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.
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.
Spring is a busy time for South Dakota farmers and ranchers with planting, calving, and other field preparations. Soil sampling and fertilizing pastures, alfalfa, or other forages might be overlooked.
Winter kill and general stand loss of alfalfa has specifically been of concern in many parts of South Dakota the last two years. Most observed alfalfa winter kill is due to low, wet or flooded areas where plants were suffocated and died over the winter.
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.
Smut is a fungal disease that can attack the leaves, stalks, tassels, silks and cobs. While many fungal diseases cause spots on the leaves or stems, smut is much more flamboyant.
A few oat fields that were recently scouted were found to have barley yellow dwarf virus infected plants. The infected plants were few and scattered throughout the oat fields.
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.
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.