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Two young swine drinking water in a wean-to-finish facility.

Nursery Pig Performance Impacted by Total Dissolved Solids in Water

Because water quality can vary considerably between production sites, it is important to identify the qualities of water that impact the growth performance of nursery pigs.

herd of cattle in a muddy feedlot with serious flooding. FEMA News Photo

Dealing With Spring Mud and Flooding

As the snow melts, we are going to be left to deal with mud at a minimum and extensive flooding as a possible worst-case scenario. While we can’t control the pace of melting or the possibility of additional precipitation, we may be able to take a few steps to mitigate the negative impacts.

A dog in the cab of a pickup truck as rain falls.

Preparing to Keep Pets Safe and Healthy During Flood Conditions

As is the case with providing for the care of livestock and other large animals during flooding, a little forward planning for the care of pets can really pay off when considering the disruptions that spring flooding can bring.

A herd of sheep foraging on leafy spurge in a grassland.

Multi-Species Grazing as an Alternative to Pasture Spraying

Broadacre spraying of pastures is intended to reduce undesirable plants and increase grasses for livestock. This practice often results in unintended consequences, including damage and reduction of native forbs and reduced profitability. One approach to managing perceived “weedy” plants is incorporating different species of livestock into a grazing operation.

A South Dakota Mesonet station in a snow-covered field.

SDSU Extension and South Dakota Mesonet team up to release the Livestock Stress Tool

November 18, 2021

Weather conditions in the Northern Plains can present many challenges for livestock producers. Farmers and ranchers need to be prepared for rapidly changing conditions to provide the best care for their livestock and minimize their risk of losses.

A South Dakota Mesonet station in a snow-covered field.

Livestock Stress Tool

Weather conditions in the Northern Plains can present more than a few challenges for livestock producers. From below zero or blizzard conditions during winter or even spring, to heat waves in the summer months, farmers and ranchers need to be prepared for rapidly changing conditions to provide the best care for their livestock and minimize their risks of losses.

A color-coded precipitation probability map of the United States. The majority of South Dakota is predicted to have wetter than average precipitation, with the highest likelihood being in the southwest corner of the state. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.

May 2020 Climate Outlook

On April 16, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their climate outlook for May and the coming three-month period of May through July. There is a lot of uncertainty in the temperature outlook for the next one-to-three months in the Northern Plains Region.

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.

A small group of black angus cattle in a feedlot.

Bigger Cattle. Warmer Weather. What Can Go Wrong?

The disruptions in the beef processing sector caused by COVID-19 continue to interfere with the orderly marketing of finished cattle. While we all hope that the situation is resolved quickly, the reality is that because the shipment of so many harvest-ready cattle has been delayed, there will be increased numbers of heavier cattle on feed for the foreseeable future.