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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.

A green tractor pulling a fertilizer wagon through a field of alfalfa.

Fertilizing Forages in South Dakota

Spring is a busy time for South Dakota farmers and ranchers with planting, calving, and other field preparations. Soil sampling and fertilizing pastures, alfalfa, or other forages might be overlooked.

A field of flowering alfalfa.

Precautions for Grazing Weevil-Infested Alfalfa

Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.

A side-by-side comparison of two oat varietes. The one on the right has crown rust developing on it.

Utilize a Fungicide For Crown Rust Prevention in Oats

If you are growing oats this year for grain, be sure to scout and plan a fungicide application to protect the oats from crown rust.

cows eating silage

What’s Important to Know About Silage Additives & Inoculants? 

Corn is suited to preservation as silage. Silage additives can be used to remedy deficiencies such as lack of sufficient population of bacteria to support adequate fermentation, and low levels of fermentable carbohydrates.

a strand of oats in a field

Using Plant Growth Regulator in Oats Grown for Grain

With growers’ interest emerging, SDSU Extension and research faculty teamed up and initiated a study in 2016 in Northeast SD to evaluate the effects of plant growth regulator. The study was conducted at the SDSU Northeast Research Farm (NERF) near South Shore, SD.

Winter wheat emerging from a planted field.

Double-Crop after Wheat?

Two crops in one year may sound tempting, and for some crop species is possible, but before doing so, producers should consider possible crops and compare the potential benefits with the drawbacks.

Freshly cut hay in a field.

Determining Hay Prices

Before pricing forages, producers will want to have a good understanding about the cost of growing a ton of hay, alfalfa or straw.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

Sheep Breeds

Everyone has heard the fairytale “Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?” but what about the double-coated California Red, the multi-colored Katahdin sheep with hair, or the East Friesian dairy ewe that produces over 1,100 pounds of milk a year? Sheep come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and all of them provide different functions and uses for producers. These can range from meat, wool, and milk production or a combination of characteristics.