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South Dakota Ag News Headlines
Eastern Soil and Water Research Farm Field Day June 19
South Dakota Ag Connection - 06/08/2018

The benefits of small grains in crop rotations is the focus of the 24th Annual Field Day to be held June 19 at the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm in Brookings (3714 Western Avenue).

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Tours begin at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at noon. Lunch is sponsored by Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc.

Throughout the field day discussions will focus on bringing small grains back to South Dakota cropping systems.

"The number of acres planted to small grains in eastern South Dakota has been rapidly declining due to multiple factors that influence cropping decisions. However, there are also a number of reasons why small grains should be retained in South Dakota's crop rotations, especially when viewed as a component of the production system," said Mike Lehman, Research Microbiologist with U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS), North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory.

Field Day presentations include:

- Dakota Small Grains - General Mills, Inc. Perspectives: Led by Tom Rabaey, General Mills, Inc.

Rabaey will discuss quality breeding programs, quality grains, proximity to markets and successful agronomy research programs which are all factors that will contribute to making the Dakotas a key supplier to General Mills and other millers.

Rabaey will speak about General Mills' investments in oat breeding, genetics, agronomy and soil science in South Dakota to enable a reliable oat and wheat supply chain going forward.

- The "Why" and "What" of Soil Health Research at General Mills: Led by Steve Rosenzweig, General Mills, Inc.

Food companies are beginning to realize the importance of soil health to consumers, investors and farmers who supply the key ingredients for their products.

Rosenzweig will speak about General Mills' partnerships with farmers, suppliers, scientists, and tech companies to understand and improve soil health in their supply chains.

- Field Plot Research - Small Grain Benefits: Led by Shannon Osborne, USDA-ARS

Inclusion of a small grain into crop rotations can have multiple benefits, including improved crop yield, yield stability, and soil health properties.

Osborne will present the results of long-term research that found an increase in soil aggregate stability, soil carbon and soil biology when using a small grain in rotation.

- Incentives for Incorporating Small Grains into South Dakota Crop Rotations: Led by Jim Ristau, South Dakota Corn

Multiple programs exist to help growers address soil resource concerns, including increasing soil salinity. Ristau will discuss opportunities to improve soil health through diverse cropping systems.

- Making Small Grains Work: Led by Brian Smith, Producer

Smith will discuss the role of small grains in his operation including why and how he has retained small grains in his crop rotations when many neighboring farms migrated to a corn/soybean rotation.

Small grains contribute to improved soil health and its associated benefits, but also ensure the viability and profitability of his integrated livestock production system.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education credits are available in Crop Production and Soil and Water Management.

For more information about the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc., contact Joan Kreitlow at 605.692.8003 ext. 3.

For more information about the USDA-ARS North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, contact Sharon Papiernik, Research Leader, at 605-693-5201.

The Agricultural Research Service is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The NCARL in Brookings, the only ARS facility in South Dakota, is one of the nation's premier agricultural research laboratories. They develop integrated crop and pest management practices that enhance soil fertility and conservation, improve water availability and quality, increase biodiversity, and reduce insect and weed populations.

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