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A group of brown cattle foraging in a green field.

Prussic Acid Poisoning

As the first frost date approaches, producers often have concerns about the risk of prussic acid poisoning in livestock. Certain forage plants, especially sorghums and related species are associated with an increased risk of death loss because of prussic acid poisoning.

Group of calves grazing in a fenced-in area.

Weaning Calves on Cover Crops

What do we do if it is time to wean calves, but the pen isn’t ready? That can be a real concern during wet fall seasons, such as 2019. Putting calves into muddy pen conditions is far from desirable, but holding calves on the cows deep into fall increases the risk of adverse winter weather and tends to pull body condition off the cows.

A patch of western wheatgrass with ergot fungus growing throughout.

Ergot in Western Wheatgrass and the Potential Effects for Winter Grazing

2019 has been a year fraught with challenges for ranchers across South Dakota. Abundant precipitation is usually a blessing, however, wet conditions coupled with a cool spring followed by warmer temperatures has caused another problem across the rangelands of South Dakota: ergot poisoning.

Black angus cattle feeding in a feedlot.

What Goes Into Calculating Yardage?

Yardage cost is the non-feed cost per head for every day that an animal is fed harvested feed in some form of confinement. Yardage is usually associated with calves and yearlings in the feedlot, but this concept can apply to drylotted or wintering cows as well.

A newly planted vineyard on a rural property.

Grape Production Resources

Quality wine grapes can be grown in South Dakota with careful attention to growing site, cultivar selection and production techniques. View selected information available from SDSU Extension and other sources that will help you in deciding whether grape growing is for you, and to grow quality fruit.

A man in a pickup truck picking up a bag of farmers market food at a pickup table being serviced by two women in personal protective gear.

Farmers Markets and COVID-19

Farmers markets are a very important sector in South Dakota. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a great deal of concern on trying to keep these markets open, while providing a safe environment for consumers to shop. This article is a guide to help farmers markets set up their operation in a manner that will best protect consumers and allow for continuation of operations.

An aerial view of a series of swine finishing facilities.

Methods to Slow Finishing Pig Growth

In abnormal situations, like with the packing plant closure we’re currently dealing with, pork producers may need to “hold” their pigs past normal marketing dates in order for other processing options to open up. We can accomplish that in two ways: altering internal barn environment and changing diets.

An alfalfa field with noticeable dead patches due to winter kill.

Dealing With Alfalfa Winter Kill

Winter kill and general stand loss of alfalfa has specifically been of concern in many parts of South Dakota the last two years. Most observed alfalfa winter kill is due to low, wet or flooded areas where plants were suffocated and died over the winter.

A pork carcass that has been cut in half. There are black lines demonstrating where to cut the carcass into its primal cuts. White arrows call out the tenderloin section and the aitch bone. For a complete description, contact SDSU Extension at: 605-688-4792

At-Home Hog Slaughter

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain disruptions for nearly every commodity, including the swine industry. This has left many producers searching for alternative strategies to market their livestock and consumers seeking alternative options for sourcing meat. One option that can be considered is butchering pigs at home.

A man in a blue apron trimming the fat off the back of a pork loin cut.

Pork Carcass Fabrication: Primal and Retail Cuts

This article is intended to provide guidance on the proper techniques for fabricating a pork carcass at home.