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A small group of black angus cattle in a feedlot.

Bigger Cattle. Warmer Weather. What Can Go Wrong?

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.

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.

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.

Small black fly on pale skin.

Monitor Livestock, Pets and Yourself for Eye Gnat Activity

While being outside this week, I noticed a lot of small gnats flying around my legs and really bothering my dogs. I caught a few and identified them as eye gnats. Although this pest is considered a nuisance in most cases, it is capable of transmitting diseases and pathogens.

Outside entrance to a large-animal veterinary clinic.

COVID-19 and Livestock: Is there a connection?

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.

A brown cow and a black calf standing in a muddy, water-soaked feedlot.

Notes From the ADRDL: Yersinia Infections in Beef Cattle

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.

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 group of mixed cattle feeding in a feedlot.

Neospora-Positive Status: Impact on heifers/cows and their calves

Neospora caninum is a protozoal germ that has the potential to affect reproduction in beef and dairy herds. Neospora-related reproductive problems can arise from two different kinds of infected cattle: 1) cows or heifers that became infected by eating contaminated feed, and 2) cows or heifers that were born with Neospora and pass it on to their offspring in utero.

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.