Small grains focus of Crop Hour webinar series

South Dakota State University Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. — According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, South Dakota now leads the nation in oat production.

NASS estimates in 2020, South Dakota oat growers harvested 10.8 million bushels, up 75% from 2019. Area harvested for grain, at 140,000 acres, was up 87% and planted acreage totaled 310,000 acres, up 27% from a year earlier.

This month SDSU Extension will devote a full week to oat production during the Crop Hour webinar series.

“There are many benefits to adding oats to a corn and soybean rotation, such as boosting soil health and disrupting weed cycles” said David Karki, SDSU Extension agronomy field specialist. “However, oats are not a maintenance-free crop, growers need to stay on top of weed control, pests and crown rust as well as make informed decisions on oat varieties.”

Participants are invited to join the SDSU Extension team Feb. 9-12 from 10 to 11 a.m. CST each day to hear the latest in oat production:

  • Feb. 9: “How is Weed Control Different in Oats than Other Small Grains,” Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension weed science coordinator; “Are There Insect Pests of Oats?” Adam Varenhorst, assistant professor and SDSU Extension field crop entomologist.
  • Feb. 10: “Crown Rust Management in Oats,” Emmanuel Byamukama, associate professor and SDSU Extension plant pathologist and Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension plant pathology field specialist; “What to Consider When Choosing an Oat Variety,” Jonathan Kleinjan, SDSU Extension crop production associate.
  • Feb. 11: “Nutrient Management and General Agronomy,” David Karki, SDSU Extension and Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension soils field specialist.
  • Feb. 12: “Growing Certified Oats,” Neal Foster, South Dakota Crop Improvement Association executive director.

Each week SDSU Extension’s Crop Hour will cover a different area of agronomic production, from field crops and forages to water and weather. The webinar series began Jan. 5 and will conclude March 26.

There is no fee to attend, but participants will need to register for the weekly webinars on the SDSU Extension Crops page at Confirmation Zoom links and reminders will be emailed to attendees.

Educational credits will be available for Certified Crop Advisers for each session.

For more information about the webinar series and to view the weekly topics and speakers, visit the Crops page on the SDSU Extension site at

During Oat Week, SDSU Extension will discuss weed and pest control as well as crown rust management.