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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 close shot of a black and red cow's face. A blurred white cow's head is in the foreground.

Testing Your Beef Cattle for Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus

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.

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 field of flowering alfalfa.

Precautions for Grazing Weevil-Infested Alfalfa

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.

Entrance to the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at South Dakota State University.

How Would Veterinary Diagnostic Labs Test for African Swine Fever?

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.

Two dairy calves in a small pen wearing warming jackets.

Dairy Calf Respiratory Disease: Treatment in the Aftermath of Cold Weather

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.

A closeup of a sheep's face. The sheep looks to be in pain.

Sore Mouth: A “Pox” Virus for Sheep

Just like in children or adults who contract the dreaded chicken pox, sheep and goats can catch their own similar “pox” virus called Sore Mouth, technically known as Contagious Ecthyma. This health problem is most recognizable by red blisters or thick brown scabs on the skin around the lips or muzzle area.

A hereford calf in a field with flies on its face.

The Different Sides of Pinkeye Treatment

Pinkeye (or infectious keratoconjunctivitis) is a scourge that most cattle operations will deal with at some point. Regardless of the type of cattle affected or time of year, prevention always beats treatment.

A series of swine pens at a state fair.

5 Things Hog Producers Should Know: Flu at Swine Exhibitions 

Every year, thousands of youth across the country raise pigs and show them off at local exhibitions and county and state fairs. These experiences allow young people to learn about animal care and management, and also allow the public the rare opportunity to observe pig care and behavior.

A small group of cattle grazing in a green pasture.

Anaplasmosis: Is it a problem in the Northern Plains?

Cattle producers have been hearing more and more about a disease called anaplasmosis. This disease recently appears to have become more common in areas not previously affected. The disease is typically associated with cattle herds in warmer areas of the country, but is it ever a problem up here on the Northern Plains?