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SDSU Publication: Best Management Practices for Corn Production in South Dakota

South Dakota State University’s comprehensive guide, “Best Management Practices for Corn Production in South Dakota,” is new off the press.

A limited number of printed copies are available at no cost from county Extension offices. Or download the entire document or the 16 chapters as individual files from a South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service Web site,

South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Bill Even said the guide will help South Dakota corn growers remain among the most productive in the nation, noting that the state ranked sixth in the nation in production of corn for grain in 2007.

“Each producer must make the best decision on which corn hybrid to plant, choose the best fertilizer program, manage high input costs, expect seasonal hazards, deal with weeds and pests, and market the harvest for the greatest profit,” Even said. “This manual presents the best management practices developed for the changing environment of corn production agriculture in South Dakota.”

Professor David Clay, research associate Kurtis Reitsma, and professor Sharon Clay edited the publication. Nearly 30 collaborating corn producers, agronomists, and other agricultural professionals wrote and reviewed the manual. It includes information about corn growth and development, hybrid selection, corn planting, seasonal hazards, tillage, crop rotations, and cover crops. Other topics are irrigation, soil fertility, corn insect pests, corn diseases, weeds and herbicide injury, corn harvest, and corn drying and storage. Information on recordkeeping, useful calculations of yields and storage requirements, the corn calendar, troubleshooting, and helpful Web sites rounds out the publication.

The peer-reviewed document includes 66 informational tables and more than 100 color illustrations.

The South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service and SDSU’s Department of Plant Science provided financial support for the guide. The South Dakota Corn Utilization Council and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station were among the groups that provided additional developmental support.