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HomeRegional NewsSDSU Extension to co-host Precision Cover Crop Demonstration Day on July 20

SDSU Extension to co-host Precision Cover Crop Demonstration Day on July 20

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service will host a Precision Cover Crop Demonstration day starting at 9 a.m. on July 20, 2023, near Brookings.

The day will start with demonstrations of a rainfall simulator, electrical conductivity, and drone usage at the research field, which is north of the SDSU Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center at the intersection of U.S. Highway 14 and 22nd Avenue. After the on-site activities, there will be indoor presentations on the SDSU campus.

The research site is a 28-acre field previously seeded in forage oats. Each plot is 30 feet wide, and includes rotations of rye, tillage/white radish, brown flax, crimson clover, brassica, sunflower, sunn hemp and Sudan grass. Researchers will provide details on each crop’s yield and soil texture variations across plots.

Variable-rate seeding is a precision agriculture technology that can determine how many seeds are needed based on soil nutrients, light and moisture capacity. Having the correct variable seeding rate can help farmers improve crop yields and reduce how much seed they use.

The main goal of the Precision Cover Cropping System project is to demonstrate a logical and sensor-based variable seeding rate and mix selection in cover cropping systems. The information can help producers improve the benefits of conventional cover cropping systems, particularly related to profits, soil health and environmental quality.

“Much like other variable rate applications, as we have variations in a field, the Precision Cover Cropping System is the future of smart agriculture,” said Ali Nafchi, SDSU Extension Precision Agriculture Specialist.

Despite the long and cold winter, Nafchi said many plots in the field are doing well. The results will be explained more fully at the workshop and will be published in a research paper.

Registration is free and a light lunch is provided. To register for the event, visit extension.sdstate.edu/events and search for “Precision”.

For more information, contact Ali Nafchi, SDSU Extension Precision Agriculture Specialist, at 605-688-4774 or Ali.Nafchi@sdstate.edu.

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