Rohrbach truck

Jonathan Rohrbach talks about his operation from his pickup truck. Rohrbach is using rotational grazing and adding small grains to diversify his crop rotation. 

The last half of September tripped the switch for crops in northeastern South Dakota.

Soybeans changed color and started dropping leaves, reported crop watcher Jonathan Rohrbach from Roscoe.

The corn was maturing as well, and plants were starting to change color as the first day of fall hit. Rohrbach saw one silage chopper working in the last week, but he expected to see many more rolling in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

“We may even start to see a few soybeans get combined in the next two to three weeks as well,” he added.

The week of Sept. 9 brought 1.41 inches of rain to the Roscoe area. They came nice and slow and soaked in well, Rohrbach said.

“That moisture along with the 1.9 inches we had received Sept. 7 and 8, were welcome in our area,” he added.

Sept. 18-20, Rohrbach was able to seed 140 acres of hairy vetch and cereal rye into his barley stubble.

“It should have some good growth due to the nice amount of moisture we have in the soil,” he said.

He was able to seed through even the low ground where water had been sitting from the 3.31 inches of rain that fell over the week prior.

“It’s amazing how about eight years of strictly no-till with about five years of incorporating cover crops has improved the soil structure and infiltration of my land,” Rohrbach said. “I was even able to seed through low ground that had a little water standing in it yet without leaving ruts!”

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Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor