SD crops take a hit from recent flooding
BROOKINGS — The recent flooding in southeastern portions of South Dakota, in addition to lower than average temps and an already wetter than usual growing season has had a negative impact on corn and soybean fields, explained Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director.
“A few days back we were dealing with waterlogged conditions, the recent rains have resulted in outright flooding of fields,” Garcia said. “Although flooding impacts livestock, crops are likely going to take a larger hit. Corn and soybeans can likely be damaged or lost as a result of water saturation of the soil.”
As agriculture producers cut and bale alfalfa, Garcia is concerned about the quality of forage available.
“Care needs to be taken when baling alfalfa to do so at the right moisture. Current high moisture conditions can hamper forage harvest and storage and result in losses through heating and/or mold growth,” he said.
Garcia added that if rain penetrates uncovered bales left in the fi eld, the moisture can lead to storage losses in excess of 15 percent and up to 25 percent when feed-out losses are included. “Be aware that hay stacks may have received water in the base which will lead to molding and heating,” he said.
“Producers need to be aware of additional health issues,” Garcia said. “There have been reports post-fl ooding of higher infectious abortions caused by IBR and Leptospira as well as respiratory disease particularly in young calves.”
He added that fl ooding creates a stressful situation for cattle and as such their immune system can be challenged. “Considering this weather situation will not be over yet, a successful vaccination plan devised by a local veterinarian is a good strategy,” he said.
Another issue Garcia encourages livestock producers to be aware of is flood-damaged feeds and mycotoxins.