SDSU Extension educational forums at Dakotafest 2016

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension staff will be presenting timely, research-based information to 2016 Dakotafest attendees. Dakotafest is held Aug. 16-18 in Mitchell at the Schlaffman Farm (Schlaffman Farm, 2300 Spruce Street).

“Our staff looks forward to this opportunity to meet face-to-face with farmers, ranchers and community members and sharing applicable information with them,” said Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director.

SDSU Extension Dakotafest presentations

SDSU Extension staff representing all program areas will host several presentations throughout the three-day event. Program agenda is as follows:

Managing for range and pasture health

Tuesday 10 a.m., Wednesday 10 a.m., Thursday 10 a.m.

Presenters: Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist; Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist; Stan Boltz, NRCS State Range Conservationist

Focus: This forum will focus on managing pastures and crop land to maximize and capture precipitation. Attendees can expect to gain tools and techniques for managing: residue, measuring forage production, grazing distribution, desirable grass species and systems health.

Checking for success: The value of preg checking the cow herd

Tuesday 11 a.m.

Presenters: Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Focus: This forum will focus on utilizing reproductive technology to improve efficiency and decrease cost of production of the cow herd by removing open cows.

Attendees can expect to learn about optimal timing to check cows for pregnancy, what options are available to diagnose cows as pregnant or open, and what value comes from removing open cows from the herd earlier, especially with dry conditions that are likely going to affect pasture production and winter grazing this year.

Grain commodity outlook

Tuesday 1 p.m.

Presenter: Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist

Focus: Attendees will receive the fundamentals behind the grain price outlook.

Late season crop insect pests

Tuesday 2 p.m.

Presenter: Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist

Focus: This presentation will cover scouting methods for late season insect pests in South Dakota’s major row crops. In addition, it will focus on insects that have historically caused problems, or may be a problem in 2016.

Stockyards ag experience barn

Wednesday 11 a.m.

Presenter: Jim Woster, a former Stockyards employee will visit about Stockyards Plaza Inc., incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2013 with a mission to provide a dynamic, interactive learning center that explores the evolution of agriculture in our region, beginning with the Sioux Falls Stockyards.

The Stockyards Ag Experience Plaza and Barn are being developed as regional attractions at Falls Park, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The Stockyards Ag Experience will communicate the story of agriculture in our economy and society – and showcase its impact on our region.

Making $$$ and sense of manure

Wednesday 1 p.m.

Presenters: Erin Cortus, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Environmental Quality Engineer; Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist

Focus: With the cost of fertilizer increasing, the manure produced by a livestock operation is often considered an additional source of income for an operation, rather than an expense. Putting a dollar value on manure can also help in decision-making for manure transactions and livestock expansions.

Better Choices, Better Health SD

Wednesday 2 p.m.

Presenters: Megan Olesen, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist; Megan Erickson, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist

Focus: Do not let an ongoing health condition get the best of you! Better Choices, Better Health is here to help. Better Choices, Better Health workshops provide a supportive environment and give you tools to help you through your daily activities while dealing with the emotions and physical challenges that come from living with an ongoing condition.

Trends of farm operators and households

Thursday 11 a.m.

Presenter: Matt Diersen, Professor & SDSU Extension Risk/Business Management Specialist

Focus: The session will focus on how farms have changed over the past few decades. Attention is given to economies of size, scope and location; exploring whether larger and more-diverse farms have a cost advantage compared to the average farm. A common theme is how dependence on agriculture varies based on those working on, living on and surrounded by farms and ranches. Attendees will learn different aspects to consider when benchmarking or comparing their farm to other farms. They will also gain insights into their farm’s cost structure.

Fall climate outlook: Is La Niña around the corner?

Thursday 1 p.m.

Presenter: Laura Edwards, Acting State Climatologist & SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist

Focus: The fall 2016 climate outlook and recommendations will be provided.

Pigweed species identification

Thursday 2 p.m.

Presenters: Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist

Focus: This forum will focus on pigweed species differences/weed ID/control measures. Attendees will learn what pigweed species they have and how to control it.