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A group of brown cattle foraging in a green field.

Prussic Acid Poisoning

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.

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 stock pond with algae blooms developing throughout.

How Important Is Water Quality to Livestock?

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.

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 herd of cattle grazing near a pond on an open range.

Nitrates and Livestock Water Quality

Nitrate poisoning is something we think about with forages such as millet, oats, corn, sorghum, sudan, kochia and others that have been fertilized or if there is a drought, but water can also be a contributing factor.

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.

cattle grazing early spring pasture

Grass Tetany: Now Is the Time to Prepare

With warmer temperatures and significant soil moisture, ranchers need to be proactive in mitigating grass tetany risk. Cool season grasses are beginning to green up, posing a risk for cows with young calves.

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.

oats

2018 Field Plot Summaries for Oat and Sorghum Foliar Disease Management Trials

An oat crown rust integrated management trial and a sorghum foliar fungicide trials were conducted to determine the efficacy of fungicides to manage crown rust and fungal diseases in oat and sorghum respectively. Crown rust is one of the most devastating diseases of oat in the state. Stragego fungicide was applied at three different timings to determine the most effective timing for crown rust management. For sorghum, the study investigated the efficacy of two different rates of Nexicor for managing sorghum foliar diseases. The oat field experiment was maintained at Northeast Research Farm (NERF), Southeast research farm (SERF) and Volga research farm. The sorghum experiment was at Volga.