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.
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.
What would African Swine Fever testing look like through the lens of our veterinary diagnostic laboratories? Interestingly, we know exactly what it looks like, because it’s already being done at sites such as the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at South Dakota State University.
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.
While being outside this week, I noticed a lot of small gnats flying around my legs and really bothering my dogs. I caught a few and identified them as eye gnats. Although this pest is considered a nuisance in most cases, it is capable of transmitting diseases and pathogens.
When reports of the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the US, very few people had likely heard of coronaviruses—with some notable exceptions: cattle producers and their veterinarians.
Of all the germs associated with cattle illnesses, a pathogen that’s not one of the usual suspects has been identified in several cases of cattle death losses in Eastern South Dakota.
Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is among the most important pathogens affecting today’s beef and dairy cattle operations. Associated with reproductive, digestive, and respiratory illnesses in cattle, the virus can also create a congenital, persistent infection in calves, greatly aiding the virus’ spread within and between herds.
Neospora caninum is a protozoal germ that has the potential to affect reproduction in beef and dairy herds. Neospora-related reproductive problems can arise from two different kinds of infected cattle: 1) cows or heifers that became infected by eating contaminated feed, and 2) cows or heifers that were born with Neospora and pass it on to their offspring in utero.
Cold weather is not just hard on the people taking care of animals, it can be tough on the animals themselves. Consider respiratory disease (pneumonia) in dairy calves.