Managing Your Margin and Crop Clinic

Farm Forum

SDSU Extension will host morning and afternoon workshops on March 20 at the SDSU Extension Center in Pierre, 412 W. Missouri Ave.

The morning session will begin at 10 a.m. and consist of market outlook, the new farm bill program options, futures and options marketing strategies and historical performances of options and futures in years with similar supply and demand fundamentals. A complimentary lunch will be sponsored by the S.D. Pulse Growers and the S.D. No Till Associations.

The afternoon session will include: 2013 Pea Variety Trials Results, The Basics: Field Pea Production, and an Update on Wheat Research in central and western South Dakota. Call 605-773-8120 for more information and to RSVP.

Fire Planning Workshops in Winner, Rapid City and Lemmon

Unplanned fire events, as well as poorly planned and executed fires can be detrimental, or in the worst-case scenario, devastating. Fire can have a place in grassland management, however. Specific examples include the control of cedar trees that have invaded pastures, and the removal of old-growth grass residue in CRP fields.

To teach the proper planning and execution of fire, SDSU Extension in partnership with the SD Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Pheasants Forever, and other organizations will be hosting a series of CRP and Grassland Prescribed Fire Planning workshops.

The 2014 workshops will be held in Winner – March 25 at the SDSU Regional Extension Center, Rapid City – March 26 at the SDSU West River Ag Center, and in Lemmon – March 27 at the Lemmon Fire Department. All classes begin at 8:30 a.m. with on-site registration and adjourn at 5 p.m. with a one hour lunch break at noon. Lunch will not be provided at the training site. Courses will consist of 1-day classroom instruction led by trained prescribed fire professionals.

Pete Bauman, SDSU Range Field Specialist is excited about the opportunity to reach out to landowners in 2014 in new areas of the state. “We’ve been working for years through the Prairie Coteau Habitat Partnership to improve fire education in the northeast part of the state,” said Bauman. “Last year we educated over 150 agency staffers and producers in Yankton, Watertown, Huron, Leola, and Sisseton. It will be good to bring the program further west in 2014.”

The training focuses on instructing both landowners and NRCS staff on the methods of planning for and conducting prescribed fires on CRP and grasslands in general. Topics include firebreak development, grassland ecology, fire planning, resources and tools, weather, safety, and communications. “Prescribed fire is 90% preparation, it’s not complicated when one takes a systematic approach”, added Bauman.

The workshops are free, and walk-in registration will be held on site at 8:30 each morning. However, participants are encouraged to pre-register. For more information or to pre-register, call the SDSU Regional Extension Center in Watertown at 605-882-5140.