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.
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.
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.
While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.
In some areas of South Dakota, recent precipitation has led to an increase in mosquito activity. To reduce the chances of contracting West Nile Virus, it is important to understand the behavior of the mosquitos capable of vectoring it.
Volunteer trees can hinder the development of desirable wildlife habitat and livestock resources. Early control of volunteer woody species is the simplest and most cost-effective option for maintaining open grassland habitats.