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Black angus cattle feeding in a feedlot.

What Goes Into Calculating Yardage?

Yardage cost is the non-feed cost per head for every day that an animal is fed harvested feed in some form of confinement. Yardage is usually associated with calves and yearlings in the feedlot, but this concept can apply to drylotted or wintering cows as well.

A map of South Dakota with several colored boxes indicating areas of increased flood risk. For a complete description, visit the National Weather Service website at: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/long_range.php?wfo=fsd

Get to Know Your Local Emergency Management Director

The warmer weather and spring migration this March have us all thinking of better days ahead. Unfortunately, it also has us thinking about flooding again this spring.

An aerial view of a series of swine finishing facilities.

Methods to Slow Finishing Pig Growth

In abnormal situations, like with the packing plant closure we’re currently dealing with, pork producers may need to “hold” their pigs past normal marketing dates in order for other processing options to open up. We can accomplish that in two ways: altering internal barn environment and changing diets.

A series of three creep feeders placed on an open range. Courtesy: Robin Webster (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Creep Feeding Options: Will it Pay?

Creep-feeding should be evaluated on yearly basis to determine if it will provide production and economic benefits to the operation.

A young girl with a snail-shaped watering can.

Ages & Stages in the Garden: Ages 6-8

A garden can be used to teach many concepts to a board range of ages. When working with early elementary youth you will want to consider characteristics of their development when planning lessons and activities.

A young, freckled girl eating small, red tomatoes inside a greenhouse.

Agritourism

When a producer has decided to sell a product directly from the farm, entertainment or tourism-based activities could be incorporated to create larger appeal. Agritourism could add value to the farm visit though education, entertainment, outdoor recreation, dining, relaxation or other avenues, potentially drawing more customers in.

A community garden plot with several tomato plants growing.

Community Gardens: Garden Rules - Operational Guidelines

When developing garden rules or participate guidelines it is important to address activities related to the operations of the garden. Clearly state that gardeners are expected to maintain their plot for the entire season and list the dates of the season during which they are responsible.

A lush, green spinach patch growing in a community garden

Community Gardens: Liability Insurance

Groups organizing a community garden often ask about liability insurance. They will typically consider getting a policy if they have an organization to protect, or as coverage for the landowner in case a participant is injured and elects to sue.

A row of CSA subscription boxes with the words Green Market printed on them.

CSA Models

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) marketing is an outlet that allows a farmer to sell subscriptions or shares to consumers prior to the growing season. When the produce or food product is harvested it is then delivered on a scheduled basis to the customer.

a graphic image showing drought in South Dakota

Water Conservation and Efficiency During Times of Drought

As drought conditions continue to expand across the state this year, more thought is given towards South Dakota’s limited water resources. We live in a state where weather conditions and rain patterns seem to comfortably exist at the extremes; we either have way too much or nearly not enough. While this isn’t always the case, it is important to keep in mind that our water resources are finite and all of us should be thinking about doing what we can to protect them.