agriculture

Denise Ross from the Black Hills Knowledge Network and Seth Tupper from the Rapid City Journal lend their voices to the weekly Midday segment Dakota Political Junkies. Some topics of discussion include the memorable face palm from one South Dakotan, the GOP's platform, figures missing at the GOP national convention, and agriculture's role in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives between Kristi Noem and Paula Hawks.

Heat Wave Could Hurt Corn Yield

Jul 19, 2016
South Dakota State University

Extension experts warn some of the state’s corn crop could fall victim to the hot, dry weather this week.  The crop is now in a stage of pollination.  Officials say excessive heat at this point in the season can affect corn yield for the year.

Agriculture experts worry the current drought and heat wave conditions in the state are not good for the corn crop.   Jonathan Kleinjan is a crop production associate at SDSU.  

“Heat in itself is not necessarily a big problem, it’s when you’re hot and dry at the same time," says Kleinjan.

SD OneHealth Funds Animal-Borne Illness Awareness

Jul 18, 2016

Doctors, veterinarians and ranchers are partnering to fight animal-borne illness. USD’s Sanford School of Medicine aims to open a dialogue between human health care providers, and those who care for animals to protect South Dakotans and livestock against disease.

Pollution And Recreation On The Big Sioux

Jul 11, 2016
Water testing
Erin Mairose

Water testing on the Big Sioux River shows high levels of bacteria and pollution in some areas. The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources recommends only having limited contact with the water, meaning they don’t suggest swimming in it.

But the city of Sioux Falls continues to build parks and recreation areas along the river, in the effort to foster economic development.

The pheasant is not only important in South Dakota for its cultural value, but also for what it contributes to the economy. In 2015, more than 150 thousand hunters harvested more than one point two million pheasants in South Dakota. Nearly 85 thousand hunters came from out of state. They poured millions of dollars into local economies. South Dakota isn’t a pheasant destination by accident.

New Law Requires Gates For Paddlers

Jun 24, 2016
Big Sioux, Kayaking, Water
Erin Mairose

Navigable streams and rivers in South Dakota used for kayaking, canoeing, and snowmobiling are considered public highways. But landowners with livestock often put fences across the water. The fences can pose major safety hazards to those paddling or traveling downstream.  To allow access through fenced off portions of streams, a law going into effect July 1st compiles a list of streams requiring gates

SD Fertilizer Runoff And The Gulf Dead Zone

Jun 24, 2016

Oceanographers fear that this year the Gulf of Mexico could see its largest dead zone ever recorded. 

Researchers attribute the massive annual die off of fish around the Mississippi delta to fertilizer runoff from agriculture in the Great Plains.

Officials in South Dakota say they recognize this problem and are taking action.

SDDA To Recycle Pesticide Containers

Jun 23, 2016

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is collecting pesticide containers this summer. Anyone with empty plastic pesticide containers can bring them to the nearest collection location for recycling. Amanda Bachmann (BOCK-man) is a pesticide specialist at South Dakota State University.  She says the Department of Agriculture has offered this program since 1993 and has become one of its most popular services. Bachmann says many waste management companies will not accept pesticide containers, so recycling them prevents improper disposal.

Oil Seed Crops May Increase With New EPA Standards

Jun 9, 2016

The ethanol industry might need to make way for a new biofuel crop.  The EPA just increased its requirements for the amount of renewable fuel in gasoline.  Researchers working on bio fuel production say South Dakota could become a center for new oil seed crops.

The Environmental Protection Agency just released new federal standards for renewable fuel. These standards increase demands for all biofuels. EPA officials hope the change boosts production in the global market and lowers carbon emissions.

Dakota Midday: Fighting To Keep The Hives Alive

Jun 9, 2016

  Dr. Jon Lundgren from the Blue Dasher Farm Initiative joins Dakota Midday to talk about regenerative agriculture as a solution to problems in the bee population. Farmers, rancher and beekeepers will gather on Monday, June 13 at Blue Dasher Farm as part of the national Keep the Hives Alive tour. 

Growing Season Gets Wet Start In Parts of SD

Jun 2, 2016

Defining a normal growing season in South Dakota is no easy task. This spring farmers in parts of the state are facing some very wet weather.

South Dakota’s corn and soybean yields are taking a hit with heavy spring moisture in the southeast. Rainfall amounts are almost twice the average in some areas.  And farmers say this has slowed spring fieldwork.

Honeybee Population Continues To Decline

May 18, 2016
USDA

Honeybees are in decline.   The numbers in the first months of 2016 show the national honeybee population has hit new lows. SDPB’s Allie Knofczynski reports on the research and efforts across South Dakota to protect its state insect.

The number of honeybee colonies in South Dakota is down 40 percent from last year. Colonies lost during the first three months of this year totaled 1 percent of the statewide population. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the honeybee decline began in 2006.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans list agriculture as the number one driver of economic development. That’s according to a recent survey that polled people nationally and gathered data in three separate states. Some people’s perceptions of the economy don’t jibe directly with information from businesses. 

A Wells Fargo and USA Today survey polled South Dakotans to find out which sectors they think contribute to a healthy economy. The top responses in order were agriculture, health care, education, construction, and retail.

Bison Could Become National Mammal

May 3, 2016
Courtesy Wind Cave National Park

Bison could soon become the country’s National Mammal. The US House and Senate passed the National Bison Legacy Act. It’s awaiting President Obama’s signature.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Survey crews are training for a time when the emerald ash borer finds its way to South Dakota trees. The exotic insect feeds on black, green or white ash. The trees have no defense against the beetle. State, local, and federal agencies are collaborating on a practice exercise in Sioux Falls.

State forester Gregory Josten says to claim South Dakota has escaped the emerald ash borer so far isn’t necessarily true.

"We don’t know for sure that it’s not here, but we have not found it here yet," Josten says.

Study Forecasts Consequences Of Changing Landscape

Apr 5, 2016
Kealey Bultena

SDSU researchers predict that over the next two decades, the amount of land used for growing crops in the northern Great Plains will increase. They say that means the amount of grassland will decrease, creating some potential risks.

SDPB

Lawmakers finished their final day of work for the 2016 legislative session. They discussed five measures on veto day, ultimately agreeing with the Governor in all but one style and form veto.   Senate Bill 136, which incentivizes grassland buffer strips along waterways, failed to make it through both houses of the legislature.

Legislature Considers Bills On Veto Day

Mar 28, 2016
Jenifer Jones

Tuesday state legislators consider overriding five vetoes issued by Governor Dennis Daugaard.

Gov. Names Interim Agriculture Secretary

Mar 25, 2016

State Veterinarian Doctor Dustin Oedekoven is now the interim South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture. He says he’s looking forward to gaining a better perspective of the department.

Oedekoven says he’s honored to serve as interim Agriculture Secretary. He says one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture in South Dakota today is getting young people involved.

2015-2016 Winter 11th Warmest On Record In SD

Mar 17, 2016

The Equinox on Sunday the 20th marks the start of spring.   But many South Dakotan’s have already been enjoying some spring like weather.

Officials who track the climate in the state say the past winter was the 11th warmest out of the last 122 years of record.  That includes the timeframe from December 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016.  

Governor Dennis Daugaard is waiting to hear from the South Dakota Supreme Court before deciding how to act on two bills passed by the legislature.

Hemp Bill Falls On Legislative Hurdle

Feb 18, 2016

A panel of state legislators has turned down a bill to legalize industrial hemp.  The bill passed the house by a large majority, but hit a wall in its first hearing before the Senate Ag and Natural Resources Committee.

Proponents say hemp doesn’t contain THC, the component in marijuana that produces a high.  They say hemp can be a good source of income for farmers, and add that surrounding states are out competing South Dakota.   

Committee Passes Bill Allowing Industrial Hemp

Feb 2, 2016

Members of a state House committee voted in favor of a bill allowing the production and sale of industrial hemp. Farmers have to go through a permitting process before growing the crop.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Cattle producers in South Dakota are raising money to feed the hungry by hosting a Toby Keith concert. The famous country artist is slated to perform in the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls in June. Tickets go on sale on Friday, and proceeds from the concert go to Feeding South Dakota. 

Members of a statewide cattle organization started a Prime Time Gala three years ago. The concert component of the event benefits the hungry. Todd Wilkinson is president of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.

www.sdfbf.org

Krystil Smit, Executive Director of the South Dakota Farm Bureau joined Dakota Midday.  Smit began her new position in October and she discussed her vision for SDFB as well as short-term and long-term projects.

habitat.sd.gov

A new initiative aims to help South Dakota landowners maintain wildlife habitat on their property. Habitat Pays is a joint venture between the state departments of Agriculture and Game Fish and Parks.

Spearfish Local Aims To Grow Business

Oct 14, 2015
BHSU

A program through Black Hills State University has landed $100 thousand dollar USDA grant to put more local food on the menu in Spearfish.  

The grant helps build a new business that can move fresh local fruits and vegetables from farmers to cafeterias at nearby schools, hospitals, and other facilities.

John Thune

United States Senator John Thune says he generally supports trade deals, but some parts of the latest international agreement raise his concern. Eleven countries and the United States have struck a deal called TPP. That stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It has economic and political implications.

Thune says he’s heard pieces of the deal since Monday’s agreement, and he’s concerned about some of the elements.

The South Dakota Farm Bureau has a new executive director. Krystil Smit is starting as the head of the state’s largest agriculture association later this month. 

Krysti Smit has a long history of working with agriculture in the state. From growing up on a farm to becoming an advocate for Ag, she says she wants to make the organization an open door for consumers and producers.

Permitting Poop: Groups Want More Say In Feedlot Regulations

Sep 15, 2015
DENR

Feedlots and chicken farms can create tons of manure, literally.
 
Now some environmental and industry groups are crying foul over a state government permitting process that governs how large animal confinement operations deal with all that waste.
 
The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources is reviewing its regulations for hog farms, dairies, feedlots, and chicken farms where thousands of animals can be grown in a single location.
 

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