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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.

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 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.

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.

A woman holding a frozen pork cut next to an open freezer.

Pork Carcass Fabrication: Packaging and Meat Safety

This article is intended to provide guidance on the proper techniques for packaging meat and storing meat at home.

A stock pond with algae blooms developing throughout.

How Important Is Water Quality to Livestock?

Water is the most important nutrient to all livestock animals and is sometimes overlooked. Poor quality water can have a negative effect on growth, reproduction, and general productivity of the animal.

A rancher inspecting the water quality of a small stock pond.

How Do Sulfates in Water Affect Livestock Health?

Poor-quality water will cause an animal to drink less. As a result, they also consume less forage and feed, which leads to weight loss, decreased milk production and lower fertility.