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Source: South Dakota State University news release

Experts and researchers from our state's land grant, South Dakota State University, SDSU Extension and industry teamed up to publish an easy-to-use guidebook developed to provide South Dakota corn producers with research-based, best management practices and strategies to ultimately achieve 300 bushels-per-acre.

"This was truly a producer-led, research-driven effort," said David Wright, Department Head and Professor, SDSU Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. "It is our hope that the resulting book of best management practices will provide the information South Dakota corn producers need to increase yield and profits."

Sponsored by South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, iGrow Corn:Best Management Practices for Corn Production, is available to download at no cost at

Written and peer-reviewed to ensure all information is not only research-based, but also easy to understand, the book is organized with the busy grower in mind. Each of its 54 chapters cover a specific best management practice or strategy relevant to today's corn producer.

"There is a lot of information out there - even within our university and SDSU Extension it can be a bit overwhelming. When developing this book, our team worked closely with producers and the book's authors to compile the most producer-relevant, cutting edge and research-based information," said David Clay, SDSU Professor in the department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. "This book is an effective way to document research-based, local practices."

Clay is one of its more than 44 authors. He is also one of the book's three editors. The other editors are Dr. Sharon Clay, Distinguished Professor of Agronomy at SDSU and Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

Topics discussed in the book range from identifying plant diseases to creating site-specific seeding rates.

Producer-Led Effort
South Dakota State University was initially approached by members of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council in 2014 to begin updating the original book which was published 10 years ago.

"It was important to us, as a grower-led organization, that we have our state's best management practice information, supported by our land grant, in one place," explained Keith Alverson, a sixth-generation Chester farmer and president of the S.D. Corn Growers Association.

He explained that in addition to a go-to resource for producers, the book was also developed to serve as a one-stop resource for governmental agencies looking to develop recommendations for South Dakota producers.

"We felt the need to proactively document best management practices for South Dakota corn producers so that in the future we don't have someone from another state ask us why our management practices are not the same," Alverson said. "This book allows us to point to science as the foundation for our on-farm management practices in order to respond to potential regulations like we see going on in surrounding states, as well as serve as a support tool for current and future Natural Resource Conservation Service conservation incentive programs."

Alverson is a 2002 Agronomy graduate of SDSU. Since graduation, he has farmed full time with his dad, Ron. He and his wife, Kari have three young children.

With the next generation and future of his family's farm in mind, Alverson said the iGrow Corn: Best Management Practices for Corn Production provides all South Dakota corn producers with a guide that will help them increase yields as well as resource management.

"We see this book as a resource to help our growers make the best possible decisions to increase on-farm profits as well as help them be the best environmental stewards of the land today and into the future," Alverson said. "As farmers, we recognize that stewardship of our land and natural resources is our lifeblood."

To learn more and to download a copy of iGrow Corn: Best Management Practices for Corn Production,

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