Farming

Annual Farm Show In Vermillion

Jan 5, 2017
Dakota Farm Show

Agriculture Producers from all over the region are coming to Vermillion this week to see the latest in research and technology. The 2017 farm show is going on in the Dakota Dome on the University of South Dakota campus. This is the show’s 34th year. Farmers and ranchers can inspect everything from the newest tractors to field drone services.

Hawks for U.S. House

As one of South Dakota's largest industries, agriculture sows its way into the political landscape. Paula Hawks is the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives. She cites country-of-origin labeling and loss of USDA's Conservation Reserve Program acres as major issues in state agriculture. She discusses the agriculture conversation in Washington, the Farm Bill, and preparations for the November election.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service South Dakota

The Leopold Conservation Award is given each year to a private landowner dedicated to ethical land practices. Cronin Farms won the South Dakota award this year. A farm tour demonstrated what the operation is doing to improve the environment.

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.

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.   

Dakota Digest for December 18, 2015

Dec 21, 2015
SDPB

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, state leaders are talking weekly with federal officials as they work on a change that could prompt Medicaid expansion in South Dakota. Also, eastern South Dakota is continually getting wetter, and a group of 7th and 8th graders celebrate Human Rights Day. All these stories and more on this week's episode of Dakota Digest.

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.

Dakota Midday: Pollinator Habitat

Sep 9, 2015

Pete Berthelsen, Director of Habitat Partnerships for Pheasants Forever, joined Dakota Midday guest host Joe Tlustos to talk about the importance of pollinator habitat, changes happening to South Dakota's landscape and considerations for pollinator habitat within the context of wildlife habitat and farming practices.  Berthelsen, a wildlife biologist with more than 30 years of experience, brings his expertise and insight to South Dakota State University in a presentation tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the McFadden Biostress Lab.

Since 2006, bee colonies have been decreasing in number on a worldwide scale. Things may continue going from bad to worse, as experts predict more decreased numbers this year.

Bruce, South Dakota may only have 200 residents, but that doesn’t stop this community from gathering a lot of ‘buzz’ this time of year.  Workers at the Adee Honey Farms extract honey from honeycombs, filling barrels of honey each day.  This process continues until sometime in October.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Area leaders say technology is rapidly changing the way they do business. People from different industries met in Sioux Falls Thursday to discuss technology and South Dakota’s economy. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce worked together for the free event.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Farmers and ranchers in South Dakota must decide whether to save the money they make from crops and livestock or reinvest it. The growing season is well underway for South Dakota farmers, and ranchers are watching markets as they raise their animals. 

Record commodity prices for corn and soybeans are gone, and that has some farmers keeping their money in the bank instead of spending it on upgrades and new equipment. South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch says growers remain cautious.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Advocates for renewable energy say the industry brings economic benefits to the Dakotas. A new report from a coalition supporting renewable fuels shows the industry is responsible for jobs, wages and output in the billions of dollars.

Wiese Joins Farm Rescue

Dec 23, 2014
Farm Rescue

Flandreau native Dennis Wiese recently joined Farm Rescue, a one-of-a-kind nonprofit organization that provides planting, harvesting and haying assistance free of charge to family farmers who have suffered a major injury, illness or natural disaster. Wiese, who was president of the South Dakota Farmers Union from 1993-2005, serves as Farm Rescue's director of development. Farm Rescue is based in Jamestown, North Dakota. It was launched by Bill Gross in 2005. Wiese discussed Farm Rescue on Tuesday.

Tolstoy Farm Operation Diversifies For Success

Dec 8, 2014

Eric Johannsen is a fourth-generation farmer/rancher/outfitter near Tolstoy. He, along with his father and brother, operate their 5000 acres which have been in the family since the 1920s using a highly managed and sophisticated combination of no-till farming of corn and wheat, CRP grasslands, natural sloughs, wooded shelter belts and food plots.  The land generates profits and maximizes wildlife populations.  SDPB's Joe Tlustos visited the Johannsen's operation last week.

Farm Rescue Founder Named Money Hero

Jul 28, 2014
Farm Rescue

Bill Gross comes from three generations of North Dakota farmers. But by the time he graduated from high school, his parents encouraged him to leave the farm. He went to college and now flies a 747 for UPS. However his heart never left the farm. As he flew across the country and looked at the farms below, he was concerned with the changing demographics of rural America and thought of ways he could help.

Corn: Food, Fuel, And The Future

Jul 23, 2014
POET

Although the first image that comes to mind when thinking of corn is a freshly buttered ear, most corn doesn’t make it to the dinner table. Whole-kernel sweet corn is only about one-percent of the crop. The rest of it is field corn. Some is processed for food ingredients, but it’s primarily used as livestock feed and ethanol.As demand for renewable fuel has grown in recent years, South Dakota has emerged as the fifth largest ethanol producing state with over a dozen biofuel plants.

Farmers And Soil

Apr 18, 2014

Jeff Hemenway, Soil Quality Specialist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Paul Hetland, a farmer in Mitchell, joined the program to discuss the science and technology with what farmers will do with soil to make it more productive.

Training Complex Expansion

Apr 1, 2014

The Department of Defense wants to increase the airspace it uses to train its B1 bombers and other aircraft.  The proposed expansion quadruples the training airspace the military currently uses, covering a huge swath over parts of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Air Force officials say expanding the training airspace for military aircraft makes practice missions more like the real world.  But farmers like Anita Lee in Meade County are urging the federal government not to approve the expansion project.  Pilot and South Dakota aviation historian Norma Kramer also expressed h

Agriculture advocates in South Dakota are pushing for a farm bill to pass the United States Congress – but not at the expense of certain elements. US Senator Tim Johnson says stability in the form of a farm bill impacts all other industries, but ag leaders aren’t willing to sacrifice at least one part of the program.

Farming and ranching organizations say the United States should have passed a long-term farm bill years ago. An extension of the legislation is working through a conference committee, and Members of Congress say they’re getting closer to compromise.

Ag Secretary Lentsch Discusses Legislation

Jan 14, 2014

As Congress struggles to wrap up work on a new farm bill South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch discussed how the state's ag producers could be affected by a possible failure of the much-delayed legislation.  Lentsch is also a member of the new Pheasant Habitat Work Group.  He says hunting can be improved while also supporting agriculture.

South Dakota Farmers Rank High

Aug 27, 2013

South Dakota farmers rank in the top 10 in the nation in the production of more than 15 crops.  A recent report from the federal Agriculture Department shows that South Dakota is tops in the production of bison and second in the production of honey, flaxseed, proso millet and sunflowers.  The state is in the top 10 in many other major crops including wheat, corn, soybeans and oats.  South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says the latest statistics show that the state remains an agricultural powerhouse even without a large population.

Ag Producers Describe SD Farm Status

Aug 21, 2013

An annual farm show attracts thousands of people to Mitchell each August. Despite typical hot, muggy weather, farmers and ranchers from around the region gather to connect with manufacturers and developers. Producers also collaborate on issues from the status of their crops to federal funding, and they meet at DakotaFest.

Hot Weather Entering South Dakota

Aug 20, 2013

A surge of hot weather is hitting the state this week with temperatures reaching into the 90s and even the 100s in some places. This is expected to help farmers with their row crops. Because some crops got in later and cooler conditions this summer, crops are a little behind in development. But rain is needed to fill in pods in soybeans and grain fill in corn. According to most accounts, pollination has been good, but now those crops need moisture in the next few weeks.

The parent company of a large meatpacking operation in Sioux Falls is selling to a Chinese business. The CEO of Smithfield Foods says people who are with John Morrell in Sioux Falls and other plants should embrace the opportunity.

Chinese pork producer Shuanghi is investing billions of dollars to purchase America’s Smithfield foods. Smithfield employs 46,000 people. Smithfield’s President and CEO Larry Pope says workers and farmers should not worry about downsizing, because Shuanghi is not moving operations to China.

USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan in South Dakota

Feb 27, 2013

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan is in South Dakota through Thursday to announce new USDA grants to combat global hunger, promote rural business development and highlight the economic importance of local and regional food systems.  She is also bringing the USDA's college tour to South Dakota State University to discuss the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative and efforts to create new opportunities for farmers, ranchers and communities.

Farm Bill Problems

Jan 7, 2013

In the waning hours of 2012, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden negotiated a nine-month extension of the Farm Bill that the Center for Rural Affairs has criticized heavily.  Center for Rural Affairs Executive Director Chuck Hassebrook said many smaller, targeted programs that invest in proven strategies to create rural jobs, revitalize rural communities and initiatives to foster a new generation of family farmers and ranchers were completely left out of the extension.  Hassebrook joined Dakota Midday host Karl Gehrke Monday.


 

Beginning Farmers And Ranchers

Nov 26, 2012

Tuesday the South Dakota Department of Agriculture is teaming up with South Dakota State University to host the first Beginning Farmer and Rancher Symposium.  South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Walt Bones says the symposium will get students thinking past school, while preparing them for the challenges ahead.  According to Bones, 98 percent of South Dakota farms are family owned.

Managing Drought

Sep 20, 2012

Don Wilhite, professor of applied climate science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says there are practices farmers can use to change the way they plant crops or take care of their livestock instead of just hoping for better weather next year.  Wilhite, the founding director of the National Drought Mitigation Center, is involved in an international effort through the World Meteorological Organization that is promoting national drought policies through an international conference next year in Europe.  Wilhite speaks on "Managing Drought in a Changing Climate" tonight at 7 p.m.