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Pasture Bugs N’ Grubs Road Show Coming To South Dakota
April 25 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm$30
The South Dakota Grassland Coalition is sponsoring the 2017 Pasture Bugs N’ Grubs Road Show in conjunction with SDSU Extension, NRCS and other partner organizations.
The Road show is scheduled to make stops in Watertown April 25; Chamberlain/Oacoma April 26; and Rapid City April 27.
“Spring is arriving throughout South Dakota and it signals the return of insects to the landscape. The road show is designed to allow producers from across the state to hear experts present on key insect-related issues affecting farms and ranches,” said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.
Road show topics include:
- Dung beetles and manure decomposition;
- White grub concerns;
- The role of pollinators in pastures;
- Status of South Dakota biological control programs;
- Livestock parasites; and
- Alternatives tools in animal and range health.
Insect Communities & Rangeland Health
Insects, in general, may offer more indication of rangeland health than any other type of organism, explained Bauman.
“They serve as key building blocks that other organisms depend on,” he said. “The insect community present in rangelands can be complex and most people find identification of most insects difficult. Consequently, other species are generally utilized to help interpret the condition of rangelands. For example, changes in grassland bird abundance or diversity are often used as a general indicator of rangeland health.”
Bauman explained that because birds are relatively easy to see and count, observing grassland birds has become a powerful tool for many ranchers to gauge their range condition. However, for most grassland birds to raise a successful clutch they must provide their hatchlings with insects or the young themselves must forage for insects on their own to meet their nutritional and developmental needs.
“This reality points to the critical role of insects in overall grassland ecology,” Bauman said. “Beneficial insect communities that are present in rangeland are dependent on healthy and diverse functioning plant communities.”
Bauman shared the example of pollinating insects.
“Pollinating insects, such as honey bees, butterflies, native bees and flies rely on the presence of flowering plants for nectar,” he said.
Healthy and vigorous plant communities are maintained in rangeland primarily through healthy grazing programs that consider whole-systems health.
“Healthy rangelands that offer the greatest profit potential are maintained through a holistic or integrated approach that considers all natural resources, including vegetation, insects, birds, soils, water, etc. and utilizes more than one approach at reducing pest populations,” Bauman said.
Registration and location details
To register for the Bugs N’ Grubs Road Show contact, Jan Rounds by April 20th firstname.lastname@example.org or (605) 882-5140. Event is Free to current Coalition members, $30 registration for non members (includes membership). Lunch provided at all locations.
Watertown April 25 (CST) held at the SDSU Regional Extension Center (5140 W. Kemp) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST).
Oacoma April 26 held at Al’s Oasis Restaurant (1000 E. Hwy 16) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST).
Rapid City April 27 held at the SDSU Regional Extension Center (711 N. Creek Dr.) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MST).