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ETHAN—Throughout most of his life as a farmer, Matt Bainbridge has embraced utilizing innovative agriculture technology. One particular innovation the Ethan farmer has been using for the past 7 years is a variable rate fertilizer, which has helped him cut costs in crop fertilization, reducing harm to the environment. A variable rate fertilizer is a piece of agriculture machinery used by farmers to spread fertilizer on crop fields more efficiently.
LETCHER—When Ed Blindauer noticed an abnormally high amount of standing water in his Letcher crop field over the past few weeks, he knew something was awry. The high level of water in his field a few weeks ago prompted the farmer to survey his land, located roughly 2.5 miles northeast of Letcher. In the process, he discovered a ditch plug—which is a small dam—built in the adjacent field.
With the help of landowners along Firesteel Creek, the Mitchell City Council is taking another step in improving Lake Mitchell's watershed after approving a resolution to submit an application for a land easement. During Monday night's meeting at City Hall, the council unanimously approved the application to apply for an agricultural land easement for three parcels near Lake Mitchell, which includes 55 acres at a cost of $7,000 per acre.
HURON — The Davison County grazing management project is moving along swiftly, helping participating farmers and landowners improve their soil in the process. Chuck Pyle, private lands biologist of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provided an update on the project to the James River Water Development District's Board of Directors during Thursday's meeting in Huron.
LETCHER — From the first moment Tate Williams worked on a friend's family farm, he knew it was a life worth living. The decision was made before he even graduated high school, starting with just three cows. It became his focus — bypassing a chance to play college football to make it happen — and it led the eventual first-generation rancher to meeting the love of his life. "When I got introduced to cattle, ranching was so intriguing to me," he said. "Deciding not to play football wasn't easy, but I wanted to keep moving forward in the cattle industry."
For the past 11 years, Gene Stehly has been fulfilling his dream of converting his pasture into a native prairie grassland and riparian buffer. Not only has the local farmer been successful in doing so, but his efforts earned Stehly the first-ever legacy farm award from the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition last week in Brookings as recognition for his work along the mile of Firesteel Creek that runs through his farmland 3 miles northwest of Lake Mitchell.
SALEM — The wet harvest agriculture producers are experiencing this year didn't stop area farmers from enjoying burgers and hot dogs at the harvest cookout Monday in Salem. In its second year of hosting the cookout, First Dakota National Bank joined the McCook Central FFA chapter to celebrate the hard-working area farmers who are in the midst of harvest season.
MOUNT VERNON, S.D.—When Dave Deinert gazes at his corn crops in early July, he is pleased to see his crops surpass the age-old saying "knee-high by the Fourth of July." Instead, his corn is taller than he is, with most of July and all of August still ahead. Deinert has been farming 2,200 acres of corn for roughly 45 years on his farm near Mount Vernon with the help of his son Jared. The two farm roughly 4,000 acres of land, including 1,800 acres of soybeans.
MITCHELL, S.D.—Despite in 2017 battling one of the toughest years for winter wheat production, South Dakota farmers are expecting to see a big spike in production this season. Projected totals for the crop have spiked to roughly 39.4 million bushels, up 90 percent from last year's crop, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Ideal weather conditions paired with adequate moisture have winter wheat farmers expecting to see the average yield forecast at 54 bushels per acre, which is up 14 bushels from last year.
ALEXANDRIA—Despite concern from community members and nearby landowners, the Hanson County Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a 2,400-animal swine nursery to be located about 4 miles west of Emery. The swine operation will be built by Triple K Land LLC and was approved during a three-hour public hearing at the Hanson County Courthouse in Alexandria. Wednesday's approval gives Triple K Land the go-ahead to build the project.