Crops Insights

Dealing with crops stressed by drought, hail


Many South Dakota farmers are having a tough time as of late — the state’s Extension agency reports that drought is affecting as much as 60 percent of the area, and hail has been a damaging factor for some fields. That’s left many to ask: What now?

Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist, said that depending on the severity of the drought or hail there are options available for use of stressed crops as forage.

Extension broke it down to five options:

1. Test the crop for nitrates to determine if it can safely be used as feed for livestock.

2. If it won’t make adequate grain and can’t be grazed, harvest the crop for hay.

3. Let the crop mature to see if it will produce grain.

4. Harvest the forage for silage.

5. If the the crop is too damaged or too high in nitrates, consider spraying it out and leaving it for soil cover and reseed directly into it when you get moisture.

To go into more details about these options, see the full story here.

“Evaluate the crop to determine which option is the most economical and will give the most opportunities to utilize forage from the crop in the best manner possible,” Harty said.


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