South Dakota

Establishing cover crops in South Dakota's 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.

Cover Crop Recipes

mccc 134 - Post corn, going to soybean: use cereal rye

One of the most important attributes that cereal rye possesses over other winter cereals such as winter wheat or triticale is its tolerance to extreme cold temperatures.

mccc 135 - Post small grains, going to soybean or corn: use a cool-season mix

Planting a cover crop blend that predominantly consists of cool-season species and is winter-killed adds diversity and provides soil armor through summer and spring.

Additional Resources

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.

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.


David Karki
SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist
Watertown Regional Extension Center
1910 West Kemp Ave
Watertown, SD 57201
Phone: 605-882-5140


Anthony Bly
SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist
SDSU Extension Regional Center
4101 W. 38th St. Suite 103
Sioux Falls, SD  57106
Phone: 605-782-3290

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

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