Discussion to focus on water, weather and climate

South Dakota State University Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. — Nothing impacts the growing season more than weather and water. From irrigation and fertilizer timing to pest control and field workability, daily decisions on-farm are based on what’s in the sky and what’s in the ground below.

However, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer John McMaine says those decisions can be less arduous if producers have access to the latest research and forecasting tools.

“Subirrigation and subsurface drip irrigation are relatively new technologies and can improve the efficiency of water, energy and nutrient use,” says McMaine. “It’s also important (that) folks in South Dakota can find information about water quality in the state’s lakes and rivers, as well as have tools, such as the Nutrient Loss Calculator, at their disposal.”

SDSU Extension will discuss these topics and more during its upcoming Crop Hour series. During Water, Weather and Climate Week, attendees will have the opportunity to tune in each day from 10 to 11 a.m. CDT to hear from local and regional experts on irrigation, water quality, the weather and flood outlook and conservation drainage.

March 16:

  • “Subsurface Drip Irrigation,” Todd Trooien, SDSU national resources engineer; “Subirrigation with Tile Drainage,” Tom Scherer, NDSU Extension agricultural engineer.

March 17: “South Dakota Water Quality — Where to Find Information and What it Means,” David Kringen, SDSU Extension water resources field specialist; “Measuring Nutrient Loss,” John McMaine, SDSU Extension.

March 18:

  • “Building Water Resilient Systems Through Soil Health and Conservation Drainage,” John McMaine, SDSU Extension and Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension soils field specialist.

March 19:

  • “2021 Weather Outlook and Trends to Watch,” Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension state climatologist; “2021 Runoff and Flood Outlook,” Kevin Low, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Missouri Basin River Forecast Center hydrologist.

Each week SDSU Extension’s Crop Hour covers 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, found at https://bit.ly/3881L87. 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.

The SDSU Extension Nutrient Loss Calculator can help landowners collect a snapshot of nutrient loss in their drainage systems.