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Bear Butte

SDSU West River Research Farm

The West River Research Farm is comprised of 111 acres located northwest of Sturgis. The farm was acquired by South Dakota State University in 2018. It focuses on agronomic and livestock research for conditions similar to those in western South Dakota. Researchers perform grazing, cover crop and variety trials. SDSU's statewide network of weather stations, called the Mesonet at SDSU, has a weather station located at the West River Research Farm. 

Key Research Projects: 

  • Integration of livestock and cover crops into annual small grain production
  • Using native rhizobia to increase nitrogen fixation under drought stress
  • Wheat, barley, oats, sorghum, peas, chickpeas, millet and canola variety trials
  • Intercropping alfalfa, sunflower, alfalfa and sorghum
  • Innovations in conversion to organic farming
  • Wheat and corn nitrogen fertility trials
  • Using soil health measures to improve nitrogen use efficiency in wheat
  • Winter field pea germplasm development
  • Using cover crops and manure to offset disease risk in wheat