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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spring green-up is the time to be watching for black grass bug activity. Large populations of this early-season pest can cause severe damage to pasture (up to 90% forage reduction) and infest the edges of wheat fields.
While livestock producers know that moldy grain and forage are not ideal feedstuffs, they also know that stored feed occasionally contains a small amount of visible mold, and that their animals consume it with no obvious adverse effects. The question arises, how much mold is too much for a feed to be unsuitable for animals?
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.
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.