Diversifying Crop Rotation Through Field Peas, Sorghum and Polycropping
BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension will kick off the second month of its Crop Hour Series, with a week focused on field peas, sorghum and polycropping practices. During the virtual coffee hour February 2-5, participants will get to hear the latest research in this area and why including these alternative crops in rotations is beneficial.
“We will share SDSU’s Field Pea Variety Trials as well as cover root and other common diseases of field peas and management options available to producers to help prevent these diseases,” says Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist. “We will also review SDSU’s Sorghum Variety Trials and herbicide options to manage weeds in sorghum. Finally, we will discuss ongoing research at the Dakota Lakes Research Farm near Pierre involving polycropping, which is the practice of growing more than one crop in a field at the same time.”
Growers and agribusiness professionals are invited to join the SDSU Extension team 10 to 11 a.m. CST each day during the Field Peas, Sorghum and Polycropping Week:
February 2: “Growing Field Peas and Other Pulse Crops in S.D.,” Chris Graham, SDSU Extension Agronomist
February 3: “Managing Root Disease in Field Peas,” Audrey Kalil, NDSU Extension Plant Pathologist; “Other Common Diseases of Field Peas in S.D.,” Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension
February 4: “Sorghum Variety Trials,” Chris Graham, SDSU Extension; “Weed Management in Sorghum,” Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator
February 5: “Polycropping with Annual and Perennial Crops,” Dwayne Beck, SDSU Dakota Lakes Research Farm Manager
“There can be many benefits to including alternative crops in crop rotations. Diverse crop rotation is one of the five principles of soil health. Increasing diversity by including alternative crops in crop rotations also helps to break pest cycles and increase opportunities to utilize different herbicide chemistries,” says Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist. “In addition to these benefits, in dry years, field peas and sorghum provide cropping options that utilize less moisture than more traditional options such as corn and soybeans. They are one more tool South Dakota producers can utilize during dry conditions.”
Each week SDSU Extension’s Crop Hour will cover a different area of agronomic production, from field crops and forages to water and weather. The webinar series began January 5 and will conclude March 26.
There is no fee to attend but participants will need to register for the weekly webinars on the SDSU Extension Crops page. Confirmation Zoom links and reminders will be emailed to attendees.
Educational credits (CEU’s) will be available for Certified Crop Advisers for each session.
For more information about the webinar series and to view the weekly topics and speakers, visit the Crops page on the SDSU Extension site (https://extension.sdstate.edu/agriculture/crops).
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