Rancher grows corn for feed, cash and stalks

A western South Dakota rancher grows some corn, but no soybeans in an area where both row crops are the exception. Josh Geigle near Wall, South Dakota, tells Brownfield that the state’s corn footprint reached his place about 15 years ago, where he’d been planting mostly wheat.

“What it’s done for our place,” Geigle told Brownfield Ag News, “it’s added a crop rotation that allows us to spray our fields at different times of the year to get control of some weeds we were struggling with with the wheat-on-wheat rotation.”

Geigle, who ranches in eastern Pennington County, says he doesn’t grow soybeans because they don’t provide enough soil residue.

“In a year like this where we’ve been dry and warm and there’s no snow cover on the ground, and the ground’s bare, on a windy day like we had on Monday we’ll get dust storms,” said Geigle. “There’s not a lot of soybeans grown around here for that reason.”

Geigle coaxes a seventy-bushel-per-acre yield out of his corn, selling what he doesn’t feed. He says grazing cattle on corn stalks saves a considerable amount of hay.

Pennington County – one of South Dakota’s largest in land mass – grows only 5,500 acres of soybeans and is not reported separately for corn acreage.

AUDIO: Josh Geigle

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