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South Dakota Farm & Ranch is an agricultural publication dedicated to informing SD and Midwest area farmers & ranchers about current topics and news. This publication fits the niche of our unique farmers and ranchers of the Midwest, and the diverseness we have in our area. Although the Missouri River divides our state, we are all South Dakotans and thank the land for supporting us each and every day. Our readers may be livestock ranchers or row crop farmers, and everywhere in between, however, we all have a common goal in mind. We feed and support the growing population, and want the next generation to find that same love and support that agriculture can offer. We’re all South Dakota Farmers and Ranchers’ and when you advertise in South Dakota Farm & Ranch, you are immersing your company, product, and service into a growing community of dedicated farmers and ranchers. Welcome to South Dakota Farm & Ranch! To subscribe to this FREE publication, contact South Dakota Farm & Ranch.

Ag Sand Sale Prices, Demand on the Rise 9


Drought Intensifies 3 Johnson Reintroduces Beef Bill 4 Build Your Base with Beef 5 Soybean Fertilizer Use 6 Adding Cover Crops to No-Till 7 Purchasing Qualified Seed 12 Auctioneer Directory 13 Benefits of Interseeding 14

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Drought intensifies for South Dakota in heart of winter

La Niña providing warmer than average temps, but not much precipitation By Marcus Traxler South Dakota Farm and Ranch The start of 2021 hasn’t weakened the threat of drought in South Dakota. Turning the page to February, all of South Dakota has at least some sort of drought designation. As of Feb. 2, more than 17% of the state is in a severe or extreme drought designation, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s National Drought Mitigation Center. The state’s drought conditions are most serious in the southeastern corner of the state, covering Clay, Turner and Union counties with severe drought condi-

tions, and Lincoln County in extreme drought. Conditions are also severe on the western edge of South Dakota, with an extreme drought designation for the southern part of Oglala Lakota County. It’s not clear when the drought conditions might receive a reprieve. The NWS’ Climate Prediction Center’s three-month outlook on weather conditions for the months of March, April and May doesn’t make a strong prediction for South Dakota, saying there’s equal chances for above-normal, normal and below-normal precipitation probability. The precipitation outlook shows February slightly more likely to have

wetter than average conditions for all parts of the state but the far southern tier along the Nebraska border, said South Dakota State Extension State Climatologist Laura Edwards. “This is still in our winter season where precipitation is historically low, so a couple of big storms could easily bring the monthly total above average,” Edwards said recently in a SDSU Extension story. “For the next three months into April, there is more uncertainty and almost all of the state is shown to have equal chances of wetter, drier or near-average precipitation.” Edwards said the lack of precipitation has made a dry situation worse, as soil

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and surface water are also evaporating during this abnormally warm winter, making spring precipitation more important than ever this year. “Many areas of the state were 4 or more inches below average precipitation in 2020,” Edwards said. “The winter warmth is allowing for more moisture loss when it is often ‘locked’ in as frozen soils and waterways.” According to the National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls as of Feb. 3, Mitchell has received 0.33 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1, which is slightly above normal but nearly a halfinch behind the pace of January 2020. The city has received 0.98 inches of precipitation since Dec. 1, which is also slightly above normal for that two-plus-month period. Snowfall has also been

limited, with 16.5 inches of snow since July 1, about half of what Mitchell had at the same time in the 2019-20 snow season. As a result of the dry period from late summer through January, nearly everywhere in the state is carrying a shortage of soil moisture to start the 2021 growing season for grasses, pastures, row crops, gardens and trees. SDSU Extension said while winter precipitation can help in improving drought conditions, it can also run off frozen ground instead of infiltrating into the soil. In addition to a dry winter, La Niña conditions — driven by colder waters in the Pacific Ocean near the equator by South America — are in place this season. These conditions often can change the jet stream patterns over North America. For South Dakota, past La Niña winter seasons have

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brought colder than average temperatures, but that effect has been diminished this year. “Since 1950, there have been just four La Niña winters with warmer than average temperatures in our region, the most recent being 20112012,” Edwards said. Edwards said there is another factor at play this year — the Arctic Oscillation over the northern latitudes around the North Pole. “That has been more prominent over our region in preventing colder air from moving south into the Dakotas,” she said. “Many climate forecasters see the Arctic Oscillation in its current phase weakening, and thus allowing more cold air to come into the northern U.S. states as is shown in Montana and North Dakota’s outlooks this month.”

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By Marcus Traxler Mitchell Republic WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., said Thursday that he is re-introducing legislation that would allow state inspected meat to be sold across state lines over the internet. The Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act would allow entrepreneurs and small businesses to expand their offerings and market directly to consumers, Johnson said. He is co-sponsoring it with U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas). Now in the 117th Congress, Johnson sponsored the bill last June but the bill did not receive a vote. He said Thursday that it got a lot of recognition and believes it is the type of legislation that should be able to get passed in a closely divided Congress. “Particularly in states like South Dakota and Texas, the state inspection process is as strong as regular federal inspections,” Johnson

said. “Today, a few large players have too much control over our meat supply chains.” The legislation would amend the retail exemption under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and Poultry Products Inspection Act to allow processors and butchers to sell normal retail quantities (300 pounds of beef, 100 pounds of pork and 27.5 pounds of lamb) of state inspected meat. The bill would allow direct-to-consumer options for producers, processors and small meat markets, and maintain traceability of sales easily accessed in the event of a recall. Johnson said that changing the rules would allow for “incredible entrepreneurship,” and could create a boom in meat similar to how craft beer businesses have taken off in recent years. “And Americans love meat as much as they love beer,” Johnson said. He said he doesn’t anticipate formal opposition and said he has discussed the matter with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in

the past about practical applications. He said it could be difficult to move the bill on its own, and could get attached to livestock mandatory price reporting legislation or an upcoming farm bill, which doesn’t expire until 2023. The bill has been endorsed by a number of ag groups, including the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and South Dakota Pork Producers, the South Dakota Farm Bureau and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Johnson also expressed pride over receiving an assignment to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, given this is a year for the five-year highway bill to be reauthorized. He said he was one of 40 House Republicans seeking a first-time seat. “Our part of the world has not been very well represented on the committee in the Plains West states,” Johnson said. “I do think we need to make sure we have a five-year bill that keeps real transportation states involved.”

BUILD YOUR BASE WITH BEEF PROGRAM GOES NATIONAL WITH CHRIS NILSEN ENDORSEMENT By Michelle Rook AgweekTV Anchor The South Dakota Beef Industry Council’s Build Your Base with Beef Program has gone national and enlisted a big-name athletic endorsement. Former University of South Dakota and U.S. pole vaulting champion Chris Nilsen is endorsing the program, because he said nutrition and beef are key to his successful training regime. “So, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned from becoming a professional athlete is how important nutrition is, and with the Build Your Base program, you know their comprehensive sports nutrition program, their premiere protein is beef. And coincidentally since I was a freshman in college my premium meal has been some form of beef,” he said. Build Your Base is a comprehensive sports nutrition program developed through a partnership between the SDBIC — the beef checkoff organization for South Dakota — and the Sanford Sports Science Institute and utilizes beef as the premier protein. The program has been going for three years and originally

started with high school football teams in South Dakota. Since then it has grown to include college football squads at USD, South Dakota State University and across the nation. Chris Nilsen, a 22-year-old Kansas City, Mo., native, is the first professional athlete to be included in the program. South Dakota Beef Industry Council’s Build Your Base program gets a professional endorsementNilsen had a highly decorated pole-vaulting career while at USD. He is the reign-

ing Pan American Gold Medalist, an NCAA pole vault champion, a sixtime All-American and a four-time national pole-vaulting champion. His pro career includes a third place in the 2020 Brussels Diamond League and second place in the 2020 Anhalt Dessau Meeting in Bauhaus, Germany, in September 2020. He said his personal best vault is 19’6 1/2”. However, his goal is to make it to the U.S. Olympic trials this June and finish in the top three to earn a spot on the U.S. team.

That would allow him to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, in August. Nilsen’s coach at USD and associate director of track and field Derek Miles turned him on to beef. He said Miles touted beef as a better alternative to protein supplements, and Nilsen said it’s really improved his performance. “Starting out with just throwing a steak on the Forman grill, that’s when I think I first started to notice how positively influential beef can be the

night before a meet and having that good protein right before you go into a competition setting,” Nilsen said. “It’s super important.” The protein in beef is also essential for muscle recovery in athletes. “Just as important as it is to stem up for a meet or some kind of practice day with good nutrition, you need to replenish everything you lost you know after a hard workout,” he said. As an athlete, Nilsen recognizes beef is a nutrient-dense whole

protein that is critical in every athlete’s diet, no matter what sport. “The amount of protein that you can get from like even from even just a three-ounce steak is amazing, and exponential compared to a bunch of other proteins,” he said. Beef is also Nilsen’s preference as an athlete. “It’s either been steak and pasta, steak and veggies or just ground beef and just mix it together with some other kind of food,” he said. Beef is also easy to incorporate into his busy lifestyle as he trains for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Sharing the message of beef with other athletes is a goal for Nilsen. He said Build Your Base and his partnership with the South Dakota Beef Industry Council is a great opportunity to tell people about how beef benefits him personally. SDBIC Executive Director Susy Geppert is excited to bring Nilsen into the Build Your Base Program. “Chris understands the value of the whole proteins like beef in an athlete’s diet and uses it consistently as part of his nutrition plan,” she said.

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NO SIMPLE ANSWERS ON SOYBEAN FERTILIZER USE Jonathan Knutson Agweek Staff Writer Soybean prices are soaring, and so area farmers are evaluating whether to plant more of the crop this spring. That can make fine-tuning fertilizer application on beans especially important, an Extension specialist said. The main thing for farmers to focus on is “the foundation of their soil fertility program. Looking for P and K mostly, soil testing, focusing on those applications,” Daniel Kaiser, extension soil fertility specialist with the University of Minnesota, said in a recent webinar. P is agricultural shorthand

for phosphorus, a widely used fertilizer that helps plants convert other nutrients into usable building blocks with which to grow. K stands for potassium, another widely used fertilizer that helps to strengthen plants’ ability to resist disease and plays an important role in increasing crop yields and overall quality. Among Kaiser’s top recommendations: “Don’t buy what you don’t need,” he said. Kaiser spoke Jan. 25 during the Virtual Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research. The online event, open to the news media, was sponsored

by the North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota Extension, along with the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota Grain Growers Association and North Dakota Wheat Commission. Nitrogen is another key nutrient, one that helps all aspects of a plant’s healthy growth. Part of soybeans’ appeal is that the plants, a legume, provide their own nitrogen by pulling it from the atmosphere and con-

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verting it into a form the plants can use. Now, there’s some evidence that especially high-yielding soybeans also need fertilizer applied by the farmer to achieve those high yields. Kaiser, asked about that, said that in most cases the additional yield doesn’t justify the nitrogen application. A possible exception are fields in which soybeans are being grown for the first time. Kaiser also recommended focusing on the timing of phosphorus and potassium applications when data suggests it’s critical. Flexibility is essential, he said.

“There isn’t one best strategy to manage P and K for all fields,” he said. The value of micronutrients, or chemical fertilizers that include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc, appears to be limited on Minnesota soybeans, Kaiser said. “We’ve looked at this a number of times, and I have not been able to track any consistent data that shows any clear response to any micronutrient across a wide range of fields across the state,” he said. “Manganese for soybeans might be the only one you want to watch.”

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BUILD A RELATIONSHIP Maximum benefits seen when cover crops and cattle grazing added to no-till By Lura Roti For South Dakota Soil Health Coalition Driving conditions were challenging as Brandt farmer Tyler Brown made his way south to the Texas Panhandle this December. “I started out in a snowstorm, then it became a dirt storm. And it made me realize, we could do something better in the ag industry to prevent soil erosion,” said Brown, a fourth-generation cattle producer. “As I got into the Panhandle, the fields were empty. I wondered if cover crops could make a difference?” Brown says this question was answered by Jimmy Emmons’ presentation, “Recovering Tillage Addict,” delivered during the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition’s (SDSHC) virtual 2021 Soil Health Conference January 6-7.

Emmons is an Oklahoma crop and cattle producer who has been implementing soil health practices since 1995. His talk focused on soil health benefits that result when cover crops and livestock grazing are added to no-till field management. “The fact that he changed the soil color and classification based on how he treated his soil – that is impactful,” Tilford rancher Andrew Snyder added. “Jimmy was talking about Oklahoma red dirt, and he said in places it is this way because of how we treated it. That puts a lump in your throat. We made it that way.” Along with the changed color and classification, the resulting increased water retention on Emmons’ land was the benefit Snyder was most excited to

learn more about when he made time for the SDSHC’s virtual conference. Although Oklahoma climate differs quite a bit from Snyder’s western South Dakota ranch, the limited annual moisture in Dewey County, Oklahoma, is similar. In fact, moisture retention is what first motivated Snyder to begin implementing no-till practices on the family’s hay and forage acres. “I did several agronomy internships in eastern South Dakota, and I’d be out at a guy’s place, and he’d say, ‘Yup, I’m going to hit this with a disc to dry it up.’ And I am thinking, ‘OK, out west we are always trying to conserve moisture. It is our limiting factor. So, why are we disking the soil?’” Emmons shared that Continued on page 8

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Continued from page 7 no-till is just the start. His experience showed integrating cover crops and cattle into field management is key to achieve maximum moisture infiltration and retention. “It’s very important to have a soil health accelerator in the system,” Emmons said. “Animals are very important if you want a truly functional system. … In a truly functioning system, there is a circle of ongoing life all the time. Remember, that the herd below the ground needs to feed continually. To do this, you have to have living roots and animals at all times.” The “herd” below the ground that he references is soil biology. “Now I have this really dark, carbon-rich soil. How do you get that? You let the earthworms do the work for you,” Emmons said. He explained when livestock and cover crops are integrated into field management, the

soil structure changes. To emphasize this point he shared a slide showing root mass from a no-till field where cover crops and cattle grazed and a field where only no-till practices were implemented. “Eight years after I began implementing grazing and cover crops, my soil was reclassified to porous with large aggregation,” Emmons said. This porous soil not only allows moisture to infiltrate more quickly, but it retains moisture. In fact, following a rain event, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) testing showed 102 percent moisture retention in a field where cover crops had been grazed, versus 20 percent retention in a field where only no-till practices were implemented. Now, Emmons understands that in many regions of the country, freezing temperatures don’t allow for a living root year-round. In colder regions of the country, SDSU Extension Soil Field Special-

ist Anthony Bly said, “If populations of soil biology are high during the growing season, although they go dormant during winter months, the soil biology restarts itself when favorable soil conditions return. To maintain greater populations of soil biology, it is advantageous to maintain living roots in the soil as late into the fall and early in the spring as possible.” As his soil health improved, Emmons’ overall cost of production was drastically cut: ► Fuel costs went from $128,000 to $20,000. ► Chemical fertilizer was cut by 85 percent. ► Feed costs were reduced. ► Herbicide and pesticide costs were reduced. Emmons explains the same cover crop that feeds his cattle and soil biology also controls weeds. “The more cover you have, the less weed pressure. The less weed pressure, the less money you spend on herbicides,” Emmons said. “I

have seen Palmer amaranth grow 3-feet under the cover crop looking for sunlight before it died.” When Emmons selects cover crops, he said he expects a minimum of three outcomes from each species. Throughout his talk, Emmons shared other practical tips he’s picked up over the years, including one to simplify fencing. “I found when the cover crop is pocket-high, if you drag an old truck tire behind a four-wheeler, it’s a pretty good and quick way to mow it down for the cattle to see the poly wire.” Learning from actual producers about soil health practices that work is one of the many goals of the annual SDSHC conference, explained Cindy Zenk, SDSHC coordinator. “There’s a big difference between seeing results from a 5-acre test plot and seeing results from a 2,000acre farm or ranch,” Zenk said.


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AG LAND SALE PRICES, DEMAND ON THE RISE By Erik Kaufman Mitchell Republic OMAHA, Neb. — Prices and demand for agricultural land in South Dakota have been on the rise since the 2020 harvest, according to a recent property sales report by a major Nebraska land management company. A survey of recent sales by Farmers National Company indicated that land used for agricultural purposes has steadily risen in demand and price in the past six months. The Omaha, Nebraska, company, founded in 1929, offers professional farm management, real estate sales, and auctions as well

as a range of agricultural services for landowners including oil and gas management, forest resource management, appraisals, insurance, consultations, hunting lease network, lake management and FNC Ag Stock. The improved prices come as somewhat of a surprise. With the arrival of COVID-19 on the scene in 2020, the agricultural sector struggled with supply chain problems, distressed grain prices and other challenges brought on by the global pandemic. But that eventually changed. “It wasn’t looking that

optimistic as we progressed into that late summer and fall time frame,” Randy Dickhut, senior vice president of real estate operations at Farmers National Company, told the Mitchell Republic. “But grain prices were starting to perk up, and another big factor was the additional government payments that came to grain and livestock producers. That put money in their pockets.” The influx of funds and improving conditions brought about a resurgence of interest in owning land, which is always of use for those who want to grow crops or graze cattle. But

Matt Gade / Republic

A sign marks farmland that recently sold in Hanson County. Prices and demand for quality farmland are up, according to a major Nebraska-based land management company. The surge is being fueled by consistent demand for land from farmers as well as a new influx of buyers from non-agricultural interests looking to make a solid investment.

the pandemic also spurred another type of buyer to seek out land that may not have otherwise had interest. Urban buyers suddenly became much more interested in agricultural land as an investment, Dickhut said. “(The pandemic) brought on an increased interest in owning land. It started in urban areas with people who wanted to own a spot in the country or an acreage. That expanded and we got calls from individuals who have never owned farmland. They were interested in it because of food and ag issues and the impor-

tance of the food supply chain,” Dickhut said. “They thought this is a good place to invest and I want to be part of it.”

South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota

The company issued a report covering 15 different states, including a combined report for South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. Brian Mohr, an area sales manager for Farmers National Company, said auctions and listings for land have been up. “Prices for top quality cropland sold through our auctions and listings have Continued on page 10

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Continued from page 9 increased significantly since harvest. Demand for good farmland has definitely increased,” Mohr said in a statement. Mohr noted the Northern Plains region specifically saw challenges from interruptions in livestock deliveries, weather issues, lower ethanol demand and a late season drought in some areas. But a cocktail of circumstances had producers looking to buy following the 2020 harvest. And while new investors are boosting demand for land, it remains the farmers

who are the prime buyers of quality farmland. “Government payments, crop insurance, low interest rates and rising grain prices sustained farmers’ interest in buying land, especially in the fall time frame,” Mohr said. “Farmers are currently buying 90 percent of the top quality farmland that comes up for sale and are fueling the strong demand-driven land market. Demand and prices for lower quality cropland are flat.” Lands sales volume at the company were up 49 percent during October and November compared to last year despite there

remaining a normal to lower supply of land for sale in the overall market, Mohr said. “Investor interest and farmer demand will continue to drive the land market in 2021 and I expect we will see strong prices as we start the year,” Mohr said.

Overall surge may continue

Dickhut agreed that farmers are the main drivers of the overall market, in the Northern Plains and beyond. “Farmers will buy 60 to 80 percent of what comes up for sale. Especially the good cropland, they really want that because they know it’s the most productive. They know if they farm it they benefit the most,” Dickhut said, adding that investor buyers will usually back out of auctions when the bidding gets too high. Dickhut said the volume of sales has risen steadily through the 2000s up until 2013 and 2014, where it expe-

10 SOUTH DAKOTA FARM & RANCH February 2021

Matt Gade / Republic

A farmer unloads his corn into a trailer in Aurora County. rienced a plateau, but 2020 has seen that volume on the rise once again. “2020 was different because we had the lull in spring through mid-summer. In the fall that activity picked up

and there were more sales and more land came on the market,” Dickhut said. Pasture land demand and sales have not been quite as strong as for cropland, Dickhut said,

but that is not entirely unexpected with the difficulties the cattle industry suffered in 2020. “That has been slower than good crop land for various reasons. Continued on page 11

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Continued from page 10 We’re getting some ranches sold, but sometimes they can sit on the market for a while before the right buyer comes up,” Dickhut said. “I think the rest of the winter and all through the year it will be interesting.” Dickhut expects the demand for cropland to remain steady as 2021 progresses. “There are low interest

to previous years, according to the latest Agricultural Land Market Trends survey. The report, the 30th annual report issued by South Dakota State University Extension, was released in August of 2020. At that time, the averRental rates age case rental rate for 2020 Average rental rates for non-irrigated cropland some South Dakota farm- was highest in the southland had dropped compared east region of the state at

rates, the China trade issue is going better so they’re importing soybeans and with less land supply on the market for sales, put it all together it sure points to firmer land prices this year,” Dickhut said.

a price of $179 per acre. The east-central region was next highest at $173 per acre, followed by the northeast at $146 per acre, the north-central at $109 per acre, the central at $99 per acre and the south-central at $72 per acre. Cash rental rates for pasture land were highest in the northeastern region of the state at $64 per acre, fol-

lowed by the east-central at $59 per acre and the southeast at $54 per acre. The statewide average for non-irrigated cropland values also decreased in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, the survey value of South Dakota pasture and rangeland averaged $1,162 per acre, which comes to a 3.4% decrease compared to values from the previous year.

Matt Gade / Republic

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PURCHASING QUALIFIED SEED IMPACTS SEED PRODUCTION SYSTEM By South Dakota State University Extension BROOKINGS — Serving as the source of dozens of wheat and oat varieties, the SDSU College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences plays an integral role in producing certified crop seeds for public use. Purchasing these certified seeds generates a reinvestment into the system, allowing for new varieties to be developed in the future. However, without Plant Variety Protection (PVP) with Title V, these seeds can potentially be sold illegally, harming the sustenance of the system.

From Breeding to Sale

The certified seed production process spans 8-10 years, including initial breeding and selection, multiple years of testing in a range of environments and a final scale-up of the seed to commercial quantities. After an SDSU spring wheat, winter wheat or oat breeder develops a variety, the seed is placed in crop performance trials, which compare the new varieties with current commercial cultivars for agronomic traits, disease resistance, seed composition and yield and end-use characteristics such as milling

and baking properties. Following evaluation of the variety’s performance, the SDSU Variety Release Committee determines if the seed volume should be increased with the intent of releasing the variety for future sale or discontinued. Upon committee approval, Foundation Seed increases breeder seed in field sizes from 1-100 acres over two years, depending on the crop and potential market. Once the committee approves the named variety for public release by Foundation Seed, members of the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association (SDCIA) produce certified classes of the seed, which can then be sold to SDCIA members and other producers. Fields used for this production must receive inspection, and the resulting certified seed is tested and labeled before becoming available for anyone to plant.

Plant Variety Protection

When certified seed is approved for public release, a 12-month window opens to file a Plant Variety Protection (PVP) application for the named variety. PVP with Title V provides legal protection to developers, as the pro-

tected variety can only be sold by the official variety name as a class of certified seed. The PVP process proves especially important to the sustenance of the SDSU plant breeding program, Foundation Seed and the SDCIA. With PVP, private companies or individuals cannot legally sell protected, named varieties without the owner’s permission and certification. If an infraction of PVP arises, the SDCIA and SDSU consult with a law firm to investigate, and based upon the findings, legal action may be initiated against the violators.

Growing the Industry

Funding for equipment, research and land used for the seed production process originates from royalty fees, which are paid by anyone purchasing certified seed. These fees circulate back into the system to continue the development of new varieties suitable for South Dakota climates and soils. “A small plot combined with all of the necessities that make work more efficient and data collection more accurate will cost about the same as a full size combine,” Neal Foster, Executive

Aurora Cooperative is seeking to fill the following positions at our Mitchell location: CUSTOM APPLICATORPrefer previous experience, but can train. Have or able to obtain a Class A commercial driver license(CDL) and have or able to obtain a SD Commercial Applicator License. This could be a PT or FT position. Wages plus an acre bonus. FERTILIZER TOWER OPERATORMust be mechanically inclined, prefer someone with a Class A CDL. This could be a FT or PT position, prefer FT.

TRUCK/TENDER DRIVER/GENERAL MAINTENANCEMust have or able to obtain a Class A CDL. This position could be FT or PT.

These are hourly positions. Excellent benefits for full time positions: *Cost shared health insurance *Dental and Vision Insurance *Paid Sick Leave *Flex Spending Plan *Paid Vacation *401k after 90 days employment starts on next ¼ *Short term and Long Term disability programs Go to www.auroracoop.com and go to the Join Our Team tab to fill out an application or call the Mitchell office at 605-996-6677 and ask for Dave or Mike.

Aurora Cooperative 25258 413th Ave, Mitchell, SD57301 12 SOUTH DAKOTA FARM & RANCH February 2021

Director of the SDCIA, said. “The royalty system has allowed for the upgrades and replacement of much of the breeding programs equipment from tractors, seeding equipment and combines.” PVP protects the royalty fees, as seed sold illegally does not return any funds back into the variety development pipeline. “The monies generated through the royalty system are critical to keep these breeding programs going and provide better varieties for both producers and consumers,” Foster said. As a result of the negative implications of illegal sales, purchasing seed from reputable dealers becomes an integral piece to

protecting funding of breeding programs such as SDSU’s and safeguarding land from the introduction of new weeds and pests. “A producer growing a commodity should recognize the importance of purchasing only seed that has been through the certification process,” SDCIA past board chairman Bryan Jorgensen said. Through meeting seed purity and quality

standards, the certification process allows producers to rest easy knowing their certified seed is clean, traceable and ready to plant. “Buying seed that has gone through the certification process gives the grower access to superior genetics, which will maximize all of the other inputs the grower has to use to grow the crop,” Jorgensen said. “In short, certified seed pays!”

AGRICULTURE IS A TOUGH BUSINESS. YOUR LENDER SHOULD BE, TOO. We deliver financial strength to help you grow, attractive rates to give you an edge, insurance to protect your risk and cash-back dividends that deliver something more. Learn more by calling the Mitchell office at 605-996-2774. 401 Cabela Drive Mitchell, SD fcsamerica.com

AUCTIONEER D I R E C TO RY Be sure to watch the Mitchell Republic’s Classifieds for upcoming listings of auctions! See these Auctioneers for all of your Real Estate, Farm, Household, Consignments, Business Liquidation or other needs.


1116 N. West Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Specializing in Land • Real Estate Auctions of All Types

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www.sdauctions.com Let us share your next auction with the world! Justin Dean 605.999.4239 Shanda Feistner 605.999.1674

Lori Dean 605.999.4217 Kelbi Dean 605.999.8812

Email: sdauctions@santel.net Owned/Operated by: Dakota Web Design, Inc. 40942 234th Street • Artesian, SD 57314 February 2021 SOUTH DAKOTA FARM & RANCH 13

Soil Health Conference speaker shares many benefits of interseeding By Lura Roti for South Dakota Soil Health Coalition Mechanic is among the many hats most farmers and ranchers wear. “Every farmer and rancher modifies equipment — it’s the nature of the game,” explained Paul Winkler, a Newell rancher. Always eager to learn more, Winkler was among many who tuned in to Loran Steinlage’s South Dakota Soil Health Coalition presentation, “Life Beyond Tech Support,” during the organization’s 2021 Virtual Soil Health Conference January 6-7. “Every farm or ranch is different, but the concepts can be applied,” Winkler said. “He gave a lot of practical information.” A second-generation West Union, Iowa, farm-

er, Steinlage has always relied on his mechanical wit and abilities. But when he began embracing soil health practices, like interseeding of cover crops and relay cropping — modifying

and redesigning equipment became essential to field success. “Figuring out key pieces of equipment has opened doors for us,” said Steinlage, who — together with his family

— farms 750 acres of extremely diverse crops. Recognized by machinery manufacturers for his talents, Steinlage also works in equipment design. Throughout his presentation, Steinlage

shared many images of modified equipment, but he focused most of the presentation on the why. He shared how soil health practices beyond no-till, like interseeding

cover crops and companion crops, improved his overall farm and became the motivation behind many of his equipment modifications. Steinlage began focusing on interseeding and relay cropping when he realized “weeds enjoy soil disturbance.” From that point forward, he added interseeding to existing no-till practices. Reducing weed pressure through interseeding has allowed him to dramatically reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides. And because of the soil health benefits from companion cropping, he has also reduced nutrient inputs. “Interseeding is a gateway drug. It opened doors for me…as soon

Continued on page 15

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Continued from page 14 as we saw success, we started scaling up,” he said. Steinlage shared how interseeding helps control pests in two ways. First, fields planted to a diversity of crops attract a greater number of beneficial insects. During his presentation he shared this example. “I had interseeded soybeans with buckwheat, intent on harvesting as a companion crop, and there were sweat bees eating pregnant soybean aphids.” Results of field scouting showed no aphid larvae. “I never sprayed and got a food grade premium.” In some cases, Steinlage said interseeding can create “the flypaper effect. As bugs come into a field to attack, the beauty of interseeding is they are always looking for the easy score, and most often, the cover crop is the easy score.” When deciding what plants to interseed, Steinlage suggests looking to nature for guidance. “Pay atten-

tion to nature. It will tell you what you need to be interseeding. Go around to your native pasture and see what thrives,” he said. Additional interseeding tips Steinlage also shared are: Planting timing: Look at the weather forecast more than stage of growth. “If we are in a cool, dry growing season, we take the time and wait. If we are in a hot, humid growing season, we push ahead a bit.” Roll crimp, don’t shred: “When we roll something, we create a mat. Shredding breaks down too quickly.” What to plant: If planting into a cornon-corn field, Steinlage focuses on legumes and brassica mixes. If planting into a corn-going-into-soybean field, he focuses on grasses. And if he’s planting into a soybeans-going-into-corn field, he plants winter wheat and barley. Uniformity is key: “Pay attention to details.” Twin Brooks

farmer David Kruger can relate to the challenge of getting details right when interseeding. Since 2018, Kruger has participated in an interseeding study for the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. “Plant spacing in 60-inch corn is more crucial than 30-inch. This has been a lot of my problem. My problem is a normal planter can’t plant accurate enough at that high of a population.” Kruger appreciated Steinlage’s talk. He says learning from others focused on soil health when managing their acres gives him not only new information, but it often confirms possible solutions. “Hearing someone else confirm the root of an issue gives me more confidence to invest in the solution. For me to go and get a different corn planter to get accuracy, which I may need to do if I continue with 60-inch corn, may mean I need to spend, $80,000 to $120,000,” Kruger explained. “That

information helps me determine whether I feel that is a wise investment or is there a better way to accomplish the goals we are trying to accomplish with 60-inch corn.” Connecting growers like Kruger and Winkler with other growers, soil health resources and information is a mis-

sion of the SDSHC and its annual conference, SDSHC Coordinator Cindy Zenk explained. “Farmers and ranchers have a strong desire to make their land better,” Zenk said. “Like all of us, they are busy. So, we work to maximize their time through this annual two-day conference which brings many

• Lunch will be served at 11:30am with the sale starting at 1:00pm

February 16, 2021 Come take a look at the bulls. You will like what you see!

BW 90 205 Wt. 884 365 Wt. 1655

Bull Lot 1

Sire: SAV Quarterback 7933 • MGS: Sitz Upward 307R +11



WW +72



DOC +20

Milk +25



BW 85 205 Wt. 846 365 Wt. 1489

Lot 5

BW 95 205 Wt. 886 365 Wt. 1524

Bull Lot 28

Sire: Bruns Blaster • MGS: Sitz Sensation 693A +4



WW +84



DOC +20

Milk +35



BW 90 205 Wt. 884 365 Wt. 1655

Lot 1

Sire: Bar R Jet Black 5063 • MGS: MOGCK Whispering Sire: Wind 584 SAV Quarterback 7933 • MGS: Sitz Upward 307R

CE +5



Moke G Blaster 2045


Tuesday • 1 PM At the farm near Corsica, SD Moke G Jet Black 2034

Free delivery within 200 miles, 5% discount if buyer purchases 3 or more bulls.

Moke G Quartback 2005


soil health experts and resources together.” To connect with SDSHC resources, visit the organization’s website: www.sdsoilhealthcoalition.org. The website provides access to many online resources and staff who are available to work one-onone with those eager to learn more.

Glen and $B Brady Moke DOC Milk CE BW WW YW DOC Milk 27218 Ave+11 • Corsica, +75 +130398th +30 +18 +177 +1.2 +72 SD +12657328 +20 +25 Glen’s cell 605-505-0124 Brady’s cell 605-505-0418 WW


BW 72 205 Wt. 868 365 Wt. 1521








+157 +4 +3.8

Bull Lot 5

Sire: Bar R Jet Black 5063 • MGS: MOGCK Whispering Wind 584

CE +5



WW +75



BW 95 205 Wt. 886 365 Wt. 1524





DOC +30

Milk +18



Moke G Geddes 2029

We willLot be38having an Lot 28 Open House Feb. 13th from 10am Sire: Varilek Geddes 7068 • MGS: 4M Element 405 Sire: Bruns Blaster • MGS: Sitz Sensation 693A CE BW WW YW DOC Milk $B BW WW YW DOC Milk $B until dark withCE lunch provided! +11

BW 85 205 Wt. 846 365 Wt. 1489


BW 72 205 Wt. 868 365 Wt. 1521

Bull Lot 38

Sire: Varilek Geddes 7068 • MGS: 4M Element 405 CE




WW +86



DOC +20

Milk +25



February 2021 SOUTH DAKOTA FARM & RANCH 15

We Salute Our LOCAL FFA CHAPTER in recognition of

February 20-27, 2021


President: Jocelyn Vogel • Vice President: Madisyn Sheesley Secretary: Becca Long • Treasurer: Samantha Kludt Reporter: Chantele Gulbranson • Sentinel: Garner Rubendall


Sara Ackman, Samantha Ford, Chantele Gulbranson, Connor Hagemeyer, Grayson Hetland, Tya Hohn, Olivia Husmann, Haley Kelly, Samantha Kludt, Becca Long, Emily Maltsberger, Kennedy Olson, Aaron Opperman, Dillon Phillips, Garner Rubendall, Ashtyn Sheesley, Logan Tlam, Mya Tupper, Jocelyn Vogel, Kallie Volk, and Lilly Young

MITCHELL FFA OFFICERS: Chapter Officer Team 2020-2021 President: Jocelyn Vogel Vice President: Madisyn Sheesley Secretary: Becca Long Treasurer: Samantha Kludt Reporter: Chantele Gulbranson Sentinel: Garner Rubendall


Farm Coop Service Tire 831 Main Ave • Alpena, SD Service 605-849-3341

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Winner, SD 842-3050


Statewide Ag Insurance is an equal opportunity provider/employer

I-90 & US Hwy 281 Plankinton, SD 605-942-7138


Mike Fastnacht 605-350-0867

102 1st Street NE Wessington Springs, SD


Mike Polancheck 605-770-6537 or 605-539-0236 605-286-3213

Mitchell, SD Chamberlain, SD 990-2376 234-6086



Checking Services • Savings CD’S • IRA’S Mortgages • Vehicle & Personal Loans

118 N Main St. • Avon, SD


We offer propane, gas & diesel products

A Good Bank in a Good Community! COMMUNITY BANK OF AVON

Thank you to our area Farmers and Ranchers!

Emery, SD | Carl Nordwald Excavation & Utility Construction of All Types

Al Meier 605-770-9679


Tony & Jodi Wolf, Owners 1004 South Ben Street PO Box 89 Parkston, SD 57366

605-928-7335 1-888-595-6717 16 SOUTH DAKOTA FARM & RANCH February 2021

Business: 605-770-2957 Home: 605-449-4939

Chris Nelson General Manager

Scott & Mary Tilberg, Agents 1140 Spruce Street · PO Box 128 Alexandria, SD 57311 605.239.4513

Appliance Sales & Service Heating & Cooling Services Electrical Wiring Generators


Meyerink Farm Service www.meyerinkfs.com

1-800-658-2293 • 605-337-2621

36590 SD Hwy 44 • Platte, SD www.pharmco.com LOCATIONS IN Platte•Chamberlain•Kimball•Winner

www.centralec.coop • 800-477-2892 • 605-996-7516

Profile for Mitchell Republic

South Dakota Farm & Ranch February 2021  

Check out this February 2021 edition of your South Dakota Farm & Ranch by the Mitchell Republic! #MitchellSD #HifromSD #agnews #FarmLiving #...

South Dakota Farm & Ranch February 2021  

Check out this February 2021 edition of your South Dakota Farm & Ranch by the Mitchell Republic! #MitchellSD #HifromSD #agnews #FarmLiving #...