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News & Events

Coalition plans additional Soil Health School for West River

Coalition plans additional Soil Health School for West River

By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – Since 2016, the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition has held an annual Soil Health School to offer an intensive educational experience that combines classroom instruction with hands-on field exercises. However, those schools have been held...

Grazing livestock on cropland pays off

Grazing livestock on cropland pays off

By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – The core idea behind the regenerative agriculture movement is a simple one: Mimic nature. What did farmland look like before it was farmed, and how can producers make their operations look more like that picture? This concept lies at the...

Farmer reaps higher yields by interseeding soybeans

Farmer reaps higher yields by interseeding soybeans

By Stan Wise Alex Frasier has spent a lot of time studying what it takes to grow a successful crop. After studying ag production and precision technology at Lake Area Technical College, he has worked in ag retail and currently works as an agronomist in Aberdeen, SD....

Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 511458 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2024-04-29 08:42:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-04-29 13:42:47 [post_content] => The 2024 Bird Tour is to be held at Cheyenne River Ranch, home of South Dakota conservationist Dan O’Brien. Dan is the celebrated author of ‘Buffalo for the Broken Heart’ and other books about life on the Northern Plains. He is also the founder of Wild Idea Buffalo Company and an advocate for ranching in concert with nature.
  • RSVP: http://sdgrass.org/bird-watching-tour/
  • Free for current SDGC members and students; $35 per person for non-members (One-year membership included)
  • Meals included
  • Lodging is on your own: There is a guest house available on site with limited beds.
  • Cheyenne River Buffalo Ranch Wild Idea Buffalo Co.
2024 Bird Tour [post_title] => Birds. At Home on the Range Annual Bird Watching Tour [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => birds-at-home-on-the-range-annual-bird-watching-tour [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-04-29 08:43:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-04-29 13:43:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.sdsoilhealthcoalition.org/?post_type=tribe_events&p=511458 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => tribe_events [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [event_date] => 2024-06-03 15:25:00 ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 511462 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2024-04-29 08:52:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-04-29 13:52:46 [post_content] => Some of the topics covered include:
  • Adaptive Management
  • Concepts of Grazing
  • Managing Diversity on Rangelands
  • Working with Livestock
  • Pasture Allocation
  • Inventory of Ranch Resources
  • Plant Species Identification
  • Mineral Nutrition Needs of Livestock Seasonality of Grazing Nutrition
  • Ranch Monitoring Techniques
  • Soil Health and Infiltration
  • Planning for a Forage Shortage
  • Fencing and Watering Systems
  • Holistic Management
  • Implementing Grazing Practices
  • Consultation with Grazing Experts
Cost: $300 for SDGC Member or $335 for non-member (Includes a one-year membership) Fee includes session materials and meals. Register Online at www.sdgrass.org or by Mail to South Dakota Grasslands Coalition Attn: Judge Jessop (24690 299th Ave, Presho, SD 57568) Grazing-School-Brochure-2024   [post_title] => South Dakota West River Grazing School- Wall, SD [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => south-dakota-west-river-grazing-school [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-04-29 08:57:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-04-29 13:57:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.sdsoilhealthcoalition.org/?post_type=tribe_events&p=511462 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => tribe_events [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [event_date] => 2024-06-11 00:00:00 ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 511490 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2024-05-01 08:24:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-05-01 13:24:13 [post_content] => The second annual South Dakota Education and Agriculture Conference will bring together our state's brightest, most innovative teachers and agricultural leaders, and we want to make sure your voice is at the table. Join us for two engaging, interactive days as we explore ways to creatively connect agriculture to education standards in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Together, education and agriculture can invest in a brighter future. The conference will be held at the Raven Precision Agriculture Center at South Dakota State University. Participants will be eligible for 1-2 graduate credits or 1.7 CEUs after full participation in the conference and completion of post-conference activities. Registration is $50 for both days and $30 for one day attendance. Educators may be eligible for a stipend from the South Dakota Discovery Center and/or travel reimbursement from the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition if they attend the session on soil health and submit a reflection. Registration Deadline: May 20, 2024 Refund Policy: Full refund up to one week prior to the event. No refunds will be given following this date. Blocks of rooms have been reserved for June 11, 2024. To get the conference room rate, please reference EAC24GROUP. Please contact Comfort Suites University directly at: 605-692-2882 or by email. The conference is a collaboration between Ground Works Connect and South Dakota State University.   For more information and to register visit: https://www.sdstate.edu/academics/2024-education-and-agriculture-conference [post_title] => SD Education and Agriculture Conference [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => sd-education-and-agriculture-conference [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-05-01 08:24:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-05-01 13:24:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.sdsoilhealthcoalition.org/?post_type=tribe_events&p=511490 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => tribe_events [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [event_date] => 2024-06-11 00:00:00 ) )

Physical Properties

Chemical Properties

Biological Properties

Soil Health Concerns

Five Principles of Soil Health

Soil Health Assessment Card

The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition is working to create a Soil Health Assessment Card which agricultural producers of all types, ranchers, gardeners, and others can take into the field to assess their current level of soil health. Click on the button above to download the current version of the card, keeping in mind that it is an initial version and changes will be made as it is fully finalized.

Included below are images and descriptions which will assist you in identifying some of the soil health indicators included on the Soil Health Assessment Card. These helpful descriptions and photos are currently under final development. Check back regularly for updates to these resources!

A Spanish version of the card is now available and can be downloaded by accessing this link! ¡Ya está disponible una versión en español de la tarjeta y se puede descargar accediendo a este enlace!

Soil Health Indicators: Images & Descriptions

Use these images to help evaluate various levels of soil cover. Look straight down at the field as was done with these pictures and ask yourself what percent of the ground is covered with residue. Although the pictures show small grain residue on tilled ground, the same concept would apply regardless of crop/cover crop and tillage/no-tillage system.

Biological Activity – Earthworms: Earthworms are one of the easiest indicators to observe. However, they may not be present if the soil is too dry. In addition to worms, look for signs of worms such as holes (left photo) or their casts (right photo) in the form of little piles of soil, mineral particles or organic matter on or in the soil. Take a shovel-full of soil and break it apart carefully looking for earthworms or signs of earthworms.

Biological Activity – Fungal hyphae, etc.: Fungal hyphae will appear as white to light tan threads (left photo) or masses (right photo). Also, look for things that move like mites, springtails, millipedes, roundworms, beetles and termites.

Soil Structure– Crumbly soil (left photo) has developed over time by not tilling and subsequent biological activity. It will have pores and channels allowing air and water to move in the soil. Tilled soil may resemble this after the disturbance but will soon look more like the platty soil (right photo). Hard soil layers restrict air and water along with root growth.

(Photos utilized on this page courtesy of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service)

West River Soil Health School Registration Open!

In 2024, the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition will host an additional Soil Health School in west of the Missouri River! The 2024 West River Soil Health School with be held June 26-27 near Caputa, SD! This school will focus on issues specific to the land, climate, and ag production systems of wester South Dakota. Class size is limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged!

News & Events

Coalition plans additional Soil Health School for West River

Coalition plans additional Soil Health School for West River

By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – Since 2016, the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition has held an annual Soil Health School to offer an intensive educational experience that combines classroom instruction with hands-on field exercises. However, those schools have been held...

Grazing livestock on cropland pays off

Grazing livestock on cropland pays off

By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – The core idea behind the regenerative agriculture movement is a simple one: Mimic nature. What did farmland look like before it was farmed, and how can producers make their operations look more like that picture? This concept lies at the...

Farmer reaps higher yields by interseeding soybeans

Farmer reaps higher yields by interseeding soybeans

By Stan Wise Alex Frasier has spent a lot of time studying what it takes to grow a successful crop. After studying ag production and precision technology at Lake Area Technical College, he has worked in ag retail and currently works as an agronomist in Aberdeen, SD....