International Arid Lands Consortium

IALC Founding Member Institution

South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota

Faculty at South Dakota State University collectively have more than 100 years of experience working on improvements for agricultural systems in semiarid environments, much of it at field sites that receive only 14 to 28 inches of precipitation per year. Many facilities at South Dakota State University are involved in arid lands research and education, including the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, the Water Resources Institute, the Office of Remote Sensing, and a new 460-acre research farm. A new regional research facility, the Northern Plains Biostress Laboratory, was dedicated on September 17, 1993. A Northern Great Plains Water Resources Research Center currently is being developed.


International development work is a major emphasis at South Dakota State University. During the early 1980s the University implemented a five-year, U.S. Agency for International Development-funded institutional development program in Botswana. Considerable emphasis was placed on training agricultural specialists to help farmers maximize productivity and conserve water in this arid country; crop development also is emphasized. The spring wheat breeding project at South Dakota State University, in cooperation with Mid-America International Agricultural Consortium and the USDA Entomology Project at Manhattan, Kansas, introduced SAADA, a hardy wheat germplasm. SAADA is recommended for regions where crops are stressed by heat, low rainfall, and Hessian fly infestations. Studies indicate that the germplasm is widely available and being used by farmers in Morocco.


Arid Lands Expertise at South Dakota State University

In recent years, expertise in arid and semiarid agriculture at South Dakota State University has included aspects of international development projects; remote sensing; rangeland, cropland, and water research; and landscape ecology.


A selected list of research specialties includes:

  • Agronomically induced groundwater contamination of glacial till and shallow outwash aquifers
  • Conservation tillage practices
  • Crop breeding programs
  • Equipment development
  • Natural resources management
  • On-site desertification and resource evaluations
  • Pest management
  • Rainfed (dryland) crop production
  • Recreational uses of forest areas
  • Responses of native and introduced rangeland to grazing treatments
  • Semiarid irrigation research
  • Technology-transfer projects using satellite imagery
  • Tree species selection and adaption for arid and semiarid climates

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 Last updated: 14 July 2009
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Last Updated: May 2, 2013
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