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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 red sprayer in a green field with a cloudy sky in the background.

How to Stop Drift

The goals of applying any crop protection products include: increasing effectiveness, mitigating drift, and maximizing profits. We will focus on mitigating drift, even though all three interact with each other.

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 stock pond with noticable blue-green algae bloom throughout.

Blue-Green Algae and Livestock

With warmer temperatures, the conditions are right for blue-green algae blooms. Different species of blue-green algae contain various toxins, which can poison livestock, resulting in rapid death.

grey to brown fly with large eyes and elongated mouthparts

What are Those Gigantic Flies?

As we progress later into the summer, we commonly see an increase in horse fly activity.

Mosquito with darker coloration and mosquito with white band on proboscis.

Know Your West Nile Virus Vectors

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.

a sprawling green plant with flowering yellow heads

Sweet Clover Poisoning

Hay that contains sweet clover can be an excellent feed as long as the dicoumarol level is known and feeding management is used to prevent poisoning.

A color-coded map of the united states indicating temperature outlook for August 2019. South Dakota is mostly covered in blue.

August 2019 Climate Outlook: Cool and Wet

According to the latest climate outlook update, odds are favoring that August 2019 will be cooler than average. The update was released by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on July 31, 2019.

A color-coded map of the United Statees showing the precipitation outlook for August through October 2019. All of South Dakota is light green. Parts of Western South Dakota are a darker green.

Wet Conditions Likely Into Fall Season

Many locations in South Dakota have already received as much precipitation this year as they do in an entire average year. The latest climate outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shows increased chances of wetter than average conditions to continue into the fall season.

Color-coded map of the United States indicating predicted precipitation for July 2019. South Dakota is set to experience above normal precipitation.

July 2019 Climate Outlook: Challenges Continue

This year’s seasonal pattern of wetter than average conditions is projected to continue through July and the rest of the summer season. The latest climate outlook, released June 20, 2019, shows an increased chance of wetter than average conditions in the next one to three months for the state of South Dakota.