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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.

A group of cattle grazing on crop residue.

Farm Practices That Improve Soil Health: Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

An integrated crop-livestock system can provide an alternative management strategy that benefits producer’s income, soil health, and the environment—all while increasing production.

black cow drinking from a nearly empty stock pond.

Feed & Water Testing Laboratories

A partial listing of available feed testing laboratories.

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.

An orange plastic hoop placed around a portion of tall grass on a range to provide a measurement.

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure: Range Record Keeping

Range record keeping helps detect and demonstrate landscape changes that have a direct impact on your ability to maintain or grow your herd.

A herd of cattle grazing near a pond on an open range.

Nitrates and Livestock Water Quality

Nitrate poisoning is something we think about with forages such as millet, oats, corn, sorghum, sudan, kochia and others that have been fertilized or if there is a drought, but water can also be a contributing factor.

A green front-end-loader pulling a hay mower with a flushing bar.

Haying With Wildlife in Mind

Anyone who has spent time cutting hay knows that hayland can be a magnet for wildlife in late spring and early summer. Hay fields are often considered an “ecological trap” for wildlife; that is, they appear to be high quality habitat for nesting or feeding due to tall, dense grass and legumes, but often lead to increased mortality once harvesting is under way.

small group of cattle grazing on cover crops

Cover Crops & Livestock Integration: A Profit Opportunity for S.D. Farms

Cover crops have been gaining a reemerging acceptance over the last decade, with very few producers disagreeing about the potential soil health benefits of adding cover crops to their farming operation.