Gearing Up for Spring Planting in South Dakota
Stay connected with what’s going on in the field during #plant16 through this series of brief interviews with Crop Science sales reps in various regions. Keep checking back for more!
2016 Planting Season Update: Q&A with Ronald Anderson, Key Account Manager, South Dakota Wheat Growers Cooperative.
Key Account Manager for South Dakota Wheat Growers, a cooperative covering locations in North and South Dakota
Key Crops in Territory:
You are the Key Account Manager for South Dakota Wheat Growers cooperative. Are the members of this co-op all wheat growers?
“No, wheat was a major crop when South Dakota Wheat Growers was formed in 1923. Corn and soybeans acres have now surpassed the winter and spring wheat acres due to demand. Local ethanol plants use a lot of corn, and there is a new soybean processing plant being built in Aberdeen. Corn and soybeans are raised on the east side of the state, while winter wheat and spring wheat are in central South Dakota.”
What’s the weather been like in northeast South Dakota?
“We had a mild winter this year, so our frost is not as thick as it normally is. Growers will usually wait until the frost is out before they start planting spring wheat. We’re a little on the dry side, but that can change pretty fast. Right now conditions are good to go. We’ve been really wet the last few years, but it looks like this spring we’ll be able to get through a lot of the acres.”
What happening out in the field?
“We’re just starting to spread fertilizer for corn, and the spring wheat planting is just getting started. The fall-planted winter wheat looks good so far. The next few weeks will be busy with spreading fertilizer and planting wheat. We won’t plant soybeans and corn until the end of April, due to the risk of frost.”
You say the winter wheat looks good. Tell us more.
“Growers in the central part of the state plant winter wheat in the fall, and it starts to green up in the spring. This is the dangerous time for winter wheat due to the risk of frost. Last year they had to replant most of the winter wheat to grain sorghum. Winter wheat harvest precedes spring wheat harvest in July, and growers like to plant spring wheat as early as they can to avoid the 4th of July heat during flowering.”
What are growers thinking about in your area in 2016?
“The margins are a lot slimmer with the commodity prices where they are. Input costs are on the growers’ minds; there’s less margin for error. We also have resistant weeds developing in the area, so that’s going to have to be addressed in their choice of herbicides.”
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