South Dakota

Establishing cover crops in South Dakota semi-arid, frigid soils can be challenging. Viable options for timing include following wheat, in-season following the annual crops weed-free period, and in the fall following harvest.  Benefits from cover crops may include: 1) reduced wind and water erosion, 2) reduced nitrate leaching, 3) increased soil organic matter and water infiltration, 4) improved nutrient recycling, 5) improved water quality, 6) improved soil health, 7) enhanced weed suppression, 8) remediation of saline and sodic soil problems, and 9) increased forage for livestock and wildlife.

Please scroll down to read extension publications from South Dakota.


Various agencies provide cover crop services at a local level. These resources can help with technical support and answer questions from a local perspective at no cost.

South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Find your local NRCS Field Service Center

South Dakota State University Extension

Find your SDSU Regional Extension Center

South Dakota's Conservation Districts

Find your SD County Conservation District

Feel free to contact your MCCC state representative for local questions and recommendations. Your MCCC state representative's contact information can be found on the State Contacts tab.

MCCC State Contacts

David Clay, Professor
South Dakota State University
Plant Science
Box 2207
Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: 605-688-5081

Cheryl Reese, Lecturer (Soil and Agronomy) and CCA
South Dakota State University
Plant Science
SAG 210, Box 2207A
Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: 605-688-6309

Demo Content

Best Management Practices for Corn Production in South Dakota: Chapter 5- Tillage, Crop Rotations, and Cover Crops

David Clay, Kurtis Reitsma, and Sharon Clay (editors)- South Dakota State University


BMP for Corn Production in South Dakota: Chapter 5- Tillage, Crop Rotations, and Cover Crops