saturated fatty acid contents were greater at Hays but polyunsaturated oil content was lower. This is important for growers to know so they can better target their crop to a chosen market.

“Our findings confirm that camelina seed yield, oil content, and fatty acid composition are significantly affected by both the environment and camelina genetics,” says Obour.

Obour’s work continues. “The next line of research is selecting camelina varieties that are tolerant to heat stress,” says Obour. That will allow for improved seed yield, oil content, and fatty acid profile of camelina grown across the central Great Plains.

Read more about Obour’s work in Agronomy Journal. The study was supported by the USDA-NIFA Biomass Research and Development Initiative program and by the USDA/DOE Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy.

Elanco Animal Health works to bring products to small holder farmers, increasing food security in East Africa Thu, 25 May 2017 20:06:04 +0000 http://ffimp-17608658 PRNewswire

GREENFIELD, Ind. — Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, recently announced that it received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide sustainable development solutions to address food insecurity in East African countries. The commitment will work to improve animal health and productivity in dairy herds and poultry flocks for smallholder farms in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Elanco received the $2.86 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enable the registration and distribution of high-quality veterinary products, in conjunction with training initiatives for smallholder farmers to assist with improved animal health practices as well as disease prevention and treatment.

Livestock diseases remain a threat to achieving food security and are a source of economic losses for people who depend on livestock for their livelihood. Beatrice Wanjiku, a smallholder poultry farmer in Thika, Kenya, realizes the challenges of disease prevalence, noting, “My main challenge has been mycoplasma (infection), where the birds would develop the condition at three months (old). This would eventually lead to a drop in production.”

“Elanco is a cause-driven organization and our vision of Food and Companionship Enriching Life is at the core of why we do what we do. We are committed to addressing global hunger by supporting efforts that ensure nutritious food is accessible and affordable to all. The grant from the foundation will further advance our vision by improving the lives of smallholder farmers through sustainable livestock production,” said Jeffrey N. Simmons, president, Elanco Animal Health.”

“The more people with whom we can share our knowledge and expertise and provide access to products, the more impact we can have on their animals,” said Comfort Phiri, Elanco business unit manager for Sub-Saharan Africa. “Since this education translates into positive impacts on farmers and their families for many generations, it’s a privilege for me to be on this team and to have the opportunity to do social good and business good.”

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 32 percent of the people in East Africa are undernourished1 and 40 percent of those living in sub-Saharan Africa are living on less than $1.25 per day2. In East Africa, 18 percent of children are underweight.3 Through this collaboration, Elanco intends to apply the learnings from East Africa to other geographies and continue its leadership in food security efforts.

Community engagement campaign: ‘Maybe We Should Do Something’ Thu, 25 May 2017 20:06:02 +0000 http://ffimp-17608568 South Dakota Ag Foundation

PIERRE — The South Dakota Agricultural Foundation (SD Ag Foundation) announces the launch of “Maybe We Should Do Something,” a campaign to engage the ag community and positively impact the future of South Dakota agriculture with initiatives focusing on education, leadership, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

The new campaign uses video, print, direct mail, and social media to tell this story, and asks South Dakotans to participate and share ideas for the future of ag.

“As we move into the future and this urbanization continues, it’s vital that agriculture continues to tell our story and educate folks that haven’t been on the farm, that haven’t touched and felt what it means to raise a calf or to grow a crop,” said SD Ag Foundation board member Nate Franzen. “And I think the foundation’s going to open up avenues to do that.”

South Dakota Agricultural Foundation initiatives launching in Fall 2017 include:

• A new Youth Ag Education Innovation and Leadership Grants program.

• A partnership and potential expansion of ‘Building Our South Dakota Rural Communities’ (BOSDRC) Grants with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA).

• A leadership program ‘Adventures in Food’ with an emphasis on promoting entrepreneurship and careers in agriculture.

• An Economic Development Assessment Initiative to identify and work with organizations with innovative approaches to economic development in South Dakota agriculture.

These programs are scheduled to launch in Fall 2017, along with the more long-term Economic Development Assessment Initiative and the foundation’s ongoing focus on expanding philanthropy in South Dakota agriculture. They will be funded primarily by supporters in the private sector through committed funds and identification of new resources brought in to support The SD Ag Foundation and its mission. Industry and ag leaders are being called on to further invest in this foundation and share ideas for the future of ag in South Dakota.

“It’s hard to predict what the future holds, but one thing we know: South Dakota is an ag-based economy and we can’t ever take that for granted,” said Lucas Lentsch, SD Ag Foundation board member and former South Dakota secretary of agriculture.

“I think the Ag Foundation will be a catalyst for creating a culture of philanthropy in South Dakota agriculture,” said SD Ag Foundation board member Nathan Jensen. “If I was able to put a sign at the end of every gravel driveway [of every farm and ranch] in rural South Dakota, that sign would say, ‘It starts here.’”

For more information or to set up interviews, contact SD Ag Foundation Executive Director Chris Maxwell at or 605-280-2895.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. announces Dairy Accelerator Program Thu, 25 May 2017 19:46:05 +0000 http://ffimp-17608459 PRNewswire

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — On May 24, Land O’Lakes, Inc. announced the launch of its Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator, a program that will provide support and mentorship to food entrepreneurs who want to grow and drive innovation in the dairy products space.

“Land O’Lakes, Inc. was founded on innovation by the original entrepreneurs—farmers,” said Raquel Melo, vice president of Innovation and New Business Development at Land O’Lakes, Inc. “By launching the Dairy Accelerator program, we commit to fostering continued growth in the dairy industry by supporting entrepreneurs and assisting their efforts to bring new dairy companies to the next level.”

The Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator is looking for United States-based entrepreneurs passionate about moving their companies to the next level. The company must utilize dairy as a primary ingredient but can use any aspect of dairy including but not limited to: yogurt, cheese, whey or other milk-based proteins or ingredients. However, new innovations cannot focus on butter. Eligible companies should have sales of approximately $200,000 over the last 12 months.

Participants will have access to personnel and seminars focusing on finance, brand building, manufacturing, sales, distribution and leadership development. In addition, the Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program will include access to supply chain, marketing, business development and leadership development experts on an as-needed basis.

At the conclusion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to present their proposals and new business ideas to Land O’Lakes, Inc. leadership. The Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program’s focus is on growing the total dairy industry and does not require equity from participants.

To help participants in this commitment, they will receive a $25,000 stipend that will cover the cost of travel to required program sessions.

The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. CDT July 8, 2017. Applicants accepted into the program will be notified in early August. The accelerator program runs from mid-September to mid-December 2017 and will be held in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Selected participants must agree to all terms and conditions in order to participate in the Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program. More information can be found on the website.